UNDERGROUND OPERATIONS BUILDING
COFFS HARBOUR, NSW
USED DURING WW2
|visits since 8 January 2001|
An underground Operations building was built at Coffs Harbour in New South Wales in about 1943 to house the Operations Room for No. 12 Operational Base Unit RAAF. After about 1980, the bunker was abandoned and was trashed. In 1984 the area where the bunker is located was designated as City Hill and the bunker was under serious threat of demolition.
The Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour recognised the heritage value of the bunker and it was converted into a gallery to house the Coffs Harbour Cartoon Collection, which is the largest contemporary collection of original cartoons in Australia. The Coffs Harbour Rotary Club started an annual cartoon competition in 1989.
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery changes its main cartoon display every few months. There are approximately 10,000 cartoons in their collection. The Bunker Cartoon Gallery has a Gallery administrator who is assisted by a team of about 30 volunteers. In January 2003 was Margaret Bridgman was the Gallery administrator.
The Bunker Cartoon Gallery (Ph. 02 - 6651 7343) is open every day from 10am to 4pm except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Take the airport turnoff from the Pacific Highway. It is located opposite the Coffs Harbour racecourse.
12 Operations Base Unit Operations Room moved to another hut at Coffs Harbour Airfield on 20 November 1942 due to congestion in the Signals Hut, its previous location.
On 8 February 1943, F/Lt K.G. Caldwell (A1491)ceased attachment as relieving Operations Room Officer and returned to Headquarters Eastern Area by train at 1539 hours.
On 11 February 1943 Pilot Officer A.C. Giles (A15638) arrived from 71 Squadron at Lowood, Queensland for Operations Room duties.
9 June 1943, Group Captain W.L. Hely (Air Board) arrived by air for an inspection of the Operations Building facilities.
3 July 1943, Squadron Leader Charles Edward Izett Beurle, Flight Lieutenant Pockley and Flight Lieutenant Downie arrived by air and inspected the new Operations Room and Transmitting Station.
30 July 1943, Meteorological, Operations, Signals and Cypher sections completed their transfer to the new Operations Building.
12 August 1943, Flying Officer Leonard Stafano Pozzi (G.D.) (412872) arrived on 14 days attachment to Operations Room duty from eastern Area Headquarters.
17 August 1943, Flying Officer Laurence Hector Trinder (408214 A&SD) arrived on 14 days attachment for Operations Room duties from eastern Area Headquarters.
8 October 1943, Flight Lieutenant Arthur Bashford (270527) arrived from eastern Area Headquarters for Operations Room duties. His attachment from eastern Area ceased on 18 April 1944.
12 April 1944, Flight Lieutenant H. Smith (274893) (A&SD) was posted from 3 E.D. for Operations Controller duties.
16 April 1944, Squadron Leader James Thomas Cahir (406345) G.D. was attached from Eastern Area for Controller duties.
1 May 1944, Flying Officer Leslie Errington Morris (266655) A&SD was attached from Eastern Area Headquarters for Operations Room duties.
On 17 July 1944 work commenced to lay cable from the H/F-D/F station to the Operations Room.
21 July 1944, work commenced on exhausts for receiving and transmitter station.
27 October 1944, Flight Sergeant Hudson, D.W.C. arrived to effect repairs in the underground Operations Room.
20 November 1944, a bushfire threatened the Transmitting Station, but damage was averted by the prompt action of the 12 OBU fire-fighting party.
26 December 1944, arrival of Squadron Leader Colin Stewart Francis (407544) and Sgt John Ethelred Robert Moylan (36028), a clerk, from A.O.R. Eastern Area, for temporary duty Operations Coffs Harbour.
This is a link to another site on the Internet
The following is part of a document showing the status of semi-underground buildings in Australia by November 1943:-
Original on 171 56/1
this copy for 171/1/1493
UTILIZATION OF SEMI-UNDERGROUND BUILDINGS
Herewith is list of above buildings as requested in your minute dated 29th November, 1943.
|(a) COMPLETED AND IN USE||Building Details
|COFFS HARBOUR, N.S.W.
Bunkers that were built using the same Drawing Nos. as Coffs Harbour were as follows:-
|COMPLETED AND IN USE
COMPLETED BUT NOT IN USE
|Can anyone tell me if any of these bunkers are still in existance?|
The following photos are of the Lowood Underground Operations Room in Queensland which was built to the same plans as the Coffs Harbour bunker.
Front view of the Lowood Underground Operations Room
Click on thumbnail pictures to enlarge
The above photos are about 2
pages wide when opened
Please cursor to the right to see the full width of the bunker ---->>
Another Coffs Harbour Bunker
Yet another Coffs Harbour Bunker
Did you work in this Operations Building?
Can you tell me about any possible tunnels into this bunker?
Can anyone send me a photo of the Coffs Harbour Bunker?
In Australia during World War 2
© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 8 January 2001
This page last updated 30 April 2011