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    Bomber 1 (Palikulo Field, Fighter 1) Espiritu Santo Vanuatu (New Hebrides)

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USN August 30, 1942

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USN Nov 12, 1942

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USAAF Nov 12, 1942

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USN 1944

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M Claringbould 1998

Location
Bomber 1 was located on the Pallikulo Peninsula near Pallikulo village bordering Pallikulo Bay at the southeastern corner of Espiritu Santo. Also known as "Bomber Field No. 1", "Pallikulo Field" or "Fighter 1". Later, Bomber 2 (Pekoa Field) was constructed nearby.

Prewar
Prior to the Pacific War, a coconut plantation with coconut palms harvesting copra was planted at this location.

Construction
Built by the U. S. Army with the longest runway on Espiritu Santo. By June 1, 1943 the single runway measured 6,200' x 150'.

Wartime History
During 1942, Bomber 1 was used by U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) aircraft including B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators.

American units based at Bomber 1 (Palikulo Field, Fighter 1)
USAAF, 13th Air Force

11th BG, 42nd BS (B-17) Wheeler Field July 21, 1942 - November 1, 1942 Guadalcanal
11th BG, 98th BS (B-17) - November 1, 1942 Guadalcanal
11th BG, 26th BS (B-17) ADVON August 1, 1942 Bauer Field (Port Vila) December 22, 1942 - ?
11th BG, 431st BS (B-17) ADVON August 1, 1942
5th BG, 23rd BS (B-17, B-24) Mokuleia December 1, 1942 - March 31, 43 Guadalcanal. departs October 21, 43 Guadalcanal returns December 7, 1943 Munda
5th BG, 72nd BS (B-17) September 24 - October 4, 1942 Guadalcanal
USMC
VMD-154 (PB4Y)
VMD-254 (B-24) Nov 28 - December - February 1943 Koli
VMO-250 (J2F)

Later, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) operated a base depot at Pallikulo Field that assembled new aircraft that arrived aboard U. S. ships as part of Lend-Lease and were reassembled and flight tested prior to assignment to squadrons.

C-47B Dakota NZ3529
Crashed July 6, 1945

Today
Disused since the war, Bomber 1 is overgrown. The runway remains in excellent condition.

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Last Updated
August 15, 2017

 

Map
Approach Chart 1943

Photos
Photo Archive

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