Owi Airfield

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Owi Airfield

Fifth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).svg

Part of Fifth Air Force
Located on Pulau Owi Island, Schouten Islands, Indonesia.
Coordinates 01°14′38.75″S 136°12′42.44″E / 1.2440972°S 136.2117889°E / -1.2440972; 136.2117889
Type Military airfield
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1944
In use 1944-1945
Owi Airfield is located in Papua
Owi Airfield
Owi Airfield
Magnify-clip.png
Owi Airfield, Indonesia

Owi Airfield is a former World War II airfield located on Pulau Owi island in the Schouten Islands, Indonesia.

The airfield was ordered built by General MacArthur on 6 June 1944. It was constructed by the 864th Engineer Aviation Battalion with B Company initiating the construction on 8 June 1944. The rest of the battalion was on the island by 11 June and the field was completed and operational on 22 June, a total construction time of three weeks. Improvements were made until the end of the war. The island and the airfield were used as a major command and control, as well as an operational fighter and bomber base in from the summer of 1944 until the end of the war in September 1945. The airfield was abandoned after the war and today is almost totally returned to its natural state.

The construction proved to be a fairly simple concept; scrape off soil and expose the white coral - then level out the coral for a good, sound runway surface. Because the base was natural coral it was somewhat easy to maintain after the initial construction. Initially, Japanese pilots caused regular damage to the runway as they attacked the field and the air assets placed on the island. As the United States gained air superiority in the area the need for maintenance decreased and it became safe enough for support units to be placed on the island.

On the linked satellite image the airfield is still clearly visible over 60 years after being abandoned.

Units assigned[edit]

  • Headquarters, 864th Engineer Aviation Battalion (8 June–September 1944)
Headquarters, 2d, 19th, 33d, 408th Bomb Squadrons, B-24 Liberator
Headquarters, 63d, 64th, 65th, 403d Bomb Squadrons, B-24 Liberator
Headquarters, 35th, 36th, 80th Fighter Squadrons, P-38 Lightning
Headquarters, 39th, 41st Fighter Squadrons, P-47 Thunderbolt

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]