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    Garbutt Field (RAAF Townsville) QLD Australia

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USAAF c1943

PacificWrecks.com
USAAF c1944

Location
Located at Townsville. Overlooking the airfield is Castle Hill. Ofshore is Magnetic Island. Also known as "Garbutt Airfield".

Construction
Built prior to the war and owned by the Townsville city council.

Wartime History
During the war, it was developed into a major base for both the USAAF and RAAF. At the hight of its use, it was one of the buiest airfields in all of Queensland. 5th AF missions flown from Garbutt were given the abreviation "TOW" for Townsville.

Units Based at Garbutt
Many units from both the RAAF and USAAF were based or transisted thru the strip.
USAAF Units
7th BG, 88th RS [436th BS] (B-17) [USN control] from Fiji Feb 20, 1942 - ?
6th PRG, 8th PRS (F-4) Brisbane May 2, 1942 - September 9, 1942 14 Mile Drome
8th FG, 35th FS (P-39) July 27, 1942 - September 18, 1942
8 FG ... 36 FS ... 04.04.42 - 26.04.42 & 30.06.42 - 18.09.42
35th FG, 39th FS (P-38) July 26, 1942 - October 18, 1942 to 14 Mile
38th BG, 405th BS (B-25) Breddan Sept 30, 42 - Oct 25,942 Port Moresby
35 FG, 40 FS (P-39) April 1942 - June 2, 1942 and again July 30 - Nove 25, 1942
19th BG, 435th BS (B-17) "Kangaroo Squadron" Feb 1942 - Nov 15, 1942 to USA
374 TCG, 6 TCS (C-47) October 2, 1943 - August 26, 1944
374 TCG, 22 TCS (C-47) Essendon Oct 11, 42 - Jan 24, 43 returns Oct 4, 43 - Aug 29, 44
374 TCG, 33 TCS (C-47) Oct 5, 43 - April 44
317 TCG, 39 TCS (C-47) Jan 22, 42 - Feb 22, 42
317 TCG, 40 TCS (C-47) Jan 23, 43 - Oct 4, 43
317 TCG, 41 TCS (C-47) Jan 23, 43 - May 10, 43
317 TCG, 46 TCS (C-47) Jan 23, 43 - Oct 1, 43
6 PRG, 8 PRS (F4 [A Flight] May 8, 42 - August 42
RAAF Units
5 Comm Flt - November 30, 1942 - May 25, 1946
22 Squadron - September 22, 1942 - October 19, 1942
24 SQN ... 14.10.40 - 01.12.41 & 26.02.42 - 30.07.42
35 SQN ... 31.03.45 - 10.06.46
36 SQN ... 20.02.44 - 19.08.46
40 SQN ... 31.03.44 - 22.07.44
41 SQN ... 21.08.42 - 15.05.44
75 SQN ... 04.03.42 - 21.03.42 & 11.05.42 - 17.05.42
77 SQN ... 26.01.43 - 13.02.43
82 SQN ... 30.04.44 - 25.09.44
2 AAU (Air Ambulance Unit) ... 03.04.43 - 10.01.44
23 OBU (Operational Base Unit) ... 03.07.42 - 15.12.44
33 OBU ... 28.04.43 - 06.06.46
44 OBU ... 23.12.42 - 04.03.43
13 Aircraft Repair Depot (Det) ... 11.43 - 12.43
5 RSU (Repair & Salvage Unit) ... 26.05.44 - 11.03.45
12 Mobile Fighter Sector HQ ... 11.03.42 - 24.03.43
43 Radar Stn ... 24.08.42 - 08.10.42

Today
Post war, it was taken over by the Australian Defense Department as 'RAAF Townsville'. It is still in use as a civilian airport and RAAF base.

4th Air Depot
This was a large repair and overhaul area of the base, where combat configurations for B-25's to B-25 strafers were completed. Plus, other major repairs and overhauls of fighters and bombers.

Keith Hopper adds:
"The former 4 ADG depot complex has been built over in the last 24 months, and the accomodation area at the base of Mount Louisa has been covered by houses within
the last five years."

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Last Updated
December 30, 2013

 

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