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INVITATION TO COOMALIE CREEK 75 ANNIVERSARY OF VJ DAY, 2020
To all 31 Sqn Beaufighter Association members your families and friends.
Richard Luxton of Coomalie Farm wants everyone who is an original member, family member, or friend of the Association, and anyone who has served at Coomalie, to know that he is inviting you to Coomalie on the 15th August 2020 to attend the celebrations to commemorate the 75 Anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific, VP day. (or VJ day as most servicemen and women know it)
Although the actual date is on the Saturday the 15 of August 2020, and starts as early as any Pilot feels like going up! Richard wants to remind everyone that he would love you to come earlier for those of you who can, and enjoy the local National Parks and Tourist type things at Darwin while staying either, at Coomalie farm if you have a Caravan, Camper or Tent, or at one of the many types of accommodation venues in the local area
While there is no “official program”, Richard advises there will be many things to do in the weeks preceding the day of the Fly-in.
Ian Madden and several others will be conducting Tours of Coomalie Airfield and its infrastructure. There will be BBQ and Pizza nights with music, particularly on the evening of the main day of the Fly-in.
A Memorial Service on Sunday morning will be held for Squadron Leader Jim Gillespie of 87 Squadron at the Airstrip. This will be just prior to the Church service that will be held in the Bush Chapel on Sunday morning. During all of this, there will be all types of Aircraft Flying around including Warbirds, Ultra lights and Model Aircraft.
Also attending a few days before the 15th will be a Convoy of approx 160 restored Army and WW2 type vehicles coming from Alice Springs to Darwin for the very purpose of celebrating VJ day at Darwin on the 15th as well. They have informed us they will be staying at Coomalie for 2 nights and one day on their way to the VJ celebrations that will be held at Darwin.
We take this opportunity to remind everyone that as this is the Seventy Fifth Anniversary, and while there may be some annual Fly-ins in the future, it is unlikely that an event like this will be held again at Coomalie Creek. A lot of us are well into our advanced years and attending a 100 Anniversary might, be very unlikely for many of us.
This is a great chance to visit and see for yourself just what our original 31 & 87 Squadron members experienced, and how they lived while fighting for us in the war in The Pacific.
Richard is encouraging you to stay if you are able. He likes to encourage campers to reside at the Airfield to enjoy the campfires and evening get-togethers we often have when we arrive early. Coomalie is bush camping having limited shade and facilities, so preparation is essential.
For self contained Vans or Campers. Sorry, no electricity, but there are Toilets, and Water is available at a central point near the strip. Dump point is at Batchelor approx. 9 klms away. Groceries are back up the road at Woolies with a few other shops at Coolalinga, 39 minutes away.
Fuel is available at Batchelor and again, back up the road at Acacia Roadhouse approx 18 mins away (discount fuel)
Coomalie Creek Caravan Park
This RV park is very nice and has many sites, some sheltered. Also has a Dump Point. This park will be good for those that need power and don’t have a generator or Solar power. It is situated very close to the airfield but is a separate property and you will need to drive on the Stuart Hwy for a few hundred metres to access Coomalie Airfield. The name of the Manager is Peter and the phone number is 08 8976 0501. Book early.
Batchelor Holiday Park.
This RV park also has very nice air conditioned cabins and has a lovely bush setting with grassed areas for Vans and Campers. Situated in the heart of Batchelor at 37 Rum Jungle Rd, it is a great option that allows you to duck out to Litchfield Park on day trips (approx 50klms), or over to Coomalie Airfield 11 klms away.
Jim is your host, and the phone number is 08 8976 0166. Make sure you book early there as well.
This Motel has rooms and a Pool and is situated in the heart of Batchelor at 49 Rum Jungle Rd. Phone number is 08 8976 0123
Litchfield Tourist Park
Situated closer in to the Litchfield National Park . Phone number is 08 8976 0070
Batchelor also has The Butterfly Farm. Accommodation with a Restaurant and a Wonderful Butterfly collection and Petting Zoo.
Phone 08 8976 0110. 8 Meneling Rd, Batchelor.
For those of you who want to just come and go closer to the 15th ,there is plenty of accommodation at Darwin and surrounds as well. It only takes an hour to travel to Coomalie from Darwin. (92 klms)
Please be advised Coomalie Airfield is a bush/scrub setting and as such, suitable attire including boots/joggers, hats and sun protection should be worn.
A small amount of walking is required with the tours and drinking water should be carried, although I will supply some as well. Temperatures can still be very warm (30+) at this time of year at Coomalie. Over the years, Richard has very generously opened his farm to visitors and is an enthusiastic supporter of Coomalie’s war history. All endeavours should be made to respect this historical site.
If you have ever considered coming to Coomalie and never have, this event would be the one you should attend if possible. You should also remember to book early, as the whole of the Northern Territory will be celebrating next year. Accommodation and hire vehicles will become scarce.