The RAAF established 75 Operational Base Unit at Nookanbah, near Fitzroy Crossing  in Western Australia on 1 March 1943. It was based at the civil airfield on Nookanbah Station. Large petrol and bomb dumps were established in the area. Nookanbah was used by the the Netherlands East Indies Air Force as a staging base. 24 Squadron, 25 Squadron and 31 Squadron all used Nookanbah. The airfields were large enough to handle Liberators. On 30 September 1944, all surplus fuel was relocated to Derby and the base was made non-operational, leaving a small contingent of personnel on site. The last remaining personnel were airlifted in a Liberator to Guildford on Christmas Eve 1945.

Peter Adamson, who had once been the District Officer at Fitzroy Crossing, told me that there were still at least two aircraft wrecks at Nookanbah in 2003. 

The local aboriginals still manage to find pieces of ordnance from time to time in the area. In 1980, Peter accompanied Police to look at some ordnance which had been found and reported. One of the items found was a 250 lbs bomb. They hid them and drove back to contact the Army. Peter flew in with the Army who exploded the ordnance. Despite being a significant distance from the blast site, they were still in the debris filed of some minor shrapnel.

Aircraft would fly from Perth, and land at Nookanbah to be fuelled, armed and filled with bombs to fly bombing missions against the Japanese.

Apparently during the war, some of the stock camps in the area were strafed by Japanese aircraft because they thought they were troops.

Today, the two huge all weather airfields at Nookanbah are still in reasonable condition.



I'd like to thank Peter Adamson for his assistance with this home page.



"Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, a Concise History"
Volume 1 - Introduction, Bases, Supporting Organisations"
By RAAF Historical Section


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This page first produced 7 September 2003

This page last updated 13 January 2020