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3rd BG Feb 13, 1944
8th PRS April 30, 1944
375th TCG May 4, 1944
RAAF circa Jan. 1945
Mines April 7, 1973
Justin Taylan 2003
Lat 3° 11' 23S Long 142° 25' 47E Tadji Airfield is located near Tadji in a sago swamp area inland from the north coast of New Guinea. To the west is Aitape. To the northeast is Korako village and Lemieng village and due north on the coast was a mission station. Immediately to the west is the Waitanan Creek. Also known as "Tadji Drome". Sometimes referred to as "Aitape" or "Korako" for the nearby town and village of the same names. Today locted in West Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
During early 1943 occupied by the Japanese Army. At this location, they constructed two parallel runways surfaced with crushed coral using native labor from the immediate area and inland villages including Dreikikir. Farthest to the north nearest to the coast was a fighter strip. Further inland to the south was a bomber strip.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
Japanese units based at Tadji
During August 17, 1943 until April 21, 1944 attacked from the air by Allied fighters and bombers and neutralized as part of the campaign against Wewak in preparation for the American landings at Hollandia and Aitape on April 22, 1944.
On April 22, 1944 in conjunction with the American landing at Hollandia, there was a diversionary landing Tadji to secure the eastern flank. After the liberation of Tadji Airfield, Australian Army engineers from the 5th RAAF Mobile Works Squadron began immediate repairs to the north runway (fighter strip). Two days later on April 24, 1944 this runway was operational and several P-40 Kittyhawks from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 76 Squadron began using the airfield for patrols over the Hollandia area.
Keith W. Bryant, VX 85794 AIF 7th Mechanical Equipment Co. A.I.F:
U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) units based at
The airfield was used by American and Australian aircraft. The northern runway was used as a crash strip, and the southern used as the main runway. RAAF No 12 RSU was based in the center of the airfield, between the two runways to salvage and repair crashed aircraft.
As American units moved onwards, several squadrons of RAAF Beauforts remained at Tadji, using the base to stage bombing missions against Japanese positions in the Wewak area until the end of the war. The last bombing mission of the war in New Guinea was flown by Beauforts of the RAAF No 100 Squadron in early September 1945, an hour before the announcement of the Japanese official surrender.
Aircraft abandoned at Tadji
The northern runway (crash strip) is overgrown since the war, but taxiways and the runway are still clearly visible. Reportedly, a few Japanese wrecks that remain in the vicinity, but have not been photographed.
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