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IJN May 1944
A. Miller June 5, 1945
Lat 5° 2' 49N Long 119° 44' 35E Sanga-Sanga Airfield is located at Sanga-Sanga on the southwest of Sanga-Sanga Island in in Tawi-Tawi Province in the Autonomous Region In Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) of the Philippines. During the Pacific War, known to the Allies as "Sanga Sanga Airfield" (no hyphen) and was considered part of Borneo. Also known as Tawi-Tawi Airfield because of its proximity to larger Tawi Tawi Island to the west.
Single coral surfaced runway running roughly north to south. During the Japanese occupation, the airfield had fifty revetments.
Occupied by the Japanese. Used by the Japanese as a transit base for carrier based aircraft on shore leave. Also based the 652 Kokutai operating A6M Zeros.
Japanese units based at Sanga-Sanga (Tawi-Tawi)
652 Kokutai (A6M Zero) May 16, 1944–June 1944
Starting December 9, 1944 attacked by American aircraft until March 30, 1945 to neutralize the airfield.
American missions against Sanga-Sanga
December 9, 1944–March 30, 1945
On April 2, 1945 Sanga Sanga Airfield was liberated by the U.S. Army 41st Infantry Division. In late May 1945, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) 6 Airfield Construction Squadron arrived from Morotai and began work to extended the runway to a length of 1,500 meters. Also improve the facility with parking for sixty aircraft and other improvements. By July 1, 1945 the single runway measured 5,300' x 100' with 200' overrun on the southern end and 25' shoulders. Both fuel and oil were available and major repairs were possible in emergencies.
Sanga Sanga Airfield was used by both U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) fighters and bombers including the 1st Tactical Air Force (1st TAF) including Beaufighters and Kittyhawks tasked with flying ground attack and support missions over northern Borneo. Sanga Sanga Airfield was used as a primary airfield because recently occupied Tarakan Airfield was not yet operable. Parking areas had to be extended prior to Nos 22, 30 and 31 Beaufighter Squadrons deploying to Sanga Sanga, which delayed operations until June 3, 1945.
To support the neutralization of Balikpapan prior to the Allied landing, 13th Air Force (13th AF) P-38 Lightnings were temporarily based at Sanga Sanga to fly missions. This deployment meant the RAAF 77 Wing including Beaufighters and 76 Squadron Kittyhawks temporarily moving back to Morotai to make room at the airfield. These RAAF aircraft had been scheduled to move to Tarakan Airfield, but it was not yet repaired and ready.
Allied units based at Sanga-Sanga
U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF)
13th FC, 85th FW (det), 419th NFS Tacloban May 28 - ?
419th NFS (P-61) Tacloban May 28 - June 24, 45 Puerto Princesa
550th NFS (P-61), Tacloban May 28 - Aug 1, 1945 Tacloban
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
1st Tactical Air Force (1st TAF)
76 Squadron (P-40) Morotai 1945 Morotai
21 Squadron (B-24) 1945
22 Squadron (Beaufighter) 1945
31 Squadron (Beaufighter) 1945
Still in use today as Sanga-Sanga Airport, classified as a small airport or Class 2 principal (minor domestic) airport. The single runway is oriented 20/02 measures 5,100' x 98' surfaced with Partially concrete, asphalt or bitumen-bound macadam (PEM). Airport codes: ICAO: RPMN IATA: SGS.
The runway can accommodate C-130H medium sized civilian aircraft from Airphil Express and Cebu Pacific. During August 2009, the runway was extended to 1,930m x 30m. The new runway was inaugurated on August 17, 2009 by Ambassador Kristie Kenney and local officials.
P-47D Thunderbolt 42-28513
Pilot Bailey crashed December 18, 1944 pilot captured and executed
DAP Beaufighter A8-55
Crashed June 5, 1945 damaging three P-40 Kittyhawks and was was destroyed by fire
Airdromes Guide Southwest Pacific Area - 1 July 1945
Thanks to Tony Feredo for additional information
July 1, 1945
Map Sanga Sanga
July 1, 1945
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