No. 72 Operational Base Unit RAAF

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Brief History

No.72 Operational Base Unit (OBU) was formed at Albany, in Western Australia, with initial personnl supplied from No. 5 Embarkation Depot RAAF in Perth. After arriving in Albany by train, amid heavy rain, they found that they had not been expected and the limited accommodation was already at capacity. Rations and messing facilities were also totally inadequate. Temporary quarters were provided by the Army's 19th Garrison Battalion, and arrangements made with Albany Fixed Defence Forces for the supply of rations. HQ Pearce despatched blankets, kitchen utensils and messing gear by motor transport, arriving next day. Work began on a temporary mess. The Unit set up ammunition and bomb dumps as well as a fuel supply depot for passing aircraft.

Aircraft serviced were Beaufort, Wlrraway, Anson, Oxford and Tiger Moths. Accommodat1on was still a problem and the tent sites were moved every few weeks. Some American huts were demolished but in January 1943 an official from the Department of Air visited and authorised the use of the remaining huts undergoing demolition. However, a later decisiont o contu=inue the demolition of the huts meant that personnel were again living in tents. On 15 Oct 1944, 72 Operational Base Unit was disbanded to become Operat1onal Base Unit Albany.

Unit Personnel


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