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US Army Nov 27, 1942
8th PRS Dec 8, 1942
USAAF August 1943
US Army c1943
US Army Nov 27, 1943
Justin Taylan 2003
5 Mile Drome was located at Waigani roughly five miles from Port Moresby in New Guinea. Also known as "Ward Drome", "5 Mile" or "5 Mile Drome". Code named "Maple". Sometimes incorrectly spelled "Wards" or "Wards Field". Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of Papua. Today located in National Capital District (NCD) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
During the middle of 1942, built by the Australian administration led by Australian Army Lt. Col. Kenneth H. Ward, C. O. of 53rd Infantry Battalion (Militia). The runways were surfaced with bitumen by U. S. Army engineers and further developed with two parallel runways measuring 6,000' x 100' runways, with extensive taxiways and revetment area to the east of the runways that interconnected to 7 Mile Drome (Jackson).
Named "Ward Drome" in honor of Australian Lt. Col. K. H. Ward, who was involved with its construction and was killed on August 27, 1942, at Isurava on the Kokoda Trail. Also known as "Wards Drome" or "Ward's Drome".
World War II Pacific Theatre History
During 1943, Wards was the busiest airfield in the entire Southern Hemisphere. It was mainly used by cargo and larger aircraft. Designated U. S. Army APO 929.
Allied units based at 5-Mile Drome (Wards)
United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
374th TCG, 22nd TCS (C-47) Garbutt Jan 24, 43 - Aug 29, 44 Finschafen
90th BG, 320th BS (B-24) Iron Range Feb 10 - Dec 1, 43 Dobodura
90th BG, 321st BS (B-24) Iron Range Feb 10 - Dec 1, 43 Dobodura
348th FG, 341st FS (P-47) USA June 23 - December 17, 1943 Finschafen
348th FG, 342nd FS (P-47) USA June 23 - December 17, 1943 Finschafen
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
9th Group, 22nd Squadron (Boston)
9th Group, 30th Squadron (Beaufighter) Bohl River September 12, 1942 - July 28, 1943 Vivigani
On April 12, 1943 during Operation I-Go, Wards Drome was attacked by nine Japanese bombers. Their bombs destroyed several aircraft including: Beaufighter A19-50 destroyed Beaufighter A19-11 converted to parts, Beaufighter A19-37 damaged, converted to parts, Beaufighter A19-5 damaged, repaired.
5th Air Force Operations Headquarters
374th Troop Carrier Group Camp Area
27th Air Depot
5th Air Force Operations Headquarters (5th AF Ops HQ)
View in Google Earth
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