|Historical Name of Location||Yomitan, Okinawa, Japan|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseKita Airfield was built by the Japanese Army in 1944 at the village of Yomitan, which was situated on the western coast of Okinawa island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It was captured by US forces on 1 Apr 1945, the first day of the invasion of the island. It was quickly repaired and put into action against Japanese positions in the region. Named Yontan Airfield by the Americans, it quickly grew into a major base for aircraft belonging to US Army, US Navy, and US Marine Corps. At the end of the war, after dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, the B-29 bomber Bockscar landed at Yontan after the mission.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Yontan remained an active base for the US occupation forces until 1947, at which time it was only used as an auxiliary installaion, housing only communications, support, and parachute training units. In the mid-1950s, it was placed in reserve status. In 1972, the US occupation returned Okinawa to Japan, and the Japanese government allowed US forces to continue operating the base. In the late 1970s, the size of the base shrank after peripheral lands were released into the civilian sector, and by Apr 1978 the base was situated on only 191 acres of land. On 27 Jul 1978, Yontan was transferred from the US Air Force to US Navy. On 9 Oct 1980, control of the base was transferred to the US Marine Corps. The base was decommissioned in Dec 2006. The land had since been developed into village office administration buildings, baseball fields, running tracks, and other public facilities.
Last Major Update: Jul 2019
Yontan Airfield Interactive Map
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|WW2-Era Place Name||Yomitan, Okinawa, Japan|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945