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July 15, 1943
Richard Rudd, 1983
M. Musumeci 2006
M. Musumeci 2007
Iron Range Airfield is located at Iron Range in Queensland in Australia. Also known as Lockhart River Airport.
Built by the U.S. Army with three runways: Claude 1, Claude 2 and Gordons (bomber strip). They also built a road from Portland Roads inland to the airfield area.
Used by the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) by medium bombers and heavy bombers.
American units based at Iron Range Iron Range Airfield (Lockhart River Airport)
22nd BG, 19th BS (B-26) Woodstock September 15 42–Feb 4 43 Woodstock
22nd BG, 33rd BS (B-26) Woodstock September 29 42–Feb 4 43 Woodstock
22nd BG, HQ (B-26) Woodstock September 29, 42–Feb 4, 43 Woodstock
43rd BG, 64th BS (B-17s) ?–Oct 12, 42 Fenton
43rd BG, 65th BS (B-17s) Torrens Creek October 13, 1942–Nov 6, 42 to Mareeba
43rd BG, 403rd BS (B-17s) Torrens Creek October 17, 1942–Nov 23, 42 Turnbull
90th BG, 319th, 320th BS (B-24s) Hickam November 4, 1942–?
90th BG, 321st, 400th BS (B-24s) Hickam November 4, 1942–?
During the night of November 15-16, 1942, B-24 Liberators of the 90th Bombardment Group (90th BG) took off on their first mission against Rabaul. Due to inexperience and the the runway landing lights being too far apart and obscured by dust, B-24D "Bombs To Nip On" 41-23942 crashed destroying B-17F 41-24522 and damaging B-24D 41-23765, B-24D 41-23812 and B-24D "Big Emma" 41-23751. A total of eleven personnel were killed.
The Gordons runway is still in use today, known as "Lockhart River Airfield". The other two runways are disused since the war and overgrown.
Richard Rudd visited the area in the 1980s:
"When we bush bashed around that area cracking rocks and doing geological sampling, we found coke bottles, old helmets and on top of a hill to the east of the field, there was a tree with a large blaze cut on it, with an arrow and E, spelt out in .45 shells hammered into wood. These were dated 1941. Down by the strip on logs was a B-26(?) wing and the fuselage only of a Kittyhawk. No wings, tail and nothing from the firewall fwd. Recovered in the '70s I believe by Jack McDonald (?). Also some bits of the P-47D 42-22973 that hit into P-40N 42-105306."
Lockhart River (Iron Range) Memorial
B-26 "Kansas Comet II" 40-1433
P-40N Warhawk 42-105913
P-47D Thunderbolt Serial
Memorial News Release
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