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    Sawar Airfield Sarmi Regency | Papua Province Indonesia
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USAAF April 28, 1944

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M Friedman July 1944
Location
Lat 1° 56' 0" Long 138° 48' 0" Sawar Airfield is located at Sawar to the near the mouth of the Sawar Creek. To the northwest is Sarmi. Also known as "Sawar Drome". Prewar and during World War II, located in Dutch New Guinea (DNG) in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). Today located in Sarmi Regency of Papua Province in Indonesia.

Construction
Built by the Japanese as a single runway parallel to the coast roughly northwest to southeast.

Wartime History
Sawar Airfield was used by Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) bombers and fighters.

The first U. S. attack was April 21, 1944 when U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft attacked Sawar in conjunction with the U. S. Army landings further to the east at Hollandia. Attacked by American aircraft until late October 1944. On July 5, 1944 after the U. S. Army landing at Sarmi, American soldiers advanced to the Sawar area and the airfield became a battlefield area with many Japanese aircraft abandoned near the runway.

American missions against Sawar
April 21, 1944 - October 23, 1944

Major Martin M. Friedman, 31st Infantry Division recalls:
"We fought at the Sarmi-Wakde island area, beginning in July 1944. I got the bronze star their, in the area surrounding Sawar Drome was enemy held at the time. I do not remember if it was captured by Allied Forces in the long run. My patrol turned into an ambush. Our outfit protected the outer perimeter of the Drome from the Japanese for a number of weeks."

Today
Still in use today as Sawar Airport. Airport codes: ICAO: WAJI and IATA: ZRM.

References
Index to Air Bases - Research Report No. 85, I.G. No 9185 - July 30, 1944

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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