TOWNSVILLE @ WAR
Townsville @ War - Air Defence Systems 1942
and the three Air Raids on Townsville
The Townsville area was known as Base Section 2 to the Americans
Townsville - my home town
|A photograph of Flinders Street some time after the war. Chandlers and the Excelsior Hotel can be seen on the left and the Adelaide Steamship Company building on the right.
|Another old photo (161 Kbytes) of Flinders
Street, Townsville. Green and Rawkins Chemist on the right and City Mutual building
on the left
|Another old photo (75 Kbytes) of
Flinders Street, Townsville. Cannings on the right and City Mutual
building on the left
|One Sunday Afternoon in Townsville 1942
A crayon and water colour and pencil illustration by Roy Hodkinson of the Herald
Collection of Townsville from 1940's
E-MAILS FROM VISITORS TO THIS HOME PAGE
WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville
Bunkers & Fortifications
|WW2 Bunkers in the Stuart and Roseneath areas of Townsviell
|Military Command Centre inside Castle Hill near the Green Street Bunker
|The Defence of
Townsville during WW2
Top Secret - Townsville Defence Scheme
This is a very interesting document
Douglas MacArthur in Townsville
Baynes Johnson's time in Townsville
Japanese bomb Townsville
Special Unit Commandos invade Townsville
"Native Labour Company"
Aircraft Crashes in the
Townsville area during WW2
Did you know that there were at least 199 military aircraft crashes or mishaps in the Townsville area during WW2?
Establishments in the
Military Cemetery in Townsville during WW2
Collection of Jack Heyn
Heyn in the South West Pacific area
Includes his time at Charters Towers and visits to Mackay and Ingham
Menu for Athol's Inn
in Flinders Street
the menu was obviously designed to please the Americans
in Townsville during WW2
|Townsville - The war is over!!
the historic cannons in Anzac Park?
I was born in Townsville in 1948 and as a kid I grew up surrounded by remnants of the war. The saltpan behind my home at Haig Street, Pimlico, Townsville had a number of rusting belly tanks from fighter and bomber aircraft that were based in Townsville during the war. The lucky kids who were a bit older had managed to grab the better ones a few years earlier and made canoes out of them. The saltpan is now gone and replaced with some lakes, housing and Castletown shopping centre, etc. I can vaguely remember about 50 metres behind our house, there were the remains of what I presume were open slit trenches from the war.
The bike and some long-nose Lincoln bombers
of 10 Squadron RAAF at Garbutt airbase in 1961
I used to ride my trusty old pushbike out to the numerous World War 2 igloos that used to exist around Duckworth street and the general area at the base of Mount Louisa. I can remember my mother, like many other people in Townsville, learning how to drive on the large concrete aprons on Duckworth Street, that once used to hold hundreds of wartime aircraft. I can remember the Redex Trials mustered in the same area when I was a kid. These aircraft took part in many bombing raids in the New Guinea area and also took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea off the north Queensland coast.
At one time during the war, Townsville was America's largest overseas air base except for some facilities in Great Britain. It was common for B-26 Marauders, B-17 Flying Fortresses or B-25 Mitchell bombers to take off on long range bombing raids from Garbutt air base. The first bombing raid on Rabaul on 23 February 1942 was carried out by six B-17's based near Townsville. Three of the B-17's were badly damaged by gunfire and three crewmen were wounded. One B-17 belly landed 354 kms from Port Moresby when it ran out of fuel.
These long range bombing raids from Townsville would cover a 36 - 48 hour period with a total of 18 hours of flying time. Typically they would leave Townsville late in the afternoon, stay overnight at Port Moresby to refuel and take on-board a load of bombs, and then attack Rabaul. They would then return to Port Moresby for more fuel and return to Townsville.
I remember when I was about 12 -15 years old, one of our neighbours, the Neilsens, telling me about a P-38 Lightning having crash landed on the saltpan behind our house. I never knew whether it was true or not, but over 25 years later I read about this incident in the excellent book called "Wings Around Us" by Rodney G. Cardell. I'd love to find a photograph of the aircraft after it had crash landed. Can anyone help? Rodney's excellent book is centered around the Stock Route Air Strip which used to be located where Dalrymple Road goes beside the high voltage steel towers at Garbutt. There were many other war times airfields around Townsville, including Aitkenvale, Antill Plains, Bohle River, Fanning, Garbutt, Giru, Reid River, Ross River, Upper Ross, and Woodstock.
Regards Peter Dunn
"Australia @ War"
assisted SkyNews Australia with their TV
"Anzac Legacy - An Unsolved Mystery" in September 2001.
Investigating reports of WWII tunnels and bunkers
criss-crossing Townsville, North Queensland.
City Council held an event called Living Heroes - VP60
from 12 - 15 August 2005 which marked the 60th anniversary
of the end of World War 2 and commemorated our veterans
Barber Shop in Townsville
Full of photos and memorabilia
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn OAM 2020
This page first produced 25 April 1998
This page last updated 28 February 2020