PINE CREEK AIRFIELD, NT
DURING WWII

 

Fighter Guide Map

 

Pine Creek airfield in the Northern Territory was built by Company B and HQ Detachment of the 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion from 11 May to 16 July 1942.

The 808th built 6, 000 ft of runway 100 ft wide with 50 ft shoulders paved with 4 inches of gravel. They Also built 6,000 ft of taxiway 40 ft wide with 15 ft shoulders paved with 3 inches of gravel. The gravel for the paving was tailings from a gold mine. Apparently it made excellent pavement (a runway paved with gold!).

List of the heavy equipment that Company B used on the Pine Creek airfield:-

1--D7 Caterpillar Dozer and Carryall
2--D8 Caterpillar Angle Dozer with Carryalls (scrappers)
1--3 wheeled 10 ton roller 3axle
1--rubber tired tractor roller
1--Athey Loader
2--D12 Caterpillar motor graders
1--sheepsfoot packer
1--D4 Caterpillar dozer
1--M1 dozer (this might have been Australian made but not sure)
1--improvised sprinkler
18-1 1/2 ton dump trucks 

A fifteen page monograph from the Military History Section National Institute for Defense Studies, 2-2-1 Nakameguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo Japan, prepared by Retired (MSDF) Captain Kawano Teruaki on August 29th 1997 shows that there was a Japanese Reconnaissance flight over Katherine and Pine Creek on 21 March 1942. 

A USAAC DC-4 landed at Pine Creek airfield on 30 June 1943 to avoid a bombing raid at Fenton airfield.

 

MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES AT PINE CREEK AIRFIELD DURING WW2

DATE LOCATION SERVICE AIRCRAFT SERIAL NO.
2 Aug 42 Bomb Range, Pine Creek RAAF Wirraway A20-544
30 Jun 43 Paper Bark Swamp, Pine Creek RAAF F.VC Spitfire A58-36 (BR528), crashed after combat
abt Apr 44 Pine Creek RAAF LF.VIII Spitfire A58-309 (JF846)

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Melvin Haba for his assistance with this home page. Melvin's father was Technician 5 Grade (Corporal) Laudie R Haba of Company "B" of the 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion. He would have been running the Dozers and Carry-alls during construction activities. Laudie Haba returned to the States in December 1944. Laudie passed away in 1971. 

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Always First - The RAAF Airfield Construction Squadrons 1942-1974" (page 34)
by David Wilson

 

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 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 12 September 2002

This page last updated 28 December 2014