View Full Version : Wartime maps/Photos of Imphal area and airfields

20th November 2013, 21:22
Do any members have war time maps or drawings of Imphal airfield and its surroundings?

Imphal apparently had two airfields - Koirengei (now abandoned) http://goo.gl/maps/Y6Jtm and Palel (present day airfield) http://goo.gl/maps/3NnLA

The reason for this is I am trying to locate the approximate area where this marker for Flying Officer Kartar Singh Saund of No.2 Squadron RIAF (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?12631-Fg-Offr-K-S-Saund-died-5-May-1943-Imphal) was built in 1945 (As seen in this photo) - apparently at the crash site.

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Galleries/3901-2/12.jpg (http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Galleries/History/WW2/KSSaund/12.jpg.html)

The kind folks at Facebook - Imphal Campaign (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Imphal-Campaign-WW2/107071002687155) seem to think it is Koirengei airfield . The mountain in the third photo seem to confirm it - North of Imphal looking North.

Since the marker was supposedly built outside the airfield perimeter, I was wondering if there would be any source that will show us the war time airfield layout..that would help us locate the possible area of where the marker might be.

Matt Poole
21st November 2013, 00:26
Hi, Jagan,

There apparently were six airfields in the Imphal area, per this website:


This source conflicts with your posted info on Palel. You have matched it to the present-day Imphal Airport, on the southwest side of the town. However, the above website notes it's wartime name as Tulihal, not Palel. I have not pinpointed Palel...yet.

Koirengei may have been better known as Imphal Main during the war. I found a plan of this somewhere online recently...and I forgot to take notes after copying the image. The plan definitely matches up with the location you have pinpointed, along the road out of Imphal to the NNW. A very obvious scar is visible on Google imagery.

I just haven't studied the mountains in the area to match it up with the ground photo to which you linked us.

But I have some fair US National Archives air photos of Imphal Main (Koirengei) dated 16 April 1944 -- a perfect match to the plan drawing of the airfield. Will send them to you by e-mail shortly.

Raj, from the Facebook Imphal Campaign gang, lives in Imphal, so he might be able to even more positively match up the location to your photo, or snoop around for evidence. Otherwise, note the e-mail at the bottom of the above-copied website. Perhaps this webmaster can help you. He likely knows where all six airfields are located.

I also have so-so quality air photo coverage of Kangla, a simple landing ground in the rice paddies on the NE side of Imphal. And maybe I have so-so coverage of Tulihal (the present Imphal Airport), on the SW side of town. Will have to snoop in my files. I think that's all I have at this time.

I'll send them directly to you, Jagan. I also tried posting the Imphal Main air photo and sketchmap to the RAF Commands Forum's photo section. Oops...I see that I posted the air photo 3 times, so Jagan, if you want, kindly delete two of the three. Thanks.

If I take the time to study Google Earth a bit, and I can offer any opinion on where the memorial matches up to, I'll certainly post another message.

Cheers for now,


21st November 2013, 02:40

Tulihal it is! I had a senior moment when I typed Palel. The sketch and the images you posted are fantastic.

Before I saw the sketch, I was of the opinion that the memorial/marker was way to the east of the runway that runs 16-34. The sketch shows a "fighter runway" running East West. its towards the eastern end of the runway ("24") might match up with where I think the memorial might be. Let me work with the Google Earth Views and see what I can match up.. I think I am in the correct area/direction.

If I find anything worthwhile, I am going to post it on Raj's Imphal Campaign facebook page as well.

Matt Poole
21st November 2013, 03:15
Excellent, Jagan. And I have some slightly closer images (my digital camera was closer to the film) of the "fighter runway" of Imphal Main / Tulihal for you. Will send momentarily.

21st November 2013, 18:42
Thanks Matt,

Here is a composite made from the battle of Imphal website. I may be stretching here but the peaks i have highlighted seem to be the same, which would mean the black and white picture would have been taken a bit east of the present day picture

http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries/var/thumbs/forum/members/Imphal/Imphal%20-%20Looking%20North.jpg?m=1385059183 (http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries/var/resizes/forum/members/Imphal/Imphal%20-%20Looking%20North.jpg?m=1385059184)

Matt Poole
22nd November 2013, 03:24
Hi, Jagan,

It's too tough for me to commit to a strong opinion without spending more time on Google Earth, but you may be right. Good attempt! If I were on the ground at Imphal Main, which I am not and unfortunately won't be, I think it would be fairly easy to pinpoint the site.