RICHMOND OPERATIONS BUILDING RAAF
NEAR RICHMOND AIRFIELD, NSW
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

The RAAF constructed an Operations Building or Bunker in 1943 on the northern side of Richmond Airfield near the corner of Dight Street and Cuppits Lane. It was probably also used as a Transmitting Building. The land was resumed from the Dwyer family. Michael Dwyer still owned the land in October 2009. One weekend in the mid 1960s there was a fire inside the bunker which destroyed all the WWII maps on the walls.

This bunker is on private property. The roof is extremely unstable. Over the years lots of vegetation and soil has overtaken the old roof and tree roots have grown through the concrete. It is at risk of collapse, so please do not enter.

 

RAAF Operations Building / Bunker on the side of a small hill

 

Inside the Operations Bunker

 

A service pit cover

 

Escape "chimney"

 

New security grill installed over the top of the WWII grill

 

Urinal and sink inside the bunker

 

Sinks inside the bunker

 

Toilet pedestal

 

Sink

 

WWII light fitting

 

Michael Backhouse's father was based at RAAF Richmond when he was about 9 - 10 years old.  The family lived in a married quarter in Cullen Avenue on Richmond RAAF base approx 1961-3. This was one of many postings we had when I was a kid.

There were a number of RAAF kids living in the Cullen Avenue Married Quarters. One of the places they played near the married quarters was some sort of disused bunker on a farm on the other side of Dight Street from Cullen Avenue. At the end of Cullen Avenue where it meets Dight Street, there was a hinged cyclone mesh gate not much more than a metre with a spring on it, and anyone could freely go through it on and off the base (although there still was the security bit at the main entrance back then).

Michael has vivid recollections of the bunker and some vague recollections. He remembers it was cut into the side of sloping ground on the farm. He remembers some concrete form work and shutters that swung up and if you wedged them with a stick, they would let light in to the rooms below (which they needed as there was no light down there). Michael remembers that it was a linear complex, with connecting rooms. They accessed it by going through the shutters into the rooms below. He also remembers a nearby opening with an iron ladder going down into the complex. One thing he remembers was a large circular table, which was wholly covered by a map which appeared to be embedded on its surface and covered by some clear plastic or almost epoxy to protect it. He could not recognise what locations the map covered.

The whole place was old, musty and obviously had not been used in many years. Michael never went down there by myself and always had someone else with him.

There was another Remote Receiving Building or bunker located operated by the RAAF somewhere near the Richmond Airfield. Can anyone please advise its location? It may have been located just to the east of the intersection of "the Northern Road" and Richmond Road in Windsor Downs Nature Reserve. Later known as the Marsden Park Receiving Station. It may have been demolished just prior to 2009.

 

Utilization of semi-underground buildings
In Australia during WW2

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Michael Backhouse for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 16 April 2017

This page last updated 16 April 2017