Lat 5° 11' 7S Long 141° 38' 21E Located at Telefomin at an elevation of 5,900'.
Built prewar as a single runway used by gold prospectors. In 1936, a Sikorsky Amphibian piloted by Stuart
Campbell was the first aircraft to land on the runway.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
During 1944, U. S. Army engineers accompanied by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Squadron Leader Michael "Mick" Leahy landed in three Waco CG-4 gliders at Telefomin Airfield. On the ground, they worked with local labor to expand the prewar runway to accommodate C-47 Dakota transports. Leahy supervised the lengthening of the runway and resurfacing.
Have not yet looked at your air strip list. There were a number of Pre-war strips that I can name for you that were never brought back into service after the war. Many post-war strips were allowed to run down and were subsequently closed. Two of them, Baiune and Zenag are examples. Both of these strips were built by my family and are now closed.
Still in use today as a small airfield known as "Telefomin Airport". Airport code: IATA: TFM. A memorial plaque at the airstrip tells its history.
A 1936 Sikorsky Amphibian piloted by Stuart
Campbell was first aircraft to land here on a small airstrip
prepared by prospectors Joe Bourke and Bill Korn. This
party followed the route of the 1926 Karius and Champion
Government patrol overland from the Fly River. In 1944 USAAF
engineers accompanied by Squadron Leader Michael Leahy
landed by gliders and constructed a DC-3 airstrip on this
- Telefomin Local Government Council
Thanks to Richard Leahy (son of Michael Leahy) for additional information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
September 24, 2018