Air Force Base Townsville

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19 ° 15’12 “S 146 ° 45’54” E / 19.25333 ° S 146.76500 ° N / -19.25333; 146.76500 coordinates: 19 ° 15’12 “S 146 ° 45’54” E / 19.25333 ° S 146.76500 ° E / -19.25333; 146.76500

Air Force Base Townsville

RAAF Base Townsville (IATA: TSV, ICAO: YBTL) (formerly RAAF Base Garbutt) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) air base located in Garbutt, 2 nautical miles (3.7 km; 2.3 miles) west of Townsville.

Townsville Raaf Base: Air Force Cadets Get Ride In Hercules

And marks Townsville as an important military cross with Lavarack Barracks. The base airport is shared with Townsville Airport.

The symbol of RAAF Base Townsville is the brolga superimposed on the fort; Surrounded by the words Royal Australian Air Force; crowned; with the motto “Guarding the North” on the parchment below.

The airport, now RAAF Base Townsville, was first established in the late 1930s for civil aviation and further developed as part of Australia’s military preparations for the upcoming war. Prior to the start of hostilities in Europe, plans had been drawn up for a RAAF base and the camp was fully operational with a squadron of fighter aircraft operating four months before Japan entered the war. The base is still in operation, with many of its original buildings serving their original purpose nearly 70 years after the first draft of the plans.

Townsville Township was established in 1866, but only covered a small area around Castle Hill. The land that now forms RAAF Base Townsville became part of the new Thuringowa (later Shire) division in 1879 and was first inspected in 1884 as part of the Townsville City Survey. In 1918 the boundaries of the local government were changed and the territory was consolidated. in Townsville.

Raaf Base Townsville Hi Res Stock Photography And Images

The RAAF site was never privately owned, but remained vacant Crown land until it was taken over by the Commonwealth in 1940. The land was considered too low and swampy for housing or other development, and in the 1868 it was proposed to be set aside as a general area of ​​the city. Under the auspices of Townsville City Council Community Grazing. Local residents cut firewood in the bush. When the RAAF first investigated the purchase of the site in late 1939, much of the land was still heavily forested.

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The start of ground aviation was also an initiative of the Townsville City Council. The first airfield established in Townsville was an east-west strip in Thuringowashire on the floodplain south of the Ross River near Townsville, now Murray. It has been in use since the 1920s and was licensed by the Department of Civil Aviation in 1930. The Garbutt site was adopted a few years later because it was more permeable to water than the Ross River site and provided space for wind-oriented runways prevalent. north-east and south-east. Townsville City Council undertook construction of two 730 meter (800 yd) gravel runways on the new site and the new airport was cleared on January 26, 1939. Civil aviation work began on February 1. when the Australian Stinson landed. Prior to the mayor’s reception, no hangars or refueling facilities have yet been built, as well as a road to the airport.

Almost immediately, there were moves to deploy military aircraft to the site. In 1938, the Department of Defce, realizing the possibility of a war between Japan and the United States, began planning the improvement of Queensland’s northern defenses and in late January 1939, while the runways were being built, a RAAF officer came to Townsville to select the best. site for a military airport. The proposal to establish an air base at Townsville was made in 1938-39 in order to improve defense readiness by establishing or upgrading military facilities in Northern Australia, notably Darwin and Townsville. The base’s primary function was to provide fighter aircraft protection for Townsville, and close-ups for the base’s location show three hangars housing three fighter squadrons. This was revised in late 1939 and expanded to a single squadron base with 140 Citiz Air Force and 132 RAAF personnel. It was an important base for the time, accounting for about 10% of the total strength of the RAAF. Darwin should be about double that.

The Commonwealth approached Townsville City Council in April 1939 to negotiate the purchase of the new airport land. Dece had hoped the state would donate the land, but negotiations with the state and council over the purchase price and compensation for the improvements took some time. , and the land was bought by the Commonwealth in December 1940, forcing the Queensland government to pay £ 2,500. The Commonwealth has entered into an agreement with Townsville City Council under which the Council will provide water, sewer and electricity to the base. According to the agreement between the Commonwealth and the Council, civil aviation services were to continue on the site.

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The impact of World War II on Australia was twofold. Australia was automatically embroiled in the war against Germany in September 1939, as the domain’s foreign policy was dictated by Great Britain, and for the next two years Australian forces fought in the European theater and in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern theater. WWI. It was during this period that RAAF Townsville was built.

The plans for the Townsville RAAF buildings were drawn up in the second half of 1939 by the Office of the Chief Architect of the Department of Works. Hangars and workshops were to be welded steel frame buildings based on modern RAF airfield designs. In the early 1940s, while negotiations for the land were still ongoing, construction began on two gravel airstrips, hangars, workshops, housing and facilities. Construction of runways and main structures in 1940. finished. The base was officially established on October 15, 1940.

The Townsville Daily Bulletin described the previous day as an early group of Townsville RAAF personnel arrived by train and marched down Flinders Street, led by the Municipal Brass Band. They are based at Townsville Airport in Garbutt, arrived Monday morning and are now housed in excellent new buildings on the airport site. The Battle of Britain was still over and for months the news was filled with the exploits of fighter pilots.

In the following days, the CA-25 Wirraway fighters of squadron No. 24 were taken to the Townsville field, later supplemented by Hudson light bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Recently built at the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation’s Maribyrnong facility, the Wirraways were the last in the RAAF’s fighter arsenal, but were heavy, underpowered and poorly armed by international standards. In the late 1940s, the physical structure of the base consisted of two runways, residential blocks, fields, a gymnasium, workshops and a hangar with a control tower, all fully completed or still under construction. In May 1941, RAAF Townsville became the RAAF headquarters in the Northern Region.

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Historical Journey For Two Vintage Aircraft

In the first twelve months, changes were made to the basic layout. The Townsville City Council’s ability to provide emergency power was in question, so in 1941 a power plant was built with its own diesel generator at the base. Australia has agreed to train pilots under the Empire Air Training Scheme, and a second block of officers’ quarters has been built in RAAF Townsville to house trainees.

Big changes were coming. When the United States went to war in the Pacific, the United States Air Force (USAAF) was concerned with providing air routes to replenish its forces at Clark Field and elsewhere in the Philippines. In September 1941, the USAAF strengthened air bases in the Philippines with B-17 heavy bombers and the Australian War Cabinet secretly accepted an American request for space to develop its ferry facilities at Townsville and Darwin air bases. USAAF officers arrived in Townsville in October 1941 to plan for the expansion of the new airport, which would accommodate larger aircraft and heavier traffic than originally planned. The two existing gravel runways were expanded to three sealed runways, and the southeast runway was extended to 5,000 feet (1,500m) in length to accommodate heavy bombers and transport aircraft. The expansion was carried out 24 hours a day for six weeks and was completed on December 15, 1941. Japan ended the war a week ago.

As the Japanese threat loomed, the development of the new RAAF base in Townsville in the previous two years was overtaken by rapid expansion as Australian and American forces poured into Townsville from January 1942. Much has been done in recent years on the now infamous doctrine. of the “Brisbane Line”.

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