WEDNESDAY 8 AUGUST MCGOWANS
About 9.30am, M and John left with JC on his boat, to go across to the other side of the Bay, to find Truscott. They got back about 2pm, after quite a little adventure.
The WW2 Truscott Air Base was built and used in the last couple of years of the war. It housed about 1500 personnel. It was a top secret base at the time – kept that way to try to prevent Japanese attacks. It was used by Australian and American airforce planes, mostly big bombers but also Catalina flying boats.
There were a number of plane crashes there.
Truscott actually played a really significant role in the war against the Japanese, but this was not acknowledged at the time, because if its secret status. Very few people have ever even heard of it.
An oil company was using the old place now, as a base for the transfer of staff to its offshore rigs by helicopter. They are flown in by plane to the old airfield, then transferred to helicopters to go out to the offshore rigs.
It took JC a couple of tries to actually find the barge landing for Truscott. There is a little promontory that he had to go round first, and then a large part of the bay opens up beyond that. The promontory hides the Truscott shore area from direct line of sight or travel from McGowans. It was a fair distance – at night one can’t even see the glow of any lights from the base area.
I think M had originally assumed that the old base would be right by where the boat would land, but it was actually 11kms away. JC thought he had an arrangement for someone to come meet them, and drive them to the base. However, no one met them. It seemed that either someone had forgotten, or they were all too busy.
Having gotten this far, M was determined, so they set out to walk the 11kms! Then, an oil company worker who was fishing near the landing, gave them a ride. He then showed them around the old base.
M got to have a good look around the place, and was also given some printed information about it. She took a lot of photos to show the old relative.
Another worker drove them back to the landing.
They had a fast, rough, ride back in the boat!
After a late lunch and much talk about their adventure, we did some preliminary packing up.
The neighbouring campers – who had been taking their boat out fishing, every day, gave us a red emperor. Very nice of them.
One last dusk spent admiring the sunset, yet again…….