COOMALIE CREEK AIRFIELD
NORTHERN TERRITORY
DURING WW2

Hline.gif (2424 bytes)

visits since 26 December 2001

 

Fighter Guide Map

Coomalie Creek airfield was a World War 2 airfield located in the Northern Territory. The North West Area Headquarters were located approximately 6 kms south along the Stuart Highway. Coomalie Creek was located only about 10 miles from Batchelor airfield.

In the first weeks in November 1942, when 31 Squadron RAAF arrived at Coomalie Creek with their Beaufighters, Coomalie Creek airfield was still very new. Workmen were still finishing off the earthworks and the few essential camp buildings. The airfield was only available for limited use and aircraft had to take care not to collide with machinery or workmen.

When 31 Squadron arrived, everyone was in tents. The only buildings were the messes, cookhouses and a storeroom. Showers and toilets were all in the open. They were soon able to get a roof for the toilets. An orderly room, sick quarters and an operations/intelligence room were then built using voluntary labour. Slit trenches were also built in case of Japanese air raids.

31 Squadron flew their first operational mission out of Coomalie Creek on 17 November when six Beaufighters made strafing attacks on Moabissi and Bobanaro on Timor.

In late November 1944, three C-47's from 34 Squadron RAAF were detached to Coomalie airfield. 34 Squadron started to move to Morotai on 15 February 1945. They became fully operational at Morotai on 12 April 1945.

Peter R Demaine was posted to 31 Squadron at Coomalie Creek on 29 April 1944 as a Wireless/Navigator with his pilot David Doughton. The C-47's from 34 Squadron RAAF assisted in the move of 31 Squadron from Coomalie Creek to Noemfoor Island on 1 December 1944 and then to Morotai on 7 December 1944. David Doughton and Peter Demaine took part in a long sortie from Noemfoor on 6 December 1944 and they took part, in the first joint strike with 30 Squadron, from Morotai on 9 December 1944 as part of RAAF 77 (Attack) Wing. David Doughton and Peter Demaine finished their posting with 31 Squadron on 14 January 1945 when they left Morotai.

 

p920783.jpg (87370 bytes) No 31 Squadron, Coomalie, March 1944. Beaufighter at Potshot

Charles Eaton Photographic Collection via Mitch Williamson

The airfield still existed in 1995 and was then part of Coomalie Farm owned by Richard Luxton, a lecturer in Architecture at the University of Northern Territory in Darwin. Members of 31 Squadron RAAF revisited Coomalie Creek Airfield in August 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary. The saw a replica of their Squadron Chapel that had been rebuilt at Coomalie Creek. They had laid a 31 Squadron RAAF memorial plaque there back in 1988.

 

31 Squadron RAAF - Beaufighter
(Another Internet site on 31 Squadron by Alan Brassil)

 

UNITS BASED AT COOMALIE CREEK
No. 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit (1PRU) RAAF (Wirraways, Buffalos, Lancers, Lightnings and Mosquitioes)
31 Squadron RAAF (Beaufighters)

Section 51 Special Wireless Group were based near Coomalie Creek airfield. They were a secret intercept group who monitored Japanese radio signals.

 

MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES IN THE COOMALIE CREEK AREA DURING WW2

abt Nov 42 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-65
23 Nov 42 near Coomalie Creek Japanese Japanese bomber shot down during bombing raid on Coomalie Creek airfield
23 Nov 42 near Coomalie Creek Japanese Japanese bomber shot down during bombing raid on Coomalie Creek airfield
abt Dec 42 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-45
27 Jan 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF F.VC Spitfire A58-55 (BR549), mid air collision with A58-73 (see below)
27 Jan 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF F.VC Spitfire A58-73 (BS184), mid air collision with A58-55 (see above), 1 killed
25 Feb 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter ?
abt Mar 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-66
abt Mar 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-81
2 Mar 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-31
21 May 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter ?
31 May 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-103
abt Jun 43 Coomalie CReek RAAF Beaufighter A19-62
abt 7 Jun 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-112
21 Nov 43 10 miles inland from Junction Bay (Coomalie Creek area) RAAF Beaufighter A19-145
abt Nov 43 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-82
abt Apr 44 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-98
abt Jul 44 near Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-193
abt Aug 44 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A19-172
abt Nov 44 Coomalie Creek RAAF Beaufighter A8-17
7 Mar 45 Coomalie Creek RAAF Mosquito A52-26, crashed on landing
abt Jun 45 Coomalie Creek RAAF Mosquito A52-611
abt Aug 45 Coomalie Creek RAAF Mosquito A52-605

 

JAPANESE AIR RAIDS AT COOMALIE CREEK AIRFIELD

23 Nov 42 Coomalie Creek airfield
27 Nov 42 (03:56 - 04:46 am) Coomalie Creek airfield, Hughes & Strauss airfields were also bombed
2 Mar 43 (2:34 pm) Coomalie Creek airfield
13 Aug 43 (11:12 pm) Coomalie Creek airfield, Fenton airfield was also bombed
21 Aug 43 (03:07 am) Coomalie Creek airfield, Fenton airfield was also bombed
10 Nov 43 Coomalie Creek airfield

 

Full size versions of the above photos are available on
my "Australia @ War" CD-Rom

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Coomalie Charlie's Commandos - 31 Squadron RAAF"
"Beaufighters at Darwin 1942-43"
by Kenneth Neal McDonald, DFC

 

In Association with Amazon.com

Heaps of WW2
books available at
Amazon.com

                          "Australia @ War"
                          

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2004

Disclaimer

Click here to E-Mail me
any information or photographs


 Australia @ War
Available on CD-Rom

Peter Dunn's
explode.gif (15799 bytes) AUSTRALIA @ WAR explode.gif (15799 bytes)
WWW.OZATWAR.COM


Do you need a holiday!
Sun, surf, beautiful beaches and lots more!


  Genealogy Software
190 Mbytes of Genealogy Indexes & Programs

This page first produced 25 October 1999

This page last updated 25 October 2011