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    Kallang Airfield  Republic of Singapore
Location
Lat 1° 18' 27N 103° 52' 24E  Kallang Airfield is located at Kalang (Kallang) on the southern coast of Singapore Island. To the southwest is Keppel Harbor. To the south is the Singapore Strait.

Construction
Before development, this area was mangrove swamps and an area known as Jalan Eunos where Malayans were living. Construction begain in 1931 by reclaiming 300 acres and removal of the Malayans for the construction of a grass surfaced landing area. On November 21, 1935 two Hawker Osprey were the first aircraft to land at the airfield while under construction. Officially opened on June 12, 1937 with an Art Deco style terminal building and hangers. On the perimeter of the airfield was a seaplane operating area in Kallang Basin with a concrete ramp.

Prewar
Kallang Airfield was second landing ground on Singapore to replace Seletar Airfield. Used as a civilian and military airfield until the start of the Pacific War.

On June 20, 1937 at 5:25pm Lockheed Model 10 Electra 1055 piloted by Amelia Earhart landed at Kallang Airfield during her attempted flight around the world and called the recently opened airport an "aviation miracle of the East". On the ground her aircraft was serviced and she spent the night. On June 21, 1937 during the early morning departed on leg 23 of her flight and flew eastward 619 miles before landing at Bandoeng Airfield in western Java in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI).

Wartime History
During World War II, used by the Allies as a base for fighter aircraft. During the defense of Singapore, based Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) fighters. By January 1942 during the Battle of Singapore, this airfield was the primary Allied airfield as the other airfields on Singapore Island were within range of Japanese artillery at Johore (Johor Bahru).

Allied units at Kallang
RNZAF 488 Squadron (Buffalos) New Zealand early October 1941
RAAF 453rd Squadron
RAF 243rd Squadron

On February 15, 1942 the British officially surrendered Singapore Island to the Japanese. During the Japanese occupation of Singapore, the runway was surfaced with concrete for all weather use and extended to a length of 5,500'. Used by the Japanese until the official surrender of Japan in September 1945.

Japanese units based at Kallang
71st Dokuritsu Chutai (Ki-45) 1945

When the Allies returned to Singapore, Kallang Airfield remained operational and the first former Prisoners Of War (POWs) were flown out of this location. At least four aircraft survived intact and were surrendered to the Allies including two Ki-45 Nicks and a J1N1 Irving.

Postwar
Kallang Airfield remained in use as both a civilian and military airfield. The single runway was oriented 06/254 measured XXX surfaced with asphalt.

Civilian service resumed with flights by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and Qantas. On May 1, 1947 Malayan Airways (MAL) resumed service. By the early 1950s, plans were made to build a new airport at Paya Lebar Airfield and to phase out this location due to increased air traffic. During 1955, Kallang Airfield was officially closed. Afterwards, the area was developed as real estate.

Today
To this day, there are some traces of the former Kallang Airfield. The old runway near to Mountbatten Road is called "Old Airport Road". The surrounding public apartments are named "Old Kallang Airport Estate" and served by "Dakota MRT Station" named after the DC-3/C-47 Dakota aircraft that operated from Kallang Airport.

Two new roads near Kallang MRT Station are named "Kallang Airport Drive" and "Kallang Airport Way". In addition, Old Terminal Lane, which links Geylang Road with Kallang Airport Way, references the Kallang Airport's conserved terminal building. On December 5, 2008 the Kallang Airport was gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore. Nearby, the slipway for seaplanes on the Kallang Basin became the Oasis Building.

Kallang Airfield Terminal Building
9 Stadium Link, Kallang, Singapore. Lat 1° 18′ 26.68″N Long 103° 52′ 24.16″E  The Kallang Airfield Terminal Building is built in an Art Deco style by architect by Frank Dorrington. The structure survived the Pacific War and remains at the former airport. During the 2000, People’s Association (PA) restored the building and the interior was used as offices.

References
This Day in Aviation History - 20 June 1937
The Straits Times "Amelia Earhart called Kallang Airport the aviation miracle of the east" December 9, 2017

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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