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
 
    Nadzab No. 2 Airfield (No 2 Strip, East Base) Morobe Province PNG
Click For Enlargement
September 9, 1943

Click For Enlargement
USAAF c1944

Click For Enlargement

Click For Enlargement
Roberts 1947

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2004

Location
Nadzab No. 2 Airfield is located in the Markam Valley north of the Markham River at Nadzab. To the southeast is Lae. Also known as Nadzab No. 2, No. 2 Strip or East Base.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
Occupied by the Japanese with only occasional Japanese Army patrols through the area. Some references incorrectly show a Japanese emergency strip at this location. In fact, there was no airfield here.

Site of the only Allied paratrooper assault in New Guinea  mainland on September 5, 1943 by the US Army's 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment and Australian AIF 2/4th Field Gun Volunteers landing with short barrel 25 pounders. The operation was successful and met little resistance.

Construction
Built by the US Army and surfaced with marston matt (PSP) running northwest to southeast. Developed into a massive airbase complex. Home to many air units during the war when it was a forward base of operations against Japanese positions, and was vital afterwards as a staging area.

Two parallel runways were built, running roughly east to west. Nadzab No. 1 Strip was located to the north. Parallel and to the south was Nadzab No. 2 Strip, closest to the Markham River.

American & Japanese missions against Nadzab
March 23 - November 9, 1943

American units based at Nadzab
5th Air Force & RAAF

Late War Activity
Towards the end of the war, the 21st Air Depot Unit at Nadzab was a bone yard for scrapped planes and salvage area for repairs. The CRTC (Combat Replacement Training Center) flew out of the base into 1945.

Post War Scrapping
Most of the wrecks at Nadzab were scraped immediately after the war, permits being awarded to private contractors who were given rights to scrap aircraft, sell aviation fuel and oil. As early as September of 1945, hundreds of wrecks were scrapped by a private Australian smelting company. Two expatriates involved with the scrapping were Eric Snook(s) and Arthur Scott.

Although most wartime wreckage was scrapped or otherwise disappeared According to Charles Darby, in the mid 1970's other wreckage remained, including a Stinson L-1 and 11 Hadrian gliders.

Today
The former 'East Base' or No. 1 & No. 2 runways are still in use by Air Niugini and for civil aviation, mainly servicing Lae which is 45 km away. Nearly every road in the area was built by American forces, and even as you land at Nadzab today, you can still see WWII era taxiways in the overgrown areas outside the modern landing area.

References
Engineers in Theater Operations [Pacific] "Advance Area Airdromes 31 January 1944", Map No. 24

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

Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Map
Map 1944

Google Earth
Nadzab #2
View on Google Earth

Map
Photo Archive

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