Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
    Kiriwina Airfield (South Drome, Losuia) Milne Bay Province PNG
Click For Enlargement
RAAF October 1943

Click For Enlargement
RAAF Jan 31, 1944

Location
Lat 8°30' 21"S Long 151° 4' 52E  Kiriwina Airfield is located in roughly the center of Kiriwina Island, inland to the west of Muiau Bay and north of Losuia. Initially known as Kiriwina Airfield, after the completion of Kiriwinia North Drone, this airfield also became known as Kiriwinia South Drone or Losuia Airfield.

Construction
During July 1943, the U.S. Army engineers with assistance from calvary troops began construction of an airfield at this location. A single coral surfaced runway was built measuring 6,000' x 150' single runway for fighters and bombers.

On August 2, 1943 the first aircraft to land was a C-47 Dakota. At the request of the U. S. Army, a detachment of U. S. Navy (USN) Seabees from Woodlark arrived during September 1943 and worked to expand the runway, building a 7,000' fighter taxiway, completed as of October 12, 1943 plus 25 fighter hardstands. Also a 5,300' taxiway and 16 bomber hardstands were finished a week later. By October 28, 1943 construction was completed and the Seabees returned to Woodlark.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
Kiriwina was used by both American and Australian aircraft. During the middle of 1943, Kiriwina Airfield was the most forward Allied airfield to Japanese occupied New Britain and Rabaul, allowing fighter aircraft the shortest flight distance to the target and back. Used by U. S. Army AIr Force P-38 Lightnings to escort bombers over Rabaul.

During August to December 1943, Japanese aircraft attacked Kiriwina.

RAAF units based at Kiriwina
76 Squadron (P-40)
78 Squadron (P-40) December 1943 - January 1944 to Nadzab
79 Squadron (Spitfire) Vivigani August 18, 43 - March 16, 44 Momote

Japanese missions against Kiriwina
August 11, 1943 three planes attack Kiriwina
September 1, 1943 bomb Kiriwina
September +3 other raids during September
December 14, 1943 bomb Kiriwina
December 20, 1943 bomb Kiriwina

Spitfire "Tasmanian Devil" A58-178 Tail UP-G
Abandoned at the airfield, recovered in 1973

Spitfire A58-213 Tail UP-G
Abandoned at the airfield, recovered in 1973

In the 1970s, other aircraft wrecks reported at the strip included a Vultee Vengeance and P-38H Lightning.

Today
Still in use today as the only airfield servicing Kiriwina Island, used by light aircraft and secondary airlines including Airlines PNG and missionary aircraft. Today, known as "Losuia Airport". Airport codes: IATA: LSA, ICAO: AYKA.

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
September 14, 2018

 

MapMap 1943

MapMap Fallingrain

Google Earth
View in Google Earth

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram