NO. 8 STORES DEPOT DETACHMENT A, RAAF
GARBUTT, TOWNSVILLE, QLD
DURING WWII

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This site for 8 Stores Depot, Detachment "A" was initially occupied by
No. 3 Stores and Shipping Unit and 42 Radio Direction Finding Wing.

8 Stores Depot was formed at Townsville on 10 August 1943. It had originally been intended to be formed on 15 July 1943 but due to lack of personnel its formation was delayed.

8 Stores Depot was initially intended to be a lodger unit of 13 Stores Unit in Townsville. However this was changed and 8 Stores Depot was ordered to take over the storage facilities around Townsville including buildings under construction and staff of 13 Stores Unit RAAF on 20 September 1943. The first Commanding Officer of 8 Stores Depot was Squadron Leader Kenneth A. MacKenzie.

8 Stores Depot was originally meant to be located in Hughenden, then it was though the unit would remain in Townsville and occupy 4 new igloo hangars under construction at Garbutt in Townsville. On about 28/29 May 8 Stores Depot relocated to Macrossan airfield about 23 kms north east of Charters Towers. "A" Detachment of 8 Stores Depot was left behind in Townsville.

The site at Macrossan was at the northern end of the Macrossan Airfield. It comprised tow large igloo hangars, two Bellman hangars and three large storehouses. A railway spur line also ran into the depot area. A camp was established slightly to the west of the depot. The depot established its own vegetable garden and raised chickens and built its own piggery.

Detachment "A" of 8 Stores Depot continued to expand with the additional railway reserve land (see above plan) at Garbutt being taken over in late May 1944. The site included several new buildings and a railway siding which ran into the new site.

8 Stores Depot was initially responsible for maintenance of Macrossan Airfield until 84 Squadron RAAF arrived on 22 June 1944. Other units to share the base was 10 repair and Salvage Unit RAAF and 86 Squadron RAAF.

300 Army personnel from 5AARD were attached to 8 Stores Depot on 31 August 1944 where they assembled 2,600 steel racks for 8 Stores Depot.

11 Stores Depot at Townsville was disbanded and renamed as 8 Stores Depot, Detachment "B" on 22 December 1945. By late December 1945 "L", "Q", and "W" detachments had also transferred from Townsville to Macrossan.

On 10 January 1946, No. 3 Replenishing Centre at Charters Towers was taken over and renamed 8 Stores Depot, Detachment "C", "J" Group Storage Area.

On 20 April 1946 holdings and issuing functions stopped to allow the depot to concentrate on disposal activities. 8 Stores Depot was disbanded on 28 February 1949. The remaining staff and assets became 10 (GR) Squadron Detachment "C", while the "J" Group explosives storage site at Charters Towers became 10 Squadron, Detachment "A" which continued to operate until 9 June 1960.

 

 

 

The site occupied by No. 8 Stores Depot, Detachment "A" was in a triangle of land bounded by Flinders Street West and Dalrymple Road at Garbutt. It was opposite the site now occupied by Ergon Energy in Dalrymple Road. This site had first been established for No 3 Shipping and Stores Unit (3SSU) and No. 42 Radio Direction Finding Wing (42 RDF), and was then used by No 13 Stores Unit and then used by No 8SD, Detachment "A" before finally being used by No 11 Stores Depot after the war. The land had previously been Railway Reserve No. 286.

13 Stores Unit in Townsville was disbanded and absorbed into 8 Stores Depot on 20 September 1943.

 

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