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38th BG Aug 17, 1943
38th BG August 21, 1943
5th AF Nov 2, 1943
90th BG c1944
AWM March 21, 1945
Justin Taylan 2003
Justin Taylan 2005
Dagua Airfield was located at Dagua on the north coast of New Guinea in East Sepik Province in Papua New Guinea. To the east is Dugau and further east is Wewak. Prewar this area was a Catholic mission. Known to the Japanese as "But East" and known to the Allies as "Dagua Airfield" for the nearby village of the same name.
The Japanese Army began constructing an airfield at this location during January 1943. By the end of February a single runway was built 1,400 x 80 meters, considered suitable for heavy bombers. By September 9, 1943, it was expanded to 6,700' in length.
Earthen revetments were built for 33 fighters were built on the northern side of the runway along the sea. The southern side had bomber and fighter dispersal areas with an additional 32 revetments. Along the center of the strip were 14 more bomber and fighter revetments.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
units based at Dagua Airfield
Dagua Airfield was targeted by Allied bombers and fighters that left the runway unservicable by early 1944. By late April 1944, Dagua Airfield was bypassed by the US Army landings at Aitape and Hollandia.
American missions against Dagua
On March 21, 1945 Dagua was occupied by the Australian Army 2/2nd Infantry Battalion, which established their bivouac at the airfield, before advancing eastward towards Wewak.
Allied intelligence examined wrecked Japanese aircraft at Dagua Airfield, noting 6 x Ki-46 Dinah, 25 (26) x Ki-49 Helen, 24 x Ki-48 Lily, 55 (48) Ki-43 Oscar, 3 x Ki-21 Sally, 2 x Ki-51 Sonia and 18 (16) Ki-61 Tony wrecks.
Another survey noted slightly different numbers: 6 x Ki-46 Dinah, 26 x Ki-49 Helen, 24 x Ki-48 Lily, 48 Ki-43 Oscar, 3 x Ki-21 Sally, 2 x Ki-51 Sonia and 16 Ki-61 Tony wrecks.
Repaired by the Australians, a RAAF C-47 Dakota was the first Allied aircraft to land at Dagua Airfield. Used to transport cargo and supplies to the Australian forces advancing eastward.
Ammann Steam Roller
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