NARROMINE AIRFIELD
NARROMINE, NSW
DURING WW2

 

Narromine Airfield was requisitioned by the RAAF in July 1940 for the establishment of No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School (5 EFTS) as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS).

No. 8 Operational Training Unit (8 OTU) also operated from the Narromine Airfield.

No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School graduated 2,850 pilots during its four-year stay. Some of Narromine’s graduates were:-

Narromine Airfield had the following relief landing grounds/emergency landing grounds and maintenance fields:

The Mosquito bombers of No. 618 Squadron, Royal Air Force arrived at Narromine in January 1945. Syd Kildea, the Secretary of the 5 Airfield Construction Squadron Association for NSW told me the following on 7 June 2007:-

I was also interested in the item on 618 RAF Squadron as I was the Barracks Electrician at RAAF Narromine during 1945 when they were there with their Mosquitos. We knew their mission was hush-hush as we were not allowed to enter the hangars unattended. It was many years after the war that I saw a documentary about the Mosquito being modified to carry the dam buster bomb that I realised the true purpose of their mission. In July 1945 one of their members was posted back to England, as he was a finger print expert and when the Mosquito "Shot-up" the town it got out of control and crashed. I have also read about this in the book "Mosquito Monograph" which I found very interesting.

No. 93 Squadron RAAF and its Beaufighters arrived at Narromine in December 1945. Its role was to escort Mustang fighters to Japan as part of the occupation forces, the trip lasting from February to April 1946.

The base is now a civil airfield for Narromine and is home to the Narromine Aviation Museum.

 

Fatal flying accidents involving Narromine-based aircraft, 1940-1945

By Michael Nelmes

 

Date

Killed

Buried at

Unit

Aircraft

Incident

8-8-40

F/O H. Smales

AC1 A.C. Alderson, age 29

Cremated Rookwood NSW

Narromine Civil Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-36

Spun into ground 6km northwest of Narromine

3-12-40

F/O Guy Hubbard, age 29

Narromine War Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-32

Stalled to avoid collision near aerodrome

2-12-42

LAC Stanley Wellington, age 28

Narromine Civil Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-342

Wing failure during cross-country exercise 24km north of Mudgee; parachute failed to open

23-12-42

LAC Terence Hempenstall, age 24

LAC Thomas Berndt, age 20

Narromine Civil Cemetery

Narromine Civil Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-472

Tiger Moth A17-113

Mid-air collision 5km northeast of aerodrome

24-5-43

LAC Collin Campbell, age 19

Narromine War Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-337

Crashed & burned near aerodrome

2-12-43

F/O Richard Bennett, age 29

Narromine War Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-513

Engine trouble during cross-country training exercise, ‘Clergate’ north of Orange

3-2-44

F/Sgt John Tedge, age 30

Narromine War Cemetery

5 EFTS

Tiger Moth A17-403

Stalled during turn near aerodrome

20-9-44

F/O John Walton, age 27

Sgt Alan Collins, age 19

Narromine War Cemetery

8 OTU

Wirraway A20-526

Wirraway A20-120

Mid-air collision during formation training 10km south of Narromine

2-5-45

F/Lt David Rochford RAF

LAC Charles Boydell RAAF, age 24

Sydney War Cemetery

 

618 Sqdn

Mosquito FB.VI, HR576

Aircraft disintegrated over Sydney during test flight

19-6-45

F/O Ernest Bell RAF, age 25

F/Lt Edward Sillito DFC, RAF, age 24

Benalla War Cemetery, VIC

618 Sqdn

Mosquito PR.XVI, NS735

Crashed in flames enroute from Laverton VIC to Narromine

27-7-45

S/Ldr James McGoldrick RAAF, age 27

F/Lt Francis French RAF, age 36

Narromine War Cemetery

618 Sqdn

Mosquito FB.VI, HR614

Crashed beside railway line in Narromine - control lost whilst manoeuvring at low altitude

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to than Cameron Alexander, Michael Nelmes and Syd Kildea for their assistance with this web page.

 

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This page first produced 27 July 2007

This page last updated 28 December 2014