Nanyuan Airfield file photo [27029]

Nanyuan Airfield

Type   Airfield
Historical Name of Location   Beiping, China


ww2dbaseThe first aircraft flight in China took place in Beijing during an air show in 1904. In Aug 1910, the Qing Dynasty government established the country's first airfield at the site of the air show, naming it Nanyuan; an aircraft factory was also built at the same site. In 1913, after the fall of Qing and the establishment of the republic, the country's first air academy was established at Nanyuan, although the academy would cease operations before long. During WW2, after the airfield's capture by the Japanese in 1937, the fields were expanded, and its air traffic control equipment was upgraded. The Japanese mainly used Nanyuan as a training field for its military. At the end of the war, it featured five runways (the longest of which was 1.25 miles long) and a grass infield suitable for takeoffs and landings by fighters. It was home to US Marine Corps night fighter squadrons VMF (N)-533 and VMF (N)-541 shortly after the end of WW2. Between 1945 and 1948, it was the main airport for Nationalist government business at the city of Beiping. It was captured by Communist forces in 1948, and in the following year it became the site of the formation of the first flying brigade of the Communist air force. In 1986, dual civilian-military use began. Nanyuan continues to be used by both military and civilian capacities at the time of this writing in 2017, although its civilian functions are planned to be taken over by the currently-under-construction Daxing airport.

Frank Shaw, History of US Marine Corps Operations in World War II, Volume V: Victory and Occupation

Last Major Update: Aug 2017

Nanyuan Airfield Interactive Map


F7F Tigercat night fighters of US Marine Corps squadron VMF(N)-531 at Nanyuan Airfield, Beiping, China, Dec 1945

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Beiping, China
Lat/Long 39.7825, 116.3878
Nanyuan Airfield Photo Gallery
F7F Tigercat night fighters of US Marine Corps squadron VMF(N)-531 at Nanyuan Airfield, Beiping, China, Dec 1945

Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945