Construction was started on 7 July 1944, by No. 9 Mobile Works Unit RAAF with the help of 40 Aborigines. The airfield was operational on 30 August 1944. Two side by side runways 1,829 m (6,001 ft) long were constructed.
The airfield was never fully utilized as the proposed amphibious operations were canceled and replaced with the New Guinea campaign. The airfield was known as Austin Strip and RAAF Melville Island.