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    Pandaveswar Airfield (Panda) West Bengal State India
Map
7th BG, 493rd BS c1944

Map
7th BG, 493rd BS c1944

Map
Google Earth 2006
Location
Lat 23°43'14.84"N Long 87°15'6.45"E  Pandaveswar Airfield is at an elevation of 206' / 62m above sea level roughly one mile northwest of Pandaveswar in West Bengal State in India. To the north was the east India rail road and the Ajay River. Also known as "Pandaveswar Army Air Base" or spelled "Pāndaveswar Airfield". Nicknamed "Panda" by American personnel.

Construction
At this location, a large airfield complex was built by the U.S. Army Air Force as a base for bombers. The no. 1 runway was 6,000' x 150' surfaced with concrete. The no. 2 runway was 4,800' x 600'. The airfield had a control tower, fuel storage, radio station, lighting and a flashing beacon. In the area were 25 hardstands and revetments for heavy bombers.

Wartime History
Pandaveswar Airfield was used by the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) starting in late 1942. During January 1943, used by "India Air Task Force" bombers for missions against targets in Burma and Thailand. Designated U.S. Army APO 886. This airfield continued to be used until the end of the Pacific War.

American units based at Pandaveswar
10th AF, 9th BS (F-4) Chakulia Dec 12, 42–June 10, 44 detachments Dinjan, Kweilin, Luliang, Kurmitola June 11, 44–Sept. 30, 44 returns Oct 1, 44 - May 31, 45 Tezpur June 1 - Dec. 7, 45
7th BG, 493rd BS (B-24) : Karachi January 7, 1943 - June 16, 1944 Tezgaon returns October 5, 1944 - December 7, 1945 (one detachment Luliang Dec. 17, 1944-Jan. 26, 1945)
7th BG, 9th BS (B-24) Kurimitola October 1, 1944 - June 11, 1944 returns Tezpur June 1, 1945
7th BG HQ Kurimitola December 12, 1942-Jan. 17, 1944 Kurimitola - Oct 5, 1944, returns Oct. 6, 1944 - June 6, 1945 Tezpur June 7, 1945 - Oct 30, 1945 Dudhkundi Oct 31, 1945–Dec. 7, 1945
427th NFS (P-61) Italy October 31, 44 det Nov 13 Myitkyina returns Dec 1, 1944
12th BG, HQ (B-25) Tezgaon June 13 - July 16, 1944 Fenny returns June 8, 1945
12th BG, 81st BS (B-25) Tezgaon June 13, 1944 - ?
12th BG, 434th BS (B-25) Tezgaon June 13, 1944 - ?
12th BG, 82nd BS (B-25) Tezgaon June 15 - July 20, 1944 Fenny
12th BG, 83rd BS (B-25) Fenny June 9, 1945 - ?

Postwar
By the late 1940s and early 1950s, the remaining buildings at the former airfield were removed.

Today
Until the early 1980s, the concrete runway remains intact. Afterwards, portions were removed. Today, the former airfield area is owned by Eastern Coalfields Limited a strip mining company.

Arindam adds:
"Recently (in 2010) a bomb was found in the Pandaveswar area."

References
Provisional Airfield List: India, Airfield Information Sheet No. 7, Asst. Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Hdqrs. AAF, 15 Sept. 1944.
Pacific War Airfields Project - Pandaveswar
YouTube - Briefing at Pandaveswa - NARA 18 CS 641 - Reel 1
YouTube - Briefing at Pandaveswar - NARA 18 CS 641 - Reels 2
Thanks to Walt Webb and Arindam additional information

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Last Updated
April 7, 2020

 

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