Finschafen Airfield is located about
three miles north of Finschafen in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Built prewar by
Lutheran missionaries at Finschafen. The single runway was roughly 1,968.5' / 600m in length. In early 1942 it was noted as a single runway was
800 x 75 x 20 yards with poor approaches. Facilities included housing, food & water, medical supplies possibly at mission. This airfield was used by mission aircraft including Junkers.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
On March 10, 1942 occupied by the Japanese.
It is unclear if the Japanese ever used or expanded this runway during their occupation of the area.
Between December 1942 until late 1943, the Finschafen area was attacked by Allied bombers. The only speciic mission against Finschafen Airfield (Prewar) was on February 1, 1943 when single B-24 bombs the runway at Finchhafen Airfield (Prewar Airfield).
American missions against Finschafen Airfield
December 21, 1942–January 5, 1944
By late September 1943, the
official history seems to indicate that Finschafen Airfield was not in use
at that time, [no aircraft or facilities recorded] but it
may have had ELS equivalent status. The same WWII maps do
not show any other airfields at Finschafen, as the other airfield
was built by the Americans.
John Douglas adds:
"The strip was
put in by the missionaries to service their facilities in that
area, They had about 80 Missionaries there at about early war
time, several missions, schools, a port and a large radio station
in the town. I think they had at least one Junkers W34 [probably
more], that survived the war as a wreck and disappeared out of
Lae about 10 years ago. This plane I think is different to the
Ex Missionary W34 that is restored in Western Australia. There's
a great story about a German Mission Pilot who stole a plane
in the late 1930s ex Finschafen, flew it to Dutch New Guinea
and eventually made his way to Germany and joined the Luftwaffe."
Notes about New Guinea airfields, recorded circa May - July, 1942 by Oliver C. Doan via Jean Doan research Edward Rogers
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
November 1, 2018