Wama Airfield is located inland and parallel to the southern coast of Morotai Island (Moratai) located in North Maluku Province (Provinsi Maluku Utara) in Indonesia. Also known as Wama Field, Guama Airfield or Moratai Airfield or Morotai Airfield.
Built by U.S. Army engineers on the southern coast of Morotai Island as the
first airfield built on the island. Construction began in
mid September 1944. Also, Australians from No. 14 Airfield Construction
Squadron arrived September 18, 1944. Primarily, this aifield was used for fighter operations. This airfield was interconnected
by taxiways to nearby Pitu Airfield.
remembered the base for its strong winds, which took
their toll of aircraft that approached too slowly. Quickly,
it was crammed
both American 5th and 13th Air Force fighters and bombers,
RAAF aircraft as it became the most forward base in the
area. It became one of the largest (RAAF) spitfire
fighter bases in the world. At
the later stage of the war, the Allied had more planes than they needed,
so damaged ones were abandoned due to lack of
repair facilities or motivation to repair them were abandoned at
units based at Moratai (Wama Airfield)
35th FG HQ (September 27, 1944
35th FG, 41st
Owi Oct 17, 1944 - Jan 21, 45 to Mangaldan
18th FG, 12th FS (P-38 detachment) Sansapor Nov 8, 1944 - January 10, 1945
4th PRG, 17th PRS
(F-5) ? - May 7 1945 Puerto Princesa
No. 22 Squadron (Boston, Beaufighters)
air raids against Morotai
The Japanese made a total of 82 air raids against
the strips at Morotai, from September 15, 1944 to February
1, 1945. reaching a peak in November 1944 with a raid
radio dubbed Morotai "graveyard of the 13th Air Force".
In reality, most were nuance raids, but some had disastrous
effects. On November 22, 1944 before midnight ten Ki-21-II Sallys from 12 Sentai and 14 Sentai bombed Morotai and destroyed fifteen parked planes (including four A-20Gs from 22 Squadron) and damage eight. This was the most damaging air raid of the war.
Dena "Thumper" Huitt, 41st
"We lost several planes by Japanese bombing raids at
Morotai. There were only about two nights during November
that we didn't have a red alert. Lots of foxhole time! One
night a bomb landed in a foxhole in the enlisted men's are
and killed four of our men."
Richard Debaugh, 41st
"We took off many times
configured with three external fuel tanks, a 150 gallon tank
under each wing and a belly tank of 100
Robert Brewer, 41st
"There were times when we had 3 external tanks for a long mission
when we used the bomber strip and used water injection to get
"My Dad was stationed there in Australian Army signals from March to September
1945 and vividly remembers all the air activity. To amuse themselves they used
to cut up fighter belly tanks and turn them into fishing boats or yachts of the
Morotai Yacht club. The Japanese were 25 miles away on Halmahera so
you had to watch the currents."
A6M5 Model 52 Zero
at the end of the war
The only aircraft
now at Morotai is a wrecked Harvard at the airport (which is
off limits to tourists).
Robert Dunn visited in 1997:
"I visited Moratai: Wama Strip and Pitue Strip. The locals
showed us around we found a pile of Australian broken beer
bottles next to Wama . The hot mix is still ok on Pitue."
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April 7, 2020