The key to understanding the name of Strathmore lies in its proximity to Essendon Airport. Indeed, a fair portion of the airfield actually lies within the boundaries of Strathmore. For most of Melbourne’s history, at least until the construction of Tullamarine Airport just to the north, it was the major commercial airport in the city. The major military airfield was located in Laverton, although in times of serious need, Essendon would also be pressed into military service. The most notable occasion when this happened was, of course, during World War Two.

After Douglas Macarthur arrived in Melbourne, he decided that Laverton was too flat for the kind of pilot training he had in mind. After all, the hills and mountains of New Guinea, the Phillipines and Indonesia were the places where these men would be fighting. They would need to know how to handle aerial combat in such areas – to say nothing of combat with ground emplacements.

It was this last that would lead to the naming of the hillside to the east of the runways, where this training was carried out, as pilots misunderstood Macarthur’s increasingly frustrated bellows of “Strafe more! Strafe more!”

Suburbs near Strathmore:

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