EAGLE FARM AIRFIELD
Eagle Farm Airfield - Hangars at bottom end of
Eagle Farm Race Track at far left and Doomben Race Track to its right.
The old Gateway Motorway snakes upwards through the centre of the photo
Eagle Farm Airfield was officially opened as Brisbane's civilian airfield on 1 April 1925. Eagle Farm Aerodrome was not large enough to cater for the growth in aviation that occurred and it readily become boggy in wet weather A decision was made to move commercial aviation to a new airfield at Archerfield Airfield on the south side of Brisbane. It was some three times the size of Eagle Farm Airfield. Archerfield Airfield was opened on 1 April 1931
With the outbreak of WWII in the Pacific on 7 December 1941, the United States Army Air Corps USAAF arrived in Brisbane and developed Eagle Farm Airfield into a major aircraft erection depot where aircraft were assembled, repaired and serviced. The 81st Air Depot Group was the main unit based at Eagle Farm Airfield.
Eagle Farm Airfield in 1942
Eagle Farm Airfield in 1943
1944 Photograph showing Eagle Farm Airfield and surrounding areas.
Numerous crated and partially assembled aircraft arrived at Bretts Wharf and Hamilton Wharf on board light aircraft carriers. Many aircraft minus wings, were often towed along Nudgee Road to Eagle Farm Airfield.
Aircraft being unloaded from USS Barnes at
Bretts Wharf on
21 July 1943. Then towed down Nudgee Rd to Eagle Farm airfield.
Looking south on Bunya St, in Dec 1943, the
81st ADG erected,
modified and delivered over 100 P-47 Thunderbolts
Long line of P-47 Thunderbolts and P-38
and awaiting delivery to an operational squadron
Bruce Hoy advised that the first P-38 Lightning in the above photo is in fact #42-66596, which was later shot down on 9 November 1943 whilst being flown by 2nd Lt. John Clay Smith, O-736392. It had been assigned to the 433th Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group. It crashed near the shore of Fredrich Karl Harbor to the northwest of Madang. The remains of the pilot were later recovered and buried in Ohio, USA.
P-38 Lightnings, minus wings, awaiting erection
in front of
Hangar No 6 and left at Hangar No. 5 at the right
The 81st Air Depot Group used the Allison Engine Test Stands which still exist today and are heritage listed. Allison engines were overhauled at the GMH Allison Overhaul Assembly Plant on Sandgate Road at Albion.
In early 1943, the Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit ATAIU commenced operations inside Hangar 7 at Eagle Farm Airfield. Their role was to seize captured Japanese aircraft and obtain as much intelligence as they could from them. ATAIU rebuilt a Japanese Zero Type 32, an Oscar and a Tony.
Eleven R4D-5 aircraft of Air Transport Squadron Thirteen VR-13 arrived at Eagle Farm Airfield from USA on 10 July 1944 and took over two hangars. A further five R4D-5's and four Consolidated RY-2 aircraft (B-24 Liberator variant) arrived at Eagle Farm Airfield in August and September 1944. Squadron VR-13 transferred to Los Negros, Admiralty Islands in November 1944.
The Americans erected a Control Tower on the
of Hangar No. 3. Crash truck in front of Hangar 3.
P-39 Airacobra at Eagle Farm Airfield with
No 3 at far right with the Control Tower on top
Brisbane Aerodrome in 1972 showing usage for the various hangars
Tour of Eagle Farm airfield led by
Roger Marks of the
Aviation Historical Society of Australia in July 2003
Eagle Farm Rail Loop
Military Units based at Eagle Farm during WW2
The 81st Air Depot Group Assemble CG-4A Gliders at Eagle Farm
MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES AT EAGLE FARM AIRFIELD DURING WW2
|25 Nov 42||Eagle Farm airfield||Dutch||B-22 (Falcon)||?|
|14 Jan 43 (1)||Eagle Farm||USAAF?||B-25C||#41-12438|
|28 Mar 43 (1)||Eagle Farm||USAAF?||B-25C Mitchell||#42-32314 (5th AF)|
|23 Apr 43 (1)||Eagle Farm||USAAF?||B-25C||#41-12496|
|12 Jul 43 (1)||Eagle Farm||USAAF?||CW-22B||#65-3765|
|18 Sep 45 (1)||Eagle Farm||USAAF?||C-47A Dakota||#42-23485|
Eagle Farm Aviation Society
The Legend of Hangar 7
"The Defeat of Distance - QANTAS 1919 - 1939"
By John Gunn
I'd like to thank Bruce Hoy for his assistance with this web page.
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn OAM 2020
This page first produced 17 July 1999
This page last updated 26 November 2022