Kunming Chengkung Airfield

Chengkung Airfield is a former World War II United States Army Air Forces airfield in China, located approximately 20 miles south-southeast of Kunming (Yunnan Province) in the People’s Republic of China.


Construction of the airfield began in November 1942, with the airfield opening on 27 January 1943. Chengkung was a major terminal for “the Hump” trans-Himalayan transport aircraft between India and China for Tenth Air Force and Air Transport Command C-47 Skytrain and C-46 Commando aircraft. In addition, Air Technical Service Commandmaintained a maintenance and supply facility at the base to support the airlift operations over the Himalayas.

In addition to the transport mission, Chengkung was used by the 374th and 375th Bombardment Squadrons, flying B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from the field beginning in March 1943. The 23d Fighter Group 76th Fighter Squadron staged P-51 Mustang fighters from the field beginning in October 1943. Also the 16th Fighter Squadron, with P-40 Warhawks arrived in October. Also photo-reconnaissance aircraft used Chengkung throughout the war, flying combat intelligence missions over Japanese-held territory until 30 September 1945 when operations ceased and the facility was closed.

Today, the airfield has been dismantled, the land being used for agriculture. The only remnants of the base are parts of the main runway, which can be discerned in aerial photography. Taxiways and dispersals are largely removed, although some remain as single-lane roads connecting agricultural fields. No evidence of buildings or the support area remain.