No. 25 Operational Base Unit

From Our Contribution


Brief History

The No. 25 Operational Base Unit was formed at Cairns airfield on 25 May 1942, with an initial strength of 30 personnel. On 5 Nov 1942, the refueling operations were taken over by the United Slates Army (27th Engineers Mobile Unit). The gravel runways needed more compaction, as heavy aircraft were unable to use them.

On 3 Jan 1945, the strip was temporarily closed down due to bad weather. On the following day a mustard gas bomb was accidentally dropped from an aircraft on the strip by the Chemical Research Unit. A decontamination squad disposed of the bomb, which caused no damage. On the same day a USAAF C47 aircraft crashed whilst landing, due to brake failure. No personnel were injured, but the undercarriage was badly damaged.

In February 1945 the 'wet' continued to affect services with 600mm of rain recorded for the month, and on 2 February 1945, 26 aircraft and 46 transient personnel at the Unit were unable to proceed south. In the month of November 1945, an all time Unit record for traffic was set, with 305 landings and take-offs, 94 500 gallons of fud pumped into aircraft and 4,251 transient personnel passing through the Unit. The Unit was ordered to commence disbanding on I Feb 1946, with the final entry in the Unit History Record made on 25 February 1946.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 1 Bases, Supporting Organisations page 13 - Australian Government Publishing Service -

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