at Danip, north-west of Alexishafen, to the west of th the North Coast Road, roughly 21 km north of Madang. Parallel to the SSE is Alexishafen I (Alexishafen Airfield). Also known as "Alexishafen Airfield" prewar as it was the only landing ground in the area.
Single dirt runway built prior prior to the war by the Catholic Mission to service the Alexishafen Catholic Mission. Used by Mandated Airlines for the Catholic Mission.
On August 6, 1939 Fokker Universal VH-UJT piloted by Willy Schafhause crashed on landing at this airfield. The pilot was killed in the crash and the aircraft was a total loss.
During the middle 1942 the runway was described as an emergency airfield 800 x 15 x 20 yards.
Occupied by the Japanese Army during early January 1943. Expanded by the Japanese for use as a fighter
strip, with a single
runway with a single taxiway and revetments along
the Marrain River, running parallel to the bomber strip at Alexishafen Airfield.
Surfaced with packed earth and crushed coral and granite top cover.
In October 30, 1943 the strip was 4,000' x (140) 310'. The strip
included 3 bomber and 12 fighter revetments (in October 30, 1943).
Japanese Units Based at Danip (Alexishafen Fighter)
Danip was a forward airfield used by many units, including:
83rd Dokuritsu Chutai (Ki-51)
13th Sentai (Ki-43)
Capture by Australian Forces
Occupied by the Australian 30th Battalion on April 26, 1944 moving up from
Madang to capture the Alexishafen area.
US Army ATAI Visit & Review of
The strip was visited by American Air Technical Intelligence
unit on June 28 1944. They discovered a total of 18 wrecks
at the strip, most damaged by bombing and strafing including Sonias,
Tonys, Oscars and Lilys. They observed the surface of the strip
was in poor condition. Holes cut into the sides of the hills provided
protection for a fuel truck. Thanks to Richard Dunn for this
Disused since the war, the airstrip is overgrown but runway visible.
There are still traces of the revetments, crudely built around
metal drums and soil to build up the walls, and the scattered
remains of a trucks, aircraft bits. In the nearby low ridges,
there are some tunnels excavated by the Japanese to store things.
Today, there are a few huts of squatters living at the village
of Danip or in the vicinity. A concrete pad, (built after the
war, or by the Allies) was used by the Catholic Mission for storage.
W33d "The Lady Letti" VH-UIW
Transported to the airfield prewar, abandoned during the war and recovered during 1985
Abandoned in a revetment, mostly scrapped
Mostly scrapped, main spar
and section of tail only
Ki-43 Oscar Manufacture
Abandoned at the airfield until 1970s, fate unknown
Notes about New Guinea airfields, recorded circa May - July, 1942 by Oliver C. Doan via Jean Doan research Edward Rogers
Australian Heritage "St. Paulus: A Plane of Many Missions" by Pat Studdy-Clift page 19-20
Thanks to Charles Darby, Ray Fairfield and Richard Dunn for additional information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
July 31, 2011