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Islands: 225
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Kila Airdrome
Airfield Id:5174
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Island Name/Chain:New Guinea/New Guinea
Field Type:Airfield
Long/Lat0 0' 0" E / 0 0' 0" S
Occupying force:United States
Source:Engineers of the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945 Volume VI. Airfield and Base Development. By the Office of the Chief Engineer, General Headqueaters Army Forces, Pacific. Major General Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer.
Information Contributed by:Dave Pluth


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(above) Kila Area Map 

Photocredit: Airdromes Guide Southwest Pacific Area - 1 July 1945

Contributed by: Dave Pluth [Email]

General Notes (login to add)  (3)
This was a former civil field. 

Source: Engineers of the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945 Volume VI. Airfield and Base Development. By the Office of the Chief Engineer, General Headqueaters Army Forces, Pacific. Major General Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer.

Contributed by: Dave Pluth [Email]
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Resonably good condition as of 1942 and was able to be used as an all weather airfield. 

Source: Engineers of the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945 Volume VI. Airfield and Base Development. By the Office of the Chief Engineer, General Headqueaters Army Forces, Pacific. Major General Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer.

Contributed by: Dave Pluth [Email]
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Initially the existing commercial airfield at Kila had been considered too poorly located to convert into a military airdrome. Situated as it was, with a high ridge about 2,000 yards beyond one end of the runway and only a narrow, low saddle immediately off teh other end, the take-off of aircraft was limited to one direction only. Although hazardous for air operations, it had, nevertheless proved a vital field inasmuch as it seldom fogged up and could handle traffic when all other airdromes in the area were closed by bad weather. Also, by the middle of 1942 Port Moresby, which was just 3 miles northwest of this airfield, was being threatened by Japanese overland attackes. Kila Drome, despit it's dangerous approach was now a stategic site, particularly in view of prevailing difficulties that had beset all attemptes to locate sufficient airdrome sites on the local mountainous terrain which could be adequately developed by the limited engineer construction forces available.

Original decisions regarding Kila were reconsidered immediately and plans prepared to expand the existing runway to 5,000 by 100 feet for allied arial operations.

Japanese air raids were not especially bothersome at Kila Drom. A few bombs hit the runway and the combination dispersal taxiways and roads. To make repairs it was necessary to remove the damaged mat by cutting it away, if necessary and remove the loose dirt and square the crater, then to back fill the hole with stone, which was concurrently tamped and rolled, and finally to resurface the area with new mat. The popular conception of bomb crater repair by pushing back the rubble into the crater with a bulldozer was found impractical, and this method was only used in extreme emergencies. 

Source: Engineers of the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945 Volume VI. Airfield and Base Development. By the Office of the Chief Engineer, General Headqueaters Army Forces, Pacific. Major General Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer. Contributed by: Dave Pluth [Email]
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Airfield Physical Description  (login to add) (0)
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Location Notes (login to add) (1)
Located 3 miles from Port Moresby 

Source: Engineers of the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945 Volume VI. Airfield and Base Development. By the Office of the Chief Engineer, General Headqueaters Army Forces, Pacific. Major General Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer.

Contributed by: Dave Pluth [Email]
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Unit Notes (login to add) (1)
Construction Units
96th Engineers
808th Engineers 

Source: Engineers of the Southwest Pacific 1941-1945 Volume VI. Airfield and Base Development. By the Office of the Chief Engineer, General Headqueaters Army Forces, Pacific. Major General Hugh J. Casey, Chief Engineer. Contributed by: Dave Pluth [Email]
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