Back in 1943, Gove airport was built as an airbase for World War II. Over 5,000 servicemen were stationed at the base, until the base closed in early 1946. During World War II, three operational air squadrons were based over the Gove Peninsula, 83 Boomerang’s, 13 Ventura’s and 42 Catalina’s. The Yolngu people provided their services in the form of a reconnaissance unit, to defend the shores from Japanese intrusions.

The town received its name “Gove” in respect to the pilot, officer William Gove, who was killed in action during the war. To this day, communities across Arnhemland have easy access to old airstrips, bunkers and the wrecks of aircraft that were shot down during the war.

Our Gove team conducted a topo survey at the Arnhem historical society site, along with marking out underground services including sewer, water, power and comms.

Old control tower
World War II Lockheed Venturas
Old control tower Gove
Boomerang aircraft operated from Gove
Image source: Steven 197106 youtube.com
Ventura aircraft operated from Gove
U.S. Navy – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID fsa.8e01506.
Catalina aircraft operated from Gove
Image Source: www.warhistoryonline.com