Description of Lae Airfield on April 5, 1942
by Saburo Sakai via Samurai! pages 77-79
"That afternoon we assembled for briefing in the airfield command post.
I use the words command post freely. The CP was ridiculously inadequate.
It failed to deserve even the name 'shack' for it had no walls! Mats
hung from flimsy overhead beams to serve as walls, curtains, and
doors. The room was barely adequet to hold all thrity filers when they huddled
closely together. In the center was a large crude table, hune from
local timber. A few candles and one kerosene lamps served for illumination.
Our electricity for telephones came from batteries.
CP I saw all the vehicles assigned to Lae. These consisted of an ancient,
rusty, creaky Ford Sedan, one decrepit truck, and one
fueling vehicle. They served the entire base. There were no hangers.
We lacked even a control tower!
...Two hundered sailors manned
flak positions beyond the airstrip. They provided the entire combat garrison.
These 200 men, plus 100
maitenence personel and the thirty pilots [of the Tainan Kokutai]
entire Japanese strength at Lae. During our entire stay, until
Lae's capture by the Allies in April 1943, no attempt was made
our facility, nor were any ground reinforcements brought in."