World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Durand Airfield

Durand Airfield (also known as 17-Mile Drome) is a former World War II airfield near Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. It was part of a multiple-airfield complex in the Port Moresby area, located 17 miles (27 km) from Port Moresby, to the north of the Waigani swamp.

The airfield was known as '17 Mile' or sometimes 'Waigani'. Waigani swamp is located at the end of the airfield. Pilots feared crashing into during bad take offs or landings under the belief there were crocodiles in it. On November 10, 1942 it was officially renamed "Durand Airfield" to honor of MIA P-39 pilot Edward D. Durand missing on a mission against Lae.


Durand Airfield consisted of a single main runway, running roughly NW-SE, being constructed by the 808th Airborne Engineers, and completed in August 1942. The runway was separate from the dispersal and camp areas, where revetments were carved into hillsides and taxiways elevated for drainage. Gun pits built of 55 gallon drums for anti-aircraft were built on the surrounding hills, and buildings on concrete slabs, or tents on gravel from the nearby quarry.

Many squadrons rotated in and out of the Airfield during its peak usage. Major units assigned to the station were:

71st Bomb Squadron, B-25 Mitchell
405th Bomb Squadron, B-25 Mitchell
822nd Bomb Squadron, B-25 Mitchell
823rd Bomb Squadron, B-25 Mitchell

The airstrip was active during late 1942 and all of 1943 as a front-line base, It became a rear area when units moved forward to the Dobodura area.

As the airfield was located some distance from Port Moresby, the airfield has remained relatively isolated and disused since the war. There are no settlements on the airfield, only occasionally do people pass through the area searching for firewood or hunting. The runway, revetments and taxiway system are still present, but only clearly visible in the dry season when the grass has been burned away.

See also


  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.