The next ten miles of the Track were dominated by roadside airfields. However, major units of the Army and RAAF were also dispersed through the bush on either side of the Track. Many of the fields were named after pilots who lost their lives during enemy attacks in the Territory or during battles in the Pacific. The Airfields were often built by American units such as the US 808th Engineering Aviation Battalion and the US 147th Field artillery.
Livingstone Airstrip was originally known as 34-mile Airstrip but was renamed after Lieutenant John Livingstone, a pilot of 9th Squadron 49th Pursuit Group USAAF. He was killed in action over Darwin on 4 April 1942. The 49th had an extraordinary war record that included the awarding of a Unit Citation. For the loss of only four pilots in combat, a confirmed 76 enemy units, generally aircraft, were destroyed.
31 ½ Mile
Hughes Airfield was possibly named after US pilot Charles Hughes, although there is no evidence to prove the connection. While attempting to take off from the Darwin Airfield on the 19th of February during the first Japanese attack on Darwin, Hughes was attacked by a Japanese Zero. His plane was observed to crash about 2 miles north of the runway, but his body was never recovered and he is still listed as ‘Missing in Action’.
Strauss Airfield is named after Captain Allison Strauss of the 8th Squadron 49th Pursuit Group USAAF. Strauss was killed in action over Darwin on 27 April 1942.
76 Squadron RAAF Kittyhawks under Bluey Truscott replaced the US 49th Pursuit Group and was in turn replaced by 452nd and 459th Squadron Spitfires. In 1943, the Spitfires destroyed 32 Japanese bombers and 24 fighters, for a loss of 37 aircraft, and 22 crew.
27 Mile Noonamah
This camp is where the Track and the North Australian Railway line rejoined after separating at Adelaide River. The 23rd brigade moved its headquarters here from 17½ Mile camp in mid-1942.
The US 147th Field Artillery Regiment and 1st Australian Airfield Construction Squadron was based here, along with all the rear echelon units – Accounts, Dental, Cipher, Workshop, Supply, Refrigeration Maintenance, Salvage, Canteen and Comforts. The NT Force Entertainment Unit was also based here, along with the 2 Aust Mobile Cinema and the 3 Australian Division Concert Party and the YMCA.
19 ½ Mile
Sattler Airfield was named after Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Sattler of 13 Hudson Squadron, RAAF. Sattler was killed over the Celebes on 12 January 1942. The camp was built at the 20 Mile peg in early 1943 by the Allied Works Council and later by 61 Works Wing and No 9 Airfield Construction Squadron; Spitfires from 79, 452 and 457 Squadron were stationed here.
17½ Mile Camp
This camp is located on either side of Lambrick Avenue in Palmerston. The foundations of the mess buildings and rifle pits can still be identified. The 8th Australian Infantry Battalion occupied the North Western side of the Track, and US 147th Artillery Regiment from South Dakota occupied the southern side, near Donnington Place. Both these units formed part of a strategic reserve to counter-attack any invasion, and were later moved further back to Noonamah. The forward command post was located at 18 Mile camp.