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TSILI TSILI, North East New Guinea
 

With Marilinan suitable only for C-47's, planners determined that a suitable fighter field could be built about 35 miles to the north of Marilinan at Tsili Tsili.

The airfield building program in support of the offensive on Lae 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.

After a 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.

General Kenney 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.'

 

 

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