Ashiya AB

Ashiya Air Field
芦屋飛行場
Ashiya Hikōjō
IATA: noneICAO: RJFA
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Location Ashiya, Japan
Elevation AMSL 98 ft / 30 m
Coordinates 33°52′53″N 130°39′06″E / 33.88139°N 130.65167°E / 33.88139; 130.65167Coordinates: 33°52′53″N 130°39′06″E / 33.88139°N 130.65167°E / 33.88139; 130.65167

Map
RJFA
RJFA
Location in Japan
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 1,640 5,381 Concrete
Source: Japanese AIP at AIS Japan[1]

Ashiya Air Field (芦屋飛行場 Ashiya Hikōjō?) (ICAO: RJFA) is a military airdrome of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Ashiya Airbase (芦屋基地 Ashiya Kitchi?). It is located 0.5 NM (0.93 km; 0.58 mi) north[1] of Ashiya in the Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.

History

Ashiya Airfield was established as a Japanese Army Air Force facility in 1944, and was used primarily as a defensive airfield, launching interceptors (Nakajima Ki-84) against attacking USAAF B-29 Superfortress bombers.

Taken over in October 1945 by the Occupying American forces, it was turned into a salvage/scrapping facility by the USAAF 92d Air Service Squadron to destroy former Japanese military aircraft and other equipment. Attacked on several occasions during the war, it was repaired for Fifth Air Force use as an occupation facility. The 85th Airdrome Squadron assumed control of the station on 3 April 1946; with Headquarters, 315th Bombardment Wing moving into the facility on 20 May.

On 20 May 1946, the airfield was reactivated for operational use, with the 8th Fighter Group moving to Ashiya from Fukuoka Airfield, operating P-51D Mustangs. During the postwar Occupation Era, a series of American Air Force units were assigned:

With the eruption of the Korean War in June, 1950, combat missions over South Korea were flown from Ashiya by the USAF 35th and 18th Fighter Groups, with first-generation F-80 Shooting Star jet fighters. The 35th moved to Pohang Airfield (K-3), South Korea in July, being replaced by the 18th. When Pusan East (K-9) Air Base was ready in September, the group also moved to the forward base.

The runway at the airfield was not well-suited for jet fighter operations, as well as the distance from the combat areas stretched the endurance of the early jets. When the 18th Fighter Group moved out in September 1950, Ashiya became a transport base, with C-54 Skymaster and C-119 Flying Boxcars being operated from the airfield. Both during the Korean War and in its aftermath, a series of Far East Air Force troop carrier groups were assigned:

In 1960, with the need for additional USAF forces in Europe and budget restrictions, Ashiya Air Base was closed by the United States, being returned to the Japanese government.

See also

References

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
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