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    Mareeba Airfield (Hoevet Field) Queensland Australia

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19th BG August 1942

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USAAF Nov 7, 1942

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USAAF Nov 7, 1942

Location
Located outside Mareeba on the Atherton Plateau near the Barron River. Also known as "Mareeba Field" or "Hoevet Field". Designated U. S. Army Post Office APO 922.

Construction
Two runways were built at this location with an extensive taxiway between both strips and dispersal area around the runways. Also, anti-aircraft gun pits and air raid shelters were constructed but never used.

Naming Honors
Known as "Hovett Field" in honor of Major Dean C. "Pinky" Hoevet who was killed piloting B-17E 41-2434 on August 16, 1942.

Wartime History
On October 15, 1942 an award ceremony was held at Mareeba Airfield for members of the 19th Bombardment Group. In attendance was Major General George C. Kenney (C.O., 5th Air Force), Brigadier General Kenneth N. Walker (Commanding General, 5th Bomber Command) and Lt Colonel Richard H. Carmichael (C.O. 19th Bombardment Group). The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) was awarded to airmen who flew fifty missions or performed “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight”. Parked in the background were the group’s B-17E Flying Fortresses.

American units based at Mareeba
19th BG, 93rd BS (B-17) Longreach July 23, 42 - Oct 25, 43 USA
19th BG, 28th BS (B-17) Longreach July 24, 42 - Oct 25, 43 USA
19th BG, 30th BS (B-17) Longreach July 24, 42 - Oct 25, 43 USA
19th BG, HQ (B-17) Longreach July 24, 1942 - Oct 23, 1943 USA
43rd BG, 63th BS (B-17) Torrens Creek Aug 20, 1942 - Jan 20, 43 7-Mile
7th BG, 28th BS (B-17) May - November 18, 1942 USA
43rd BG, 65th BS (B-17) Iron Range Nov 7, 42 - Jan 20, 43 7-Mile
43rd BG, 64th BS (B-17) Iron Range Nov 8, 42 - Jan 20, 43 7-Mile
43rd BG, 403rd BS (B-17, B-24) Turnbull Jan 21, 43 - May 10, 43 7-Mile
8th FG, 36th FS (P-39) Turnbull Feb 22 - May 22, 1943 to Port Moresby
8th FG, 80th FS (P-39, P38) Turnbull late January 1943 and 3-Mile Feb 6 - March 21, 1943 to 3-Mile
8th FG, 35th FS (P-39) Milne Bay Feb 24 - May 10, 1943 Port Moresby
8th FG, HQ (P-39) Milne Bay February 24 - May 16, 1943 Port Moresby

B-17E "The Daylight Ltd" 41-2621
Pilot Casper crashed August 26, 1942

B-17F "Miss Carriage" 41-24428
Pilot Humrichouse crashed Septemer 6, 1942

B-17F "Hoomalimali" 41-24391
Pilot Henson exploded on take off September 14, 1942

B-17E "Frank Buck" 41-2659
Scrapped at Mareeba July 27, 1943

B-17E Flying Fortress 41-9012
Crashed November 5, 1942, scrapped at Mareeba July 27, 1943

Today
One of the two runways is still in use today as the Mareeba Airport. The other runway has been redeveloped into a mangrove farm area. Around the former airfield, are several air raid shelters and the outlines of gunpits.

Mareeba Memorial
Memorial at the airfield to USAAF and RAAF aircrews based here during the war.

North Queensland Warbirds
Located at the airfield, restoration and storage hanger, musuem

References
General Kenney Reports page 122
Kenneth N. Walker - Photos - October 15, 1942 Award Ceremony

Fight For Survival page 13 description of Mareeba
Echoes From an Eagle page 31 description of Mareeba

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Last Updated
May 29, 2016

 

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