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    Telefomin Airfield West Sepik Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Lat 5° 11' 7S Long 141° 38' 21E  Located at Telefomin at an elevation of 5,900'.

Construction
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.

Today
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 same site.
- Telefomin Local Government Council

References
Thanks to Richard Leahy (son of Michael Leahy) for additional information

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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