Inevitably numbers of aircraft were written off at Fenton, either through accidents or enemy action. A cleared crash-landing strip and an aircraft graveyard were established during 1943 to assist in the salvage and reuse of scarce parts and airframes. Assignment of aircraft to the graveyard – or salvage – depended on the extent of damage.
The aircraft graveyard is part of the declared heritage area entered in the Northern Territory Heritage Register.
The first admissions were two USAAF 319th Squadron Liberators, as a result of a runway collision involving Robbie L. Four Liberators were destroyed in the Japanese air raid of 30 June 1943 – Nobody’s Baby, Contrary Mary, Dis-Gusted and Black Magic. All were written off and removed to the graveyard.
After the Japanese raided the airfield a week later, they were joined by Homma Homma Kid, and a ‘Betty” bomber downed by anti-aircraft fire. The next occupant of the graveyard was Alley Oop destroyed in a landing accident in August 1943, two weeks after its arrival from the US. In September 1943 the 30th Squadron relieved the 43rd Squadron in the servicing of the Group’s aircraft and salvaging the results of accidents and combat damage. In the following months, She ‘Asta, Gus’s Bus and SNAFU were placed in the graveyard.
Remains of a RAAF B24 Liberator aircraft which caught on fire shortly after take off 1945 AWM 121127