No. 2 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF

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2 ACSqn.jpg
1945 Balikpapan Camp of 2 Airfield Construction Squadron AWM P00564.014

Brief History

No. 2 Airfield Construction Squadron was formed as 'No. 2 Mobile Works Squadron at Pearce, Western Australia, on 10 Jun 1942. The unit was tasked with constructing landing grounds and encampments. To gain experience, the Squadron was located at Dunreath under the control of the Allied Works, Council during October 1942. Although initially intended to operate in the north-west of Australia, the Squadron found itself encamped at Yeerongpilly, Queensland, awaiting transport to New Guinea.

On 14 Jan 1943 the unit arrived in Port Moresby and it moved to a site near Wards Strip, and began the first of many construction tasks. By December the unit had built roads, dispersal areas, ordnance storage areas, taxiways, a flying boat slipway, a convalescent depot at Sogeri and a RAAF hospital at Konedobu, in addition to works required on the landing strip itself. The Squadron moved by sea to the north of New Guinea on 2 Dec 1943 and until late May 1944 worked on the Lae airfield and other tasks on the north coast. It built storage and administrative facilities at Nadzab, along with the new Texter airfield. By March, the Squadron had erected a camp site for 62 Works Wing. as well as administrative facilities to allow 62 Wing to effectively control the works units operating in the area. A month later Newton and Texter airfields were finished along with a wharf and slipway at Lae. Separate to the mam effort, a detachment was also situated on Goodenough Island.

This detachment was the first to return to Australia, on 17 Apr l944. The remainder of the Squadron followed the Goodenough detachment in late May 1944, arriving at Ransford, Victoria, on l June. After a months leave and a change of name to No.2 Airfield Construction Squadron, the unit reformed in July for weapons training at Shepparton, Victoria, followed by further training in August at Mount Martha. In late September the majority of the Squadron moved to Randwick Racecourse, while a section was stationed at St Georges Basin near Nowra. Other detachments were sent to build runways at Schofields and Fleus, New South Wales. This continued until early March 1945. The Squadron travelled from Sydney to Morotai, arriving there on 18 Apr 1945 and was used on road construction while awaiting embarkation with the 'Oboe 2' force, bound for Balikpapan. In the meantime, a detachment travelled with 'Oboe 4' to assist in airfield construction at Labuan Bay. By mid-July the main body was committed at Balikpapan, tasked with the rehabilitation of Sepinang airfield, along with work on the Vasey road.

Other detachments were also sent to Tarakan to erect facilities for 452 Squadron. With the cessation of hostilities the requirement for units such as 2 Airfield Construction Squadron diminished and on 4 December 1945 it was disbanded at Balikpapan.

Squadron Personnel


Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 9 Ancillary Units pages 8 - 11 - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995

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