OR MONAB 7
(Mobile Naval Air Base)
ARCHERFIELD 09.08.45 to 05.11.45 Airfield Temp Huts BEATTY ROAD BRISBANE
Commanding Officers ARCHERFIELD Capt FRAI F.P 09.08.45 05.11.45
MONAB VII was commissioned as an Independent Command carrying its own accounts with the Ship's name H.M.S. Nabreekie, on the 1st June 1945. Captain F. P. Frai, R.N.V.R. was the Commanding Officer.
Personnel and equipment of Monab VII were transported to Liverpool in the UK by truck and rail where personnel boarded S.S. Stirling Castle and S.S. Andes setting sail for Sydney, Australia on 21 June 1945. Stores and equipment set sail from Gladstone Dock on board S.S. Samfoyle (LS3135) several days later.
The S.S. Stirling Castle and S.S. Andes travelled via the Panama Canal, and sailed for Wellington in New Zealand where they stayed for two nights. They had brought home ex Kiwi POW's from Germany. Australian POWs were also repatriated from S.S. Stirling Castle on its arrival in Sydney on 28 July 1945.
The personnel of MONAB VII entered temporary barracks in the Newcastle Racecourse which was part of HMS Golden Hind, the Royal Navy Barracks in Sydney. They were destined to share the working facilities at Archerfield Airfield on the outskirts of Brisbane with Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard No. 1 (TAMY 1), HMS Nabsford.
S.S. Samfoyle was diverted to Brisbane. A Detachment of 50 Ratings plus NCOs from MONAB VII was flown from Sydney to Oakey in south western Queensland to supplement an existing detachment of TAMY 1 to assist with the erection of Seafire aircraft.
The remainder of MONAB VII travelled by train from Sydney to Brisbane. An advance party of mainly Senior Officers had earlier flown to Brisbane. Upon arrival the main body of personnel were taken by truck to R.N. Camp Rocklea located near the former Ammunition Factory on Compo Road, Rocklea. This R.N. Camp had originally been built as the Rocklea Munitions Factory Hostel for the 3,000 or so civilian workers at the ammunition factory, but by the time the camp was finished the ammunition factory had closed down. It was located approximately 1 1/2 miles north of Archerfield Airfield. MONAB VII also occupied Camp Meeandah, a former US Army storage depot located just north of Camp Seabee near Eagle Farm Airfield.
R.N. Camp Rocklea, the former Rocklea Munitions Factory Hostel
Camp Meeandah is shown at the top right of this 1944 photo of the Eagle Farm area
HMS Nabreekie was commissioned at R.N. Camp Rocklea on 8 August 1945. Two days later, on 10 August 1945, some 300 Ratings started work in the large hangars at Kerry Road opposite Archerfield Airfield, working beside the personnel of TAMY 1.
A Corsair, Barracuda, and Hellcat lined up on the tarmac outside the middle two ‘Igloo’ hangers at the Kerry Road site.
On Monday 22 October 1945, Rear Admiral Portal, the Flag Officer Naval Air (Pacific) visited HMS Nabreekie and addressed the ships company advising that the unit was to be paid off with part of the ships company returning to the UK. The rest were to be transferred to TAMY 1, HMS Nabsford.
HMS Nabreekie was eventually paid off on 5 November 1945.
Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in Australia during WW2
Mobile Naval Air Base No. VII
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© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 7 January 2001
This page last updated 17 January 2020