No. 3 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF

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3 ACS.jpg
3 ACS landing.jpg
22 Nov 1944 Leyte landing - AWM photo OG1827

Brief History

This unit was first formed as the No. 3 Works Maintenance Unit at Darwin on 25 May 1942. On 15 Jan 1943 it was renamed No. 3 Mobile Works Squadron. The unit operated throughout the Northern Territory from its Headquarters in Darwin. At airfields such as Coomalie, Daly Waters, Livingstone, Strauss, Fenton, McDonald, Hughes, Batchelor and Bathurst Island it enlarging landing areas, erected buildings and, eventually, a radiosonde meteorological station near Darwin.

The Squadron departed Darwin for Ransford in Victoria on 8 Mar 1944 to undertake eave and to re-equip, and on 15 Jul 1944 it was renamed No. 3 Airfield Construction Squadron. In late July the squadron departed Townsville aboard two ships for Aitape, New Guinea, arriving there on 15 Aug 1944. From here they departed for Morotai on 24 Sep 1944 to undertake work on the Wama amd Pitoe airstrips. On 15 Nov 1944 they were again at sea, landing at Leyte in the Philippines on 15 November. Surviving Japanese air raids without a casualty, the squadron, having completed its task left for Mindoro Island on 11 Dec 1944. Here they landed with the first wave. That evening the squadron with its equipment was 3 kilometers inland near the location of the proposed Hill airstrip. On 16 December they commenced work on the new 1,850 meter long strip. On the beach, one of their airmen had been killed by a piece of material from a kamikaze trying to crash into their landing ship. Assisted by an American Engineer Battalion the airstrip was ready for use by 19 December. They now turned their attention to the construction of a new "Elmore" Field near San Jose, despite the intervention of a large Japanese Naval force and repeated air attacks. By 30 December the squadron had completed all work expected of it including a 2,000 meter strip. Between then and their departure for Morotai on 19 Jun 1945 they built another two runways, maintained 50 kilometers of roadway and constructed buildings and facilities for the garrison forces. Staging at Morotai they were quickly (11 July) sent on to Balikpapan where their main task was the maintenance of roads between the two Manggar rivers. It was still at this task when disbanded in the field on or after 30 Oct 1945.

Squadron personnel

Individual Honours


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

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