Northwest Thailand during World War II

Mae Mo Landing Ground (Th: ท่าอากาศยานแม่เมาะ / Jp: マイモ滑走路)
Lampang Province
Page 2 of 4
Thai Route 0001
Sta 000.00
offset 0.8km south


Text Notes

January 1945

A map of the Lampang Airfield Group displays this table:[14]


The entry above for "Memoh" reads:

First observed
25 April 1944
Runway or strips
1700 Yds
1700 Yds
NS [north-south] Rolled earth
NE SW being installed
Type of A/C seen in last 12 months
NS: Liable to become
unserviceable after rain.
NE-SW: Probably all weather
when complete
Construction being accelerated.

In addition, the Lampang Airfield Group map provides this inset location guide for Mae Mo:


All the place names appear on Royal Thai Survey Department (RTSD) map 4945 IV (2007) except for the most southerly two, "Ban Go" and "Ban Mea Mo". Both would appear to have been absorbed by the open pit mine excavation.

The photo below, published with north askew, has been rotated so that its north points towards the top of this page. The full title of the aerial photo below is "Memoh Landing Ground in the Lampang Group, Siam". While the accompanying text does not date the photo, it was published in the January 1945 edition of Airfield Reports: however it appears identical to the aerial photo dated 11 November 1944 (on the previous webpage).


05, 13 January 1945: Mae Mo was aerial photographed two weeks in a row --- 05 and 13 January 1945:

[16a] adsf


13 January 1945: While this brief paragraph is undated, comments in the same section about other air facilities in the immediate area were dated 13 January 1945:


13 February 1945: This sketch finally clearly located the Mae Mo airstrip (note that the sketch is here not oriented with north to the top of the page):


TRANSCRIPT of relevant text in the box above:

Sketch Plan of MEMOH L/G [Landing Ground]
18°25' N 99°45' E provisional
Map: THAILAND NE/47J, 1941 Edition
Correct to 5M/124 (13-2-45)
CPIC / PLANS/361/445 ACSEA/4300/G

This L/G is being constructed by the Japanese and was first seen in Sep/44.
It lies in a thickly forested area.

LANDING AREA: Two intersecting strips with flying gaps.
SERVICEABILITY: NE-SW strip serviceable. N-S strip under construction.
DISPERSAL: Taxi-tracks rolled or lightly surfaced.
AIRCRAFT SHELTERS: 8 large shelters dispersed in clearings.
AIRCRAFT ACTIVITY: No aircraft has been seen on this L/G.

The diagram from the report page above is extracted, reoriented with north to the top of the page, and annotated to clarify muddy text:

USAF sketch marked up 1945

Here the diagram above is rescaled and superimposed on a current Google Earth image of the area:


17 February 1945

And a month later, another aerial photo order:


24 March 1945

Finally, a comment:



Occasional cover failed to reveal presence of any aircraft (24/Mar/45)

This comment apparently become a conclusion, for no further 21PRS flights were ordered over Mae Mo (though another PRS could have received such orders).

April 1945

In this month, the Mae Mo airstrip(s) received considerable attention.

The following amendment in Airport Report No. 33 is assumed to refer to the last detailed report on the Mae Mo "Landing Ground" in Airfield Report No. 28, November 1944 (not the Siam (Thailand): List of Airfields and Seaplane Stations, "Memoh Landing Ground" report in December 1944).


Comparison of old and new data (all dimensions are in yards):

Runway Nov 1944 Apr 1945
N-S 1,700/1,800 x 55 1,800 x 55
NE-SW 1,700/1,800 x 100 1,800 x 130

May 1945

Mae Mo was identified as under Japanese control in Airfield Report No. 27 in October 1944. Here all Thai "Airfield Completely Under Japanese Control" are grouped together (the alternative designation is "Joint Control"):


TRANSCRIPT of applicable text:

Memoh and Hangsat are apparently disused at present.

And that conclusion is echoed a few pages later in the report:



No references to Mae Mo Landing Ground past April 1945 have been found in USAAF reports.




14.^ Airfield Report No. 31, Feb 1945, "Lampang Airfield Group" (map) (extract), unnumbered page
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p0003).

Note that the table is dated January 1945 and is carried here chronologically as in that month; however, the table was actually published in the February edition of the Airfield Report.







15.^ ibid.

























16.^ Airfield Report No. 30, Jan 1945, unnumbered page (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055 p1253).



























16a.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 5 MA 4, 05 Jan 1945 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0815).













16b.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 5 MA 9, 13 Jan 1945 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0807).














16c.^ Airfield Report No. 30, Jan 1945, "Record of Airfield Activity and Development", p 7 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8055 p1270).


















16d.^ Airfield Report No. 33, Apr 1945, "Memoh L/G", unnumbered page
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p0175).


































16e.^ ibid (extract) superimposed on Google Earth view. Annotated by author using Microsoft Publisher.


























16f.^ "Memoh L/G", ibid (extract) superimposed on Google Earth view of Ban Pang area, Mae Mo District. Assembled using Adobe Fireworks and Photoshop; annotated using Microsoft Publisher; all by author.














17.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 5 MA 39, 17 Feb 1945 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0769).















18.^ Airfield Report No. 32, Mar 1945, "Record of Aircraft [sic] Activity & Development", p 7
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p0126).











19. (deleted)
















20.^ Airfield Report No. 33, Apr 1945, "Part II. Amendments to Airfield Lists - Siam", p 11 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p0174).





21-24. (deleted).























25.^ Airfield Report No. 34, May 1945, p i (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p0294).


















26.^ Airfield Report No. 34, May 1945, "Record of Airfield Activity and Development", p (3) (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p0302).