CAMDEN OPERATIONS BUILDING BUNKER
CAMDEN, NSW, DURING WWII
The Camden Operations Building is located on the side of the hill that leads to the small creek on the southern side of the Camden airfield. It is quite large inside, with large access doors at the eastern end. There are two vertical shafts that lead to the top of the hill.
The Wireless Telegraphy W/T Transmitting Building Bunker that provided wireless communications for the Camden Operations Building Bunker was located further south of the Camden Airfield.
On 5 October 2005, Geoff Russell told me that the large bunker at Camden airfield was of a similar design to the Lowood Operations bunker at Mount Tarampa. Geoff first went inside the Camden bunker in the mid 1970's, and revisited it in about 1985.
Geoff originally climbed down the steel ladder of one of the two vertical shafts to gain access. Inside were long tables like parachute rigging tables but he said they could have been for any purpose. The bunker is set into the side of the hill and has a curved roof, and last time Geoff was there it had a wide path leading to it. During Geoff's stay there as an Air Training Corps cadet, they also found the remains of some wood reinforced trenches on a rise on the western side of the airfield.
Greg Stone told me on 1 June 2001 that the Camden bunker was renovated by the the Air Training Corps (ATC) back in the 1960's for use as a small bore rifle range, probably using a .303 rifle with with a .22" Morris tube. Greg advised that the ATC also used an old hut on the site for accommodation for week end general service camps
Ray Green told me on 16 September 2013 that many years ago as an ATC cadet he attended a couple of ATC cadet camps at the Camden airfield. They used to go across the road trudge through some bush and then force a door open and use the big concrete tunnel as a .22' rifle range. Ray told me that the complex was quite large and on the side of a hill. They also rappelled down over the side of the bunker. It was fairly long and curved. They were not allowed to go any further in than the first 'room' but some of the other cadets did go in.
In April 2016 Tim Duric, a carpenter, contacted me and advised that he had been living in the Bunker at Camden Airport since 2008. He was almost finished renovating the bunker to turn it into a recording studio.
Marc Werner told me his memories of the bunker in April 2020 :-
"I have read some of what others have said about the "big bunker" at Camden Airport. What I know, from experiencing first hand, is that when I entered the structure for the first time in late 1969, it had already been used as a indoor rifle range. I was there as an Air Training Corp cadet over many weekends for the next two years doing Control Line Aeromodelling construction. In fact the large (parachute) tables that others have spoken about were used as work tables by the cadets for balsa and doped tissue model construction. The Aeromodelling courses were run over multiple weekends, we would meet at Central railway station and be driven in a short wheelbase RAAF bus with a RAAF driver to Camden Airport for the weekend. We would have morning afternoon and evening model building sessions down in the bunker. It only had lighting suitable for model building for the first third or so, the far end was quite dark. I remember climbing over the rifle range butts and then climbing up the concrete ventilator shaft, there was still barbed wire around the openings in those days. The Officer In Charge was Flt Lt Colin Murrie from 9 Flight Canterbury Boys High School."
This Google Earth view shows the
Camden Operations Building bunkers
and the two smaller bunkers on the northern side of the Camden airfield.
Marc Werner told me of the existence of two other bunker like structures on the northern side of the Camden Airfield. See photos below. Could someone with a telephoto lens please take some photos of these two structures.
Small bunker like structure located on the northern side of the airfield
Photo:- via Marc Werner
Could this be an RAAF Radar
Station bunker for either 58 Radar or
220 Radar which were based at Camden during WWII for a short period
2nd small bunker on the northern side of the airfield
I'd like to thank Marc Werner, Tim Duric, Simon Webster, Geoff Russell, Greg Stone and Ray Green for their assistance with this web page.
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 18 September 2013
This page last updated 04 April 2020