Tocumwal Airport in New South Wales played a very important part as a US base during WW2, when it was known as McIntyre Field. Whilst much of the WW2 infrastructure has disappeared a lot of the history has been collected and the museum is currently housed at the Tocumwal Bowls Club.
19th February 1942 – Australia was under attack, with Japan launching the first of 64 air raids on Darwin. Invasion appeared imminent and before the arrival of the American Forces, we were virtually defenceless. It seemed that N-W Australia would have to be sacrificed. In an effort to concentrate our defences in the S-E of the continent, the Brisbane Line strategy was considered, a final defence line drawn between Brisbane and Melbourne.
Tocumwal, being right on the Brisbane Line, was selected for a heavy bomber base for the United States Army Air Corps. So great was the emergency, there was no time to give land owners notice. Tocumwal property owners such as the Hawkins, Keough, Hearn, Batters and Thorburn were shocked to be given just 24 hours to vacate and then see their properties immediately bulldozed. 2700 construction workers of the Allied Works Council began creating the huge airbase and working day and night, had a runway ready for first landings in 5 weeks.
They commandeered farm tractors, trucks, horses, anything to frantically complete the task. Over an area of 5,200 acres, they built 4 runways up to 1,850 metres in length, 112 kms of roadways and taxiways, 6.4 kms of branch railway line to a new rail platform on the field, 7 giant hangars to house the big Liberator bombers, 600 other buildings for hangars, workshops, mess halls, sleeping quarters, administration and a 200 bed hospital. In just 16 weeks, after expenditure of A$6 million, they built, in Tocumwal, the largest aerodrome in the southern hemisphere.
09 / 27 : 18 / 36
35° 4839 S
145° 3615 E
1200 : 1273
118.6 4500 FT
Berrigan Shire Council
(03) 5888 5100
0408 167 885
Near THR 09 / 27 / 18
|ASIC Security / Vis Vest|
AVGAS Aero Refuellers Carnet, M/C, Visa
Unmanned 0413 003 808
|Distance to Town|
0432 807 835
Special Procedures and Comments: CTAF 125.5
Gliders OP on RWYs parallel to sealed RWYs.
Contra circuits in operation with no dead side.
See ERSA for flight procedures.
Bird and animal hazards.