RAAF Base Townsville

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RAAF Townsville.jpg
RAAF Base Townsville.jpg

Brief History

During October 1940, the first RAAF aircraft flew into the newly established RAAF Station Garbutt - named after the Garbutt Bros who had owned large slaughtering yards in the area. On 12 Dec 1940 the airport was transferred from the Townsville Town Council to the Department of Defence. Within a year, three sealed, 5,000 feet (1,524m) runways were under construction, and were completed just before the first USAF aircraft arrived in February 1942. Work had also commenced on a number of satellite airfields around Townsville.

From November 1942 the airfield was under the control of the ranking US Airforce commander. However, Station HQ Townsville remained, and in March 1942 two RAAF fighter squadrons were formed at Townsville before moving north to Papua. Townsville was raided on three occasions by the Japanese long-range flying boats based in Rabaul, but caused little damage. USAF Aircraft based at Townsville flew a number of missions against the Japanese fleet in what became known as the Battle of the Coral Sea. RAAF and USAF aircraft operated out of Townsville until the end of the war in the Pacific

Unit Personnel


Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 1 Bases, Supporting Organisations - Australian Government Publishing Service - 160 - 163.

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