Air Base – Gusap, New Guinea. 1944 Video

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Air Base – Gusap, New Guinea. 1944 Video

This thirty-minute film looks back to the construction of the base in late 1943 and early 1944.

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The film has several segments with low-flying action by C-47s, P-40s, and P-47s. Many personnel is clearly shown.

Gusap consists now of two grass strips and 180 revetments. During the war, it was home to several American USAAC squadrons including the 41st Fighter Squadron (P-47’s) and 312th Bomb Group.

One veteran said of an experience at Gusap. “On one trip we were flying into Gusap, a forward mud strip that had two runways, side by side. As I leveled off to land I looked over at the other strip and a Zero was flying almost in formation with me, strafing the parked aircraft on the other strip. I put the plane down hard, pulled the mixture controls off, cut the switches, and locked the brakes. Then I turned around and yelled for everyone to bail out and run for it before I realized that I was all alone. Everyone else had already gone. I beat a hasty retreat, over the bank of a nearby creek.”

Gusap isn’t one of those places that you will instantly recognize, but this is a nice film showing real day-to-day life in Gusap at a time when it was at the front line of the battle.

Movie Review from Pacific Wreck Database Web Site

This film was taken at Gusap Airfield, in New Guinea in late 1943/1944.

Presented in high-quality digital format, released by RareAviation with a background soundtrack of musical accompaniment.

Life At Gusap – The video is a tour of Gusap airbase, from the daily tasks of life at the base, laundry, mail call, to construction work and flight. The video depicts life at the base, men assembling tents, and going about daily routines.

Also, extensive footage of the construction of the strip with bulldozers, graders, and tractors, and assistance from New Guinea villagers in building the strip.

Airplane & Aerial Footage – It has aerial footage of the completed base, showing the taxiways and aircraft on the ground, in the background is the beautiful scenery of the cloud-covered mountains of the Finisterre Range. There is footage of C-47s, P-40s, and P-47s taking off, landing, taxing, and overlying the strip.

Also, a few shots of B-25s as well. A close-up shows De Haviland’s P-40 and kill markings, as well as footage of men manning anti-aircraft machine guns around the strip. Units based at Gusap included the 41st Fighter Squadron (P-47s) and 7th and 9th Fighter Squadrons (P-40s)

For anyone interested in a rare glimpse into this one Army airbase, or if you or a relative served at ‘Gusap’ this video is highly recommended.

Shot List

  • C-47 away L to R over the valley.
  • C-47 R to L over mountain top against clouds.
  • C-47 circling L to R low over field.
  • C-47 coming in L to R & taxiing down runway from camera.
  • View of hospital area under construction for 9th Surgical & 102nd Sta. Hospital, some erected bldgs, to framework of 3 bldgs to raised tent.
  • 3 men pulling on canvas (erecting tent) on grassy field, mountains in bg to large group erecting tents.
  • Soldier with tray-leaves dispensary tent & walks toward tent.
  • Ward tent showing patients lying on cots.
  • Surgical officers & assistants performing operation in tent.
  • Men performing operation, working with instruments.
  • Tire turning rod which runs machine. Motor visible in bg.
  • Tire turning washing machine & naked man sitting on bank of stream in bg.
  • Man on tractor & various types motor equipment working ground for strip Revetment area–one foot roller on grassy field in immediate fg, others in bg. B-25 standing on field in distance.
  • Truck standing in tall grass with sign saying “Home Sweet Home” in fg. Pans view of field, B-24 in bg. Man walks thru camera range.
  • Various views of natives working on road. Grassy field in bg.
  • Carry-all & Diesel powered D-4 working on revetment. Backs of 2 men in immediate fg. (at least 1 an officer).
  • Emergency foxhole markers in strip area. Jeep backing into jungle growth–man’s back in fg.
  • Jeep pulling log out of bushy area. Two men standing in fg. Formation of fighters overhead; planes L to R.
  • Fighters circling up R to L in closer group P-47 in revetment area, bldg. in fg. Foothills in bg. (pretty shot).
  • P-47 on metal taxiway. P-47 taxiing L to R on metal strip, pans to second P-47 taxiing.
  • P-47 taxiing L to R. P-47 taxiing fast R to L down runway. P-47 in fg. taxiing L to R, another P-47 flashes past going R to L in bg.
  • P-47 coming toward camera R to L from bank of clouds in mountains.
  • C-47 taxiing down dirt strip L to R from camera.
  • Formation of B-25s R to L (10 come into camera range).
  • C-47 taxiing R to L.
  • C-47 coming in for landing R to L & taxiing down runway.
  • C-47 coming in R to L toward camera, landing.
  • C-47 taking off, flying R to L.
  • Three P-47s fly L to R past camera, pans then in formation and peeling off.
  • C-47 coming from cloud in mts. R to L, followed by 4 P-47s flashing past camera one peeling off in distance.
  • P-47 coming in and taxiing L to R.
  • Another P-47 lands & taxies L to R.
  • P-47 coming in, L to R past camera.
  • P-47 taxiing L to R, pans to another taxiing fast R to L, several others flying low to land.
  • P-47s peeling off to land.
  • C-47 coming in for landing.
  • Low angle, pans group of trucks & Jeeps full of men to group around engine of one jeep, then to trailer full of bags, man lying on hood of one Jeep.
  • B-25 returning from mission. 3 B-25s flying down L to R against sky.
  • C-47 flying circles R to L away from camera. C-47 landing R to L past camera & taxiing down strip.
  • Two men on control tower, weather sock at R, 1 man sending blinker signals.
  • Men carrying packs on runway, walking R to L (officers & EMs) pans to feet walking on muddy ground (5, then about 5 more).
  • C-47 coming in from R, past tree trunks.
  • Sign of 7th Fighter Squadron on grassy field.
  • Sign of 9th Fighter Squadron at edge of road, Jeep passes in bg, camp area visible.
  • Jeep on muddy road, going thru muddy rut.
  • Gun in gun emplacement, pans to man sitting on ground talking on phone & gunner sitting beside him eating chow.
  • Chaplain Morris going into stream with men, back view.
  • Chaplain baptizes man.
  • Gun & 2 men in gun emplacement.
  • Bulldozer & tractors working on revetment area.
  • Man at top of telephone pole working on wires.
  • Lt. Norris, Chaplain 58th Service Group, spreading altar cloth, on altar in chapel. Alert shack on fighter Strip.
  • P-40 parked in Kunai, mountains in bg. Shot over wing of plane as pilot climbs into cockpit. Pilot sitting in plane.
  • Number “13” on plane. Pans to Zero score at cockpit.
  • Zero score on plane with Lt. Rm. DeHaven printed above.
  • P-40s standing on runway.
  • P-40 standing in fg. P-40 taxiing for takeoff in bg. R to L. P-40 on strip and one taking off R to L P-40 standing on strip at foot of mountains, wing & tail of another plane visible.
  • P-40 with belly tank taking off on dirt strip R to L, mountain in immediate bg. P-40 taking off L to R.
  • P-40 with belly tank, taking off down strip. P-40 with belly tank taking off past camera & down same strip.
  • Three men wading across river Lt. Frazier nearest to view with rifle slung on his back, 2 natives carrying equipment.
  • Engineer at top of ridge.
  • Long view (from over shoulder of engineer) looking out over Ramu River Valley & GUSAP area. Mountain side across Ramu River & valley where strip is located on across strip to another view of river & valley from NE to SE.
  • P-40s parked in kunai grass, showing dispersal areas.
  • Jeep approach camera on muddy road past bldgs & men working at side of storm drainage.
  • Post Office bldg. showing sign on front, Jeep passes on road close to camera.
  • Sign on bldg “U.S Army Post Office AP0 713-Unit 2, Branch of San Francisco”.
  • Formation of 3 P-40s passing L to R in far distance.
  • Two P-40s buzzing field, men around jeeps watching in fg.
  • P-40s buzzing muddy field. P-40 landing on muddy field L to R.
  • P-40 taxiing to stop on muddy field R to L another taxies fast L to R in bg.
  • Front left side view P-40 taxiing toward camera.
  • Plane wheels taxiing R to L on muddy ground.
  • P-40 taxiing down muddy strip L to R away from camera, goes thru puddle, splashes.
  • P-40 taxiing past camera to BV down strip.
  • P-40 taxiing L to R down runway.
  • P-40 circling away against sky.
  • Pan from map on wall past head silhouette of Col. Hutchinson & Lt. Col. Wilson.
  • Col. Hutchinson, CO of Unit 2, 3rd Air Task Force.
  • Names printed on boards outside office: “Lt. Col. Woodbury” “Major Oliver” “Major Thompson”. Barracks bldg. to tents (officer’s area).
  • Painted mosquito on road sign.
  • Another sign saying “Fight Malaria” on side & “Never Quit” on another, showing jeeps comings down road toward camera.
  • Sign reading “Murderers” with picture of mosquito.
  • View of natives legs, showing him working in muddy stream with shovel. Pans to another native, then others at same task.
  • GI spraying pools with hand sprayer.
  • Malaria control jeep with motor driven sprayer being used by GI.
  • Shot across river of drainage ditch emptying into Ramu River, log & stumps in river. Upper part of sign, picture of naked girl on R reading, “Not Hard to Take”.
  • Shot showing planes parked in revetment area. Pans past control tower, LS transport taking off R to L past another flying low R to L.
  • Six C-47s parked an runway & nearby (pretty shot).
  • Aerial views of base.

Length (Minutes):

39

Usage:

These items are provided for historical and reference use only. RareAviation.com assumes no liability for any loss or damage resulting from or in any way connected to other use of this information. Not for commercial use or further dissemination.

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