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EAGLE FARM AIRFIELD
BRISBANE, QLD
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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Eagle Farm Airfield - Hangars at bottom end of open area,
Eagle Farm Race Track at far left and Doomben Race Track to its right.
The old Gateway Motorway snakes upwards through the centre of the photo

 

Eagle Farm Airfield was officially opened as Brisbane's civilian airfield on 1 April 1925. Eagle Farm Aerodrome was not large enough to cater for the growth in aviation that occurred and it readily become boggy in wet weather A decision was made to move commercial aviation to a new airfield at Archerfield Airfield on the south side of Brisbane. It was some three times the size of Eagle Farm Airfield. Archerfield Airfield was opened on 1 April 1931

With the outbreak of WWII in the Pacific on 7 December 1941, the United States Army Air Corps USAAC arrived in Brisbane and developed Eagle Farm Airfield into a major aircraft erection depot where aircraft were assembled, repaired and serviced. The 81st Air Depot Group was the main unit based at Eagle Farm Airfield.

 

Eagle Farm Airfield in 1942

 

Eagle Farm Airfield in 1943

 

1944 Photograph showing Eagle Farm Airfield and surrounding areas.

 

Numerous crated and partially assembled aircraft arrived at Bretts Wharf and Hamilton Wharf on board light aircraft carriers. Many aircraft minus wings, were often towed along Nudgee Road to Eagle Farm Airfield.

 

P-40E assembly possibly in Hangar No. 1

 

Aircraft being unloaded from USS Barnes at Bretts Wharf on
21 July 1943. Then towed down Nudgee Rd to Eagle Farm airfield.

 

Looking south on Bunya St, in Dec 1943, the 81st ADG erected,
modified and delivered over 100 P-47 Thunderbolts

 

Long line of P-47 Thunderbolts and P-38 Lightning erected
and awaiting delivery to an operational squadron

 

P-38 Lightnings, minus wings, awaiting erection in front of
Hangar No 6 and left at Hangar No. 5 at the right

 

The 81st Air Depot Group used the Allison Engine Test Stands which still exist today and are heritage listed. Allison engines were overhauled at the GMH Allison Overhaul Assembly Plant on Sandgate Road at Albion.

In early 1943, the Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit ATAIU commenced operations inside Hangar 7 at Eagle Farm Airfield. Their role was to seize captured Japanese aircraft and obtain as much intelligence as they could from them. ATAIU rebuilt a Japanese Zero Type 32, an Oscar and a Tony.

Eleven R4D-5 aircraft of Air Transport Squadron Thirteen VR-13 arrived at Eagle Farm Airfield from USA on 10 July 1944 and took over two hangars. A further five R4D-5's and four Consolidated RY-2 aircraft (B-24 Liberator variant) arrived at Eagle Farm Airfield in August and September 1944. Squadron VR-13 transferred to Los Negros, Admiralty Islands in November 1944.

 

The Americans erected a Control Tower on the top
of Hangar No. 3. Crash truck in front of Hangar 3.

 

P-39 Airacobra at Eagle Farm Airfield with Hangar
No 3 at far right with the Control Tower on top

 

 

 

Brisbane Aerodrome in 1972 showing usage for the various hangars

 

Tour of Eagle Farm airfield led by Roger Marks of the
 Aviation Historical Society of Australia in July 2003

 

History

The Hangars

Military Units based at Eagle Farm during WW2

The 81st Air Depot Group Assemble CG-4A Gliders at Eagle Farm

 

MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES AT EAGLE FARM AIRFIELD DURING WW2

DATE LOCATION SERVICE AIRCRAFT SERIAL NO.
25 Nov 42 Eagle Farm airfield Dutch B-22 (Falcon) ?
14 Jan 43 (1) Eagle Farm USAAF? B-25C #41-12438
28 Mar 43 (1) Eagle Farm USAAF? B-25C Mitchell #42-32314 (5th AF)
23 Apr 43 (1) Eagle Farm USAAF? B-25C #41-12496
12 Jul 43 (1) Eagle Farm USAAF? CW-22B #65-3765
18 Sep 45 (1) Eagle Farm USAAF? C-47A Dakota #42-23485

 

Eagle Farm Aviation Society
The Legend of Hangar 7

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"The Defeat of Distance - QANTAS 1919 - 1939"
By John Gunn

 

"Australia @ War" Research Products

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This page first produced 17 July 1999

This page last updated 09 January 2017