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    Cape Wom Airfield (Wom Airfield) East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea
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Australian Army
September 13, 1945

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Australian Army
September 14, 1945

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Liz Whitehead 1987

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Justin Taylan 2000

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Justin Taylan 2005

Location
Cape Wom Airfield was located on Cape Wom to the west of Wewak. Also known as "Wom Airfield".

Construction
Prewar, built by the Catholic missionaries as a single runway running roughly northwest to southeast.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
Occupied by the Japanese during December 1942 until May 1945. It is unconfirmed if the Japanese used Cape Wom Airfield during their occupation.

On September 13, 1945 Japanese Army Lt General Hatazo Adachi, commander of the 18th Army with his interpreter Captain Iwama and three officers were flown from Hayfield Airfield to Wewak Airfield and then transported by jeep to Cape Wom Airfield.

At 10:00 Lt. General Adachi and his staff passed 3,000 Australian Army troops from the 6th Division, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN). At 10:15am, Adachi signed the instrument of surrender and handed his sword over to Australian Army Major-General H. C. H. Robertson. Afterwards, the Japanese attended meetings with Australian Army staff to discuss arrangements related to the surrender.

On September 14, 1945 Adachi was flown as a passenger aboard DH.82A Tiger Moth A17-489 that off from Cape Wom Airfield piloted by F/O T .L. Collier and flown southward to Kiarivu Airfield where Adachi returned to his headquarters near Kiarivu.

Postwar
Disused as an airfield since the war.

Today
Only the cleared runway area is visible, and is today part of the Cape Wom Memorial Park.

Cape Wom Memorial Park
The Cape Wom Memorial park was built during 1969. At the site of the September 13, 1945 surrender, a triangular concrete cairn painted white was built at the surrender site with a brass plaque commemorating the surrender. The marker is flanked by five flag poles and a series of brass plaques on concrete bases. Two Japanese guns Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft gun (No. 1) and Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft gun (No. 2) recovered from the ridge behind Boram Airfield are displayed nearby along with several field guns.

several brass memorial plaque are installed in the area including: Congressional Medal of Honor plaque, US embassy plaque, Lest we forget plaque and Indian Prisoner plaque. In 2004, one plaque was missing removed or stolen.

References
AWM "Wewak surrender ceremonies" F07243 cine footage Cape Wom Airfield surrender ceremony September 13, 1945 at 10:22-12:59

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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