Marilinan suitable only for C-47's, planners determined that a
suitable fighter field could be built about 35 miles to the north of
The airfield building program in
support of the offensive on
paid off in one quick series of missions when they became a staging
area for the striking force which, from August 17th through the
21st, destroyed or rendered wholly unserviceable 309 Japanese
aircraft at Wewak.
diversion to draw attention to
Marilinan by flying in C-47's, the airbase at Tsili Tsili
was built. This ultimately did not fool the Japanese, who raided it
soon after it was opened, but they found the P-38's gone. The P-38's
had escaped by flying down the valley at tree-top level.
Tsili Tsili was one of the bases
which provided fighter cover for the 503d PIR
landing at Nadzab.
had no liking for the name Tsili Tsili (pronounced Silly Silly)
and always referred to it as
Marilinan much to the amusement of airmen, some of whom
nicknamed their commanding General 'Silly Silly.'