Lat 6°12'1.52"S Long 155° 3'27.10"E Piva North Airfield was located at Piva on Bougainville. Known as "Piva North Airfield" or "Piva Uncle Airfield" or "Piva 1", "Piva U" or "Piva Bomber Strip".
One of two parallel runways
built by American forces. The main runway
was roughly east to west. Another parallel runway, Piva South (Piva Yoke, Piva No. 2) was located directly to the south. Taxiways
connected the two Piva strips together.
Piva North was completed on December
30, 1943 and officially opened January 9, 1944 surfaced with marston matting. At the height operations, the runway was 6,000' of marston matting, with 2,000' extension of compacted sand on the western end, but suffered drainage problems from the constant rains and soft soil.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
Piva North was used by bombers and twin engine aircraft from the US Navy US Marine Corps and RNZAF.
Allied units based at
Piva North Airfield
U. S. Navy (USN) units
30 TB Squadron (TBF)
- Mar 23, 1944 - ?
VT-305 (Avenger) 1944
VB-305 (SBD) 1944
U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) units
1st MAW, HQ (Avenger)
VMD-254 (photo lab detachment) Jan 16, 1944
VMF(N)-531 (PV-1 Ventura)
VMTB 233 (TBF) Munda January 17
- March 2, 1944 United States
VMSB-235 (SBD) Bauer Field June 5, 1944 - June 24, 1944 Green Island (Nissan)
VMSB-236 (SBD) Munda January 25, 1944 -
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) units
5 Squadron (Wirraway, Boomerang, Beaufort) November 11, 1944 - September 1945
Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) units
25 Squadron (SBD) March 23, 1944 - ?
3 Squadron (PV-1 Ventura)
30 Squadron (Avenger) Espiritu Santo March - May 1944
31 Squadron (Avenger)
On March 8, 1944 shortly after dawn, Japanese
artillery opened fire on Piva Airfield and destroyed one B-24 Liberator, three fighters and damaged nineteen other aircraft. Before nightfall all bombers left for New Georgia area airfields, aside from six TBF Avengers. The bombardment also damaged one 155mm gun and several tanks. The next day, the Japanese bombarded Torokina Airfield.
On July 5, 1945, Avro York "Endeavour" landed at Piva Airfield with Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Henry Duke of Gloucester, Governor General of Australia aboard. He was greeted by Australian Army, 2 Corps General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lieutenant General Stanley George Savige. Afterwards, he toured Motupena Point and 2/1 Australian General Hospital.
Airdromes Guide Southwest Pacific Area, July 1945:
"Piva North is the only Bougainville airdrome on operational status. Night landing facilities: search light on request. Service facilities: fuel and old tank truck delivery, repairs available. Accommodations for transient and emergency landed crews."
Until 1988, Piva North Airfield remained in service until the start of the "Bougainville Crisis".
This airfield has been disused since 1988 at the start of the "Bougainville Crisis". The former runway is overgrown and abandoned.
Built by a previous unit, this camp area was occupied
by VMD-254 photo lab and when they arrived dubbed "Camp Fryslie" in
in honor of Marine Sgt John V. Fryslie who was killed in a crash of PB4Y-1 32144 at Palmyra Airfield on November
Japanese War Memorial
Erected by Japanese in August 1978 Japanese memorial with a statue and memorial plaque located at the airfield. [ Read Plaque ]
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January 10, 2019