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    Kairiru Seaplane Base East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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5th AF March 20, 1944

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Justin Taylan 2003

Kairiru seaplane base is located on the southern coast of Kairiru Island, near St. John's Mission (Saint John's Mission, Barakam), to the east of the ship jetty.
Seaplanes took off and landed in Kairiru Strait between Kairiru Island and Muschu Island and were moored off St. John's Mission.

Wartime History
Used by the Japanese Navy as a seaplane base and operating area. The base had limited or minimal facilities, with seaplanes moored near the sandy shoreline. This base operated a detachment of F1M2 Pete biplanes from the 958 Kokutai.

Japanese units based at Kairiru Seaplane Base (St. John's Mission, Barakam)
958 Kokutai (detachment F1M2)

On March 21, 1944, the area was heavily bombed, destroying most of the buildings and area.

American missions against Kairiru
April 10, 1943 - August 27, 1944

Tetsuo Watanabe in The Naval Land Unit that Vanished in the Jungle:
"The seaplanes had been engaged in spotting duties, mainly spotting submarines, but most were downed except one transferred to Hollandia in April 1944. Probably this plane was also destroyed when the Americans landed there."

Abandoned as a base since the war, the land is owned by Catholic mission. In a small swamp are small pieces from several Pete seaplanes, including firewalls, and pieces of wreckage and two pontoons.

F1M2 Pete
Fuselage section abandoned at the base

F1M2 Pete
Sunk offshore upside down

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017


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