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    Lorengau Airfield Manus Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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5th AF January 1, 1943

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5th AF June 1943

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5th AF 1943

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5th AF January 22, 1944

Location
Lorengau Airfield is located at Lorengau on the northeast coast of Manus Island in the Admiralty Island Group (Admiralty Islands). Borders Seeadler Harbor to the north. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Manus Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Construction
In early April 1942 occupied by the Japanese and built a single runway measuring 3,500' x 375' oriented roughly NW to SSE parallel to the coast at this location with 20 fighter revetments along the southern end and no anti-aircraft guns (as of September 23, 1943). A road connected the airfield to a nearby jetty to at Lorengau. By early 1944, light anti-aircraft guns and medium anti-aircraft guns were detected by the Allies to the south and southeast to defend the area.

Wartime History World War II Pacific Theatre History
Used by the Japanese as a military airfield. Starting in the middle of October 1942 by American bombers until the middle of March 1944.

American missions against Lorengau
January 25, 1942–March 12, 1944

On March 15, 1944 U. S. Army 1st Cavalry Division, 8th Cavalry Regiment landed at Lugos Mission and encountered only light resistance and advanced in two prongs towards eastwards towards Lorengau. The 1st Squadron advanced along the coast route "Number 3 Road" but encountered enemy pillboxes that were targeted with artillery fire and Allied air strikes to reduce them. Meahwile, the the 2nd Squadron advancing inland on a dirt road "Number 1 Road" and advanced with little resistance and was aided by tanks.

On March 16, 1944 in the morning, the 1st Squadron attacked Lorengau Airfield but were stopped by bunkers on the southern edge of the runway. As the C Troop attempted to flank the bunkers and managed to throw grenades into them, the defending Japanese began firing at B Troop and they returned fire some of their fire hit C Troop soldiers causing confusion and forced them to withdraw. By the end of the day, roughly half of Lorengau Airfield was captured. During the evening, the 7th Cavalry Regiment relieved the Cavalrymenon the front line and a heavy bombadrment by Navy vessels, mortars and artillery from Hauwei targeted the areas of resistance.

On March 17, 1944 when the 7th Cavalry Regiment attacked, they met weak resistance and they were able to capture the rest of the airfield and reach the Lorengau River and linked up with the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Squadron that had advanced inland and Lorengau Airfield was liberated by the Americans. Afterwards, U. S. artillery bombarded nearby Lorengau.

By March 18, 1944 Japanese resistance ceased at Lorengau with the remaining Japanese withdrawing inland to Rossum.

Afterwards, U. S. Army engineers evaluated Lorengau Airfield and deemed it unsuited for American requirements for an airfield and it was disused as a landing ground and was instead developed into a base area to support the U. S. forces on Manus Island.

Today
Lorengau Airfield is disused since the Pacific War and the area includes building and roads and has become part of Lorengau.

References
U. S. Army Campagins of World War II - Bismarck Archipelago pages 22-23

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Last Updated
May 27, 2020

 

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