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RAAF Base Darwin
RAAF Base Darwin main gate.jpg
RAAF Base Darwin's main gate.
IATA: DRWICAO: YPDN
Summary
Airport type Military/Public
Operator Darwin International Airport / RAAF
Location Darwin, Northern Territory
Elevation AMSL 103 ft / 31 m
Coordinates 12°24′53″S 130°52′36″E / 12.41472°S 130.87667°E / -12.41472; 130.87667Coordinates: 12°24′53″S 130°52′36″E / 12.41472°S 130.87667°E / -12.41472; 130.87667
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
11/29 11,004 3,354 Asphalt
18/36 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
RAAF Base Darwin is located in Northern Territory
RAAF Base Darwin
Location of RAAF Base Darwin, NT
Former RAAF Base Darwin Control and Water Tower
A USAF C-130 taking off from RAAF Base Darwin in 1999

RAAF Base Darwin (IATA: DRWICAO: YPDN) is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base located in the city of Darwin, Northern Territory. The base shares its runway with Darwin International Airport.

Contents

History

Construction of the airfield began in 1938 and RAAF Station Darwin was established on 1 June 1940, from elements of No. 12 Squadron RAAF. No. 13 Squadron RAAF was also created at the same time and was based at the base. Charles Eaton was the first Commanding Officer between 1940-1941.

No. 12 Squadron RAAF relocated from Parap Airfield, Northern Territory in April 1941 to RAAF Station Darwin. The base hosted a large number of RAAF and United States Army Air Force units during World War II. The base was bombed by Japanese forces many times, beginning with two major air raids on 19 February 1942.

Units based at RAAF Darwin during World War II

During World War II RAAF Base Darwin served as a first refuge for retreating United States Army Air Force units from the Philippines in 1941. The USAAF Far East Air Force and its subordinate commands, V Fighter and V Bomber established headquarters at Darwin in late December 1941. Later, the USAAF 49th Fighter Group and other units were assigned to Darwin before moving north to forward bases in 1943. From 9 Aug 1944 to 20 Feb 1945 the USAAF 380th Bombardment Group based four squadrons of long-range B-24 Liberator bombers at the base. From Darwin, the group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a series of long-range attacks on oil refineries, shipping, and dock facilities in Balikpapan, Borneo, in Aug 1943. The unit repeatedly bombed enemy airfields in western New Guinea during Apr and May 1944 in support of American landings in the Hollandia area, being awarded another DUC for this action. Moved in Feb 1945 to Mindoro in the Philippines.[1]

In 1975, during the aftermath of Cyclone Tracy, the base was the centre of the largest airlift in Australian history in which the majority of Darwin's inhabitants were evacuated.

The Base is an emergency landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle due to the length of its runway.

Units

Unit name FEG Aircraft
No. 44 Wing Detachment Darwin Surveillance and Response Group
No. 92 Wing Detachment B Surveillance and Response Group AP-3C
Headquarters No. 396 Combat Support Wing Combat Support Group
No. 13 Squadron (Reserve) Combat Support Group
No. 1 Air Terminal Squadron Detachment Darwin Combat Support Group
No. 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit Surveillance and Response Group
No. 321 Combat Support Squadron Combat Support Group
Bare Base Management Flight Combat Support Group

See also

References

  1. ^ Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924

External links

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