Tsili Tsili Airfield

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Tsili Tsili Airfield
Fifth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).svg
Part of Fifth Air Force

Located in Morobe Province, Paupa New Guinea

Tsili Tsili Airfield is located in Papua New Guinea
Tsili Tsili Airfield
Tsili Tsili Airfield
Tsili Tsili Airfield (Papua New Guinea)
Coordinates 06°50′55.34″S 146°20′59.67″E / 6.8487056°S 146.3499083°E / -6.8487056; 146.3499083
Type Military airfield
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1943
In use 1943–1944

Tsili Tsili (Tsile-Tsile) Airfield is a former World War II airfield in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The airfield was abandoned after the war and today has almost totally returned to its natural state.


The area was occupied by Allied forces in the middle of June 1943. The field was hastily constructed by the United States Army 871st Airborne Engineers.[1] All supplies, food, fuel and equipment had to be flown into the base via C-47s from Port Moresby. The first fighters were based at the airfield from the 26 July. This forward base allowed fighters to escort longer-range bombers in attacks on targets as far away as Japan's major new airbases at Wewak.

The Japanese command at Wewak discovered the Tsili-Tsili airfield and launched preemptive attacks on 15 and 16 August 1943, inflicting casualties, but little damage to the airfield. On 17 and 18 August, Allied forces launched a series of large attacks that first bombed and then strafed all four Japanese airfields at Wewak, heavily damaging many aircraft and facilities. As a result, Japan finally lost air superiority over New Guinea.[2]

Major USAAF units assigned[edit]

Headquarters, 40th, P-39 Airacobra, 41st Fighter Squadrons, P-38 Lightning
65th and 66th Troop Carrier Squadrons, C-47 Skytrain

Other known units at Tsili Tsili were the USAAF 2nd Air Task Force, which was formed for operations around Lae (5 August 1943) and the RAAF 24 Squadron (Vultee Vengeance) in November 1943 and 4 Squadron (Boomerang) September 1943 - January 1944.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tsili Tsili Airfield (Tsile-Tsile, Fabua)". Pacific Wrecks. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Gamble, Bruce (2013). Target: Rabaul: The Allied Siege of Japan's Most Infamous Stronghold, March 1943 - August 1945. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith Press. pp. 95–113. ISBN 978-0760344071. 

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

  • Gamble, Bruce (2013). Target: Rabaul: The Allied Siege of Japan’s Most Infamous Stronghold, March 1943–August 1945. Minneapolis: Zenith Press. ISBN 978-0760344071
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links[edit]