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    Awar Airfield (Hansa North, Condor Point) Madang Province PNG

Aerial view of Awar Airfield
Aerial view of Awar Airfield with interpretation
5th AF c1943

Location
Awar Airfield is located inland of Awar Plantation, between Condor Point and Awar Point along Hansa Bay. To the south are Old Nubia Airfield and Nubia Airfield (Hansa South).

World War II Pacific Theatre History
Built by the Japanese Army, as a single runway measuring 4,000' x 180'. A single taxiway ran parallel to the length of the runway. Used as a forward operating airfield and refueling base. Defended by several heavy anti-aircraft batteries emplaced near Condor Point. Used by the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF).

Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) units based at Awar
208th Sentai (Ki-48) November 1943
248th Sentai (Ki-43) November 1943

During November 1943, one Ki-48 Lily from the 248th Sentai landed at Awar and apparently left his aircraft at the airfield, because he was hospitalized at Wewak four days later.

Starting in the middle of 1943, Awar Airfield was bombed and strafed by Allied aircraft until the middle of 1944. During late December 1943, Allied photographic reconnaissance spotted only three fighter aircraft at Awar Airfield.

Allied missions against Awar
August 25, 1943 - May 4, 1944

On June 14, 1944 Awar Airfield area was occupied by Australian Army. There are at least two instances when Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft landing at Awar Airfield.

On June 27, 1944, a Boomerang A46-138 piloted by F/O N. L. Oliver, 436020 attempted to make an emergency landing at Awar, but collided with a derelict Japanese aircraft on the overgrown runway and crashed and burned.

On February 9, 1945 Boomerang A46-??? code QE-A flown by F/L C.A. Phillips was flying a tactical reconnaissance mission over the Sepik. Returning its engine began to overheat. He successfully landed at Awar, and his plane was guarded by members of the 5th Australian Division, 30th Battalion (Sepik Force). After two days, an engine fitter from 4 Squadron was flown to the airfield to repair it oil cooler, and its fuel tank was topped off with abandoned Japanese aviation gas!

Postwar
After the Pacific war, disused. Sometime during the postwar era, Awar Airfield was repaired and used as a civilian airfield providing aerial service to the Hansa Bay area until 1982. Afterwards, abandoned and disused again.

Today
Since 1982, overgrown and with kunai grass. The former runway is still roughly visible.

Justin Taylan adds:
"There is little evidence of any bombing, probably because it was cleaned up and used until 1982. Locals talked about another engine in the kunai grass but we were unable to locate it."

John Douglas adds:
"We found two revetments on the other side of the Awar strip, built for bombers."

Ki-49-II Helen Manufacture Number 3342
Damaged on the ground at Awar

References
Hansa Bay Japanese Army Air Force Activity by Richard Dunn
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information

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Last Updated
December 30, 2013

 

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