Nubia Airfield was located near Nubia village inland from Hansa Bay on the north coast of New Guinea. The Allies called this location "Nubia Airfield" for the nearby Nubia village. Known by the Japanese
as "Hansa South". Today located in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG). To the north was Old Hansa Airfield and further north was Awar
Airfield (Hansa North, Condor Point).
During March 1943, surveyed
by the Japanese as an airfield. The 6th Airfield Construction
Battalion began construction
during June to October 1943 with assistance from soldiers and later the 24th
Airfield Company. Together, they built a single runway measuring 3,500' x 170' (as of
July 23, 1943). Another source lists the runway as 3,750' x 170'
in October 23, 1943). A single taxiway and dispersal area with
revetments (4 bomber, 0 fighter) was looped off the side closest
to the Hansa Bay (E). A large battery of heavy anti-aircraft
guns was located half way down the strip on the western
side. Six heavy anti-aircraft guns were emplaced at Nubia Mission, with an additional
four just north of the mission.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
Used by the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) for use by fighters and light bombers. The 45th Sentai detachment
(Ki-48 Lily) from Wewak arrived on July 30, 1943. In November 1943 designated
as an emergency airfield and refueling base. During April 1943 until May 1944 attacked by Allied bombers and fighters.
American missions against Nubia
April 12, 1943 - May 3, 1944
as March 1944 there were still airfield personnel at the
strip, mostly working to repair the runway after Allied bombing.
On June 14, 1944 Hansa Airfield area was occupied by Australian Army soldiers. Afterwards, this airfield was not repaired and was abandoned. In late June 1944, Air Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) investigated the Japanese aircraft wrecks at the airfield noting Ki-48 Lily 1258 and Ki-48 Lily 1199 plus the wreckage of several Ki-43 Oscars.
Abandoned since the war and overgrown today. A few scattered huts are located in the vicinity but no villages.
John Douglas adds:
"There are reports of buried 55 gallon fuel drums
at Nubia, so they were both reasonably well developed. The book Japanese
Army Air Force Fighter Units and Aces records the loss
of Ki-61 Tony piloted by Major Shogo Takeuchi [19 victories claimed] over Hansa Bay. I have
found bomb craters near Nubia on recent visits. One bomb appears
to have landed very near a revetment and destroyed an Oscar.
Ki-48-II Lily Manufacture Number 1258
Abandoned at the airfield, studied by ATIU
Ki-48-II Lily Manufacture Number 1199
Abandoned at the airfield
Bay History by Richard Dunn
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
April 7, 2020