No. 1 Signals School RAAF

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Brief History

No. 1 Signals School, was raised on 1 Aug 1940, consisting seven officers, 35 Instructors, seven administrative staff, four aircraft maintenance personnel and 110 trainees. The School was based at Point Cook, Victoria, and operated DH-86B Dragon and 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. DC-2 aircraft arrived in February 1940 and at the end of 1945 the School operated two 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. The latter, commenced training on 24 May 1942. During April 1943, a site was prepared to be used by trainees in very high frequency, high frequency and medium frequency direction finding apparatus. At the end of January 1943, the School recorded its peak number of trainees, wilh 1,027 on strength.

Not all of No. 1 Signal School activities were at the threshold of high technology. On 1 Jul 1941, a pigeon loft was erected, and it was expected that 10 birds would be trained by the end of the year. On 25 November, 12 birds were released from Essendon, and all arrived back at Point Cook. The loft was temporarily taken over by the Australian Military Forces on 1 Apr 1942, but trials continued. During July, birds were successfully released from aircraft 50 miles from Point Cook. On 15 October, birds were released from 130 miles out over Bass Strait; two birds flew back to the loft in six hours. With this success, the loft and birds were handl!d over to 3 Headquarters Section (Carrier Pigeon), Victorian Lines of Communications Area. The No. 1 Signals School was disbanded at Point Cook on 20 November 1945.



Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 8 Training Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995 page 114.

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