AITKENVALE WEIR AIRFIELD
TOWNSVILLE AREA
DURING WW2

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Latitude 19, 19' S., Longitude 146, 44'E.

 

Aitkenvale Weir airfield near the Black Weir in Ross River

 


(Photo supplied by Graham Roberts) 

Aitkenvale Weir airfield can be seen in the distance to the top right hand side of the photograph

The Aitkenvale Weir airfield was constructed adjacent to the Weir State School at the Upper Ross River area of Townsville during early 1942. It was finished and available for use on 9 April 1942. It was initially a gravelled airfield. It later became a 4,500 feet sealed runway.

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Plan of Aitkenvale Weir airfield

The Aitkenvale Weir airfield was first used by the Kittyhawks of 76 Squadron RAAF which had moved from Archerfield airfield in Brisbane on 15 April 1942. The Kittyhawks were usually dispersed amongst the trees on the northern side halfway along the length of the runway. 76 Squadron armament section was located nearby. The Squadron's camp was located more slightly to the north of this area.

76 Squadron moved to Milne Bay, in New Guinea in July 1942.

The Gleeson family home at Upper Ross River was commandeered by the RAAF as a Headquarters and accommodation for 76 Squadron.

Students at the nearby Weir State School were greatly distracted by the landings and take-offs of the aircraft. The school was eventually commandeered to be used as an Orderly Room and a Medical Centre.  The airstrip ran back towards the existing suburb of Cranbrook. It traversed the two existing suburbs of Kirwan and Cranbrook.  The school was just south of the southern end of the strip.

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Map showing location of school age children
near the Aitkenvale Weir airfield

84 Squadron RAAF was reformed at the Aitkenvale Weir airfield. 84 Squadron moved their Kittyhawks to Macrossan on 22 June 1944 and then relocated to Ross River airfield on 17 November 1944.

AIRCRAFT CRASHES AT AITKENVALE AIRFIELD

abt Nov 43 Aitkenvale RAAF P-40N Kittyhawk A29-498 (#42-104720)
19 Jun 44 Aitkenvale Weir airfield RAAF Kittyhawk A29-704

 

Were you based at Aitkenvale Weir airfield?

 

Do you have any photos of Aitkenvale airfield?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Graham Roberts and Kevin Parkes for their assistance with this home page.

 

BOOK REFERENCES

"Queensland Airfields WW2 - 50 Years on"
by Roger R. Marks

 

 

 

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Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 22 July 2002

This page last updated 28 March 2013