No. 7 Aircraft Depot RAAF

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RAAF Tocumwal.jpg
Main gate RAAF Tocumval.
1944 Aerial of Tocumwal.jpg

Brief History

An advance party of two officers and 60 airmen arrived at Corowa on II May 1942. Earlier the Army had taken possession of buildings at Albury for the use of the RAAF at the local Corowa airfield. Plans were made for the expansion of the airfield and the provision of hangars and workshops. Early accommodation was provided at the Globe Hotel. The Depot headquarters was established in the Literary Institute.

During June the overhaul of Twin Wasp engines commenced. and the non-commissioned officers moved from the Globe Hotel to quarters at the airfiled on 17 June. The unit struggled early due to delays in the construction of the airfield and the tardy provision of maintenance equipment. The unit was to expand slowly, but by the end of October the strength of the unit was 23 officers and 528 airmen. On 1 Dec 1942 the unit began its move to RAAF Tocumwal.

The first large aircraft to be serviced at No. 7 Aircraft Depot was a Hudson, which arrived on 14 Jan 1943 for an engine change and inspection. Five days later Spitfires arrived for storage, and the unit strength was 1023 at the end of the month. During February, the propeller section and wireless maintenance shop were established, and the maintenance effort increased during March with the arrival of 20 Wackett Trainers for overhaul in addition to three Beauforts. Engines such as the Two Row Wasp, Warner Scarab and Cheetah IX and X were overhauled. Wasp maintenance was delayed when number 1 control room at the test stand in the engine repair squadron was totally destroyed by fire. This put number I and number 2 test cells out of action, and seriously affected the output of engines. Number 4 cell, which was being equipped to test R2800 engi11es, was fitted out to test the Wasp until the damage had been repaired

From 13 June 1944, small groups of United States Navy personnel were attached to the unit for three week periods for instruction in engine repair and maintenance. In July 1944 the first liberator aircraft was serviced by the Depot. On 19 August 1944, portions of the transport, stores and messing sections were transferred to station headquarters, Tocumwal. Even so, the unit strength in November 1945 stood at 1329. On 14 February 1946, the facilities at the Depot were taken over by Care and Maintenance Unit, Tocumwal. 398 aircrait, including Tiger Moth, Oxford, W1rraway and Liberator, were held at the end of February 1946. The last entry in the Unit History Record was made in June 1949. AI this stage equipment was being prepared for sale by the Commonwealth Disposal Commission.

Unit members


Source of information - Units of the Royal Australian Airforce - A Concise History - Vol 7 Maintenance Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995

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