No. 74 Operational Base Unit RAAF

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Brief History

No. 74 Operational Base Unit was formed at RAAF Station Pearce on 5 Jan 1943. The purpose of the Unit was to provide refuelling and service for passing aircraft. On 17 Jan 1941, a convoy of 34 vehicles and personnel (including those of No. 4 Medical Receiving Station) departed for Geraldton en route to Yanrey Station, arriving on 23 Jan 1941, and commenced to set up camp. At the end of the month a reserve storage of 5,000 gallons of fuel had been obtained. Two runways were being built at Yanrey at the time of the Unit's arrival. One was suitable for operations in good weather, and work was still to be carried out on the other. In early February heavy rain rendered the aerodrome unserviceable.

Once the wet season ended, the Unit was kept busy refueling visiting Anson, Kingfisher, Beaufort and Tiger Moth aircraft. ln May 1944 the first air raid warning was received and all guns were manned.

In October 1944 the excessive heat was starting to affect the tar sealed strips which started to show signs of deterioration. When aircraft landed on a hot day they tended to tear sections of the surface away. With the end of the war in the Pacific in August 1945 the unit commenced winding down and it was disbanded on 23 Jan 1946.

Unit personnel


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