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USMC March 1944
Ray Fairfield 1972
Talasea Airfield was located on the western side of Talasea to the west of Garua Island. Also known as Old Talasea Airfield. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in West New Britain Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Built prewar by the Australian administration as a small landing strip with an uphill grade.
Occupied by the Japanese during 1942 until early March 1944. Used by the Japanese in a limited capacity as an emergency landing strip.
American missions against Talasea
March 6, 1943–March 26, 1944
During early March 1944, occupied by U.S. Marines. The runway was deemed too short to accommodate fighters, but was repaired and used by liaison planes and light aircraft.
The single runway was long enough to be classified as emergency airstrip and used for two force landings during early September 1944.
After the war it was abandoned. In the late 1960s, the entire area was planted with oil palm trees and harvested for oil palm. In early August 2002, A volcano eruption temporarily closed the Hoskins Airfield due to ash. Plans included reopening Talasea Airfield as as an alternate landing ground.
B-25H Mitchell Serial Number 43-4513
Pilot Wofendale force landed September 3, 1944
PV-1 Ventura Serial Number NZ4522
Pilot Thomas, force landed September 9, 1944
Island of the Damned page 87
"The Japs had built a small airstrip near the shore, and there was a Jap fighter plane on its back in the middle of the runway."
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