Ports and airfields U.S. used in Australia during WWII

Mr. Gregory,

Because of your excellent web site that I happened upon today while attemping to find some information, I figure you are probably about the best person I can think of to pose two questions I have......

I'm doing some research on all the ports the U.S. Navy used in Australia during WWII in which they operated thier submarines out of  (and all aspects of submarine  operations/support facitlities as a whole) but I've had exceptionally meager success. Apparently there's, aggravatingly, very little information available concerning this subject.

The only two books I've been able to find and purchase on this are "U.S. Subs Down Under: Brisbane, 1942-1945" by David Jones and Peter Nunan and "Fremantle's Secret Fleets" by Lynne Cairns. I've also exausted all information provided by your and the Maritime Museum's web site's of both Fremantle and Brisbane. Aside from these mentioned resources, I simply cannot think of anywhere else to look.

My other question is: would you happen to know anything about the WWII airfields constructed, by the U.S. Army Engineers, in the Northern Territory? Specificly, Carson's Aerodrome/Airfield (which is now RAAF Tindal) emplaced near Katherine. The Army units which were involved in it's construction were the 43rd, 46th and (if I remember correctly) the 818th Engineer General Services Regiments. There is only one source of information I've been able to locate on this subject and that comes from Peter Dunn's website. I've also conversed with a Robert Pritchard, who lives outside of Darwin, but his information is limited as well. Aside from that, there's virtually nothing to be found. What I'm wanting to find is the layout of the base, what buildings were there, the layout of the runway, how often had it been attacked, what unit was stationed there  (if any)........

I understand these two topics are very obscure and information on them is  (obviously)  quite limited. I've been trying to unearth any material I could drum up for over two years now and have little to show for my efforts. With that said, I want you to know I won't be disappointed if you draw a blank as I have. There just appears to be no information available after 62 plus years. Too much water under the bridge.

Well, that's about all I had. I want to thank you for reading and considering this.

You take it easy.

Michael Kirby


Thank you for your kind words about AHOY.

I believe that both Brisbane and Fremantle were the only two Australian ports from which US Submarines operated from in WW2.

If you are not aware of Clay Blair Jr's Silent Victory. The US Submarine War Against Japan. Bantam Books. New York. 1978. you need to get hold of a copy, it has a wealth of material about the US boats that worked out of Brisbane and Fremantle.

I am not aware of details of RAAF bases in the NT in WW2, but please let me do some digging, and I will come back to you either with empty hands or some detail.

Best regards,
Mackenzie Gregory.

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