No. 7 Communication Unit RAAF

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7 Comm Unit.jpg
Members of No. 7 Communication Unit with a Vultee Vengeance aircraft (left), an Avro Anson aircraft (centre) and an A71-14 Norseman aircraft (right).

Brief History

No. 7 Communication Unit was officially formed at RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia, on 24 November 1943. The original staff of 62 men came from No. 35 Squadron, which was tasked with communications, target towing, etc. During its period of operations, the unit was to operate diverse aircraft types. The initial equipment of the Unit was de Havilland Dragon aircraft, but these were soon complemented by Fox Moth, Fairey Battle, Avro Anson, Norseman and Moth Minor types. The Battle was used in the target towing role, being ultimately superseded by the Vultee Vengeance, which performed this duty with the Unit for the first time on 15 April 1944.

The first northern courier night was flown on 24 November 1943, Flying Pearce-Guildford-Carnarvon-Exmouth Gulf-Port Hcadland-Coruru1a Downs-Broome-Noonkanbah. These bases became well known by 7 Communication Unit pilots who also flew as far as Batchelor in the Northern Territory, and Kalgoorlie and Albany in Western Australia. Detachments operated out of Broome, Corunna Downs, Noonkanbah and Exmouth at various times during the war.

Target towing duties commenced on 1 December 1943, and these were flown to exercise naval vessels, heavy and light anti-aircraft batteries, and to give air-to-air practice to Nos 85 and 14 Squadron aircraft. Another role was calibration and supply of radar units. Aircraft from the Unit also participated in, or were the subject of searches. On 10 Nov 1944, the Unit moved from Pearce to Guildford. A Wirraway aircraft was allocated to the Unit on 19 Feb 1945 for meteorological flights. It remained until the Unit was disbanded on 31 May 1946.

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