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    Canberra Airfield (RAAF Fairbairn) ACT Australia
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Brault April 1942

Daniel Leahy 2011

Lat 35° 18' 25S Long 149° 11' 42E  Canberra Airfield is located to the east of Canberra. During World War II known as "RAAF Base at Canberra", "Canberra Aerodrome". Located at an elevation of 1,886' above sea level.

After the National Capital site was decided, this airport was developed on a prior airstrip laid down in the 1920s.

Wartime History
During 1939, Canberra Airfield was taken over by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), with an area for use by civil aviation. During World War II, used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) and Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF).

Naming Honor
Canberra Airport was renamed "RAAF Fairbairn" in honor of Australian Air Minister James V. Fairbairn killed on August 13, 1940 in the crash of Hudson A16-97 while attempting to land at Canberra Airport. Also known as "Fairbairn Airfield" or "Fairbairn Aerodrome".

Allied units based at Canberra
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
4 Squadron (Wirraway) September 29, 1940 - August 10, 1942 Camden
8 Squadron (Beaufort) reformed March 12, 1943 - May 1944 Bohle River
13 Squadron (Beaufort, Ventura) April 19, 1943 - June 9, 1944
School of Army Co-operation (Wirraway) formed December 24, 1941 - August 31, 1946 disbanded
U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF)
49th FG, 8th FS (P-40E) Melbourne February 16, 1942–April 17, 1942 departs Batchelor
Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF)
18 Squadron (5 x B-25C, C.O. Lt. Col B. J. Fiedeldij) formed April 4, 1942 - December 5, 1942 McDonald
120 Squadron (P-40 Kittyhawk) formed December 10, 1943 - Potshot March 9, 1944

After the war, some aircraft were stored at Canberra Airport. On March 19, 1962 renamed "RAAF Fairbairn".

Still in use today, known as "Canberra Airport" or "Canberra International Airport". Airport codes: ICAO: YSCB IATA: CBR. The airport has two runways: The first oriented 30/12 measures 5,509' x 148' surfaced with asphalt. The second oriented 35/17 measures 8,802' x 148' surfaced with asphalt.

'Units of the Royal Australian Air Force: A Concise History - Volume 1: Introduction, Bases, Supporting Organizations page 139
Oz@War - Fairbairn Airfield, ACT during WW2
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
April 15, 2021


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