Changi Aerodrome - Singapore - LEVELLING PARTY

Changi Aerodrome – Singapore
This was constructed mostly in 1945 using POWs who had returned to Singapore from the railway and POWs who had never left the Island.  This aerodrome was one of numerous being built by POWs throughout Thailand and French Indo China.
The Japanese were hastily building their escape routes.
For the POWs working on these constructions, it was challenging.  Their health was precarious in most instances after three years of incarceration slaving long hours on little food, living with tropical illnesses being subjected to bashings and Japanese brutality, seeing mates die of illness which could have been prevented with the most basic medicines which were denied by the Japanese.

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Singapore. 1945-09-09. The Changi aerodrome as seen from an approaching aircraft. 
This airfield was planned to help counter increasing numbers of Allied aircraft appearing over Singapore and anticipating an Allied attempt to re-take the island. The airfield was originally made for fighter aircraft and was constructed using thousands of mainly Australian Prisoners of War as slave labour on a ‘levelling party’ on the site of Birdwood Camp sports ground opposite Selarang Barracks.
The earth airstrip comprised a main runway, cross-runway and a dispersal road at its southern end. Construction took 22 months and was completed by 25 May 1945.
The Memorial holds several ‘trench art’ items made by Australian POWs using parts of scrapped Imperial Japanese Army aircraft from Changi aerodrome.
The airfield was taken over the Royal Air Force (RAF) immediately at the end of the war with other British pre-war constructed airfields such as Kallang, Sembawang and Tengah. Since the war the airfield has been greatly extended through land reclamation of the nearby seashore, resulting in the hugely successful and award winning Changi Airport.

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