No. 1 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF

From Our Contribution

1 ACS.jpg
Aug 1944 Darwin building concrete section of Airstrip - AWM photo 067992
1 ACS Tarakan.jpg
May 1945 Almost completed airstrip on Tarakan Island. - AWM photo 089760

Brief History

On 6 Apr 1942 No 1. Mobile Works Squadron was formed at Ascot Vale, Victoria. It re-located to Flemington Racecourse to collect equipment, before moving by convoy on 19 June to Pine Creek, in North·Western Area. They had completed the move by the first week in July and began construction of the Advanced Air Head-quarters at Coomalie Creek, setting up sawmills «nd crushing plants to allow local materials to be used. Additional work was begun at Fenton Airfield and Hughes Airfield and a detachment was sent north to carry out a wet weather program at Noonamah. In late August the Squadron moved to Coomalie Creek, where quarters had previously been constructed. Once settled in, the unit began to build the facilities for 1 Medical Receiving Station. During September and October, work was commenced on airstrips at Fenton, Berrimah, Strauss, Hughes, Livingstone, Millingimbi and Batchelor.

Routine work continued until late July, when members of l MWS were posted to form the basis for 14 Mobile Works Squadron. During August, the remaining personnel were posted south on leave, and the Squadron was reformed at Wooloomanata during early October. The unit moved to Ascot Vale in preparation for a return to North-Western Area, and continued work on the Fenton and Long airstrips. During February 1944, the Squadron headquarters and the majority of the unit moved to Darwin, with a detachment being sent to the Anjo Peninsula in Western Australia's Kimberley region. The unit was re-named No. 1 Airfield Construction Squadron on 20 Jul 1944.

The Squadron, then moved south to Randwick where it assisted with works at Mascot and Marangaroo. On 22 Jan 1945, the unit left Sydney Cor Morotai, arriving on l1 February. It remained there until the end of May when it deployed to Tarakan Island, remaining employed there until 30 Nov 1945, when it was disbanded.

Two men died while posted t this unit, one of illness in Sydney and the other in a ground accident on Morotai Island.

Unit Personnel

Individual Honours

  • 5 x Mentioned in Despatches


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