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Gasmata

Gasmata (150.33E 6.27S) is located on the south coast of New Britain just west of Thilenius Harbor. There was a grass airstrip here built for a nearby plantation, which had occasionally been used by the Royal Australian Air Force as a staging field. Elements of the Special Naval Landing Forces occupied the area on 9 February 1942, and Japanese engineers rapidly expanded the runway to 3200 feet (975 meters). However, no large air group was ever based here.

MacArthur's headquarters planned to seize Gasmata as a preliminary to the Cape Gloucester landings, but eventually Arawe was substituted instead. The Australians reoccupied the airfield on 28 March 1944 and found it long abandoned by the Japanese.

References

Gamble (2010)

Lundstrom (2006)

PacificWrecks.org (accessed 2010-4-27)


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