Torokina Airfield

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Torokina Airfield
Cape Torokina Airfield
Bougainville
Fighter strip at Torokina and Empress Augusta Bay 1943.jpg
Aerial view of Torokina Airfield in December 1943
Coordinates 06°14.8302′S 155°02.9256′E / 6.2471700°S 155.0487600°E / -6.2471700; 155.0487600
Type Military airfield
Site information
Controlled by United States Marine Corps
Condition abandoned
Site history
Built 1943
In use 1943-5
Materials Marsden Matting over sand
Battles/wars Bougainville Campaign

Torokina Airfield, also known as Cape Torokina Airfield, is a former World War II airfield located at Cape Torokina, Bougainville.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The 3rd Marine Division landed on Bougainville on 1 November 1943 at the start of the Bougainville Campaign, establishing a beachhead around Cape Torokina. Small detachments of the 25th, 53rd, 71st and 75th Naval Construction Battalions landed with the Marines and the 71st Battalion was tasked with establishing a 5,150 feet (1,570 m) by 200 feet (61 m) fighter airfield that would become Torokina Airfield.[1] The airfield became operational on December 10, 1943 when VMF-216 landed with 18 F4U Corsairs.

On 9 March 1944, the Japanese shelled the airfield and forced the squadrons that were based there to take off to avoid damage to their aircraft. Royal New Zealand Air Force squadrons also began operating from the airfield from January 1, 1944. Units assigned to the airfield included:

SBDs and F4Us at Torokina, December 1943
  • United States Navy
VC-40 operating Grumman TBF Avengers
ACORN 13
VF(N)-75 operating Vought F4U Corsairs
  • United States Marine Corps
VMTB-233 operating TBF Avengers
VMF-211 operating F4U Corsairs
VMF-212 operating F4U Corsairs
VMF-215 operating F4U Corsairs
VMF-216 operating F4U Corsairs
VMF(N)-531 operating Lockheed PV-1 Ventura night-fighters
  • Royal New Zealand Air Force
No. 19 Squadron operating F4U Corsairs

Postwar[edit]

Today the airfield is no longer used and most of the runway is overgrown with vegetation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Building the Navy's Bases in World War II History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps 1940-1946. US Government Printing Office. 1947. p. 268. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]