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    Madang Airfield Madang Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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5th AF January 4, 1944

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Australian Army May 1, 1944

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Lindsay 1944

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AWM May 1945

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Ray Fairfield 1966

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Justin Taylan 2000

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Justin Taylan 2005
Lat 5° 12' 26S Long 145° 47' 19E  Located along the Meiro River, across from Madang bordering Madang Harbor. Also known as "Madang Drome" or today "Madang Airport". Offshore is Cahill's Island.

Built prior to the war. The single runway surfaced with crushed coral, 1,350 x 20 yards (3750' x 60'), requiring landings towards the sea during day, with good approaches. Sgt H. Russell or W.O. P. Englase. Facilities included radio, food & water, medical assistance from Bernett. Native speak pidgin, plenty of empty fuel drums.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
In August 1941, three New Guinea Volunteer Rifle (NGVR) volunteers Sgt R. E. Emery, Peter Monfries and Dick Vernon traveled from Lae aboard the Montoro with ten native constables and equipment to guard Madang Airfield. Their aerial defenses included a single Lewis 7.7mm machine gun that was emplaced in a gun pit with guard posts on either end of the runway with obstacles that could be removed and a camp area.

On January 21, 1941 the first air raid against Madang and Madang Airifeld was conducted by Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) bombers escorted by fighters that cratering the runway.

During January 1943, occupied by the Japanese Army as a forward operating airfield for Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) bombers and fighters based at Wewak. By August 13, 1943 the Japanese had runway was 3,250' x 240' runway with a single taxiway and revetments for 30 fighters and one bomber on the eastern end.

On March 24, 1943 Japanese bombers arrived at Wewak transporting a group of senior officers including H. E. Tsuboshima, Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor on an inspection tour of Wewak and Madang.

April 19, 1943 Japanese Army 18th Army Lt General Hatazo Adachi took off from Wewak on a flight to Madang Airfield to establish his headquarters at Madang.

October 24, 1943 in the morning a Ki-49-II piloted by 1st Lt Kudo of 7th Sentai, 2nd Buntai crashed off Madang.

Japanese units based at Madang
248th Sentai (Ki-43 Oscar) late 1943
59th Sentai (Ki-43 Oscar) 1943
68th Sentai (Ki-61 Tony) 1943

Attacked by Allied aircraft starting in January 1943 until late April 1944 when occupied by the Australian Army. Heavily bombed and strafed by Allied bombers and fighters rendering the runway as unserviceable and leaving several aircraft wrecked at the airfield.

Allied missions against Madang
December 13, 1942–April 26, 1944

On April 24, 1944 occupied by Australian Army troops. At the field, a large amount of high octane fuel was captured, and used by the Australians for their boats.  Also, several wrecked aircraft, drop tanks, 13mm ammunition and aerial bombs. At least two Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft guns were emplaced near the airfield.

Immediately, Royal Australian engineers using a bulldozer began repairing the runway at Madang Airfield for use by light aircraft. On April 30, 1944 two US Army Stinson L-5 Sentinel liaison planes landed at Madang Airfield L-5 42-98713 and L-5 42-38708.

Japanese Aircraft Wreckage
On May 1, 1944 Allied Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) surveyed at four Ki-43 Oscar wrecks at Madang Airfield, noting their manufacture numbers. One Ki-43-II Oscar was near a bomb crater with 59th Sentai tail markings. Another Ki-43 Oscar had a burned out fuselage center section with tail number 47. Afterwards, these aircraft were souvenired by Australian forces for aluminum or scrapped postwar.

Ki-43-I Oscar Manufacture Number 569
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

Ki-43-II Oscar Manufacture Number 5122
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

Ki-43-II Oscar Manufacture Number 5419
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

Ki-43-II Oscar Manufacture Number 5592
Abandoned at the strip, evaluated by US Army ATIU May 1, 1944

By late April 1944 Madang Airfield was repaired and used by Allied aircraft for the remainder of the war, primarily the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) including aircraft from 111 Air Sea Rescue Flight (111 ASRF) that operated at both Madang Airfield and Madang Seaplane Base until 18 March 1946 when it moved to Port Moresby and was disbanded.

RAAF units based at Madang Airfield
111 ASRF (Catalina) - March 18, 1946 Port Moresby

DAP Beaufort A9-701
Written off at Madang Airfield, wreckage remained opposite the terminal, scrapped 1972

Used since the war by the Australian administration. The strip was resurfaced and expanded since the war.

Still in use today as Madang Airport. Serviced by Air Niugini and several smaller airlines on a daily basis. The runway measures 1570m x 30m at an elevation of 11'. Airport codes: ICAO: AYMD and IATA: MAG.

Notes about New Guinea airfields, recorded circa May - July, 1942 by Oliver C. Doan via Jean Doan research Edward Rogers
AWM "Madang and Alexishafen" F01696 cine footage May 1, 1944 Madang Airfield fuel dump 10:02:37 - 10:03:05, Ki-43 Oscar wreckage 10:03:05 - 10:03:15 bulldozer repairing runway 10:03:15 - 10:03:21, Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft guns 10:06:11 - 10:06:34 L-5 42-98713 and L-5 42-39708 landing at Madang Airfield 10:06:45 - 10:07:04 Ki-43 Oscar of the 59th Sentai near bomb crater 10:07:04 - 10:07:19 Ki-43 Oscar wreckage 10:07:19-10:07:22, Ki-43 Oscar tail 47 10:07:22 - 10:07:33, Ki-61 Tony wreckage and upside down tail 10:07:33 - 10:07:44
AWM "New Guinea lull of stand down" F07161 cine footage October 27, 1944 Ki-43 Oscar 13:03:34 - 13:03:54
Madang (2006) pages 135, 150, 183
NAC - Madang Airport

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Last Updated
December 17, 2020



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