GOOLMAN AIRFIELD, QLD
RELIEF LANDING GROUND (RLG)
FOR AMBERLEY AIRFIELD
Goolman air field was a Relief Landing Ground for Amberley airfield. Goolman is a small railway siding near Purga siding on the old Fassifern branch rail line running south of Ipswich. Goolman rail siding is about 3.6 miles south west of Ripley. Turn off Highway 15 near Yamanto and travel south on Highway 93.
Goolman RLG was initially established in anticipation of a Service Flying Training School which was supposed to have been established at Amberley.
Contour surveys for the Goolman RLG were being prepared in early 1942.Work commenced on the airfield in about March 1942. On 10 July 1942, Flight Lieutenant Keays, the RAAF's Headquarters Field Liaison Officer reported that formation of the airfield had been completed and that gravelling would be completed in the next week or so. The Department of the Interior had drilled extensively for water with no success.
The locations for Dispersal Points had to be changed after the property owner had started to chop down a number of trees in the area. He was ordered not to chop down any more trees.
A Detachment of No. 11 Repair and Salvage Unit RAAF was based at Goolman in the 2nd half of 1943. They serviced Boomerang aircraft in primitive workshop conditions. Some very rough, canvas covered "Hangars" were erected. Some of the camp buildings at Goolman were made from old aircraft packing cases. The wreck of No. 2 Aerial Ambulance Unit DH-84 Dragon A34-19 was one of the aircraft they had to attempt to salvage. It was returned to 3 AD for write off. The pilot of this aircraft, F/O Thorley was killed in this accident at Toogoolawah airfield on 17 September 1943.
By August 1943, a 200 yard length at each end of the runway at Goolman was sealed with bitumen.
It is believed that crated engines and crated aircraft were stored at Goolman airfield. Many American aircraft were assembled at nearby Amberley airfield in the early part of the war. Jim Steenson from an "erection squadron" recollects crated aircraft and engines being stored at a site near Amberley airfield.
"Wyaralong" was a property located a few miles south of Goolma airfield. It was owned by the Philp family. A part of "Wyaralong" was used as a Bombing and Gunnery Range by the RAAF during WW2.
I would love to
hear from anyone
who was based at Goolman airfield during WW2.
"Queensland Airfields WW2 - 50 Years
by Roger R. Marks
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© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 29 September 2002
This page last updated 27 December 2014