Port Vila Airport (Via Airfield) is located to the north of Port Vila on Efaté Island located in Shefa Province in Vanuatu (Republic of Vanuatu, New Hebrides). Also known as "Vila Airport" or "Port Vila Airport". After November 1942, renamed Bauer Field.
Built by the Americans during early 1942 for use by bomber and fighter aircraft.
During the Pacific War, used by the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF), U. S. Navy (USN) and U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) aircraft prior to moving northward to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
American units based at Bauer Field
11th BG, 26th BS (B-17) Hawaii July 25, 1942 - fwd echelon Sept 1 Henderson / Dec 22, 1942 Bomber 1
15th FG, 12th FS (P-39) Christmas Island Airfield November 19, 1942 - February 7, 1943 Guadalcanal
15th FG, 44th FS (P-40) 1942
- December 20, 1942 Guadalcanal
38th BG, 69th BS (B-26) New Caledonia December 7, 1942 - ?
VMF-212 (F4F) March 29, 1942 ground echelon, flight echelon June-July 1942
Renamed Bauer Field in honor of Lt. Col. Harold W. Bauer, C.O. of VMF-212 who went Missing In Action (MIA) on November 14, 1942 piloting F4F Wilcat 03454 over Guadalcanal. Bauer was credited with 11 confirmed aircraft shot downs and earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Still in use today as Vila Airport that serves as Vanuatu's International Airport. Airport code: VLI. During the early 2000s, upgraded to handle Boeing B-737 airliners.
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February 10, 2018