Cooktown Mission Strip Civil Construction Corps (CCC) Camp (1942)

Eight Mile Farm

Military camp
North and Cape York

Cooktown Areodrome, Cooktown 4895

Development of the Cooktown Mission Strip, as it became known, began in June 1942 with about 250 Civil Construction Corps (CCC) workers. The new and larger RAAF airfield was intended to replace the older and smaller Cooktown Civil 'Drome, nearer town, which was flood-prone and had reached its operational capacity with the increasing number of aircraft staging through Cooktown and requiring refuelling.


Cooktown Mission Strip was operational by September 1942 as a 7000 foot (2133 metres) gravelled runway with taxiways and dispersal bays. Camp facilities were limited to showers and latrines for two squadrons, with all accommodation being under canvas tents. By November RAAF 27 Operational Base Unit had transferred from the civil 'drome to the completed mission strip. It was joined there by American units from the civil 'drome including the US 104 Coastal Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) Battery. The battery set up its main camp under the mission mango trees near the missionary’s house. This also became the site of the CCC camp. Workers at the mission strip were prevented from entering Cooktown by military police after a series of brawls with US servicemen.


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