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5th AF Oct 14, 1943
17th TRG Jan 25, 1944
38th BG January 25, 1944
Young March 5, 1944
RAAF March 23, 1944
David Paulley 1982
Jeff Hutchingson 2003
Lat 2° 3' 43S Long 147° 25' 27E Momote Airfield was located in a coconut grove at the eastern side of Los Negros Island. The airfield spanned from Hyane Harbor in the north to the Bismarck Sea to the south. To the west is jungle and mangrove swamps. Known to the Japanese as 'Hyane Airfield".
This area was planted as a coconut plantation harvesting copra.
The Japanese built single runway running roughly north-northwest (NNW) to southsoutheast (SSE) surfaced with crushed coral. The single runway measured 4,100' x 300' with three taxiways and twelve revetments under construction (as of October 14, 1943).
World War II Pacific Theatre History
During late 1943 until early 1944, used by the Japanese as a fighter and bomber base.
Japanese units based at Momote (Hyane)
63rd Sentai, 3rd Chutai (Ki-43) January 44 Hollandia
Lost twelve fighters on the ground on January 24, 1944
14th Sentai (Ki-21) 1943
American missions against Momote
January 25, 1944–March 2, 1944
After the February 29, 1944 US Army 1st Cavalry Division landing on Los Negros, Momote Airfield was captured on March 2, 1944.
At the airfield, at least eight Ki-43 Oscars were surveyed by ATIU including: Ki-43 5807 (5907), Ki-43 6132, Ki-43 6139, Ki-43 6145, Ki-43 6150, Ki-43 6153, Ki-43 6155, Ki-43 6150 (had old style leak proofing). The others had more modern self-sealing tanks.
Immediately, Momote Airfield was repaired for use American. By March 16, 1944 Momote was in use and further expansions were underway and by by May 18 fighters were operating from this location. The runway was surfaced with coral and connected to taxiways, hard stands and storage areas including over 7,000 barrels of bulk petroleum for flight operations. A causeway was built over a swampy area and created a link between Los Negros and Manus Island. By 1945, the runway measured 7,000' in length.
Momote Airfield was used by American aircraft including the 13th Air Force, 7th Air Force bombers flying via Kwajalein for bombing missions against Guam that landed at Los Negros to refuel and rearm before returning to bomb again then return to Kwajalein. Also used by United States Navy (USN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). During 1945, NATS (Naval Air Transport Service) operated R4D's and C-54s at the center of the airfield, with flights to Southern Philippines.
Allied units based at Momote
Richard Dunn adds:
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