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USMC Dec 23, 1943
USMC December 1943
Stan Cannon 1944
John Williams 1944
USN September 8, 1945
David Paulley 1982
Harumi Sakaguchi 2003
Justin Taylan 2007
Torokina Airfield located at Torokina (Cape Torokina) on Bougainville parallel to the Torokina Road along the western coast of Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay. Further inland to the north is Piva. Also known as Cape Torokina Airfield. Rabaul is roughly 200 miles to the northwest.
Built by U. S. Navy Seabees in forty days, and surfaced with Marson Matting. It officially opened on December 10, 1943 when VMF 216 landed seventeen Corsairs together with four or five SBD Dauntless dive bombers. After January 1, 1944 Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft also began operating from Torokina Airfield.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
Torokina Airfield was used by Allied fighter and bomber aircraft from the United States Navy (USN), United States Marine Corps (USMC), U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). Primarily used as a fighter strip. Later, Piva North Airfield (Piva Yoke) became the primary bomber strip with Piva South Airfield (Piva Uncle) another fighter base.
Allied units based at Torokina Airfield
U. S. Navy (USN)
VF(N)-75 (F4U night fighter) Munda December 1943
U. S. Marine Corps (USMC)
VMTB-233 (TBF) 6 MIA on Feb 14 1944 to Rabaul
VMF-216 (F4U) December 10, 1943
VMF-212 (F4U) September 1943
VMF(N)-531 (PV-1 night fighter) Munda December 1943
VMSB-341 (SBD) January 1944
U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF)
347th FG, 68th FS (P-38) Fiji February 4 - August 17, 1944 Middleburg
347th FG, 67th FS (P-39Q) March 2, 1944
Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF)
No. 14 Squadron (F4U) February 1944–December 1944 Nissan (Green)
No. 18 Squadron (P-40) February 1944
No. 19 Squadron (F4U) March 1944
A Marine-manned New Zealand ground control radar unit was set up, and reached operation about the time the airfield was ready for flight operations.
On March 8, 1944 in conjunction with the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) counterattack against the American beachhead area around Torokina as Japanese artillery bombards Piva Airfield. On March 9, 1944 during the early morning, Torokina Airfield was shelled, forcing aircraft to immediately withdraw to avoid being damaged on the ground.
John Williams of ACORN 13 adds:
A swimming beach was located on the beach parallel to the runway.
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