CHARTERS TOWERS AIRFIELD, QLD
DURING WW2

 

The two sealed cross-runways at Charters Towers were completed in a record 6 weeks by the Australian Civil Construction Corps.  They worked day and night to achieve this record.

The first A24 of the 3rd Bomb Group used the air strip on 25 March 1942.  It was flown by Major "Big Jim" Davies of the 8th Squadron.

The air strip was on the edge of Charters Towers on a ridge that had been the suburb of Corinda when Charters Towers had been a booming gold town.  The air strip adjoined Mount Carmel College.

 

The first Control Tower at Charters Towers for the 3rd Bomb Group.
A combat crew in front of B-25 "El Aguila" (Spanish for Eagle) of the 13th Squadron of the 3rd Bomb Group in early 1942 at Charters Towers before the aircraft were converted to low-level attack planes. The tall fellow on the right end of the  picture. is Col. James Hubert Davies.

22sqn01.jpg (33020 bytes)

Boston bomber of 22 Squadron RAAF at Charters Towers in September 1942 Jack McMasters (pilot) standing in front of the aircraft and Jim Larkin (wireless operator/navigator) on top of the aircraft

22sqn02.jpg (36682 bytes)

Boston bomber of 22 Squadron RAAF at Charters Towers in September 1942 Jack Woodward (navigator) and Jack McMasters (pilot) standing in front of the aircraft

 

All of the following photographs are from the collection of Jack Heyn,
of Group Photo Section, 3rd Bomb Group (L) (aka 3rd Attack Group)

 

jh08.jpg (27842 bytes)

B-25's waiting to take off from Charters
Towers on a bombing mission

(Photo: Jack Heyn)

 

jh01.jpg (29940 bytes)

A combat crew in front of B-25 "El Aguila" (Spanish for Eagle) of the 13th Squadron of the 3rd Bomb Group in early 1942 at Charters Towers before the aircraft were converted to low-level attack planes.

The tall fellow on the right end of the  picture. is Col. James H. Davies. He was one of the pilots evacuated from the Philippines to be assigned to the 3rd bomb Group in March of '42. He became the Gp. Commander, and on April ll, '42 led 10 of the B-25s and 39 crew member to Darwin. From there with the aid of auxiliary bomb-bay tanks flew non-stop to Del Monte on Mindanoa in the Philippines. They operated out of obscure fields attacking shipping and installations in the Davao, Mindanoa area. After 4 days the Japs discovered where they were coming from, and Col. Davies led them back to Charters Towers via Darwin losing no planes or crew member. Since several of the pilots were evacuees from the Philippines, who had lost their planes on the ground early on, it was sort of pay-back time for them.

jh02.jpg (27844 bytes)

A combat crew in front of B-25 "Baby Blitz" of the 13th Squadron of the 3rd Bomb Group in early 1942 at Charters Towers before the aircraft  were converted to low-level attack planes.  "Baby Blitz" was later burned up in a Japanese air raid on Port Moresby.

jh03.jpg (31488 bytes)

A combat crew in front of B-25 "Fair Dinkum" of the 13th Squadron of the 3rd Bomb Group.  "Fair Dinkum  was later burned up in the same Japanese air raid on Port Moresby as "Baby Blitz" above.

jh04.jpg (29154 bytes)

A combat crew in front of B-25D Mitchell, "Eight Ball Esquire", of the 13th Bomb Squadron of the 3rd Bomb Group at Charters Towers on 30 September 1942.  "Eight Ball Esquire" later ditched in the Coral Sea, but the crew got back safely. In fact one of the gunners was a tent mate of Jack Hehn.

jh05.jpg (59144 bytes)

"Home away from Home" at Charters Towers for the 3rd Bomb Group. It was their first experience of overseas billeting in war time. Was a bit primitive and served mostly as just a place to get their sack-time and very little else. As you will see later, things did improve.

jh06.jpg (34999 bytes)

More of the luxuries of life at Charters Towers

jh25.jpg (27349 bytes)

Charters Towers air strip

jh26.jpg (22553 bytes)

13th Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group,  dispersal area at Charters Towers

 

Crash of a B-25C Mitchell of the 3rd Bomb Group
at Charters Towers on 6 April 1942

 

Crash of a B-25 Mitchell
at Charters Towers on 9 May 1942

 

 

 

In Association with Amazon.com

Heaps of WW2
books available at
Amazon.com

                          "Australia @ War"
                          

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2006

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


 "Australia @ War"
Available on a Data DVD

Peter Dunn's
explode.gif (15799 bytes) AUSTRALIA @ WAR explode.gif (15799 bytes)
WWW.OZATWAR.COM


Do you need a holiday!
Sun, surf, beautiful beaches and lots more!


  Genealogy Software
190 Mbytes of Genealogy Indexes & Programs

This page first produced 12 March 1999

This page last updated 4 April 1999