No. 12 Aircraft Recovery Depot RAAF

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Brief History

No. 12 Aircraft Repair Depot was formed at Werribee, Victoria, on 1 May 1944, to repair and maintain B24 Liberator aircraft in North-Western Area. The site at Werribee lacked messing and barrack facilities; meals and bedding had to be supplied by No. 1 Central Recovery Depot. On 7 May 1944 the orderly room, equipment and transport sections opened for business. On 24 May 1944, plans were made for the move of the unit to Darwin. The motor transport repair section was to commence its move on 7 Jul 1944, and the complete move was scheduled to be completed by I Oct 1944. However, on 25 July, the motor transport repair section and 8O tons of stores departed for Darwin, where the unit was to take ove a camp site vacated by No. 9 Works Maintenance Squadron. Before the main body arrived in Darwin on 6 August 1944, the heavy equipment had to be prepared for the move to the tropics and packed.

The men were ordered to undertake 'hardening' courses and 72 men commenced a course on 4 July 1944. The last BO trained at Wonga Park for a week, commencing on 13 Nov 1944. Unit members did participate in salvage work. On 17 Aug 1944, 10 personnel travelled to No. 1 Operational Training Unit to transport Beaufort A9-47 to No. 5 Aircraft Depot. On 29 August another party re-located A9-137 from the same site to No. 1 Central Recovery Depot and, on the 30th, a Warrant Officer and 18 servicemen travelled to Essendon to salvage a B-24 Ltberator. This aircraft was converted to components and delivered to No. 7 Aircraft Depot. As at 1 Jan 1945, the strength of No. 12 Aircraft Repair Depot was 930 officers and airmen working to establish the camp site near Darwin. Before the first Australian Liberator was serviced on 17 Mar 1945, they worked on US aircraft.

During June, No.12 Aircraft Repair Depot accepted 36 aircraft for repair or maintenance, and 17 were delivered from Its factllties. During the same month, discussions regarding the amalgamation of 12 and 14 Aircraft Repair Depots took place. The motor transport repair sections of both units were combined, but the end of the War curtailed the total merger. At the end of November, RAAF Headquarters ordered that the unit complete the work in hand, and that only flying squadrons remain in the north. The last aircraft serviced by No. 12 Aircraft Repair Depot"" (An-76) departed for Tocumwal on 23 Dec 1945, and the Depot had reduced its strength to 234 officers and men. On 1 Feb 1946 orders were received that no more aircraft would be repaired by the depot.At the end of February there were 130 men on strength, and by the end of March 1946 no technical musterings remained. On 20 May 1946 the unit was converted to a Care & Maintenance Unit anad it was disbanded on 15 Aug 1946.

Unit Personnel


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