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    McDonald Airfield (Burkholder) Northern Territory Australia

Location
McDonald Airfield is located along the Sutart Highway (North South Road) and Douglas River south of Lloyd Creek and Darwin. Also known as "McDonald Field" or "Burkholder Field". This airfield is sometimes misspelled "MacDonald" in wartime references.

Construction
During March 1942, built by the U. S. Army 43rd Engineer Regiment with additional work by the U. S. Army 808th Airborne Engineers (Company "A" and HQ Detachment), Allied Works Council and the No. 1 Airfield Construction Unit. The single runway was 6,000' long by 100' wide with 50' shoulders surfaced with 4" of gravel. Taxiways were also constructed with 5,000', each 40' wide with 15' shoulders paved with 3" of gravel. A total of eighteen dispersal areas were built, without revetments. Company A also built camp buildings.

Wartime History
On November 24, 1942 the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) occupied MacDonald Airfield with No. 54 Operational Base Unit administered the base. During January 18 - May 7, 1943 based Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEIAF), 18 Squadron comprised of Dutch pilots, Australian aircrews operating B-25 Mitchell bombers on bombing missions over Japanese occupied Timor and Penfoei.

Naming Honors
Named in honor of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Wing Commander Joshua Roger Gray McDonald who was killed on December 10, 1941 piloting Hudson A16-69.

Netherlands East Indies Air Force (NEAF)
18 Squadron (B-25C) Fairbairn December 5, 1942 - May 7, 1943.

Afterwards, MacDonald Airfield became an Army communication camp, but at least one force landing occurred at the former airfield.

References
Oz@War - McDonald Airfield, NT Also Known as Burkholder Field During WW2

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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