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    Garbutt Field (RAAF Townsville) Queensland Australia

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3rd BG c1942

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USAAF c1943

PacificWrecks.com
USAAF c1944

Location
Garbutt Field is located at Townsville. Overlooking the airfield is Castle Hill. Also known as "Garbutt Airfield" or "RAAF Townsville".

Construction
Built prior to the war. Garbutt Field was owned by the Townsville city council.

Wartime History
During the war, it was developed into a major base used by both the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF). During the early months of the Pacific War, Garbutt Field was used for combat missions against Japanese targets. 5th Air Force missions flown from Garbutt were given the abbreviation "TOW" for Townsville.

Garbutt was used to ferry aircraft northward to New Guinea and also for training missions in the local area. Also, as a major repair depot. At the hight of Garbutt's use, the airfield was one of the busiest airfields in Queensland.

Allied units based at Garbutt Field
USAAF units
7th BG, 88th RS (B-17) Fiji Feb 20, 1942 - ?
6th PRG, 8th PRS (F-4) Brisbane May 2, 1942 - September 9, 1942 14 Mile Drome
8th FG, 35th FS (P-39) July 27, 1942 - September 18, 1942
8 FG, 36 FS (P-39) April 4 - April 26, 1942 7 Mile Drome returns June 30 - August 18, 1942
35th FG, 39th FS (P-38) July 26, 1942 - October 18, 1942 14 Mile Drome
38th BG, 405th BS (B-25) Breddan Sept 30, 42 October Oct 25,942 Port Moresby
35 FG, 40 FS (P-39) April 1942 - June 2, 1942 and again July 30 - Nov 25, 1942
19th BG, 435th BS (B-17) February - Nov 15, 1942 USA
374 TCG, 6 TCS (C-47) October 2, 1943 - August 26, 1944
374 TCG, 22 TCS (C-47) Essendon October 11, 42 - Jan 24, 43 returns Oct 4, 43 - Aug 29, 44
374 TCG, 33 TCS (C-47) October 5, 43 - April 44
317 TCG, 39 TCS (C-47) January 22, 42 - Feb 22, 42
317 TCG, 40 TCS (C-47) January 23, 43 - Oct 4, 43
317 TCG, 41 TCS (C-47) January 23, 43 - May 10, 43
317 TCG, 46 TCS (C-47) January 23, 43 - Oct 1, 43
6 PRG, 8 PRS "A Flight" (F-4) May 8 - August 1942 14 Mile Drome
RAAF units
5 Communication Flight - November 30, 1942 - May 25, 1946
22 Squadron - September 22, 1942 - October 19, 1942
24 Squadron ... 14.10.40 - 01.12.41 & 26.02.42 - 30.07.42
35 Squadron ... 31.03.45 - 10.06.46
36 Squadron ... 20.02.44 - 19.08.46
40 Squadron ... 31.03.44 - 22.07.44
41 Squadron ... 21.08.42 - 15.05.44
75 Squadron ... 04.03.42 - 21.03.42 & 11.05.42 - 17.05.42
77 Squadron ... 26.01.43 - 13.02.43
82 Squadron April 30 - September 25, 1944
2 AAU (Air Ambulance Unit) ... 03.04.43 - 10.01.44
23 OBU (Operational Base Unit) ... 03.07.42 - 15.12.44
33 OBU ... 28.04.43 - 06.06.46
44 OBU ... 23.12.42 - 04.03.43
13 Aircraft Repair Depot (Det) ... 11.43 - 12.43
5 RSU (Repair & Salvage Unit) ... 26.05.44 - 11.03.45
12 Mobile Fighter Sector HQ ... 11.03.42 - 24.03.43
43 Radar Station ... 24.08.42 - 08.10.42

Today
Post war, it was taken over by the Australian Defense Department as 'RAAF Townsville'. It is still in use as a civilian airport and RAAF base.

4th Air Depot Group (4th ADG)
This was a large repair and overhaul area of the base, where combat configurations for B-25's to B-25 strafers were completed. Plus, other major repairs and overhauls of fighters and bombers.

Keith Hopper adds:
"The former 4 ADG depot complex has been built over in the last 24 months, and the accommodation area at the base of Mount Louisa has been covered by houses within
the last five years."

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Last Updated
July 13, 2016

 

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