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    Panapae Airfield (Panapai) New Ireland Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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USAAF c1943

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USAAF c1944
Location
Lat 2° 36' 0S Long 150° 50' 60E  Panapae Airfield was located on Panapae (Panapai) parallel to the north coast of New Ireland, two miles to the northwest is Kavieng. Also spelled Panapai Airfield or Panapai Drome.

Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Tikana Rural LLG of Kavieng District in New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Prewar
Panapae plantation was established at this location by the German administration at this location planted with coconut palms harvesting copra.

Construction
Built by the Japanese on Panapai Plantation parallel to the highway and coastline. As of May 22, 1943 the single runway was 4,000' in length. A taxiway loop was located off the inland side of the runway with revetments on both sides of the runway and taxiway. The revetments included nine bomber revetments on the inland side and twelve fighter revetments on the seaward side along the runway.

Wartime History
During the Pacific War, Panapae Airfield was likely a secondary airfield to disperse aircraft as a satellite airfield for Kaveing Airfield. During 1944 attacked by Allied bombers. Occupied by the Japanese until the official surrender of Japan in September 1945.

American missions against Panapai
February 15, 1944–March 19, 1944

Today
Panapai has been disused since the Japanese operations. Kunai grass now covers the runway but the outline of the former runway can still be recognized.

Brian Bennett adds:
"I searched for any aircraft wrecks in the area in the 1980's and was unable to find much there."

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Last Updated
April 7, 2020

 

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