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    Nubia Airfield (Hansa South) Madang Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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5th AF July 23, 1943

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5th AF c1943

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Justin Taylan 2003

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 late 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

Ki-43-II Oscar

Ki-43-I Oscar

Ki-43-I Oscar

Hansa Bay History by Richard Dunn

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Last Updated
April 7, 2020



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