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Batchelor Field was used by American aircraft withdrawing from the Philippines via Mindanao to Australia. Later, it was part of the ferry route for P-40E Warhawk fighters flying to Java. Then, for American aircraft evacuating Java back to Australia.
On March 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 evacuating General Douglas MacArthur, his family and senior staff from the Philippines and landed at Batchelor Field.
On April 29, 1942 U. S. Army Air Force Brigadier General Harold Huston George was killed on the ground when a P-40 Warhawk accidentally struck the parked Lockheed C-40 (Lockheed Model 12) that had just landed and was disembarking. George was hit in the head and later died. Also killed was war correspondent Melville Jacoby and 2nd Lieutenant Robert D. Jasper who was driving a jeep to pick up the party were also killed.
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
B-17D Flying Fortress Serial Number 40-3067
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