The Tocumwal Airport was once the largest airport in the Commonwealth and by far the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
During the 1940’s there were as many as 5000 air defence people stationed there.
Several historic buildings, hangars, engine test facilities and more general storage buildings are still standing to this day.
Originally built in conjunction with the American Forces and named McIntyre Field, Tocumwal Airport once covered an astonishing area of 65 square kilometres (25 square miles) with over 100kms (65 miles) of roadway connecting the aircraft facilities.
It extended from the edge of the present township beyond the racecourse and included rail sidings for both NSW and Victoria, each having different rail gauges at that time.
Tocumwal was a training base for Liberator Bomber crews and very importantly it was a last stage of defence during World War 2 for Australia’s eastern states being positioned on the “Brisbane Line” (a line drawn between Brisbane and Melbourne). Tocumwal Aerodrome History #2
Tocumwal Aerodrome 1944 (2) These documents courtesy of Bob Brown Tocumwal Aerodrome Museum. Liberator Historic Film:
As well as the Consolidated Liberators the enormous number of aircraft operating at Tocumwal included:
Airspeed Oxford, Avro Anson, Bell Aircobra, Boeing Flying Fortress, CAC Boomerang, CAC Mustang, CAC Wackett Trainer, DAP Beaufort, DAP Beaufighter, Curtiss Kittyhawk, de Havilland Dragon Rapide, de Havilland Mosquito, Douglas C47 Dakota, Lockheed Hudson, Lockheed Lightning, Lockheed Lodestar, Lockheed Ventura, Noorduyn Norseman, Supermarine Spitfire, Vultee Vengeance.
Today the airport is a fraction of its original size but Tocumwal remains an excellent flying venue.
CAC Mustangs awaiting destruction 1960 Tocumwal Aerodrome