The 403rd Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group was stationed at the following locations during World War 2:-


Melbourne, Australia 27 February 1942 - 14 March 1942
Laverton, Australia 14 March 1942 - 27 August 1942
Torrens Creek, Australia 27 August 1942 - 17 October 1942
Iron Range, Australia 17 October 1942 - 23 November 1942
Milne Bay, New Guinea 23 November 1942 - 21 January 1943
Mareeba, Australia 21 January 1943 - 11 May 1943
Port Moresby 11 May 1943 - 13 December 1943
Dobodura, New Guinea 13 December 1943 - 12 March 1944
Nadzab, New Guinea 12 March 1944 - 28 July 1944
Owi, Schouten Islands 28 July 1944 -


Vic, of Camp Hill was a young bank worker in Mareeba during WW2. He wrote to the Good Mail column of the Sunday Mail to indicate that during a visit by General Douglas MacArthur to inspect the 43rd Bomb Group at the Mareeba airfield, he was shown the food preparation area in the kitchen. He apparently ran his finger over the cutting blade of a meat slicer and found that it had a fine layer of animal fat on it. MacArthur commented "You'd better get this cleaned up properly, soldier".

The following evening, Tokyo Rose stated during her broadcast "And how are the Mareeba butchers tonite? Have you got the meat slicer cleaned yet?"

The 403rd Bomb Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group was known as the "Mareeba Butchers". It has been suggested that they got their name from the above incident.



Good Mail column, Sunday Mail 16 March 2003


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn OAM 2020


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 27 January 1999

This page last updated 20 February 2020