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    Ponam Island Manus Province¬†Papua New Guinea (PNG)
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Royal Navy c1945

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Unkown 1981
Location
Lat 1° 53' 60S Long 146° 54' 0E ¬†Ponam Island is one and a half miles long and 400 yards wide, surrounded by a coral reef in the Admiralty Island Group (Admiralty Islands). To the south nineteen miles away is Manus Island. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in Manus Province in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Wartime History
The Japanese did not occupy Ponam Island. During the middle of 1944, US Navy 78th Naval Construction Battalion (NCB) "Seabees" developed the island into an airfield in only ten weeks. Entertainer Bob Hope made an unscheduled visit to Ponam in late 1944, a show was organized for personnel form the surrounding bases before his party moved on.

During March-April 1945, Ponam was turned over to the Royal Navy (RN). On March 13, 1945 the Royal Navy (RN) MSR No. 4 arrived at Ponam aboard HMS Speaker and began unloading their supplies from SS Clan Macauley. The bulk of the MONAB IV (Mobile Naval Air Base No. 4) arrived aboard SS Empire Arquebus on March 25.

Today
Since 1945, erosion and wave action have caused the southern side of the island to change, with portions of island now submerged underwater. Disused as an airfield since the war.

Ponam Airfield
Built by the U.S. Navy and later used by the Royal Navy.

References
VC-20 Ponam Island Yesterday and Today
MONAB IV (Mobile Naval Air Base No. 4) - Page 1
MONAB IV (Mobile Naval Air Base No. 4) - Page 2
MONAB IV (Mobile Naval Air Base No. 4) - Page 3
MONAB IV (Mobile Naval Air Base No. 4) - Page 4
MONAB Ponam & Pityilu Admiralty Islands
HMS Nabaron | MONAB 4 | MSR 6 (1945)

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019

 

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