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Tianhe Airfield

Type   Airfield
Historical Name of Location   Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Contributor:

ww2dbaseTianhe (Postal Map: Tien Ho) Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China was a small fighter strip used by the Chinese Air Force in the early days of WW2. It was captured by Japanese troops in Dec 1938. For the duration of the war, it was operated by the aviation arm of the Japanese Army. On 4 Jul 1942, it was struck by American bombers for the first time, and attacks persisted occasionally, with the heaviest taking place in the latter half of 1944, until Dec 1944.



Tianhe Airfield Timeline

28 Feb 1938 Wong Sun-sui, flying a Gladiator fighter out of Tianhe (Postal Map: Tien Ho) Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, shot down a Japanese E8N floatplane at about 0830 hours and claimed another as probable.
13 Apr 1938 Kaga launched 18 D1A1 dive bombers against Tianhe (Postal Map: Tien Ho) Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China; they were escorted by six A5M and four A4N fighters. Two D1A1, one A5M, and two A4N aircraft were lost. The Chinese Air Force lost five Gladiator fighters and two pilots during the engagement.
13 Apr 1938 Wong Sun-sui, flying a Gladiator fighter out of Tianhe (Postal Map: Tien Ho) Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, shot down a D1A1 dive bomber, an A4N fighter, and an A5M fighter (Petty Officer 2nd Class Yukio Miyazato) from carrier Kaga over Guangzhou. These were his 5th, 6th, and 7th victories. He was then shot down by the A5M fighter flown by Petty Officer 1st Class Jiro Chono; although he bailed out successfully, he lost the small finger of his left hand.
4 Jul 1942 Five B-25 bombers of US 10th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, damaging buildings, runways, and several aircraft on the ground.
18 Jul 1942 Three B-25 bombers of US 10th Air Force based in Guilin Airfield, Guangxi Province, China attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
6 Aug 1942 B-25 bombers of US 10th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
8 Aug 1942 B-25 bombers of US 10th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China; they claimed to have shot down two Japanese fighters over Guangzhou.
23 Nov 1942 Six B-25 bombers of US 10th Air Force, escorted by 17 P-40 fighters, attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming over 50 aircraft destroyed on the ground.
8 May 1943 16 B-24 bombers and 11 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming about 20 aircraft destroyed on the ground.
6 Jul 1943 After sundown, B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
7 Jul 1943 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force, escorted by P-51 fighters, attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
28 Jul 1943 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
31 Jul 1943 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
20 Aug 1943 Six B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming five Japanese fighters shot down over Guangzhou.
26 Aug 1943 Five B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force, escorted by 11 P-40 fighters, attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China; the US bombers and fighters together claimed five Japanese Zero fighters shot down.
4 Sep 1943 10 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force, escorted by P-40 fighters, attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming three Japanese Zero fighters shot down.
24 Dec 1943 18 B-24 bombers of US 14th Air Force, escorted by fighters, attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming 20 Japanese fighters shot down; one B-24 bomber was shot down.
27 Aug 1944 11 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
28 Aug 1944 Eight B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
29 Aug 1944 Eight B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
31 Aug 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
7 Sep 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
28 Sep 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
29 Sep 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
30 Sep 1944 B-24 and B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
1 Oct 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
2 Oct 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
3 Oct 1944 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
17 Oct 1944 15 B-25 bombers of US 14th Air Force, escorted by 12 P-40 and 10 P-51 fighters, attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
11 Dec 1944 16 fighter-bombers of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.
22 Dec 1944 P-40 and P-51 fighters of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming several Japanese fighters shot down.
27 Dec 1944 17 P-51 fighters of US 14th Air Force attacked Tianhe Airfield in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, claiming 10 Japanese fighters destroyed; 2 P-51 fighters were shot down.

Photographs

Painted decoy B-29 bomber near Tianhe Airfield, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, 9 Mar 1945




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
11 Oct 2017 06:53:05 AM

The Chinese Government ordered thirty-six Gladiator fighters in October 1937. Delivered by sea to Hong Kong, the aircraft were assembled at Kai Tak by Gloster engineers with a view to flying them to their new base at Tianhe (Tien Ho). But diplomatic pressure was brought to bear, which resulted in the aircraft being crated once more for shipment by train and junk to Canton for delivery. A handful were immediately re-assembled at Tianhe, despite Japanese air attacks, although the remainder of the first twenty machines would not be ready until late 1937/early 1938. These aircraft were then flown some 300 miles out of reach of Japanese bombing, to a new base where training could be undertaken without interruption (although a considerable proportion of these would unfortunately be destroyed in training accidents). Some of the remaining sixteen Gladiators, which eventually arrived at Tanhe, would achieve many successes against the Japanese particularly in the protection of the Chinese Aircraft Factory at Siuchow in late 1938.

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Lat/Long 23.1333, 113.3167
Tianhe Airfield Photo Gallery
Painted decoy B-29 bomber near Tianhe Airfield, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, 9 Mar 1945


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