Japan in Northwest Thailand during World War II

N18°34.06 E99°02.48 Lamphun Airstrip (Th: ทางวิ่ง ลำพูน / Jp: ランプーン 滑走路 )
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Route 0011
Station 00z


Text Notes

January 1944

Allied intelligence reported that the airstrip actually had some use, with an aircraft sighted there near the end of December 1943. Unfortunately the aircraft was not identified.

And, probably following the misinterpretation of an aerial photo analyst, the text under "(2) Development" continued the fiction of the strip as oriented "north-south".[14]

The following corrections page appears to be referring to a page not currently available, but which would appear similar in format to the first page under April 1944 below.[15]

Jan 1944 status

February 1944


Feb 1944 status







14.^ Airfield Report No. 18, Jan 1944, Record of Airfield Development, Thailand, p 27 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 470).




















15.^ Airfield Report No. 18, Jan 1944, Part II, Amendment No 2, Amendments to Thailand Aerodromes List, p 36 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 475).


















16.^ Airfield Report No. 19, Feb 1944, Record of Airfield Development and Activity, Thailand, p 24 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 524).



March 1944

Despite some repairs, the airstrip was judged "At present out of operation". One critically important point is the correct presentation of the alignment of the airstrip: it is definitely not north-south as previously described; unfortunately that revelation did not carry through to future reports.[17]

Schematic of Lamphun airstrip March 1944

Text Notes

April 1944

Here the airstrip gets a more formal treatment, probably due less to its importance than to the growing availability of Allied manpower to standardize reporting procedures:[18]

Apr 1944 descrip

Curiously, as in December 1943, another aircraft was sighted four months later, in March 1944, again not identified:[19]

Apr 1944 status

May 1944

Further minor activity at the airstrip: two sightings of small aircraft near the end of April 1944; again, unfortunately, these aircraft are not identified.[20]

May 1944 status

July 1944

A routine update in a different format:[21]

July 1944 descrip

The GRP entry "ELG" means "Emergency Landing Group".

The difficult-to-read details under "Location" are:

2 mi. E of Lambhun, a town on W bank of Nam Nuang River
1/3 mi. NE of Lambhun/Kun Tan RR
1/2 mi. NE of Lambhun/Ban Pa Kam road
1 1/4 mi. ESE of RR bridge over Nam Nuang River
14 mi. SSE of Chiengmai

October 1944

The term, "infrequent cover", ie, "infrequent coverage", suggests that Allied intelligence did not consider the Lamphun airstrip significant.[22]

Oct 1944 descrip

December 1944

This December monthly report shows a higher level of sophistication in printing composition than that in April. Substantively, the primary difference in the following document (December 1944) from that in April 1944 lies in the clear statement that the airstrip is "parallel to and 600 yards E of the railway line". Unfortunately, that statement is followed by "LAMBHUN-LAMPANG railway runs NNW-SSE (337°-157°) . . ."  In actual fact, the direction, 319°, is rather closer to NW-SE (315°-135°).[23]

Dec 1944 descrip

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17.^ Plans of Airfields in Fench Indo-China and Siam, Publication No 3II (South-East Asia Translation and Interrogation Center, 30 Nov 1944) (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8023, p 469).


18.^ Airfield Report No. 21, Apr 1944, unnumbered page (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 668).

























19.^ Airfield Report No. 21, Apr 1944, Record of Airfield Development and Activity, Thailand, p XVII (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 713).




















20.^ Airfield Report No 22, May 1944, Record of Airfield Activity and Development, Thailand, p 14, (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 752).



















21.^ Provisional Airfield List-Southeast Asia (Burma, French Indo-China, Malaya, Thailand), Enemy Airfield Information, 2? Jul 1944, p 62 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A1284, p 1412).





















22.^ Airfield Report No 27, Oct 1944, Record of Airfield Activity and Development, Thailand, p 9 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 1019).






















23.^ Airfield Report No 29, Dec 1944, unnumbered page (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055, p 1150).