Passing of John Henry Anderson (Jack) O.A.M 5TH May 2020
It is with great sadness that we advise the passing of Jack Anderson O.A.M on the 5th of May 2020.
Jack was Secretary of our 31 Squadron Beaufighter Association until 2013 and was instrumental in keeping our Association together. Apart from many other things, Jack wrote letters of support to members and swapped stories of his time in 31 Sqn. He arranged Anzac Day marches, and helped arrange the luncheons afterwards.
Together with the help of his family, he produced and sent the hundreds of Newsletters twice a year since forming the Association circa 1955.
Jack passed on the role of Secretary to Greg Mann in 2013.
Enough cannot be said about Jack’s contribution to 31 Sqn Beaufighter Association, but he will be fondly remembered for many years to come.
Vale – John Henry Anderson , 11/3/1923 – 5/5/2020
Passing of Frederick Bertram Anderson, M.I.D, 12th May 2020
It is with great sadness that we now advise the passing of Fred Anderson M.I.D. Fred passed away 12/5/2020 just three months short of his 100th birthday.
Fred was a Pilot Officer in 30 Squadron before serving a second tour of duty with 31 Squadron. Fred had performed Seventy operational strikes between the two Squadrons and had participated in the Battle of the Bismarck sea while in 30 Squadron.
Vale – Frederick Bertram Anderson, 9/8/1920 – 12/5/2020
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INVITATION TO COOMALIE CREEK 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF VJ DAY, 15TH AUGUST 2020
THE EVENT WILL STILL BE HELD, DESPITE SEVERAL PARTICIPANTS OF THE EVENT PULLING OUT DUE TO THEIR STATES VIRUS RESTRICTIONS. QLD BORDER TO BE OPENED TO ALL, EXCEPT VICTORIA ON THE 10TH JULY. NORTHERN TERRITORY BORDERS OPENED TO ALL EXCEPT VICTORIA ON THE 17TH JULY. SOUTH AUSTRALIA IS RETHINKING THEIR STRATEGY.
(this notice as of 1-7-2020 will be updated as soon as more information about the Covid virus restrictions are known)
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)
The actual date is on the Saturday the 15th of August 2020. Richard wants to remind everyone that he would love you to come earlier for those of you who can, ( if the restrictions make it possible) and enjoy the local National Parks and Tourist type things in the area while staying either, at Coomalie farm if you have a Caravan, Camper or Tent, or at one of the many types of accommodation venues locally.
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 will be conducting Tours of Coomalie Airfield and its infrastructure. There will be a BBQ and Pizza night with music, 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.
Unfortunately due to uncertainty of borders opening and available accommodation, the 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 has had to be cancelled.
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 at the Airfield 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 ,once the borders are opened there will be 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.