Additional Solomon Islands Airfields

As is the case with all long marches, they must begin with a single first step. Guadalcanal was that first step. The long march was to Tokyo and it's about to begin again. At dawn the Marines will hit the beach and secure the airfield there. If all goes well it will be renamed Henderson field. If the Americans continue to have their way eventually all tthe islands known as the Solomon Islands will be theirs. Command either the Japanese or American land, sea and ground forces and rewrite the history of this critical struggle.
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Additional Solomon Islands Airfields

Post by timerover51 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:00 pm

I came across the following operational idea by the Japanese in a monograph written by the Japanese following the end of the war. It is Japanese Monograph No. 98, Southeast Area Naval Operations, Part 1, May 1942 - February 1943.
(e) For air operations in the SOLOMON area, the Navy will establish an airfield near ShORTLAND ISLAND [Shortland Island is near the southern tip of Bougainville Island] by mid-Docember. The Army and Navy will jointly establish at least two operational fields on SANTA ISABEL Island or NEW GEORGIA Island, and if possible, another field on the western section of GUADALCANAL.
The Imperial Headquarters Navy Staff Directive that this was based on was issued 15 November 1942, following the destruction of the last major Japanese attempt to reach Guadacanal with a large transport convoy.

Having flown over Santa Isabel Island, the only way to build an airfield there is level a couple of mountains. As for New Georgia, about the only two possible places are Munda, where the Japanese did build an airstrip, and Segi Point, where we built an airstrip. Again, this is based on flying over the island. The strip at Vila, on Kolumbangara, is on the only possible spot on that island to put a strip, but is limited by the surrounding area being so cut up with ravines as to make building a dispersal area quite difficult. Note, I have walked on the runway at Vila and Munda, along with Henderson Field.

As for the comment on putting in a second field on Guadalcanal on the western portion, that might be possible, although lack of good landing beaches would make it difficult. However, in the following paragraphs of the monograph, the difficulty of simply supplying the existing Japanese forces on Guadalcanal is thoroughly discussed, with the use of supply drums being dropped from destroyers being viewed as the best possible expedient. It would appear that the staff at Imperial General Headquarters for the Navy had no concept of what the actual conditions were in the Solomon Islands.

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Re: Additional Solomon Islands Airfields

Post by Caractacus » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:56 pm


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