During World War II, Townsville (4 hours drive north of Mackay, QLD where I live) was host to over 50,000 American and Australian troops and air crew.
U.S. Army Chaplain, John Radlinski at the American Army Station Hospital near Townsville, ca. 1942
It became a major staging point for battles in the South West Pacific. There were seven airfields and other bases around the city and in the region, and the first bombing raid on Rabaul, in Papua New Guinea, on 23 February 1942 was carried out by six B-17s based near Townsville. It was common for B-26 Marauders, B-17 Flying Fortresss or B-25 Mitchell bombers to take off on long range bombing raids from Garbutt air base in Townsville.
The Strand today.There was a great deal of construction in Townsville during the War . Apart from rebuilding the air base, the US forces converted several of the main roads to use as extra airstrips, and maintenance workshops were built along these roadways. Apparently, the remains of some of these installations and airstrips are still evident, something I plan to look for when I am next there.
Some of the units based in Townsville were –
- No. 3 Fighter Sector RAAF, Wulguru & North Ward
- 1 Wireless Unit, Pimlico & Stuart & Roseneath
- North Eastern Area Command HQ, Townsville, Sturt St (now the Federation building)
- Castle Hill, Townsville underground tunnels & bunkers
- Green St. Bunker, West End, Sidney St West End, Project 81 (now the SES building)
On a different note, here a few photos of vintage aprons and tea cosies from my collection that I have decided to put on Etsy. My drawers are getting too full, so I have decided to part with some of them – even my scotty dog apron!
Oh, and I had my first riding lesson today – a nice gentle trail ride. It was great, even though it was super hot and sunny. We gave the horses a hose down afterwards, which they loved. Next week I’ll take my camera!