No. 1 Signal School RAAF

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1 Sig School.jpg

Brief History

A Signals School at Point Cook was a development of an earlier school at Laverton, but in October 1939 it was established to cater for much larger numbers of trainees. It was evident to the RAAF that large numbers of wireless operators and mechanics would be required. To speed up training the long course for wireless operator/mechanics was abandoned in 1940 in favour of two trade musterings: operators and mechanics. By August 1940 it comprised seven officers, 35 instructors, seven administrative staff, four aircraft maintenance personnel and 110 trainees. The Signals School was renamed 'No. 1 Signals School Point Cook in June 1940.

The School operated DH-86B Dragon and De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide aircraft. Air training in these aircraft commenced during August 1940, with each trainee averaging 1 hour 25 minutes flying time during the month. Douglas DC-2 aircraft arrived in February 1940 and at the end of 1945 the School operated two Avro Anson aircraft. Training included tuition as W/T operators, clerk signals, telegraphist, wireless mechanic, wireless electrical mechanic, electricians, electrical fitters, cypher assistant, cypher officers and, for the US Army Air Corps, radio mechanics and radio operators.

During April 1943, equipment to train course members in very high frequency, high frequency and medium frequency direction finding apparatus. In late January 1943, the School recorded its peak number of trainees, with 1027 on strength. In late 1941 the school also took part in trials to establish if pigeons could be used for release from aircraft or small boats. With successful trials completed the function was transferred to Army signals. There is no record of the pigeons being used by the RAAF in operations. By the end of the war the total number of graduates of RAAF and WAAAF exceeded 7000. No. 1 Signals School was disbanded on 20 Nov 1945.



Content has largely come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 8 Training Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995

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