Wakde Airfield

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Wakde Airfield
Part of Fifth Air Force
Wakde Island, Papua Province, Indonesia
Wakde Airfield is located in Papua
Wakde Airfield
Wakde Airfield
Wakde Airfield, Indonesia
Coordinates 01°56′20.38″S 139°00′51.44″E / 1.9389944°S 139.0142889°E / -1.9389944; 139.0142889Coordinates: 01°56′20.38″S 139°00′51.44″E / 1.9389944°S 139.0142889°E / -1.9389944; 139.0142889
Type Military airfield
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1943 (Japanese)
Rebuilt by US Army (1944)
In use 1944-1945

Wakde Airfield is a World War II airfield located on Wakde Island, off the northern coast of New Guinea in West Papua Province, Indonesia. The airfield was abandoned after the war and today is almost totally returned to its natural state.


The airfield was constructed by the Japanese and was first noted by the Americans in February 1943. By June 1943, a single coral–surfaced 5,400' x 390' runway, with dispersal areas off the northern side was identified, and a barracks area on the south side was visible. By September, the Japanese had expanded the base further with a radio station and quarters for 1,000 personnel.[1]

Wadke Airfield was seized by the United States Army on 15 May 1944. Construction work was begun to repair the airstrip once the battle was over on 18 May. The airfield was repaired and put into use by the Fifth Air Force as a forward operations base. From Wakde, the first American reconnaissance mission of the Philippines since the fall of Corregidor in 1942 was undertaken, over Mindanao.[1]

Allied units stationed at Wakde Airfield[edit]

Headquarters, 394th Bomb Squadron, B-24 Liberator
Headquarters, 370th, 371st, 372d, 424th Bomb Squadrons , B-24 Liberator
Headquarters, 340th, 341st Fighter Squadrons, P-47 Thunderbolt

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Wakde Airfield". Pacific Wrecks. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  2. ^ Maurer 1983, p. 451.
  3. ^ Maurer 1983, p. 39.
  4. ^ Maurer 1983, p. 182.
  5. ^ Maurer 1983, p. 227.


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