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    Samarai Seaplane Base Milne Bay Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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USN c1943

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN c1943
Location
Samarai Seaplane Base was located at Samarai Island with other shore facilities on Sariba Island. Also known as "Samarai Island Seaplane Base".

Construction
On July 31, 1943 a detachment of the US Navy 84th Seabee Battalion was sent to Samarai to build a small seaplane base. Despite material shortages, the base was built in 42 days and included a 50' ramp with a hanger and 40,000 square feet of parking. Barracks and accommodations for 220 men and 50 officers and the installation of four x 1,000 barrel aviation fuel tanks.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
Used by the United States Navy (USN) as a seaplane base and operating area.

USN units based at Samari
VP-34 (PBY Catalina) arrived December  26, 1943 where it began its first offensive combat operations against the enemy as a Black Cat squadron.

On August 1, 1943 Patrol Squadron 101 (VP-101) operating PBY Catalinas was assigned to Task Group 73.1 under Commander Dunlap supported by USS San Pablo (AVP-30) and Aircraft Rescue Boat C-9485 operating from Samarai Seaplane Base on Samarai Island. VP-101 Catalinas from VP-101 flew combat patrols, escorted covoys and conducted crew training. On December 28, 1943 VP-101 departed for Perth.

On December 31, 1943 US Navy (USN) Fleet Air Wing 17 departed Australia and set up headquarters at Samarai.

VP-33 (PBYs) Based from February 15, 1944, under the operational control of FAW-17. The squadron was assigned night search patrols and attack missions against enemy shipping in the Bismarck Sea.

Today
Disused as a seaplane base since the war.

References
NARA "War Diary Aircraft, Seventh Fleet From: 1 August, 1943 To: 31 August, 1943" pages 1-4

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Last Updated
August 7, 2020

 

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