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Nadzab Airfield file photo [27276]

Nadzab Airfield

Type   121 Air Base
Historical Name of Location   Nadzab, Australian New Guinea
Coordinates   -6.569722000, 146.726111000


ww2dbaseJapanese took control of large parts of the Australian Territory of New Guinea, ie. the northeastern quarter of New Guinea island, in 1942. Between Apr and Jul 1943, Allied Geographical Section of South West Pacific Area conducted reconnaissance missions over the region. While the missions' primary concern was to assist in the planning of an invasion of New Guinea, the report did also note that the terrain near the village of Nadzab was suitable for the construction of a large airfield complex. On 5 Sep 1943, a combined airbourne and over land operation took place at Nadzab, and construction began within hours. By early 1944 it would house the headquarters of US Fifth Air Force, US 5th Bomber Command, and US 5th Fighter Command. Bombers, fighters, and various other types of combat and support aircraft busied over the two roughly east-to-west runways. By the fall of 1944, combat had moved away from Nadzab, but it remained vital nevertheless, now in the form of a large training and aircraft repair and salvage facility. After the war in 1945, Nadzab Airfield was turned over to the local administration; it would remain a military airfield. In 1962, it was lengthened to allow the operation of Mirage fighters (which ultimately would never be assigned to Nadzab). Papua New Guinea was granted self government in 1972, and thus took over the facilities at Nadzab. A joint modernization project between Papua New Guinea and Australia developed Nadzab into a civilian airport serving the city of Lae 42 kilomters (26 miles) to the east. The Lae Nadzab Airport remained in operation in this capacity through the time of this writing in 2017.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Update: Jan 2018

Nadzab Airfield Interactive Map


No. 4 Squadron RAAF pilots posing in front of Boomerang aircraft Aerial view of Nadzab Airfield, Territory of New Guinea, 1944
See all 16 photographs of Nadzab Airfield

Nadzab Airfield Timeline

5 Sep 1943 Men of US 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted an airborne operation at the village of Nadzab west of Lae, Australian Territory of New Guinea. They were supported on the ground by elements of Australian 2/4th Field Regiment. Douglas MacArthur personally observed the operation in a B-17 aircraft. Military engineers immediately began the preparations for the building of an airfield.
6 Sep 1943 The first transport aircraft landed at the Nadzab Airfield, Australian Territory of New Guinea.
15 Dec 1943 The Markham Valley Road connecting Nadzab and Lae in Australian Territory of New Guinea completed its maintenance and upgrade, thus allowing Nadzab Airfield to fully utilize its potential.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Nadzab, Australian New Guinea
Lat/Long -6.5697, 146.7261
Nadzab Airfield Photo Gallery
No. 4 Squadron RAAF pilots posing in front of Boomerang aircraft Aerial view of Nadzab Airfield, Territory of New Guinea, 1944
See all 16 photographs of Nadzab Airfield

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