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David Paulley 1982
Phil Bradley 1997
Patricia Gaffney 1998
John Douglas 1998
John Douglas 2001
Justin Taylan 2006
Lat 5° 58' 60S Long 146° 4' 60E Gusap Airfield was located at Gusap in the Ramu Valley of New Guinea. Also known as "Gusap Field" or "Gusap Airdrome". To the north is the foothills of the Finisterre Range. To the south is the Ramu River. Today located in Morobe Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Built by U. S. Army engineers including the 871st Airborne Engineer battalion, Gusap Airfield complex included eight runways surfaced with grass plus 180 revetments in the area. Known to the U. S. Army as APO 713 unit 1 (bombers) and unit 2 (fighters).
World War II Pacific Theatre History
During late 1943, Gusap Airfield was used by U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) fighters, light bombers and liaison aircraft as a forward airfield during late 1943 until the middle of 1944.
On November 11, 1943 the Australian Army, 6 Machine Gun Battalion (6MGB) was sent Gusap Airfield to protect the area from any ground attack armed with .303 Vickers machine guns and Bren guns. On their initial landing in the C-47s they were nervous as they had been told the airstrip was only suitable for fighter planes. From day one they were bombed and strafed. They nicknamed one Japanese pilot "The Milkman" because he was the bane of their existence there as be bombed them the same time each morning. It was reported that he was later shot down near Shaggy Ridge. The 6MGB were camped about two miles from the aerodrome. They completed numerous patrols in the nearby Finisterre Ranges to establish the presence of any Japanese. The battalion remained at Gusap until until February 25, 1944.
American units based at Gusap
49th FG, 8th FS (P-47) from Tsili-Tsili October 29, 1943–May 3, 1944 to Hollandia
49th FG, 7th FS (P-40) Dobodura November 16, 1943–April 27, 1944 to Finschafen
49th FG, 9th FS (P-47) Dobodura December 16, 1943–May 16, 1944 to Hollandia
49th FG, HQ from Dobodura November 20, 1943–April 19, 1944 to Finschafen
35th FG, 41st FS (P-47) Nadzab January 31, 1944–June 9, 1944 to Nadzab
312th BG, 387th BS (A-20) Port Moresby December 25, 1943–June 10, 1944 Hollandia
312th BG, 386th BS (A-20) Port Moresby December 25, 1943–June 12, 1944 Hollandia
312th BG, HQ USA January 1, 1944–June 10, 1944 to Hollandia
312th BG, 388th BS (A-20) Port Moresby January 3, 1944–June 10, 1944 Hollandia
312th BG, 389th BS (P-40, A-20) Port Moresby January 6, 1944–June 10, 1944 Hollandia
71st TRG, 110th TRS (P-39) Port Moresby February 7, 1944–May 25, 1944 Tadji
71st TRG, 25th LS (L-5, A Flight) February 11, 1944–?
35th FG, 39th FS (P-47) Nadzab January 27, 1944–June 9, 1944 Nadzab
35th FG, HQ from Nadzab February 7, 1944–July 22, 1944 Owi
35th FG, 40th FS (P-47) Nadzab February 1944–June 1944 Nadzab
71st TRG, 25th TRS (L-5) det February 16, 1944 - ?
85th FW HQ from USA February 25, 1944–July 24, 1944 Hollandia
310th BW HQ activated February 1, 1944–May 1, 1944 Hollandia
5th FC, 460th FS ?–July 23, 1944 Nadzab
Japanese missions against Gusap
Gusap #2 (Fighter Strip #2, Gusap No. 2, Strip 2)
Gusap #3 (Gusap No. 3, Strip 3)
Gusap #4 (Transport Strip #4, Gusap No. 4, Strip 4)
Gusap #5 (Gusap No. 5, Strip 5)
Gusap #6 (Gusap No. 6, Strip 6)
Gusap #7 (Gusap No. 7, Strip 7)
Gusap #8 (Gusap No. 8, Strip 8)
Seale of the 871st Airborne Engineer Battalion recalls:
Shoot down of a Japanese fighter 41st FS veteran James Hillburn recalls:
fly-by 41st FS veteran James Hillburn recalls:
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