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    Madang Airfield Madang Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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5th AF January 4, 1944

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Australian Army
May 1, 1944

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Australian Army
May 1, 1944

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AWM May 1945

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Ray Fairfield 1966

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Justin Taylan 2000

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Justin Taylan 2005

Location
Lat 5° 12' 26S Long 145° 47' 19E  Located along the Meiro River, across from Madang bordering Madang Harbor. Also known as "Madang Drome" or today "Madang Airport". Offshore is Cahill's Island.

Construction
Built prior to the war. The single runway surfaced with crushed coral, 1350 x 20 yard, requiring landings towards the sea during day, with good approaches. Sgt H. Russell or W.O. P. Englase. Facilities included radio, food & water, medical assistance from Bernett. Native speak pidgin, plenty of empty fuel drums.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
In August 1941, three New Guinea Volunteer Rifle (NGVR) volunteers Sgt R. E. Emery, Peter Monfries and Dick Vernon traveled from Lae aboard the Montoro with ten native constables and equipment to guard Madang Airfield. Their aerial defenses included a single Lewis 7.7mm machine gun that was emplaced in a gun pit with guard posts on either end of the runway with obstacles that could be removed and a camp area.

On January 21, 1941 the first Japanese Navy bombers escorted by fighters conducted the first raid against Madang and Madang Airfield cratering the runway.

During January 1943, occupied by the Japanese Army as a forward operating airfield for aircraft based at Wewak. Later, it was expanded to a 3.250' x 240' runway (as of August 13, 1943) with a single taxiway and revetment area (30 fighters, 1 bomber) on the eastern end.

On March 24, 1943 Japanese bombers arrived at Wewak transporting a group of senior officers including H. E. Tsuboshima, Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor on an inspection tour of Wewak and Madang.

April 19, 1943 Lt General Hatazo Adachi, commander of the 18th Army and his staff took off from Wewak on a flight to Madang Airfield to establish his headquarters at Madang.

Japanese and Allied missions against Madang
January 21, 1942 - April 26, 1944

October 24, 1943 in the morning a Ki-49-II piloted by 1st Lt Kudo of 7th Sentai, 2nd Buntai crashed off Madang.

Japanese units based at Madang
248th Sentai (Ki-43 Oscar)
59th Sentai (Ki-43 Oscar)
68th Sentai (Ki-61 Tony)

Heavily bombed and strafed by Allied bombers and fighters rendering the runway as unserviceable and leaving several aircraft wrecked at the airfield.

Allied missions against Madang
December 13, 1942 - April 26, 1944

On April 24, 1944 occupied by Australian Army troops. At the field, a large amount of high octane fuel was captured, and used by the Australians for their boats.  Also, several wrecked aircraft, drop tanks, 13mm ammunition and aerial bombs. At least two Type 88 75mm Anti-Aircraft guns were captured near the airfield.

Immediately, Royal Australian engineers using a bulldozer began repairing the runway at Madang Airfield for use by light aircraft. On April 30, 1944 two US Army Stinson L-5 Sentinel liaison planes landed at Madang Airfield L-5 42-98713 and L-5 42-38708.

Repaired by late April, Madang Airfield was used by t Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft for the remainder of the war.

On May 1, 1944 Allied Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) surveyed at four Ki-43 Oscar wrecks at Madang Airfield, noting their manufacture numbers. One Ki-43-II Oscar was near a bomb crater with 59th Sentai tail markings. Another Ki-43 Oscar had a burned out fuselage center section with tail number 47. Afterwards, these aircraft were souvenired by Australian forces for aluminum or scrapped postwar.

Ki-43-I Oscar Manufacture Number 569
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

Ki-43-II Oscar Manufacture Number 5122
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

Ki-43-II Oscar Manufacture Number 5419
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

Ki-43-II Oscar Manufacture Number 5592
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

DAP Beaufort A9-701
Written off at Madang Airfield, wreckage remained opposite the terminal, scrapped 1972

Postwar
Used since the war by the Australian administration. The strip was resurfaced and expanded since the war.

Today
Still in use today as Madang Airport. Serviced by Air Niugini and several smaller airlines on a daily basis. The runway measures 1570m x 30m at an elevation of 11'. Airport codes: ICAO: AYMD and IATA: MAG.

References
Notes about New Guinea airfields, recorded circa May - July, 1942 by Oliver C. Doan via Jean Doan research Edward Rogers
AWM "Madang and Alexishafen" F01696 cine footage May 1, 1944 Madang Airfield fuel dump 10:02:37 - 10:03:05, Ki-43 Oscar wreckage 10:03:05 - 10:03:15 bulldozer repairing runway 10:03:15 - 10:03:21, Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft guns 10:06:11 - 10:06:34 L-5 42-98713 and L-5 42-39708 landing at Madang Airfield 10:06:45 - 10:07:04 Ki-43 Oscar of the 59th Sentai near bomb crater 10:07:04 - 10:07:19 Ki-43 Oscar wreckage 10:07:19-10:07:22, Ki-43 Oscar tail 47 10:07:22 - 10:07:33, Ki-61 Tony wreckage and upside down tail 10:07:33 - 10:07:44
AWM "New Guinea lull of stand down" F07161 cine footage October 27, 1944 Ki-43 Oscar 13:03:34 - 13:03:54
Madang pages 135, 150, 183
NAC - Madang Airport

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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