TOCUMWAL AIRFIELD
DURING WW2
Previously known as "McIntyre Field" by the USAAF

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visits since 3 March 2000

toc01.jpg (38703 bytes)
Photo from Tammy Simpson

Tocumwal airfield

Location - 35, 49 S; 145, 37 E

"McIntyre Field" was established by the USAAF on the NSW/Victoria border, near the Newell Highway. It originally covered an area of about 25 miles square. The RAAF took over the operation of the airfield in 1942 and named it Tocumwal.

Main entrance to Tocumwal Airfield

 


Photo: Bill Cooper

New Sign at Tocumwal airfield

 

The above sign at the main entrance to Tocumwal airfield shows the following units were based there at that time:-


Photo:- Rick Hanning

Hangars at Tocumwal Airfield

 

Tocumwal Airfield looking from the north

 

McIntyre Field was named after Captain Patrick W. McIntyre who was killed in a crash of a US bomber on 5 June 1942. Refer the following replica of General Order No 19:-

 

Headquarters
United States Army Air Services
Southwest Pacific Area
Office of the Commanding General
APO 501

25 July 1942.

General Orders )

No.................19 )

 

                                                                                                                                       Section
Designation of McIntyre Field .................................................................................       I

                      I.    DESIGNATION OF McINTYRE FIELD. - Announcement is hereby made that the flying field at Tocumwal, N.S.W. is named McINTYRE FIELD in honor of Captain Patrick W. McIntyre, Air Corps, U.S. Army, who was killed on June 5, 1942, while testing a bombardment airplane near Archerfield, Brisbane, Qld.

                      By command of Major General LINCOLN:

MILLARD C. YOUNG,
Colonel, Air Corps,
Executive

OFFICIAL:

                                     GUY W. SAUNDERS,
                                Lieutenant Colonel, Air Corps,
                                Acting Adjutant General.

A TRUE COPY:         John C. Davis

                                     JOHN C. DAVIS
                                     1st Lt, Air Corps

 

 

Up to 4,500 RAAF personnel, and 400 WAAAF personnel were based at Tocumwal.

Tocumwal was home to up to 54 Liberators, 11 Vultee Vengeance, 5 Kittyhawks and an Airspeed Oxford.

It was also a vast storage and repair depot with aircraft such as Avro Anson, Airacobra, Beaufort, Boeing, Boomerang, Dakota, Hudson, Lancaster, Lincoln, Meteor, Mosquito, Mustang, Spitfire, Beaufighter, Vampire, Winjeel and Wirraway.

After the RAAF left Tocumwal in 1960, over 700 aircraft were scrapped through until 1963.

Six 39.6 metre timber long span truss roof aircraft hangars. These were the first long span trusses built using timber as tension web members and they remain as the longest clear span triangular timber truss buildings known in Australia. Two similar 29.3 metre hangars were built at Tocumwal. Three of the original hangars can still be seen at Tocumwal.

 


Photo:- Rick Hanning

Engine Test Bays at Tocumwal Airfield. Pratt & Whitney 1830 engines
from Liberators were rebuilt and tested for hours in these Engine Test Bays

 

The following photographs were supplied by Daniel Leahy. Photos taken 27 Jan 2001.

toc02.jpg (36262 bytes) Memorial at Tocumwal
toc03.jpg (29983 bytes) Gates at Tocumwal
toc04.jpg (39042 bytes) Some old foundations at Tocumwal
toc05.jpg (48287 bytes) Some bunkers at Tocumwal
toc06.jpg (40488 bytes) Some bunkers at Tocumwal
toc07.jpg (30975 bytes) Engine Test Bays at Tocumwal
toc08.jpg (34990 bytes) An old hangar at Tocumwal

 

Crash of a Beaufort bomber at Tocumwal in January 1944.

 


Photo:- Rick Hanning

Beaufort, Beaufighter, Wirraway and Oxford Oleo legs at Tocumwal

 


 

Subject:   McIntyre Field
Date:           Mon, 3 Apr 2000 17:13:33 +1000
From:          "D & H Simpson Transport" <simptran@cnl.com.au>

I was very impressed to see some acknowledgment of McIntyre field (toc) on your page. I live in the old 'tool shed' as it was known during the war. And around here not many ppl care of the involvement that this place had with the war. No one know that this was the largest bombing base in the southern hemisphere during the 1940's or that there were 5000 ppl veterans based here.

The lack of care this town has for it's history is disgraceful. I'm 17 and I know more about this town that ppl that are 50 odd. I can tell you where the hospital was or where the plane dumps are and even where there are still complete fuel bowsers. but what's the point of knowing the info if no-one cares?

Anyway the main reason for writing is to inform you that we, the Tocumwal Historic Aerodrome Museum, are holding a reunion for Everyone associated with McIntyre when it was fully operational and for those who are interested in the place. It's over the weekend of the 29th and 30th of April. The committee has been working flat out on a static photo display and it will be officially opened on the Saturday and that night will be a dance with the Army regimental Concert band. If you're interested please contact me. at simptran@cnl.com and I will send you more info.

The following photo was sent to us by a veteran and I have developed it myself. It shows the northern end of the run way to the top of the picture and two hangers (still standing, Storage now) in the middle the two little buildings were the rec house and the communications office. I'm not sure about the communication office but it was something like that. These hangers are two of four, the other two have been burnt to the ground one only 2 years ago.

toc01.jpg (38703 bytes)

Enjoy the photo

Regards
Tammy Simpson

P.S I'm looking for a site that has pictures of aeroplanes that were based at toc (libs, mustangs etc) Preferably with an Aust rego. If you can hope both myself and the committee will be sincerely grateful, as it is to go on a homepage for the museum.

Tammy

 


 

Subject:   McIntyre Field
Date:           Thu, 6 Apr 2000 07:12:52 +1000
From:          "D & H Simpson Transport" <simptran@cnl.com.au>

Thanks for such a quick response Mr Dunn.

The tool shed was just that home to the thousands of different tools that where used on the field and in the engine test bays.

Sorry for my net slang, ppl means people.

In the plane dumps? Well Americans came out a few years ago and did aerial radar tests and there is definitely some things in them, rumours are planes, but we think they mainly be tanks and machine guns and stuff. We're not allowed to dig anything up because it all belongs to the yanks and basically they wont let us and if we do and find anything the yanks will claim it anyway.

There has been machine guns and brand new Harley Davidsons, all gone to a museum in Melbourne. Only the machine guns were found in the dumps though the bikes were on a farmers property.

I went to a historic meeting on Tuesday and plans are coming along well we have the fly in side covered and we're working on the vintage cars and vehicles. The main concern is the concert/dance. But hopefully everything will run smoothly for the weekend.

That's ok, I've got it on my homepage, not complete yet. Still working on it it's covering the story of toc during the war and it's taking time.

Anyway Must go
thanks again

Tammy

 


 

Subject:   McIntyre Field
Date:           Wed, 12 Apr 2000 20:13:18 +1000
From:          Deborah Birrell <deborah@dragnet.com.au>

There is going to be a GET TOGETHER AT Tocumwal at the aerodrome on 29/30 April 2000 any information you can give would be of use.

Regards Bruce Birrell

 


 

Subject:   McIntyre Field
Date:           Wed, 12 Apr 2000 20:43:15 +1000
From:          Deborah Birrell <deborah@dragnet.com.au>

Dear Peter

I am aware of buried gear and some dumped in to the Murray River. These who know most about the buried gear are a bit loath to discuss it but just on haying off time it is possible to see some possible sites by the drying off of some areas and the straight lines dividing.

Regards Bruce B

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Daniel Leahy, Bill Cooper, David Grant and Rick Hanning for their assistance with this home page.

 

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This page first produced 3 March 2000

This page last updated 18 May 2007