NABIAC AIRFIELD
IN NSW DURING WWII

 

Nabiac Airfield was a WWII RAAF satellite airfield for Richmond Airfield. It was located near Forster on the mid north coast of New South Wales. It had four runways each 1200 ft long at angles 1, 46. 91 and 136.

The town of Nabiac is on the Pacific Highway between Bulahdelah and Taree. The airfield was east of the town only a few miles from the coast. The site of the former WWII airfield is still clearly visible on Google Earth.

The site for Advanced Operational Base Nabiac was chosen by Wing Commander Simms in about February 1942. A 7 May 1942 memo describes the proposed camouflage scheme for RAAF Station Nabiac:-

26 Dispersal points        490 splinterproofed      12,740
Decoy Bomb Dump                                                   100
Decoy S.H. Quarters                                                 325
Decoy Roadways                                                      200
Petrol Dispersal Trenches                                          100
                                                                           13,465

Splinterproofing        250
Camouflage               240
                TOTAL    490

About 1,300 Obstruction Posts were installed at some stage to prevent aircraft landing presumably. In 15 September 1943, there was an estimate for 150 to remove the posts and stack them outside the landing area and refilling the holes.

During wet periods large parts of the airfield were almost unserviceable except for light aircraft. Accommodation, workshop and store building were all surrounded by water during wet periods. A memo dated 1 October 1943 outlined the problem and recommended a survey be carried out so that a drainage scheme could be designed and an estimate prepared. An estimate for 7,300 was later recommended for approval.

 


NAA Plan

Plan showing the 4 runways

 

A Wireless Telegraph service operated at Nabiac during WWII.

Members of No. 7 Repair and Salvage Unit travelled to Nabiac Airfield on occasions to salvage aircraft.

Avro Anson W2638 force landed on the beach about 4 miles north east of Nabiac ay 0320 hours on on 15 July 1943 due to fuel exhaustion after being in the air for 6 hours and 20 minutes.

 


Photo:- Bev Woodman

A concrete bunker at the site of the former WWII Nabiac Airfield. There are
two of these bunkers on the Car Club property which now occupies the site.

 

On 19 March 1943 No 2 VAOC Operations Record Book has the following entry which mentioned Nabiac:-

19/3/43
At 1725 hours TAREE Control reported that Q18 had identified an aircraft sighting reported by them at 1650 hours as a JAPANESE aircraft Type 98 Serial 15. Posts within the area were contacted. Also the Duty Pilot at NABIAC who had seen the aircraft as it flew immediately over the aerodrome there, and who definitely establishe dthe fact that the aircraft referred to was a "WACO" en route to MASCOT.

Another entry on 23 June 1944 mentions a US Navy Douglas Dauntless landing at Nabiac airfield:-

23 June 1944
DOUGLAS DAUNTLESS (U.S.N.) en route from ARCHERFIELD to MASCOT landed on WINGHAM Emergency Landing Ground owing to bad flying conditions and aircraft running short of fuel. Advice of landing reported to TAREE Control by Mrs. W.H. Spear. Chief Observer immediately proceeded to landing ground; conveyed pilot to V.A.O.C. Post when weather report was supplied. F.C.U. also advised. As aircraft had sufficient fuel to fly to NABIAC, pilot advised to proceed there for re-fuelling, and NABIAC advised to this effect by Control. (ZONE E.J. A/O 21 No. 2).

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Bev Woodman and James Swan for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 18 January 2016

This page last updated 18 January 2016