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Airfields: 2152
Islands: 225
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Pandaveswar Army Air Base
Airfield Id:5464
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Island Name/Chain:India/India
Field Type:Airfield
Long/Lat23 43' 0" E / 87 16' 0" S
Occupying force:9th & 493rd Bomb Squadrons, 7th Bomb Group (H), 10th Air Force. B-24 Liberator heavy bombers. 9th Dec. 1942-June 1944; Oct. 1944-June 1945; 493rd Jan. 1943-June 1944; Oct. 1944-Dec. 1945. Hdqrs., 7th Bomb Group.
Source:Several sources including \\\"7th Bombardment Group/Wing 1918-1995,\\\" Robert F. Dorr (Paducah, KY: Turner Pub. Co., 1996.
Information Contributed by:Walter Webb


Photos (login to add photos) (6)
Click Photo to Enlarge

(above) 493rd Squadron ground crews and other personnel waiting along Pandaveswar's flight line for the return of B-24s from a mission. 

Photocredit: Paul and Tom Mallon, 7th Bomb Squadron (H) website (www.7thbg.org).

Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]

(above) Photo of entire 9th Bomb Squadron at Pandaveswar, Mar. 6, 1945. 

Photocredit: Several sources including the late Louis F. Ettlinger & 1945 Photo 7th Bomb Group Photo Album, Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]

(above) My cousin's 9th Bomb Squadron aircrew just prior to mission takeoff Feb. 5, 1945. My cousin Lt. Edwin E. Scranton, the crew's navigator, is kneeling on right end of row. First Pilot Lt. Nathan Margolies is in same row 2nd from left end. 

Photocredit: "History of the 9th Bomb Sq. (H) for Feb. 1945," Air Force Historical Research Agency.

Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]

(above) Aerial photo taken Feb. 22, 1944, of runway and 9th squadron area to left of runway. Note aircraft turnaround circles, B-24s in U-shaped revetments, and one B-24 rolling down runway. 

Photocredit: National Archives and National Air Survey Center Corp.

Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]

(above) Feb. 22, 1944, aerial photo of 493rd Squadron area to right of runway. Note revetments (some with B-24s) at upper center and along lower taxiway. 

Photocredit: National Archives and National Air Survey Center Corp.

Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]

(above) Google Earth/QuickBird satellite image taken Oct. 29, 2006, of abandoned air base site. By comparing this image with the 1944 aerial photos, the runway site and bordering taxiway and some revetment footprints on the former 493rd Squadron side can still be traced. 

Photocredit: Google Earth and DigitalGlobe

Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]

Maps and Diagrams (login to add maps) (0)
General Notes (login to add)  (1)
All base buildings were removed in the late 1940s & early 1950s. The concrete runway was still intact in 1982 during one veteran\'s visit. Later most of the runway was removed. The abandoned property is now owned by Eastern Coalfields Ltd., an India strip-mining company. 

Source: Asit Kumar Nag, New Delhi, India (2006); the late Walter P. Christensen. Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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Airfield Physical Description  (login to add) (2)
 

Source: Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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One NE/SW concrete runway 6000 ft x 150 ft.
One abandoned NW/SE strip 4800 ft x 600 ft.
Elevation 300 ft above sea level.
Obstructions: Two 90 ft steel towers 4500 ft from runway & strip intersection.
Service Facilities: Control tower; fuel & radio; portable floodlights, flashing beacon.
Hardstands: 25. 

Source: Provisional Airfield List: India, Airfield Information Sheet No. 7, Asst. Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Hdqrs. AAF, 15 Sept. 1944. Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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Name Notes (login to add) (0)
Location Notes (login to add) (1)
1 mi. WNW of Pandaveswar village; just S of East-India RR; 1-1/4 mi. S of Ajay River. Former Royal Air Force fighter base. 

Source: Provisional Airfield List: India, Airfield Information Report No. 7, Asst. Chief of Air Staff, Intelligence, Hdqrs. AAF, 15 Sept. 1944. Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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Unit Notes (login to add) (1)
9th Bomb Squadron (H)
493rd Bomb Squadron (H)
Hdqrs. 7th Bomb Group (H) 

Source: Many sources including \"7th Bombardment Group/Wing 1918-1995,\" Robert F. Dorr (Paducah, KY: Turner Pub. Co., 1996). Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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Misc Notes (login to add) (2)
The little known 7th Bomb Group (H) has a number of important historic distinctions. It was in action from the very first day of U.S. involvement in WWII when some of its B-17 aircrews arrived at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. The Group went on to fight in three theaters--the Pacific, Africa-Middle East, and China-Burma-India. The 7th earned two Distinguished Unit Citations in two of those theaters. The Group was the only American air combat unit to fight both the Germans and the Japanese. And finally it is the oldest, still active Group in the USAF, having its Group origins in 1918 and one of its Squadron origins (the 9th) even earlier, in 1917. Thus, in all respects, the 7th Bomb Group rightfully deserves its claim as \"The First and the Last.\" 

Source: Many sources including \"7th Bombardment Group/Wing 1918-1995,\" Robert F. Dorr (Paducah, KY: Turner Pub. Co., 1996). Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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Source: Several sources including \"7th Bombardment group/Wing 1918-1995,\" Robert F. Dorr (Paducah, KY: Turner Pub. Co., 1996). Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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Personal Stories (login to add) (1)
My cousin 1st Lt. Edwin E. Scranton was a B-24 navigator with the 9th Sq. Margolies crew. He was based at \"Panda\" from Oct. 1944 until his death on Mar. 24, 1945. On that date his crew was part of a Group mission en route to Thailand when his plane experienced an engine oil leak & other engine malfunctions. As the Liberator reversed course, some crewmen bailed out over the Ganges River Delta swampland (called the Sundarbans) while others stayed with the crippled bomber until it ditched. Four died in the accident; three remain missing (the pilot, my cousin, & the tail-gunner); six were rescued. In 2005 I arranged full military honors for relatives of the three MIAs at Arlington National Cemetery. I plan to write a book of tribute to the crew. 

Source: Walter Webb Contributed by: Walter Webb [Email]
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