E-MAILS REGARDING
MOBILE NAVAL OPERATING AIR BASES
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

 

Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in Australia during WW2

 

Subject:     Airfields in Australia during WW 2
Date:             Tue, 25 Jan 2000 18:10:30 -0000
From:             "ANTHONY DRURY" <
monabs@royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk>

 

Dear Peter

I read with interest your collection of web sites on aviation in Australia and the western pacific area. I am an air historian in the U.K. my area of interest being the Fleet Air Arm 1939 onwards, my main passion is the mobile naval air stations which operated in Australia and SE Asia during 1945 – 47. Your information on Archerfield was most enlightening since this is one Australian location that I have no information about. The plaque at Archerfield to commemorate the men of Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard No.1 was a welcome sight. May I offer the following information wish to may wish to include:

The men at Archerfield included those of Mobile Naval Operating Air Base (MONAB) No.7, HMS NABREEKIE, which was based at Royal Australian Army Camp, Meeandah on the outskirts of Brisbane, commissioning there 9-8-45. The unit was employed in assisting TAMY I, HMS NABSFORD in aircraft erection duties until paying off 5-11-45.

I found your pages entitled Archerfield @ War, The Archerfield Quarry, Military Airfields in Australia and The Western Pacific Area during World War II, and Military Units in Australia during World War 2 very interesting. I can offer information on several aspects of these areas, details which include:-

Mobile Naval Operating Air Bases in Australia and The Western Pacific:-

MONAB I – HMS Nabbington, NOWRA, NSW

MONAB II - HMS Nabberley, BANKSTOWN, NSW

MONAB III – HMS Nabthorpe, SCHOFIELDS, NSW

MONAB IV - HMS Nabaron, PONAM, US. Navy airstrip, Admiralty Islands

MONAB V - HMS Nabswick, JERVIS BAY, NSW

MONAB VI – HMS Nabstock, MARYBOROUGH, QLD

MONAB VII – HMS Nabreekie, MEEANDAH, Brisbane

MONAB VIII – HMS Nabcatcher, KAI TAK, Hong Kong

MONAB IX – HMS Nabrock, SEMBAWANG, Singapore

PITYILU, satellite airfield to MONAB IV at Ponam, a US. Navy built coral airstrip, 22 Miles East of Ponam.

I am currently designing and building a web site giving the history of these mobile units and the reasons for their existence. I would be very grateful if you could be of assistance in any way, or suggest other web pages to look out for.

I look forward to hearing from you, hoping we can be of help to each other.

Tony Drury

Fleet Air Arm Historian
ANTHONY DRURY

 


 

Subject:     HMS Nabrock. Singapore
Date:              Wed, 9 Aug 2000 11:44:39 +0100
From:           "DOUGLAS HEATH" <duggie_tammie@lineone.net>

From: Doug Heath ex LAME LFX 615653. Treasurer Tamworth Fleet Air Arm Association.
56 Moor Lane Bolehall TAMWORTH STAFFS B77 3LJ. Phone/fax 01827 707341.
E mail: duggie_tammie@lineone.net

I joined Nabrock at Middle Wallop and travelled to on the Dominion Monarch to Sydney and then on the Largs Bay up to Singapore.

We were on an overtime gang assembling Hellcats for dumping offshore. The Japs were still on base and their aircraft were lined up on the perimeter. I have photos somewhere and will be in touch in early Sept when I return from holiday.

Regards Doug (shorty) Heath

 


 

Subject:    MONABS
Date:             Thu, 10 Aug 2000 21:29:47 +0100 (BST)
From:           duggie_tammie@lineone.net

>Try:- http://www.st.net.au/~dunn/monab.htm

PETER

BRILLIANT. downloaded aok. will show this at our fleet air arm meeting on aug 24th. We have a couple of ex-monabites in our group.

Will be in touch early sept with anything we can dig up.

Regards Duggie.

 

dh01.jpg (188126 bytes)

It is an aerial view of Sembawang Airfield taken in 1945. It shows the start of the new runway by POW's using wheelbarrows. The hangers at top right were machine gunned by USAAF Flying Fortresses. First time with Japs in second time the Japs moved our boys (POW's) into the hangers. Douglas "Shorty" Heath was in charge of a couple of Jap POW's who were sticking on canvas over the holes in the midday sun.

Doug's mess was bottom left. White building in centre was Chief’s and PO’s mess if Doug's memory serves him well.

dh02.jpg (127069 bytes)

HMS Pioneer ditching aircraft in 1945 somewhere off the Australian coast. This was photo given to Doug by a Member of Tamworth RNA who was a Mech on the Pioneer.

dh04.jpg (117823 bytes)

HMS Pioneer in Sydney harbour

dh03.jpg (132077 bytes)

OVERTIME GANG AT SEMBAWANG. Assembling HELLCATS for ditching.

Douglas Heath is standing up on mainplane with hand on fuselage.

dh05.jpg (36807 bytes)

Standing beside the tail of a Japanese "Betty" bomber

dh06.jpg (58398 bytes)

Standing under the mainplne of the "Betty" bomber. Left to Right. Johny from Bloxwich. Lofty Hewson (if Doug's memory is OK), Albert "brummie" Holmes from Blackheath (Midlands) and "Scouse"

dh07.jpg (63501 bytes)

From L to R. Doug "shorty" Heath. Hewson? Johny with "scouse" in the crouch position.
dh09.jpg (41555 bytes) Sembawang swimming pool

dh08.jpg (134325 bytes)

The "Overtime Gang" relaxing in the pool at Sembawang 1945. Doug Heath is at on the top left. Scouse top right and Brummie Holmes centre bottom.

dh12.jpg (32819 bytes)

Swordfish torpedoe bomber, also used for spotting and reconnaissance

dh10.jpg (32661 bytes)

Albacore - a later version than the Swordfish which was later replaced by the Barracuda

dh11.jpg (61423 bytes)

Book on the Fleet Air Arm

Prepared for the Admiralty by the Ministry of Information, 1943, His Majesty's Stationery Office, London

 


 

Subject:    Monab
Date:             Mon, 31 Jul 2000 23:06:42 +0100
From:           "Paul Griffith " <pgriffith2000@yahoo.com>

Hi there, 

My father served on HMS Nabcatcher and was with MONAB 8 during the war. Could you please let me know of any websites where i could get some photos and information on this. I`m not getting much joy at the moment.  would really appreciate it if you could help.

Paul

 

I need your help

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 29 January 2000

This page last updated 05 September 2015