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    Saidor Airfield Madang Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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US Army c1944

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USAAF February 8, 1944
Lat 5° 37' 43S Long 146° 27' 54E  Saidor Airfield is located at 83' above sea level near Saidor and Saui Point on the north coast of New Guinea. Borders Dekys Bay to the east and the Bismarck Sea to the north. At the westeren edge is the Nankina River. Further to the west is Yami Airfield (Saidor #2, Tarlitce). Known to the Japanese as "Gumbi Airfield". Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Madang Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Built prewar as a single runway for civilian aircraft. During the middle 1942 the single runway was described as 750 x 80 x 50 yards, surfaced with sod, that could be lengthened to 1,000 yards with good approaches (NW - SE). Facilities included native houses, medical supplies at Saidor mission (a forty minute walk) Austrian missionary, native foods & water. Blocked by ditches and barricades.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
During 1943, occupied by the Japanese Army with a small garrison at this location. Saidor airfield was not developed by the Japanese Army. Possibly, used for emergency landing during 1943.

American and Japanese missions against Saidor
April 18, 1943 - March 4, 1944

On January 2, 1944 the U.S. Army, 6th Army, 32nd Infantry Division, 126th Regimental Combat Team (126th RCT) under the command of General Martin with the 120th Field Artillery plus elements land at Saidor and capture the Saidor Airfield area.

Immediately, construction of a single runway running ESE to WNW began. Initially, the runway was only usable by small liaison planes but was quickly expanded to include extensive taxiways and revetments on the north and south side of the runway, and an apron at each edge of the runway. As of January 31, 1944 there were two parallel runways 6,000' x 100'. A crash strip was located to the west, running roughly north NW to SE.

By early 1944, Saidor Airfield was the most forward Allied airfield to Japanese occupied areas to the west.

On April 16, 1944 "Black Sunday" many 5th Air Force fighters and bombers landed at Saidor Airfield due to bad weather. Lost at Saidor in crash landings and collisions were F5B-1 Lightning 42-67350 (Christians, KIA) and P-38J Lightning 42-104352 (Price, survived), B-25D "Seven Day Leave" 41-30611 (crew survived), B-25D 41-30337 (crew killed) and B-25D "Sweet Jeanne" 41-30189 (crew survived).

American units based at Saidor
309th BW, HQ Lae March 1 - July 28, 1944 Noemfoor
348th FG, 340th FS (P-47) Finschafen March 13 - May 26, 1944 Wakde
348th FG, HQ (P-47) Finschafen March 27, 1944 - May 1944 Wakde
348th FG, 341st FS (P-47) Finschafen March 27 - May 22, 1944 Wakde
347th FG, 342nd FS (P-47) Finschafen March 30 - May 22, 1944 Wakde
58th FG, 310th (P-47) Dobodura April 2, 1944 - Aug 30 Noemfoor
58th FG, 69th FS, HQ (P-47) Dobodura April 3 - Aug 30, 1944 Noemfoor
71st TRG, 82nd TRS (P-39) Dobodura April 5 - June 12, 1944 Biak / Owi
58th FG, 311th FS (P-47) Dobodura April 5 - Aug 30, 1944 Noemfoor
417th BG, HQ Dobodura April 8, 1944 - Sept 9, 1944 Kornasoren
417th BG, 675th BS (A-20) Dobodura April 9 - Sept 8, 1944 Kornasoren
417th BG, 672nd BS (A-20) Dobodura April 10 - Sept 10, 1944 Kornasoren
417th BG, 673rd BS (A-20) Dobodura April 14 - Sept 8, 1944 Kornasoren
417th BG, 674th BS (A-20) Dobodura April 14 - Sept 8, 1944 Kornasoren

Still in use today as Saidor Airport designated a small airport. Airport code: IATA: SDI.

Engineers in Theater Operations [Pacific] "Advance Area Airdromes 31 January 1944", Map No. 24
Index to Air Bases - Research Report No. 85, I.G. No 9185 - July 30, 1944

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Last Updated
April 7, 2020


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