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    Sule Airfield (Ubili Airfield) West New Britain Province Papua New Guinea

Location
Lat 4° 58' 0S Long 151° 18' 0E.  Sule Airfield (Ubili Airfield) is located at Sule on the northern coast of New Britain Island near Mount Uluwan. To the southwest is Ubili and Ulamona. Allied references refer to this location as "Ubili Airfield".

Construction
During the middle of 1943 built by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a single runway running roughly east to west.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
On June 5, 1943 F-5 "Eager Beaver" 42-13073 piloted by 1st Lt. Frederic G. Hargesheimer observed a "new airfield" at this location and photographed the area.

The School That Fell From the Sky, page 35-36:
"Off to the right, I spotted what looked like the construction of a new airfield. I leveled off and circled the area for a better look. The least I could do was shoot a set of pictures and let the photo interpreters back at the base decide if this was an important field. I carefully lined up for a low-altitude pass over what looked like a runway and set the camera intervelometer for a series of overlapping pictures."

Used by the Japanese to a limited capacity. It is unlikely any aircraft were based here, but used the runway for refueling or emergency landings during the middle of 1943. Afterwards, abandoned.

Today
Still in use today by light aircraft.

Ray Fairfield adds:
"That was the wartime strip running down to the water, AFAIK. The Ki-21 Sally tail was just next to the strip, and two Zero carcasses, in very poor shape, in the bush at the inland end. Again, only one short visit."

John Douglas adds:
"I visited this strip in 2000. There was a sawmill nearby. Only found a piece of wreckage, no intact wrecks. I have been there twice. I've never explored it properly though. There is some Japanese undercarriage parts at the landward end, little else. I've never met any locals who knew what was there."

Cecilie Benjamin adds:
"Sule is not used these days (perhaps for small aircraft for the logging)."

References
Thanks to Richard Dunn and Ray Fairfield for additional information

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Last Updated
April 23, 2018

 

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