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Saturday, 21 February 2015 - 12:14 WIB

Archeologists Discover Abandoned WW II Airfield in Papua

Jayapura, Jubi/Antara – A team of archaeologists has discovered an abandoned World War II airfield in Skouw Yambe Village, Muara Tami District, Jayapura, Papua Province, believed to be an air defense facility used by Japanese soldiers.

“The airfield is located near the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea,” the Jayapura Archaeologist Center stated here on Friday (20/2/2015).

According to the agency, the facility is covered with trees and weeds; so, only the remains of a water channel is recognizable. Based on historical archives, Japanese soldiers had ordered the Muara Tami local people to construct the airfield on October 10, 1943.

The local people cut sago trees and also filled swamps in the location and hardened the field using stones and gravels. Historical archives also revealed that Japanese soldiers deployed medium bomber aircraft Mitsubishi G3M1.

According to the research agency, Japanese soldiers chose Muara Tami area as their airfield because the region had a flat field and was surrounded by hilly areas near the Humboldt Gulf.
“American soldiers led by General Douglas McArthur conquered the airfield on April 26, 1944,” the center stated.

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The research agency added the Jayapura administration should clear the field of trees and bushes and preserve it as a historical tourism site.
“They should install an information board explaining the history of the airfield. The site can be a new destination for tourists who visit the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border areas in Skouw Yambe,” the archaeologist center pointed out. (*)

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