Royal Australian Air Force
Men & Vessels
Soon after the devastating Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbour, where the American Naval Fleet was severely damaged or sunk, and the Army Air Force’s aircraft and facilities were also destroyed. A very similar devastating bombing raid was made on Darwin, the Capital of the Northern Territory (Australia) occurred in February 1942 by a Japanese Aircraft Carrier Task Force and some land based Bombers. There was a distinct possibility that an invasion of Australia was imminent. The superior Japanese forces had invaded New Guinea, established a mighty base in Rabaul and occupied all the islands off Australia’s eastern coast, to as far south as Guadalcanal.
What must been one of the best kept secrets during the war against the Japanese was the very significant roll played by the Men of the Marine Section and their vessels.
Rapid expansion of the Marine Section was a priority because of Lend lease Flying Boats and land base aircraft coming from the United States. Privately owned Boats were taken over by the RAAF, and the construction of a wide variety of boats to meet the requirements of Flying boats and remote Bases commenced.
Refuelling Barges, Air Sea Rescue Boats, Bomb Scows, Work Boats, were a priority, while Torpedo Recovery Boats, Landing Barges, and a great variety of Transport Boats also had to be constructed. Many other privately owned boats were taken over by the Air Force.
Large sailing ships, like three masted Schooners, Ketches, Pearling Luggers and Sloops, from another era, were refitted with new engines, rigging and sails were brought into service for the RAAF Marine Section.
Young men from within the Air Force, but a great many from civilian occupations commenced training to man the boats and ships as they came available.
This electronic form of the book was converted from the original published book, and differs in one respect, with the photographs that originally appeared on the left page in the published form, now appears on the page following the text.
The book presents an overview of the great diversity of roles played by this select band of then young men, their vessels, the large Flying boat Bases along with remote and isolated places in northern Australia, New Guinea, other islands to far away Borneo.
Primarily the objective of this electronic version is for this story be available to any one, Schools and Libraries, so that future generations may discover what young Australian men did as their contribution to the war effort when threat of invasion was very real. The RAAF Marine Service continued in the post war period up until Disbandment in 1962 having commenced in the 1920’s.
There is no restriction on down loading onto your Hard Disk and then copying on to a Compact Disk (C.D.) and making duplicates for others. There are No fees involved.
Regards Leslie R. Jubbs, Author, 2001. Australia.
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