September 10, 1941
13° 4' 0S 131° 1' 59E Batchelor Field is located to the south of Batchelor and Darwin connected by a rail road line. Also known as "Batchelor Airfield" or "RAAF Batchelor".
Batchelor Field was built prior to the Pacific War.
Prior to the Pacific War, Batchelor Field was a small RAAF training base. Used by USAAF aircraft as an airfield on the ferry route across the Pacific to the Philippines.
On Match 16, 1942 four bombers: B-17E 41-2408, B-17E
41-2429, B-17E 41-2434 and B-17E "San Antonio Rose II" 41-2447 departed Del Monte Airfield on Mindanao, evacuating General Douglas MacArthur, his family and senior staff from the Philippine to
Batchelor Field was used by American aircraft withdrawing from the Philippines via Mindanao to Australia. Also, it was part of the ferry route for P-40E Warhawk flying to Java.
Afterwards, Batchelor Field was used a forward staging base for bombers attacking Japanese occupied targets in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI). During November 2-4, 1942 B-26 Mauraders from the 22nd Bombardment Group used Batchelor as a staging base for bombing missions against Dili and
Aileu on Timor.
RAAF units based at
12 Squadron Pell September 16, 1942 - November 7, 1943 Merauke
34 Squadron (DH.84, Anson) Daly Waters May 13, 1942 - July 15, 1942
6 Communications Unit Manbulloo February 27, 1943 - October 7, 1945 Darwin
American units at Bachelor Field
27th BG, HQ Bataan March 1, 1942 -
19th BG, 28th BS (B-17 air echelon) Del Monte Dec 17-20, 1941 - Dec 30, 1941 Singosari
19th BG, 30th BS (B-17 air echelon) Clark Field Dec 20 - 31, 1941 Batchelor
7th BG, 14th BS (B-17 air echelon) December 24 - Dec 30, 1941 Singosari
19th BG, 93rd BS (B-17) Clark Field December 19, 1941 - January 1, 1942 Singosari
49th FG, HQ ? - October 9, 1942 14 Mile Drome
49th FG, 7th FS (P-40) February 1942 with a detachment at Horn - September 19, 1942 14 Mile Drome
49th FG, 8th FS (P-40) Fairbairn April 17, 1942 - ?
49th FG, 9th FS (P-40) Williamtown February 18 - October 10, 1942 14 Mile Drome
NEIAF units based at Bachelor Field
18 Squadron (B-25C) McDonald April 13, 1943 - March 10, 1944 Potshot Mar 23, 1944 - July 17, 1945 Balikpapan
Force landed December 10, 1943
Still in use today, known as Batchelor Airport with airport code ICAO: YBCR.
Thanks to Daniel Leahy for additional information
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March 31, 2017