KATHERINE AIRFIELD, NT
The 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion arrived at Melbourne aboard the U.S.S Coolidge on 2 February 1942, the first U.S. Army Engineering Unit to arrive in Australia. The 808th initially camped at Camp Darley in Melbourne.
The unit took trains and trucks to Katherine, in the Northern Territory, arriving there 19 - 20 February 1942. On 28 February Company " B" began working on the Katherine Airfield.
Katherine Air field was developed by extending the old civilian airfield between 19 February to 13 April 1942. The entire 808th Battalion worked on the airfield from 19 February to 13 March 1942 and Company A and HQ Company Only worked on it from 13 March to 13 April 1942.
They built a 5,000 ft runway that was 100 ft wide with 25 ft wide shoulders paved with 6 inches of gravel. Also built was 5,000 ft of taxiway 30 ft wide with 10 ft shoulders paved with 4 inches of gravel. There were 18 airplane dispersals with out revetments.
Carson's Field, Katherine Airfield and Daly Waters Airfield were designed to operate heavy B-24 Liberator bombers.
Japanese bombing raid on Katherine 22 March 1942
MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES AT KATHERINE DURING WW2
|22 Nov 44||near Katherine||RAAF||Tiger Moth||A27-421|
|abt Dec 44||Katherine||RAAF||LF.VIII Spitfire||A58-401 (MD226)|
|abt Dec 44||Katherine||RAAF||LF.VIII Spitfire||A58-450 (JG605) collided with roller when taxying|
"Hunter House" near
General Blamey's bush HQ's
North Australia Observer Unit
Headquarters in Katherine
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. Laudie Haba returned to the States in December 1944.
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 11 September 2002
This page last updated 13 January 2020