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Old 28th Dec 2012, 21:37   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Fliegensville, Gold Coast Australia
Posts: 557
Secret Base Charleville QLD?

Charleville is about 750km north West of where I am......so won't be driving out there this weekend! Still an interesting story.....and reminds me of the old concrete Nissen huts that used to be located around the Gold Coast Turf Club, sadly since demolished

British Airways Boeing 747-400 in D-Check - YouTube
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 22:24   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lincolnshire
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'Friad I'm not going to trawl through the 58 minutes of the Youtube clip to find what you're on about, but there was a 'non-secret' USAAF base at Charleville during WWII.

Last edited by skippedonce; 28th Dec 2012 at 22:24.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 22:31   #3 (permalink)
 
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Location: Fliegensville, Gold Coast Australia
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Ha ha ...sorry, pasted wrong thing...here 'tis


Tourists flock to former top-secret US Air Force base near Charleville | The Courier-Mail
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 18:13   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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When was it built?
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Old 31st Dec 2012, 19:24   #5 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Bomb vault? Pretty small bombs. The hangar doesn't look very abandoned.

The airfield is on Google Earth on the south eastern edge of the town. The hangar on the link appears to be near short runway and off Quantas drive. The picture appears to be shot from the western side.

What would appear to be Secret would not be the airfield but that it was used by the US. It is a fair way in land but only 1000 miles from Borneo and outlying islands. It would have been a relatively secure base had the Japanese invaded.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 31st Dec 2012 at 19:39.
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Old 1st Jan 2013, 17:08   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lincolnshire
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When was it built?

From Wiki:

During World War II, the United States Army Air Force 63d Bombardment Squadron, assigned to the Fifth Air Force 43d Bombardment Group, flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from the airfield between 15 June-3 August 1942.
Other USAAF units assigned to Charleville were the 8th and 480th Service Squadron of the 45th Service Group.
Charleville was also the western terminus of the Air Transport Command Pacific Wing (later Division).
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) had a unit at Charleville. No 15 Operational Base Unit provided support services for transiting aircraft, such as refuelling or minor maintenance.

So, hardly 'secret'.

Last edited by skippedonce; 1st Jan 2013 at 17:09.
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Old 1st Jan 2013, 17:55   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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It would have been a big secret had Oz been approached about its use back in 1936 - at that time, Japan expressed concern to the Oz govt that it had let some Pacific islands (Brit territory but administered by Oz) be used by the USA to built military airbases which Japan thought could threaten their trade routes - at the time, Japan was building a flourishing trade empire in the Pacific - the Americans regarded the Pacific as their "new frontier".
So the date of its use, or preparation, is rather important.
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Old 1st Jan 2013, 19:32   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
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Royal Geological Society of Queensland 26S 146E Oakleigh :-
Quote:
Charleville has important connexions with Australian aviation history. On their 1919 flight from England to Australia Ross and Keith Smith made a landing near the town to affect repairs to their aircraft. In 1922 the first commercial airflight in Australia took place when Qantas flew paying passengers from Charleville to Longreach.
During WWII the Charleville airport was taken over by the US forces as a strategic bomber base and the RAAF established the meteorological office at the airstrip. In 1943 the RFDS base was established.
Seems the a/f was there long before US occupancy, that occurred after war started anyway, unless of course someone knows different....
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Old 1st Jan 2013, 21:38   #9 (permalink)
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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Chug, there might have been MOU but really in the mid-1936s would the US have identified a need to agree emergency basing rights at an inland airfield in a Commonwealth Country.
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