The RAAF townsville Museum at RAAF Base Garbutt, Townsville
On one of my trips to
Townsville I stopped in to see the RAAF Townsville Museum. The Museum
is located on the RAAF Base and accesed from the main road via a
gate, there is no access from, or to, the Base itself. The Museum
is free and relies on sales from the souveneir shop and donatiosn.
It has a staff of all volunteers that have a great knowledge of the
displays and history of military activities in Townsville over the
years. I was guided through the displays by John Richmond. An interesting
side note to this visit is that John knew my father and my family
during the 1970's as he worked at the primary school that we went
The Museum has a number
of displays that consist of photo boards or a number of artifacts.
The displays cover:
The outdoor display has
a number of pieces of equipment ranging from a 3.7in AA Gun to pieces
There are propellers from Catalina's, Mosquito and Thunderbolt as
well as a few tanks including a Kittyhawk Belly tank and a P-51 reserve
tank. Around the back of the Museum is the remains of two Iriquois
helicopters consisting of the Tail of A-2102? and half the fueslage
of A2-382. There are also a number of other displays outside.
The displays in the huts
currently cover the following areas:
a. WAAAF and WRAAF display;
b. Research library;
c. Communication display;
d. Link Trainer;
e. Air Traffic control
f. Army Aviation display;
g. 80 SQN display; and
h. A national Service
This display covers the various airfields
that were used during WWII, including:
a. Stockroute airfield;
b. Aitkenvale airfield;
c. Ross River airfield;
d. Bohle airfield;
e. Garbutt airfield; and
f. Ten Squadron.
Caribou display area
This is an interactive display that covers
the history and exploits of the Caribou.
There are a number of other displays in
the museum including:
a. A navigation display,
b. American display covering the 5th Air
force and 4th Air Depot,
c. Uniform display,
d. Coral Sea display, and
e. Bomb, missile and engine display.
The Muesum shop is only a small affair
but has a number of the Stewart Wilson 'in Australian service' publications
as well as a great variety of cloth badges. For those interested
in photograpy you may be lucky and run into David Brock who was working
in the shop when I was there. David kindly showed me his photo albums
that he has accumulated over the years. This is a VERY comprehensive
collection of aircraft photos that David has taken with permission
of the Base Commander. David has been allowed free reign over the
base with his camera's and has managed to take a great number of
good quality photos of the aircraft and people of the base.
This is an interesting little Museum that
tries to cover an important chunk of Townsvilles history. It is only
a small museum and as such the displays are not extensive but cover
enough to give you an idea on what happened during the war until
the present. So if you are visiting Townsville I reccommend that
you pay a visit to the museum and have a chat to the guides. It only
requires an hour or two of your time but this can blow out to longer
if you start talking to the guides as I did.
The museum is open three days a week,
Tuesdays and Thursdays 9am to 12pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm.
Ph/fax: 07 475 21712