BATCHELOR AIRFIELD, NT
DURING WW2

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visits since 2 November 2000

 

Batchelor airfield

 

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Plan of Batchelor airfield

34 Squadron RAAF moved to Batchelor airfield from Daly Waters airfield in the Northern Territory on 13 May 1942. By the end of May 1942, 34 Squadron comprised:-

An APO list that I have shows the following units of the 38th Bomb Group at Batchelor Field in the Northern Territory in June 1942:-

38 Bomb Group (M), USAAF
    
- Det Hq & Hq Sq  
    
- 71 Bomb Sqn (30 Apr - 12 Aug 42)
     - 1st Plat 445th Ord Co (Avn) B 
     - 2nd Plat 445th Ord Co (Avn) B
     - 3rd Plat 445th Ord Co (Avn) B

34 Squadron then moved to Hughes airfield (32 Mile) in the Northern Territory on 15 July 1942. They moved to Manbulloo airfield on 27 August 1942. They were briefly disbanded from 13 December 1942 but then reformed at Parafield in South Australia on 3 January 1943. A detachment of three C-47 Dakotas was posted to Batchelor airfield from Parafield in June 1944 to fly freight anywhere between Broome in Western Australia, Garbutt airfield in Townsville and Archerfield airfield in Brisbane. They carried out a daily courier service to Townsville. In August 1944, the three C-47's from Batchelor airfield and two C-47's from Parafield relocated to Archerfield airfield in Brisbane to carryout special flights to New Guinea. On 16 September 1944, the three C-47's from Batchelor airfield returned to Parafield.

Dennis Whiley advised me that Batchelor airfield is still there. The runways are about the same as they were in 1945, but the taxi ways have gone. The town is built on some of the taxiways. You can see their shape from from the air.

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Lt. James T. Connally and the crew of B-17C Flying Fortress #40-2062 at Batchelor, Northern Territory after their first bombing raid out of Australia. Nine B-17's staged through Del Monte on Mindanoa to bomb the Japanese landing at Legaspi. (see E-mails from William B Price II.)

The Royal Netherlands Navy had a Wireless Intercept Station located at Batchelor during WW2. There was also a Royal Netherlands Navy Wireless Telegraphy Station located at Batchelor for maintaining contact with intelligence parties in enemy territory

 

Crash of a USAAC Kittyhawk, #41-24818
at Batchelor airfield on 20 August 1942

 

Crash of a USAAC Kittyhawk #41-24868
15 miles north west of Batchelor on 23 August 1942

 

Taxying accident involving a P-40 Kittyhawk
of 77 Squadron on 1 October 1942

 

Crash of a P-40 Kittyhawk at Batchelor airfield
on 12 October 1942

 

Crash of an NEI-AF B-25 Mitchell, N5-152 "Tangerine"
on 23 May 1943

 

Crash of a B-25 Mitchell N5-153
at Batchelor airfield
on 9 September 1943

 

Crash of an NEI-AF B-25 Mitchell,
N5-145 "The Flying Dutchman"
on 18 October 1943 

 

Crash of an NEI-AF B-25D Mitchell N5-211
 on 2 January 1945

 

The following list of units based at Batchelor airfield was supplied by Dennis Whiley.

BATCHELOR

AOB 1940 18.03.42

* 30 BS 19 BG 20.12.41 31.12.41

* 28 BS 19 BG 24.12.41 30.12.41

* 19 BG 5 BC 24.12.41 30.12.41

* 14 BS 7 BG 24.12.41 30.12.41

12 SQN(G.R/B) 13.02.42 15.07.42

* 16 BS 27 BG 17.02.42 08.03.42

* 17 BS 27 BG 22.02.42 08.03.42

* 27 BG 5 BC 01.03.42 04.05.42

RAAF STN 18.03.42 15.07.42

53 OBU 18.03.42 19.11.43

* 7 FS 49 FG 09.04.42 19.09.42

* 71 BS 38 BG 30.04.42 12.08.42

34 SQN(T/LAND) 13.05.42 16.07.42

9 R C 22.06.42 26.07.42

5 R C 22.06.42 14.07.42

77 SQN(I/F) 12.08.42 15.10.42

2 SQN(G.R/B) 16.08.42 12.05.43

12 SQN(D.B) 01.09.42 29.06.43

54 OBU 23.10.42 04.11.42

31 SQN(L.R/F) 31.10.42 12.11.42

452 SQN(RAAF) 15.01.43 12.02.43

457 SQN(RAAF) 25.01.43 30.01.43

6 CF 27.02.43 29.10.43

308 RD STN 02.03.43 01.04.43

2 TMU 06.04.43 17.02.44

18 SQN(NEI)(MB)18.05.43 09.03.44

318 RD STN 04.06.43 21.08.44

6 CU 29.10.43 07.10.45

79 WING,HQ 20.11.43 29.06.45

3 WU 12.01.44 30.11.44

5 R C 29.02.44 19.04.45

18 SQN(NEI)(MB)24.03.44 16.07.45

8 RAAF PU 14.05.44 03.08.44

83 OBU 01.01.45 06.03.45

2 AAU (Det) 08.05.42 16.01.45

2 AAU (Det) 12.02.43 22.03.43

2 AAU (Det) 16.09.43 11.01.44

9 MWS (Det) 21.12.43 09.03.44

9 MWS (Det) 09.03.44 01.07.44

Note: - The last RAAF unit was 6 Communication Unit or Doc Fenton's Flying Circus. They left in late 1945.

 


 

Subject:     RAF 54/Batchelor Airfield questions
Date:              Thu, 26 Oct 2000 15:57:38 +0400
From:            "Peter Enright esq." <peter.enright@co.ru>

I am writing a film script which includes the Spitfires of RAF 54 Squadron that landed at Batchelor Airfield in Jan. 1943 (?). Can you supply any info about this Squadron in Australia during WWII (or direct me to a website that can) and do you know the present condition of this base? Is it abandoned, off-limits or still functioning as an airfield etc. Any info would be helpful.

Thank you in advance,

Peter Enright
Aussie writer in Moscow

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Dennis Whiley for his assistance with this home page.

 

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This page first produced 2 November 2000

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