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Horanda Airfield was located to the west of Dobodura and Horanda and to the north of the Samboga River in New Guinea. The three runways at this location were collectively known as "Horanda Drome". Also known as "Dobodura No. 4" or "No. 4" and specific runways as "East 4" and West 4". To the southwest is Dobodura No. 7 (Kenney Field, Girua Airport). Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of Papua in the Northern District (Northern Province). Today located in Oro Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The Allies acknowledged the need for an airfield on the north coast of New Guinea near Buna, for use if Lae Airfield and Salamaua Airfield were attacked by the Japanese. Theater plan "Tulsa" called for an airfield to be established for military aircraft at Buna Airfield. On July 9, 1942 a reconnaissance was planned and over the next two days, a RAAF Catalina from Port Moresby was used to overfly the area. On board were six officers including Lt. Col. Bernard L. Robinson, ranking U.S. Army engineering officer at Port Moresby, Lt. Col. Boyd D. Wagner, USAA, 8th Fighter Group, C. O., Colonel Yoder and three Australian officers. Examining the terrain of the entire area, they determined that kunai plains area at Dobodura should developed instead of the Buna area. Before any Allied airfield could be constructed, the Japanese landed at Gona on July 21, 1942 and built Buna Airfield.
On November 18, 1942 the U. S. Army 114th Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd platoon, company C landed at Embogo and walked inland arriving at Dobodura the next day. On November 20, 1942 they began clearing a single runway which was completed five days later. The first C-47 Dakota landed at Dobodura Airfield on November 25, 1942.
Later, this runway was expanded to a length of 6,000' surfaced with bitumen and a parallel runway was built alongside. The two runways were known as as West No. 4 (4W) and East No. 4 (4E). A "Y" shaped assembly and taxi area became known as No. 4Y (Hoanda Y, or Horanda 4Y). Revetments were built around both the northern and southern ends of the runway, with taxiways connecting to dispersal areas.
The entire complex was known as simply Dobodura Airfield, or Dobodura No. 4 (Horanda 4). The complex was fully developed by the middle of 1943 and was the largest airfield on the north coast of New Guinea until Nadzab Airfield was developed in late 1943.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
Afterwards developed into a major airbase with storage and repair facilities. Dobodura No, 4 was used by medium bombers, attack aircraft and fighter planes and often used by heavy bombers as a staging base or emergency airfield.
American units based at Dobodura
Japanese missions against Dobodura
By July 1945, both Horanda West No. 4 and East No. 4 were still operational airfield.
B-24D "Career Girl" 42-41234
B-24D "Joltin Janie II" 42-40233
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