No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF

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RAAF Amberley.jpg
RAAF Station Amberley, home of No. 3 SFTS, 1940–42

Brief History

No. 3 Service Flying Training School (3SFTS) was established at Amberley, Queensland in September 1940 as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme. The first course, No. 8, commenced flying Wirraways from the grass airfield on 19 Nov 1940. Torrential rain soon made it apparent that all weather runways were essential and their construction began almost immediately. In the meantime, Wirraways often flew from Archerfield and Maryborough.

A new working day of 5:30am - 6:30pm was introduced to offset the weather, and aircraft maintenance was carried out in shifts throughout the night. The runways and overrun areas were completed by 31 Aug 1941, and 13 hangars by I Oct 1941. A decline in the number of taxying accidents followed. Commencing in December 1941, construction was concentrated on protecting the base from air attack. By February 1942 this work was completed, and two reserve squadrons had been formed and trained. In December personnel from 988 US Air Corps arrived whose task was to assemble Curtis P-40E and Douglas Dauntless A·24 aircraft.

On 29 Mar 1942, orders were received to close 3SFTS. Instructional and maintenance staff and most of the aircraft were divided between No. 1 Service Flying Traininlg School at Point Cook and No. 6 Service Flying Training School at Mallala. 30th March marked the graduation of No. 17 course, the last of 10 courses to be trained at 3SFTS. By 10 Apr 1942 all transfers had been completed.



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