Salamaua Airfield is located
near Logui on the mainland of New Guinea north of the Franciso River at Kennedy's Crossing. Salamaua is located to the northeast and Bayern Bay is to the east. The single runway runs roughly northeast to southwest along Bayern Bay to the southwest of Salamaua. "Logui" was the wartime era name of
the two villages nearby. Prewar located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Morobe
Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Built prewar by the Australians to support gold mining operations inland. The single runway borders Bayern Bay to the northeast and to the southwest borders the Franciso River.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
On January 21, 1942 at 11:55am, bombed by Japanese bombers, destroying on the ground three DH.84 Dragons and one RAAF Hudson. Kevin Parer taxing a DH.84 Dragon was killed. A Junkers G 31 trimotor approached Salamaua Airfield during the raid, but was able to escape the area and landed safely at Wau Airfield instead. The next day, Australian forces abandoned Salamaua fearing further attacks.
During early March 1942,
Captain Allan Cameron arrived at Salamaua and was stationed at Salamaua Airfield.
On March 8, 1942 before dawn, the Japanese Army, South Seas Force, 144th Battalion under the command of Major Tadashi Hori landed at Salamaua. Captain Cameron ordered the RAAF Hudson piloted FO Alfred Hermes to take off then ordered the fuel dump demolished and the radio destroyed. As the Japanese approached in the darkness before they opened fire on the Australians who attempted to demolish the airfield but the charges failed to ignite from the rain and withdrew over the Francisco River.
On March 8, 1942 Japanese troops occupied Salamaua. The Japanese upgraded Salamaua Airfield for military use and used the runway to a limited capacity. Between the middle of 1942 until early September 1943 Salamaua Airfield was attacked by Allied bombers and fighters.
Japanese and American missions against Salamaua Airfield
January 21, 1942 - September 12, 1943
On September 11, 1943 the Australian Army's 5 Division occupied Salamaua Airfield. The following day, the first Allied airplane landed at Salamaua Airfield. But, the airfield was not heavily utilized by the Allies.
Abandoned since the war.
Phil Bradley reports:
"The airstrip was knee deep in water in June when I visited.
The Battle For Wau page 2
New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR) records show that on the 21st January 1942 the surprise attack on Salamaua by Japanese fighters and bombers destroyed one RAAF Lockheed Hudson, 2 De Havillands and 2 Fox Moths.
Hell's Battlefield page 24-26
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April 7, 2020