No. 79 Operational Base Unit RAAF

From Our Contribution

79 OBU.jpg

Brief History

Australia's sheer expanse of sparsely populated landscape posed all sorts of challenges to the movement of aircraft with relatively modest operating range. Safety was paramount, to provide emergency and designated landing grounds to support the safe transit of aircraft from one side of the country to the other.

A large network of Operational Base Units was established to operate and administer these transit airbases as required, to provide emergency services and in some cases a facility to effect repairs and servicing of aircraft in transit.

Some were co-located with major bases but most were set up to ensure adequate coverage of transit routes between major fixed bases and operational areas. No. 79 Operational Base Unit was formed at Broome, Western Australias, on lO Apr 1944. It was an active base with planes needing refueling passing through on active missions and at times based there for patrols and photo reconnaissance. It was a regular stop for planes conducting missions over Indonesia.

During October 1945, an 11 Squadron Catalina arrived from Darwin, with five prisoners of War being repatriated from Java. On 22 October, aircraft from the Unit participated in the search for Salvation Army Captain Pederson. The final entry in the Unit History record was made on 31 May 1946, although the disposal sale for the Unit was scheduled for 17 Aug 1946.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 1 Bases, Supporting Organisations - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995 pages 75 & 76

External Links