86 SQUADRON - RAAF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

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Bohle River airfield

 

The Kittyhawks of 86 Squadron RAAF moved from Gawler to the Townsville area on 6 May 1943.  They relocated to Merauke in New Guinea on 5 July 1943.

The squadron moved from Merauke to the Bohle airfield to be disbanded on 26 May 1944.  They reformed at Macrossan on 25 June 1944. The squadron moved from Macrossan to the Bohle airfield again on 10 January 1945. The Bohle airfield is now the site of the Townsville drag strip.

 

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Kittyhawks and Mustangs at Bohle River airfield - July 1945
Looks like "The Pinnacles" in the far right of the picture

 

The following photos were given to me by Peter Howard, ex 86 Squadron pilot
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Photo: Peter Howard
P40 Kittyhawks of 86 Squadron at Bohle River airfield and Wirraway A20-617 in about mid 1945.
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Photo: Peter Howard
P40 Kittyhawk of 86 Squadron at Bohle River airfield in about mide 1945. 
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Photo: Peter Howard

P40 Kittyhawks and P51 Mustangs at Bohle River airfield in July 1945

The Mustang landing is coming in on a "dead stick" landing with no power. It is piloted by W/O Tony E. Webb

 

86 Squadron carried out army co-operation exercises, bombing and strafing practice, and general flying training. In July 1945, 86 Squadron began preparation for their re-equipment program.  Their first Mustang, A68-506 arrived at Bohle River airfield on 5 July 1945 on transfer from 84 Squadron.  The first aircraft on actual allotment from 6 AD arrived on 7 July 1945.  Unfortunately the aircraft's tail-wheel retracted after landing and the tail was damaged.

 

Two Kittyhawks of 86 Squadron
collide at Bohle River on 9 March 1945

 

Crash landing of a Kittyhawk
at Bohle River airfield on 8 April 1945

 

Mid air collision of two Kittyhawks
just north of Townsville on 4 July 1945

 

Mishap with a Mustang
at Bohle River airfield
on 7 July 1945

 

Crash of a Mustang at Bohle River airfield
on 5 August 1945

 

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6 August 1945 - Mustangs of 84 Squadron and 86 Squadron
lined up at Garbutt for a visit by the Duke of York (I've had
to touch up this photo to remove damage by insects)

 

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6 August 1945 - Mustangs of 84 Squadron and 86 Squadron at Garbutt

 

Crash of a Mustang into the sea near Townsville
between Bay Rock and West Point
on Magnetic Island on 9 August 1945

 

Crash of a P-40 N20 Kittyhawk of 86 Squadron
near Bohle River airfield on 16 October 1945

 

The squadron was eventually disbanded at Bohle River airfield on 20 December 1945.

 

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86 Squadron Mustangs at Bohle River airfield

 

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86 Squadron Mustangs at Bohle River airfield - 1945

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"86 Squadron 1943-45 - Men, Kittyhawks and Mustangs"
By Peter F. Howard

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 5 July 1998

This page last updated 14 January 2017