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    Girua Airport (Kenney, Dobodura No. 7) Oro Province Papua New Guinea
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5th AF August 1943

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Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2003

Location
Lat 8° 48' 16S Long 148° 18' 32E  Girua Airfield is located at an elevation of 286' at Girua to the east of the Girua River. To the south is Mount Lamington. To the east is Horanda and northeast is Dobodura, to the southeast are the Embi Lakes. To the southeast is Inonda. The road parallel to the runway connects to Popondetta located 16km away to the northwest.

Construction
Built by the Americans, this airfield had several names, including Dobodura No. 7, West 7, or Horanda No. 7 Airstrip or West 7.   It was also known as "Kenney Strip", in honor of 5th Air Force Commander General George C. Kenney.

American units based at Girua (Kenney, Dobodura No. 7)
58th FG, HQ Brisbane Dec 28, 1943 - April 2, 1944 Saidor
58th FG, 310th FS (P-47) Brisbane Dec 28, 1943 - April 2, 1944 Saidor
58th FG, 311th FS (P-47) Brisbane Dec 28, 1943 - April 5, 1944 Saidor
58th FG, 69th FS (P-47) Brisbane Dec 29, 1943 - April 2, 1944 Saidor

Today
This airfield has been in use since the Pacific War until the present day. During 1968, renamed "Girua Airport", for nearby Girua and serves as the main airport for Popondetta and Oro Province. The runway is orientated 03/21 and measures 1,675m x 30m. Airport codes: ICAO: AYGR and IATA: PNP.

During 2014-2016 an Asia Development Bank funded the repair and expansion of the runway and construction of a new airport terminal building.

References
National Airport Corporation (NAC) - Girua Airport

Girua Aircraft Dump
On the west side of the strip is a dump area, including Beaufort parts and other aircraft pieces. Picked over by salvagers over recent years, there are occasionally new discoveries made in the ground, like buried wings or other parts. Bits of aircraft are still occasional found. Around 2000, several pairs of wings were located and quietly recovered by Robert Greinert and exported to Australia.

Aircraft Display
Several aircraft were setup on as a war memorial on the side of the Air Niugini terminal in the 1970's by the Oro Province Works Department. Today only the B-25 and the wing from an A-20 near the gate remains, the others have been removed by private restorers. Many earth horseshoe shaped fighter revetments for the 58th Fighter Group's P-47s are still visible from the air.

B-25D "Bar-Fly" 41-30593
Abandoned in the Dobodura area, transported to Girua Airport as a memorial, nose attached to B-25H Mitchell 43-4450 displayed with a B-24 Liberator landing gear leg and a pair of P-47 Thunderbolt engines.

P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27608
Since the 1970s display at the airfield, removed by Greinert in 1999

P-40N "Suzy" 42-105820
Abandoned in the kunai until 1991 when recovered

P-38G Lightning 42-12711
Pilot Hawthorne crashed January 22, 1944 roughly 700 yards off the northwest end of the runway

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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Map
July 1945

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