World War II Airstrip Fenton - NT

  Airstrip

Position

DEG: -13.62124 131.339066
DMS: 13º 37' 16.46" S 131º 20' 20.64" E
UTM: 52 L 8492945mN 753069mE
Altitude: 104.95m

Description

Place Type

Infrastructure - Airstrip

Location

139.83kms SouthEast of Darwin - Driving 175 km (2 hours 2 mins)

Address & Contact

Douglas-daly NT 0822
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A

Information

Orientation 40°. WWII airstrip just a few km west of Stuart Hwy. Drive the 6070 feet runway, then see plane wreckage and gun emplacements.
Fenton Field, 24kms west of Brock's Creek in the Northern Territory, was built by Company C and HQ Detachment of the 808th Engineer Aviation Battalion from 27 April to 16 July 1942. Fenton airfield may have also been referred to as Brock's Creek airfield in its early development. The 808th built 6, 000 ft of runway 100 ft wide, paved with 4 inches of clay gravel. They also built 7,600 ft of taxiways, 50 ft wide with 15 ft shoulders paved with 3 inches of gravel and 28 dispersals without revetments.
In about mid 1942, 1st Lieutenant Manuel Burke Von Wald of the 43rd Materiel Squadron moved to Fenton airfield after it had been constructed by the Australians. He was the Commanding Officer of the first advance party that was responsible for the establishment of Fenton airfield. After the arrival of the CO, Burke became the Adjutant at Fenton. Burke stayed at Fenton airfield for about 2 years until September 1943.
The first of thirty eight B-24 Liberators of the 380th Bombardment Group left Topeka, Kansas for Australia on 15 April 1943. They arrived at Amberley airfield west of Brisbane between 22 and 30 April 1943. Lt. Col. Miller reported to General George C. Kenney at the Fifth Air Force's Headquarters in the AMP Building in Brisbane and received his orders to move the 380th Bomb Group to Fenton airfield in the Northern Territory.The 43rd Bomb Group arrived in Australia from Maine, USA in August 1942 equipped with B-17E Flying Fortresses. They spent several months at various bases, including Torrens Creek, Iron Range, Fenton and Mareeba. The 64th Squadron of the 43rd Bomb Group were based at Fenton airfield from 12 Oct 1942 - 8 Nov 1942. On 1 December 1943 personnel from 11 Signals Unit RAAF moved to the Fenton area.
Flight Lieutenant R.H. Barnes and the first 45 personnel of 6 Repair and Salvage Unit RAAF (6 RSU) left Mt. Druitt in New South Wales to relocate to Fenton. They arrived at Fenton on 27 December 1944. The rest of the unit arrived progressively through until about 23 February 1945. 6 RSU left Fenton en route to Morotai via Darwin on 17 June 1945.
27 Japanese "Betty" bombers escorted by Zeros, carried out the first bombing raid on Fenton airfield on 30 June 1943. They bombed the runway, destroying three Liberator bombers and damaging several others. No one was killed during this raid. Many new slit trenches were dug after this initial raid. A USAAC DC-4 landed at Pine Creek airfield to avoid the bombing raid.
Some smaller night-time bombing raids were later carried out on Fenton airfield with minimal damage.
Note: The Airstrip is in very good condition and seems to be maintained .
Website: http://www.adelaideriverwargraves.com/380th.htm
Text courtesy Peter Dunn's "Australia @ War" www.ozatwar.com
PlaceID25864
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Wildflowers

Weather

Closest Weather Station

Douglas River at 23/05:30pm CST
Distance from World War II Airstrip Fenton 28.82km SW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts
26.0°C28.0°C69%19.9°C1009.1hPa4.8mmNNE9km/hr
5knots
15km/hr
8knots

Closest Climatic Station

Douglas River
Distance from World War II Airstrip Fenton 28.82km SW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C33.733.333.634.533.031.031.633.536.737.536.835.0
Mean Min. °C23.823.723.120.416.413.312.714.118.622.323.523.7
Mean Rain mm281.7289.3235.853.110.42.32.71.44.437.4116.0208.0

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