No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School RAAF

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Fairey Battle aircraft of 1BAGS at Evans Head in 1941
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Brief History

Evans Head, 57 kilometers from Lismore, on the north coast of New South Wales, was the site decided upon for a bombing and gunnery school on 20 March 1940. Bombing and gunnery ranges were established to the north and south of the Base, as well as a sea range south of the Airfield. Covering 600 square miles (1,500 km2), the role of the unit was to train wireless/air gunners in air to ground and air to air gunnery technics, firing on drogues towed by a Battle, and in bombing techniques. An advance party of personnel from RAAF Richmond arrived soon after and on 26 Aug 1940 the first of the unit's aircraft, a Fairey Battle arrived on 7 Sep 1940.

The first trainee to received instruction arrived on 15 Sep 1940. On 16 Jan 1941 two Fairey Battles collided and crashed into the sea off Terrigal with the loss of two lives. Two days later another three personnel were killed when their aircraft crashed in dense scrub. On occasions their training flights sighted unusual maritime activity causing some excitement. During March 1943, the School had a total of 1,647 personnel, 83 Fairey Battle aircraft, four Ryan Trainers andd a Moth Minor, on strength. No. 1 Bombing and Gunnery School was disbanded at Evans Head on 8 Dec 1943.



Source of information - Units of the Royal Australian Airforce - A Concise History - Vol 8 Training Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995

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