55th Australian Searchlight Battery (Mixed)

From Our Contribution

55th AA Searchlight.jpg
A 60 inch 800 candlepower Sperry searchlight. AWM P02855.006

Brief History

In early 1941 55th Anti Aircraft Company RAE was raised at Artillery Barracks, Fremantle. AT its peak it managed 27 stations from Bold Hill to Mt Brown. In December they mobilised and moved to Attadale where it was split in February 1942 to form the 66th Anti Aircraft COmpany RAE which controlled the searchlight units north of the Swan River. In November they were restructured as 55th Australian Anti Aircraft Searchlight Company. In March 1943 searchlights were transferred from Engineers to Artillery and thus their designation changed to 55th Anti Aircraft Searchlight Battery with sections at Riverton, Melville, Beaconsfield, Mt Brown and Fremantle.

In the September 1943 re-organisation of searchlight units they were given a static role and became 55th Australian Searchlight Battery (Mixed) in recognition that some of their personnel were trained VDC members. In early 1944 Cockburn Sound was being developed as a naval base, and the need to extend the area covered to the south was accommodated using units without VDC personnel. In March Battery HQ was still at Applecross with troops at Attadale, Mosman Park, Kings Park and Swanbourne. From May 1944 the need for these units decreased with the reduction in threat, and all anti aircraft defences in southern Australia closed in December with VDC personnel returning to their battalions which were in Reserve. 55th Australian Searchlight Battery (Mixed) was disbanded at Attadale in January 1945.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 3 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, page 3.324 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018

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