NORTHERN AREA W/T STATION
NORTH EASTERN AREA W/T STATION
LATER TOWNSVILLE W/T STATION
LATER 12 SIGNALS UNIT, TOWNSVILLE (RAAF)
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

Summary

Northern Area Headquarters RAAF became operational on 8 May 1941. A temporary Signals organisation which became known as Northern Area W/T Station was established in time for the formation of Northern Area RAAF.

On 15 January 1942, Northern Area Headquarters was renamed to North-Eastern Area Headquarters. So presumably Northern Area W/T Station became North Eastern Area W/T Station on 15 Jan 1942.

On 10 September 1942, North-Eastern Area Signals Office became Townsville W/T Station. The NEAHQ ORB states that Townsville W/T Station was formed on 7 September 1942.

On 29 December 1942, No.12 Signals Unit RAAF was formed from the Signals staff of Headquarters North Eastern Area and all the personnel of Townsville W/T Station. Another RAAF Record shows it was formed on 7 December 1942.

On 21 December 1942, 12 Signals Unit ceased to be under 22 Base Wing and came directly under North Eastern Area Headquarters.

 

History of RAAF Signals in the Townsville area

On 27 March 1941, Squadron Leader K. M. Hampshire arrived at Townsville from Darwin for attachment to No. 24 Squadron RAAF to setup a temporary Signals organisation for what was known at that stage as Northern Area (later North Eastern Area). The temporary Signals organisation was to be functioning on or before the opening of Northern Area on 8 May 1941 with verbal and written instructions from the Director of Signals.

Two rooms in the School of Arts building, No. 24 Squadron RAAF, were taken over and equipped as a Signals Office. 24 Squadron's Transmitting Station was used to house two additional Transmitters and a temporary Transmitting and Receiving aerial system was erected.

Flying Officer W?. Westwood supervised the installation of the high-speed W/T equipment and investigated the ultimate equipment, building, telephone and remote control line requirements for Northern Area, submitting a report to the Director of Signals and he then returned to RAAF Headquarters on 10 April 1941.

16 W/T personnel were posted to Northern Area on 25 March 1941 and at 0800 hours on 19 April 1941, Northern Area took over the point-to-point watch with RAAF Headquarters from 24 Squadron and opened W/T circuits with Port Moresby and Archerfield (shared time) and Darwin (simplex). Five days later, due to the excess traffic on the combined circuit, Darwin was closed and Port Moresby and Archerfield were split into two simplex circuits. From that date Northern Area W/T Station was in direct communication with:-

Five Cypher Officers were posted to the unit on 4 May 1941, and Pilot Officer Lee was given the duties of S.5 - Area Cypher Organisation.

On 8 May 1941, Northern Area RAAF was formed and the Cypher Office was moved to Area buildings and a Teleprinter circuit link to 24 Squadron and Area Signals Office was opened.

The Northern Area Signals Office was located on the top floor of the Commonwealth Building at 42 Sturt Street, Townsville. The Signals staff comprised:-

Area Signals Officer, Squadron Leader Hampshire
Officer Commanding W/T Station, Flight Lieutenant Curtain
Technical Officer, Flight Lieutenant Cunningham
Maintenance Officer, Pilot Officer Meyers

On 12 May 1941, F/Lt. R. H. Cunningham (probably Robert Hugh Cunningham 250107) arrived from No. 1 BAGS and was given the technical duties of S.3 - W/T Equipment. He travelled to Brisbane on 18 May 1941 to co-ordinate the supply of P.M.G. equipment.

On 14 May 1941, Pilot Officer Claude Maxwell Houghton (2113) arrived from No. 10 Squadron RAAF and was given the duties of S.1 - Operational Signals.

A local aerial system was completed on 21 May 1941 and tests were carried out over a five day period. Heavy interference necessitated tests being conducted with remote reception from Area Signals Officer, 24 Squadron. The tests were successful and four circuits were installed.

The first four weeks of Area Signals operation were spent in the installation and organisation of the temporary facilities and the remaining four weeks in the supply and installation of equipment and facilities at the Area Signals Office.

The Senior Air Staff Officer, Northern Area reported in a letter to the Secretary of the Air Board on 1 June 1941 that:-

  1. The top floor of the Headquarters building was not completed at that time but had been painted throughout.
  2. The C.O.I.C., M.M.S., Air Intelligence, C.D.H. and L.D.C.C. rooms were ready for new furniture which was not available at that time.
  3. The Signals Office adjoining the A.C.H. was being filled with the necessary Receiving equipment and was due to be finished in three weeks time. In the meantime signals were being received at 24 Squadron and passed by Teleprinter to Northern Area Headquarters.
  4. A temporary switchboard was in operation and all telephones fitted were of a temporary nature. The new PABX was being tested in Brisbane.
  5. The A.C.H had been constructed but would not be complete until it was properly light, floors covered with lino and air draft fans installed. No furniture had arrived for the A.C.H.
  6.  All of the Air Force and Naval personnel were at that time crowded onto the top floor of the building operating under extreme difficulty. The ground floor was still occupied by Kjellberg.
  7. Within a month, the Northern Area local Receiving Station would be completed and occupied. W/T and L/T circuits would be on a 24 hour operational basis with all RAAF base stations under Northern Area Command, namely Darwin, Port Moresby, Townsville and Archerfield. It would also be linked with Air Board.
  8. No reasonable estimate could be given as to the opening dates for the W/T circuits to the island AOBs.
  9. Tests carried out at the Headquarters Receiving Station showed that local reception through the high noise level due to inductive interference rendered it impracticable when signal strengths were low.
  10. A permanent Remote Receiving Station was being designed but as a permanent station would not be available for about 9 months, a temporary Remote Receiving Station was being installed at Garbutt Airfield.

On 21 June 1941, alterations were made to the layout of H.Q. Signals Office to facilitate the lodging of P.L. Cypher and Operational Messages.

On 22 June 1941, Northern Area W/T Section moved from the temporary location at No. 24 Squadron to Area Headquarters building in Sturt Street. Communications with Archerfield, Port Moresby and Air Board were maintained throughout the change-over. The rooms and Receiving equipment at 24 Squadron previously used as Northern Area Signals Office were then being temporarily used as a Remote Receiving Station.

At the time of changeover on 22 June 1941, the equipment was as follows:-

Headquarters Signals Office:- There were 20 operating positions, eight of which were equipped for duplex working, four for tone lines and one as a Caihlo circuit to the Post Office enabling the direct receipt of telegrams be either sounder or tone oscillator.

Additionally, two High Speed recording and Transmitting bays were completed, only one of each being in use at the control panel terminate lines from the Remote Receiving Station, Transmitting Station, local receiver outputs, three line amplifiers and keys. Virtually any Transmitter could be keyed from all W/T operating positions, outputs from Receivers either local or at the Remote Station could be fed to any operating bay wither direct or with local amplification.

At that time, two tone lines with oscillators were available and by means of a PBX board, telephone communication over the tone line or to the Transmitting or Receiving Stations was possible. Ultimately the board would enable the switching of direct lines to either the A.O.C., C.O.I.C., S.A.S.O., A.C.H. Intelligence Section and Area Signals Officer and be linked directly with the telephone system at 24 Squadron to the Commanding Officer, Intelligence Officer, Operations Room, Signals Officer and D/F Station.

A small W/T workshop was provided and a Staff and Store Room was under construction.

Remote Receiving Station:- Four Receivers were in use with an operator in attendance at all times. Beam aerials directed on Air Board and Darwin had been constructed, the former being used with success. It had not been possible to carry out tests with Darwin since the erection of the aerial.

Transmitting Station:- Three high frequency Transmitters were available connecting to a dipole antennae. On 25 June 1941, the Rhombic aerial for use with the Air Board was completed and tested.

On 27 June 1941, the Rhombic aerial directed towards Darwin was completed. Tests were successfully completed with Archerfield using High Speed equipment. A Transmitter Installation Party arrived to install two 750 watt AWA transmitters.

On 30 June 1941, two W/T operators and two Signals clerks reported for duty. Traffic handled during the month steadily increased, the number of groups handled by the cypher staff alone being 144,000.

The W/T Signals Office became fully organised and established in July 1941. The Remote Receiving Station temporarily located at the School of Arts building, 24 Squadron, had been functioning well. To give additional lift to incoming signals, special high gain beam aerials were erected, one directed on Air Board and another on Darwin. The Receivers were equipped with 12 volt accumulators as the emergency power supply which would enable ongoing reception over 8 hours during a power supply failure. Signals were conveyed to H.Q. Signals Office by P.M.G. cables and the output of any of the four Receivers could be selected by the N.C.O. in charge, Signals Office, and be connected to any operating position on the table.

A recording could be made on cylindrical discs of any signals that were received and that was the usual method of receiving high speed transmissions from Air Board, Archerfield or Darwin. High speed automatic transmissions at about 80 w.p.m. were conducted daily with administrative signals.

Duplex, manually operated, circuits were employed on Air Board and Archerfield, and would shortly be employed on Port Moresby and Darwin, which were at that time worked by the ordinary Simplex method.

Other forms of communication were the Teleprinter circuit to No. 24 Squadron and the sounder circuit to the Post Office. During July 1941, the P.M.G. had been steadily progressing with the work on the aerials at the Transmitting Station and the installation of control cables at N.E.A.H.Q., 24 Squadron Signals, Transmitting and D/F Stations.

On 7 July 1941, nine aircraft operators reported to the Signals Office. Their general standard was low. The majority were not capable of efficiently operating busy W/T watches.

On 9 July 1941, W/T conditions were bad on all circuits due mainly to ionospheric conditions. The directional Rhombic aerial was tested to Melbourne on 15 July 1941 with most satisfactory results. Relays were fitted to prevent trouble.

On 19 July 1941, a higher power crystal C.C. AWA transmitter was tested to HQ with excellent results.

The policy changed as regards handling traffic on 20 July 1941. Lower standard operators were used on traffic routing making the handling slower but better operators were used on watches making for more accurate work,

Also on 20 July 1941, a contractor installed additional power points and made available D.C. power for new type perforators. Kleinsmith perforator received ex Archerfield was found to be a great improvement on old perforators.

On 24 July 1941, Darwin and Singapore were found to be operating on their frequency causing much delay with traffic to and from Port Moresby. An additional two lines were supplied to the Transmitting Station.

A Test Watch was opened with Darwin on 28 July 1941. The Darwin circuit began operating on a 24 hours service on 29 July 1941. A Rhombic aerial began being used on Darwin.

On 31 July 1941, a Kleinsmith perforator received from the P.M.G. in Brisbane was placed into service, and a 7 stage amplifier was installed in the main panel. They were still awaiting wiring to be completed to the panel by the P.M.G.

The number of groups handled by the teleprinter during July 1941 was 46,500. It was anticipated that much more R.A.F. Cypher would be employed when the A.O.B.'s were in operation and more cypher personnel might be needed.

On 1 August 1941, two additional keying lines were installed to the Transmitting Station. A general fade out on all frequencies occurred from 1100 to 1315 Kcs on 2 August 1941.

The main 7 channel amplifier was placed into service on 9 August 1941. Darwin advised they had started to use a rhombic directional aerial on 11 August 1941. An appreciable increase in signal levels was noticed.

A higher powered A.W.A. Transmitter was placed into service with Darwin on 27 August 1941 using crystal control and a Rhombic aerial.

Tests were made with Tulagi on 28 August 1941 and two way contact was made at good maximum strength each way.

A W/T point-to-point watch was opened with Tulagi on 4 September 1941, continuous from 0600 until 1800 with schedules during the remaining periods.

The Port Moresby - Northern Area W/T circuit commenced operation on 7 September 1941 as a duplex circuit enabling more efficient handling of traffic.

A continuous point-to-point watch W/T watch was opened with RNZAF at Suva on 17 September 1941, with satisfactory performance.

During September 1941, regular tests with high speed automatic equipment was carried out satisfactorily with both Darwin and Archerfield. The floors of the Signals Office were covered with linoleum. The Cypher Room was re-designed and enlarged to handle three "Typex" machines and Teleprinter and Telex circuits. Traffic handled on the Northern Area - Port Moresby circuit increased greatly, on certain days, there being more messages passed on this circuit that the Air Board channel.

The system of duplicating cypher signals for more expeditious transmission was satisfactorily investigated and was due to be put into force when certain small items became available and technical advice received.

On 14 December 1941, S/O Rentoul arrived with a detachment of WAAAF Personnel.

Northern Area Headquarters was renamed as North Eastern Area Headquarters on 15 January 1942.

Signals Section, No. 2 Transmitting Station was opened for dispersal reasons in a farm house at Mount Louisa on 18 January 1942.

On 22 May 1942 a Simplex circuit was opened with Birdum. On 24 May 1942, Coen was placed on a circuit with Cooktown, Groote Eylandt was placed on a circuit with Birdum and North Eastern Area.

On 18 March 1942, a cottage near Charters Towers Airfield was taken over for a Signals Office and another cottage near the town was taken over for a Transmitting Station. Two mobile Transmitting and Receiving tenders were equipped and prepared to maintain communications in the event of the evacuation inland being necessary.

On 7 April 1942, a house in Stagpole Street, West End was taken over as an Emergency Signals Office and Shadow to the main North Eastern Area W/T Station at Sturt Street, Townsville.

On 9 July 1942, F/Lt. Chauncey, P/O Bolton and eleven W/T operators left by sea for Merauke, Dutch New Guinea to establish signal communications with the mainland. The party arrived about 6 August 1942. Communications were opened on 18th August 1942and the station has never been off the air since that date.

On 30 July 1942 the RAAF took over Cloncurry H/F D/F Station from the Department of Civil Aviation.

Townsville W/T Station was formed on 7 September 1942. Pilot Officer Ross Clifford Harris (285706) was appointed as temporary Commanding Officer of Townsville W/T Station.

A small transmitting station known as No. 1 Transmitting Station had been operating at Belgian Gardens, since 21 September 1940.

On 5 September 1942, S/O Sutherland arrived in Townsville as Messing and Barracks Officer, WAAAF Townsville W/T Station. "E" Block of St. Patrick's College, The Strand, was occupied by WAAAF personnel as barracks.

On 10 September 1942, North-Eastern Area Signals Office became Townsville W/T Station. Another record (see above) states this happened on 7 September 1942.

Townsville W/T Station comprised:-

- a Signals Office
- 2 Transmitting Stations (Belgian Gardens and Mount Louisa)
- a Remote Receiving Station at the Bohle
- a Shadow Signals Office (house, Stagpole St., West End)

My assumption is that it was in the same building where North Eastern Area HQ was located in what is today called the Commonwealth Building.

Twelve WAAAF Officers and 59 WAAAF other ranks were posted to Townsville W/T Station for North-Eastern Area Signals Office. The WAAAF personnel took over the Little Flower Academy, The Strand for their barracks on 7 September 1942. Some WAAAF personnel were also housed at WAAAF Barracks at St. Anne's Church of England Girls School.

On 14 September 1942, a Remote Receiving Station at Cairns Road (Bohle), was brought into operation for duty Res. Pool Medical?

On 17 September 1942, S/O Gwendoline Mary Olver (350032) arrived and assumed duties as Officer In Charge WAAAF personnel, Townsville W/T Station.

Wing Commander William Allan Minchin (270916) was appointed Area Signals Officer in September 1942.

On 27 September 1942, a party consisting of one cypher officer and five W/T operators were sent to Augustus Downs to provide communications between the airfield and the A.O.R. (Area Operations Room).

No. 4 VAOC formed at Townsville on 23 October 1942.

WAAAFs took over St. Rita's Hostel, The Strand as barracks on 24 October 1942.

The strength of Townsville W/T Station at that time was as follows:-

STRENGTH RAAF WAAAF
Officers 21 15
Other Ranks 326 176

The North-Eastern Area Air Operations Room (A.O.R.) moved to Sidney Street premises at West End (Green Street Bunker) on 7 November 1942 and Townsville W/T Station took over the whole of the top floor of the North-Eastern Area Headquarters building at 42 Sturt Street. A Signals Office was established in the A.O.R. building at Sidney Street and facilities were provided for passing messages from Townsville W/T Station. The emergency Signals Office in the house at Stagpole Street was closed down at about the same time.

The strength of the Townsville W/T Station at that time was:-

STRENGTH RAAF WAAAF
Officers 23 14
Other Ranks 367 247

His Excellency Sir Leslie Wilson, the Governor of Queensland, inspected Townsville W/T Station, No. 1 Transmitting Station at Belgian Gardens and Signals Section, Air Operations Room at Sidney Street, West End on 1 May 1944.

 

Layout of the Signals Office
in the North Eastern Area HQ

 

(D) Personnel at Radio Table looking from
Sturt Street towards Flinders Street

 

(D) AR7 Emergency Receiver set up on Radio Table

 

(C) A Recording Machine on table (similar to a type of gramaphone)

 

(D) Radio Communications table with WAAAF and RAAF personnel

 

Note the message tubes up to the ceiling

 

(B2) Teletype machine

 

(B) Teletype and Teleprinter table with landline table (3) in background

 

(B1) Teleprinter Machine

 

(F) Emergency AR7 Receivers used when Remote Control went out of action

 

(E) Distribution of messages in air tubes throughout the whole building

 

(A) WAAAF in Messages Sorting Office

 

One of the trucks used to transport personnel from the Grammar
Camp to the North Eastern Area HQ building in Sturt Street

 

WAAAF staff from one of four shifts who lived at Grammar Camp
and worked in North Eastern Area HQ building on the top floor

 

RAAF staff from one of four shifts who lived at Grammar Camp
and worked in North Eastern Area HQ building on the top floor

 

Some RAAF personnel at the Grammar Camp who
worked in North Eastern Area HQ building on the top floor

 

White huts for the WAAAF's located at the Grammar
School Reserve with the Sports Reserve in the background.
The RAAF huts for the men were amongst the trees. Landsborough
Street runs between the Grammar School and Yarrawonga.

 

The ORB for North Eastern Area HQs shows that Townsville W/T Station was renamed as 12 Signal Unit on 7 December 1942.

The 12 Signals Unit RAAF ORB shows that it was formed from the Signals staff of Headquarters North Eastern Area and all the personnel of Townsville W/T Station on 29 December 1942 with Pilot Officer R. C. Harris as the temporary Commanding Officer.

The role of 12 Signals Unit was to provided for installation, maintenance and administration of communication facilities for units in North Eastern Area, thus leaving the Area Signals Officer free for operational work in the Area.

12 Signals Unit reported initially reported to No. 22 Base Wing. On 21 December 1942, 12 Signals Unit came back under North-Eastern Area Headquarters.

On Saturday 27th March 1943 at approximately 0512 hours Douglas DC3 (C-47) VH-CTB, A65-2 (A30-16) of 36 Squadron, Townsville, was involved in a fatal accident at Archerfield. The crew of four were killed as were all passengers consisting of 17 Australian and 2 American personnel. Thus a total of 23 personnel were killed. Amongst those killed were two members of 12 Signals Unit, Townsville.

LAC Charles Paton Eric Fly
LAC Terrence Joseph Kelly

 


Photos:- AWM VIC1061

Aircraftwoman Enid Atherton of Mackay, Qld, was a member
of No. 12 Signals Unit RAAF. Enid lived at the Strand Barracks.

 

SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK (ORB) ENTRIES
FOR 12 SIGNALS UNIT  RAAF
29 Dec 1942 - 30 Sep 1944

Note:- The following is my summary of what appears in the ORB for 12 Signals Unit RAAF. It is not meant to be a word for word replica of the ORB. I've converted it from military brief to normal English.

 

29 Dec 1942
12 Signals Unit RAAF was formed from the Signals staff of Headquarters North Eastern Area and all the personnel of Townsville W/T Station. The role of 12 Signals Unit was to provided for installation, maintenance and administration of communication facilities for units in North Eastern Area, thus leaving the Area Signals Officer free for operational work in the Area.

On formation 12 Signals Unit RAAF was staffed as follows:-

Temporary Commanding Officer F/Lt. Morris Henry Meyers (262607)
Adjutant F/O Jack Milton Wallace Love (264176)
O.C. Townsville W/T Station P/O Ross Clifford Harris (285706)
T/Administrative Officer P/O Geoffrey Charles Ripley (119470)
Chief Cypher Officer F/O Clifford Raymond Searl (262171)
WAAAF Administrative Officer S/O Gwendoline Mary Olver (350032)
Orderly Room Sgt. Scriven
Barracks and Messing Officer S/O Sutherland

 

There were three Signals Officers:-

S.1 Operational Communication F/Lt George Stanley Bemrose (A3526)
S.2 Provision of technical equipment & telephone facilities P/O C.J. Coutts
S.3 Ground W/T & L/T Organisation Personnel F/O Allan Harry Heath (283695)

F/Lt McShane as S.4 was in charge of Signals S & C Publications Section.

6 Jan 1943
P/O Dawson arrived to become the officer in charge of the Mobile Signals Installation and Repair Section (S.5).

17 Jan 1943
F/Lt Gibbes of RAAF HQ, Directorate of Signals and W/O Anderson of Melbourne W/T Station arrived in Townsville to assist with the remodelling of the Townsville W/T Station Signals Office with a view to increasing efficiency in handling traffic and providing for expansion. This work started immediately and at the same time the Department of Interior started to air condition the Signals and Cypher Offices.

31 Jan 1943
The strength of 12 Signals Unit RAAF was as follows:-

STRENGTH RAAF WAAAF
Officers 44 15
Other Ranks 392 253

1 Feb 1943
Squadron Leader Norman Wilfred Simmons (023203) took over as Commanding Officer from F/Lt Morris Henry Meyers, who then proceeded on a posting to RAAF Headquarters on 3 March 1943.

9 Feb 1943
The Chief Signals Officer, RAAF Command, Group Captain Wiggins (possibly Group Captain Carn Scarlett Wiggins) visited 12 Signals Unit.

14 Feb 1943
S/Ldr Simmons flew to Port Moresby by Short Flying Boat to consult with the Commanding Officer of No. 10 Signals Unit. He returned to Townsville on 24 February 1943.

19 Feb 1943
12 Signals Unit took over part of St. Patrick's College on The Strand for WAAAF Barracks. The Girls College had previously been occupied by 41 Squadron RAAF. The WAAAFs were housed in three adjoining buildings, St Rita's, St. Patrick's and the Little Flower Academy.

Work was nearing completion on the Charters Towers H/F C/R D/F station with ground calibration to be carried out in the near future. At the same time buildings were under construction at Mingela, Brandon and Moongobulla for VHF D/F Fixer Stations.

2 Mar 1943
The Sydney Street Bunker at West End relinquished status as the Signals Office and all channels transferred to Townsville W/T Station in Sturt Street. Duplex Teleprinter link from Townsville W/T Station to Air Operations Room, North Eastern Area was inaugurated as a despatch channel only.

3 Mar 1943
A Teleprinter Service was opened between Townsville W/T Station and 7 Squadron RAAF at Ross River Airfield.

5 Mar 1943
The Charters Towers H/F D/F Station was handed over by the PMG Department and made available for ground calibration.

6 Mar 1943
S/Ldr Simmonds and P/O Coutts proceeded to Charters Towers to inspect the H/F C/R D/F Stations, plus 12 Repair & Salvage Unit and the camp site at Macrossan.

7 Mar 1943
The Area Cypher Officer arrived and took over the Cypher organisation from Section S.3 of 12 Signals Unit.

8 Mar 1943
The first telephone conversation between Horn Island and Melbourne took place. Arrangements were in hand for USASOS to release a Teletype for a channel from Townsville W/T to 1 Wireless Unit RAAF.

14 Mar 1943
The W/T Channel from Townsville W/T Station to 20 Signals Unit was closed to enable the 20 Signals Unit training program to proceed. Traffic was received and dispatched by Motor Cyclist. On the same day the Operational Base at Iron Range closed down the watch on the Recco frequency owing to the move of 400 Bomb Squadron of the 90th Bomb Group USAAF.

29 Mar 1943
The PMG Department tested the Telex on the Townsville - Horn Island speech channel. The channel was in use as a tone line.

2 Apr 1943
W/T contact was established with 313 RDF Station on Mornington Island.

5 Apr 1943
The Townsville W/T Station to Horn Island Telex service was opened.

7 Apr 1943
F/O Albert Bruce Iverach (265093) proceeded to Charters Towers as O.I.C. 12 Signals Unit Detachment.

9 Apr 1943
W/T contact was established with 311 RDF Station at Archer River.

13 Apr 1943
Army co-operation tests were conducted between Air Operations Room, North Eastern Area and Army Headquarters, Yorke Force.

19 Apr 1943
Contact with Operational Base Cooktown was established on a separate point-to-point W/T channel to Townsville. Augustus Downs and Cloncurry were placed together on one W/T channel to Townsville W/T Station.

19 Apr 1943
77 Cypher Instructional Course commenced at 12 Signals Unit with 15 airmen under instruction from F/O J. Gordon. All the airmen finished the course on 1 May 1943.

20 Apr 1943
Tests were carried out at Townsville W/T Station with Cooktown and Cairns on one W/T Channel.

27 Apr 1943
The Equipment Section transferred to new quarters at the rear of the WAAAF Barracks on The Strand.

3 May 1943
No. 78 Cypher Instructional Course commenced at 12 Signals Unit with 13 airmen under instruction from F/O J. Gordon. The course was completed on 17 May 1943 with only eight airmen finishing the course. Three airmen withdrew from the course at their own request and two others were taken off the course when they were deemed unsuitable for Cypher Duties.

8 May 1943
Area Signals Officer authorised tests and instructed all P/L traffic by W/T and L/T be stopped and such traffic be encyphered.

11 May 1943
Merauke was taken off quadratic circuit with Port Moresby, Horn Island and Iron Range. Direct Simplex point-to-point W/T channel Horn Island - Merauke was instituted. Horn Island, Iron Range, Port Moresby operated as a triatic W/T Channel.

13 May 1943
One officer and forty two airmen left Townsville by boat for 12 Signals Unit Detachment, Augusta.

20 May 1943
A W/T channel was opened from Townsville W/T Station to North Western Area. The existing Townsville - Birdum channel was transferred to the Meteorological Office, Sydney Street, West End for handling Meteorological traffic exclusively.

15 Jun 1943
A Telegraph channel was opened from Townsville W/T Station to Bohle River Airfield plus a W/T channel as a backup.

17 Jun 1943
There were considerable difficulties experienced with the W/T communications with Horn Island. The beam transmitting antennae directed in Amberley reversed, and transmitter type 14S was used with improved results.

23 Jun 1943
W/T tests were conducted satisfactorily from Townsville W/T Station to Merauke. Due to the incomplete installation, Merauke was unable to maintain a continuous watch. The W/T channel from Merauke to Townsville W/T Station opened on 29 June 1943 working on a simplex basis.

30 Jun 1943
Karumba Aeradio Station was taken over by the RAAF. The RAAF then provided all facilities previously provided by the DCA for all ground-to-air communications. The H/F D/F Station was to be modified and then operated by the RAAF.

5 Jul 1943
12 Signals Unit Installation Party commenced the VAOC installation program in the Torres Strait area.

24 Jul 1943
A speech channel was opened linking A.O.R. North Eastern Area with A.O.R. North Western Area for operational conversations and a tone line for handling signals traffic.

26 Jul 1943
A Teleprinter service was opened between Townsville W/T Station (North Eastern Area) and Adelaide River W/T Station (North Western Area) from 1600 hours GMT. It was used for handling signals traffic between areas.

6 Aug 1943
A direct point-to-point W/T Channel was opened from Townsville W/T Station to Karumba and became available for signal traffic from 0120 hours G.M.T.

17 Aug 1943
RAAF Headquarters approved the provision of a direct line from Townsville W/T Station to No. 1 Wireless Unit RAAF. On the same day, the telegraph channel from Townsville W/T Station to Bohle River Airfield closed consequent on the move of 8 Squadron RAAF to 9 Operational Group.

21 Aug 1943
H/F D/F Station Rockhampton opened for aids to navigation. This station was formerly staffed and operated by the Civil Aviation Department.

25 Aug 1943
The Karumba to Townsville W/T Station channel started to operate on a 24 hour basis.

29 Aug 1943
Some 12,000 pounds of installation equipment and personnel under the command of F/Lt Wilkinson flew in two C-47 Dakotas to Karumba. On the same day, North Eastern Area advised that arrangements had been made for 12 Signals Unit to take over a camp site at Charters Towers originally intended for 42 RDF Wing. Portion of one building was to be adapted for use as the Signals and Cypher Office to handle signals traffic for units in the Charters Towers area as a temporary measure until permanent facilities were provided. Some of the buildings there were to be used as barracks.

29 Aug 1943
F/Lt Edwards (Adjutant) and F/Lt Heat (S.3) travelled to Charters Towers to inspect the camp site. They returned to Townsville the same day. Arrangements were made for the connection of electric light and telephones to permit occupation of the camp site at the earliest opportunity.

1 Sep 1943
A Teletype machine was installed at Townsville W/T Station for handling aircraft movement signals under revised American 5 A.A.C.S. (5 Army Airways Communication System - later 68th AACS Group) controlled aircraft movement organisation. AACS Garbutt, Garbutt Operations and the Directorate of Air Transport, Townsville were also on the same circuit making it a quadratic hookup.

3 Sep 1943
A direct speech channel was completed from Townsville W/T Station Operational PBX to No. 1 Wireless Unit RAAF, enabling patching of telephone calls from Army No. 51 W/T Section, Darwin to No. 1 Wireless Unit RAAF at Stuart.

6 Sep 1943
F/Lt Maddern, S.1 RAAF Headquarters and H/F D/F Calibration Party departed for calibration of D/F Station Cooktown.

7 Sep 1943
F/Lt Brennan (S.5) and Installation Party departed for Charters Towers. Warrant Officer Tarrant was in charge of the Installation Party. F/Lt William Archie Wilkinson (3418) (S.5) was killed in the crash of Catalina A24-52 of 11 Squadron RAAF in Cleveland Bay. He was returning to Townsville from 12 Signals Unit Detachment at Karumba.

8 Sep 1943
The Charters Towers H/F D/F Station became available for assisting aircraft with navigation.

12 Sep 1943
F/Lt Maxwell John Swaby (S.1) departed for an inspection of the signal line from Cairns to Fitzroy Island with a view to the possibility of a VHF installation.

13 Sep 1943
P/O Sydney Louis Honeyman (S1A) (1561) departed for an inspection of the Cooktown H/F D/F Station.

17 Sep 1943
A party of Signals personnel departed by train for Karumba via Cloncurry to augment the existing 12 Signals Unit Detachment personnel.

18 Sep 1943
P/O Sydney Louis Honeyman (S1A) (1561) returned from Cooktown. Further Signals personnel departed by Catalina for the Karumba Detachment.

19 Sep 1943
Horn Island tested the W/T Channel to Millingimbi.

26 Sep 1943
Charters Towers Signal Office transferred to the new camp site.

27 Sep 1943
The first WAAAFs departed for Charters Towers to staff the Signals Office as a Detachment of 12 Signals Unit. F/O W.F. Williams (S.6) visited 13 Aircraft Repair Depot at Breddan for the purpose of organising a W/T Repair Section.

2 Oct 1943
All RAAF personnel in Signals musterings were withdrawn from Charters Towers Signals Office. On 9 October tests were conducted on the new duplex frequencies Meteorological W/T Channel Townsville to Brisbane.

12 Oct 1943
A working party of general hands departed by air for Horn Island to assist in laying of an U/G Cable between the Signals Office and the new Transmitting Station.

The Commanding Officer departed by air for Brisbane to attend a Signals Officers Conference at RAAF Command. He was accompanied by the Chief Signals Officer, North Eastern Area and the Commanding Officer, No. 1 Signals Task Unit.

13 Oct 1943
The Milne Bay to Townsville W/T Station W/T Channel was changed over to Goodenough Island.

15 Oct 1943
Charters Towers W/T Station formed as a separate unit. 37 personnel were posted from 12 Signals Unit on 15 October 1943 for duty at the newly formed W/T Station Charters Towers.

18 Oct 1943
Signals Section S.5 Installation Party departed by air for Higgins Field.

20 Oct 1943
North Eastern Area was requested to allocate additional floor space in the basement of the North Eastern Area building in Sturt Street, Townsville to accommodate a screened room and additional equipment in the Townsville W/T Station workshop.

21 Oct 1943
RAAF Headquarters was approached with a view to authorising permanent internal telephone lines at Ross River Airfield which was the main Fighter Strip in the Townsville area.

23 Oct 1943
Permanent telling telephone lines from 136 Radar Station to 103 Fighter Sector were completed and became operational.

26 Oct 1943
Charters Towers W/T Station opened an intercept watch on Convoy frequencies for two weeks test of results and policing of watch.

27 Oct 1943
The PMG Department completed antennae installation at No. 1 Transmitting Station Townsville at Belgian Gardens.

30 Oct 1943
A Telegraph channel was opened from 25 Operational Base Unit Signals Office Tropical Theatre to 24 Operational Base Unit Mareeba.

6 Nov 1943
S.5 Installation Party departed for Cooktown to erect Antennae facilities of RAAF Transmitters housed in the Department of Civil Aviation Transmitting Station.

8 Nov 1943
Work commenced to changeover equipment to the new Transmitting Station at Horn Island.

11 Nov 1943
S.5 and S.8 departed by air for the inspection and selection of a site for Zone Filter Centre, Karumba. They returned to Townsville on 13 November. Combined procedure and operating signals were introduced for air use on 11 November 1943.

13 Nov 1943
The transfer of the Power Supply and Transmitters to the new Transmitting Station Horn Island was completed.

17 Nov 1943
P/O James Desmond Dolly (11329) Cypher Officer, a specialist in Type X operation and a Maintenance Mechanic arrived at Karumba to install and inaugurate a Type X Machine.

20 Nov 1943
The Karumba Typex became operational. On the same day an Instruction was received from North Eastern Area that Aeradio facilities were to be provided at Horn Island for communication with aircraft on Travel Flights only.

26 Nov 1943
H/F C/F D/F Karumba became operational on a 24 hour basis. On the same day RAAF Headquarters advised that the Townsville and Iron Range Homing Beacon facilities were to be closed down. These facilities were a duplication of the A.A.C.S. Services.

29 Nov 1943
Karumba carried out tests with a listening watch on Radar Station Mornington Island Plotting Channel to 33 Zone Filter Centre in order to intercept Earl Air Raid Warning advice.

30 Nov 1943
There was a reorganisation of Fighter Travel frequencies for aircraft enroute to Operational Bases in the Area and entering this Area from Eastern Area. A standard Fighter Travel frequency was allotted for this purpose.

12 Dec 1943
An unsuccessful VHF test on 40 megs was conducted between Stuart and Dunk Island. Dunk Island heard Stuart at strength 2. Nothing was heard from Dunk Island at Stuart.

13 Dec 1943
An interzone plotting channel on 6140 kcs was opened between 112 and 113 Mobile Filter Sectors.

14 Dec 1943
A VHF test was conducted between Mount Spec and Dunk Island. Two-way communication was effected with strength 2 to 3.

15 Dec 1943
12 Signals Unit Karumba Detachment was disbanded and signals personnel were posted to 34 Operational Base unit on formation. On the same day, an Ionospheric Data Station site was selected by S.5 at Horn Island.

17 Dec 1943
The Cape York lines were down due to a cyclonic disturbance in the Coen area.

18 Dec 1943
Iron Range kept a continuous listening watch and working schedule for traffic due to an unserviceable power unit. 29 Operational Base Unit point-to-point W/T circuit to Townsville W/T Station was closed with traffic being via Karumba.

21 Dec 1943
The remote control lines between Cairns Zone Filter Centre, Transmitting Station and Signals Office were unserviceable from 210334Z to 210817Z hours. Arrangements were made for temporary use of six new lines from the Zone Filter Centre to the Transmitter for the Operational Base. Emergency watches were in place in the Signals Office and Transmitting Station. 23 Operational Base Unit took over convoy and primary Recce watches on an emergency basis. Normal Convoy and Primary Recce watches were resumed after remote control lines were restored.

24 Dec 1943
A Teleprinter was installed at Charters Towers.

26 Dec 1943
The Aeroradio facilities on Horn Island were taken over from AWA by the RAAF at 1200 hours to provide both W/T and R/T facilities to provide communication with aircraft on travel flights. The facilities were placed into operation by the RAAF on 29 December 1943.

30 Dec 1943
The Cape York Carrier at Iron Range became serviceable. The W/T schedule with Townsville and Cloncurry ceased from 0200Z hours on 30 December 1943, except as required upon line failure.

3 Jan 1944
S.8 was appointed Signals Liaison Officer between 12 Signals Unit and 42 Radar Wing for all signals matters affecting communications for Radar Stations. 1 Flying Boat Maintenance Unit maintained a 24 hour per day watch on the primary reconnaissance frequency, also the M/F Homing Beacon facilities were made available on request.

Information was received that Townsville H/F D/F station (by special arrangement working on aeroradio frequencies) was taking an average of 126 bearings of aircraft transmissions over an average of fourteen hours per day. The volume of work necessitated two-day watches to prevent eye-strain to operators.

80 Squadron aircraft underwent fitment at Townsville of special VHF harness by an installation party from RAAF Headquarters.

A report was received that sickness figures at Townsville W/T Station showed a daily average of 1.29% for the month of December.

4 Jan 1944
Arrangements were made with 5 Communications Unit for Dragon aircraft to make a weekly trip from Townsville to Horn Island, landing at RAAF Airfields en route for the purpose of safe-hand distribution, owing to civilian aircraft not being available. A Teleprinter service between Charters Towers W/T Station and Townsville W/T Station commenced operation.

9 Jan 1944
A land-line construction and maintenance party arrived in Townsville under escort. 12 Signals Unit arranged air transport for on-forwarding, owing to indefinite ship movements.

10 Jan 1944
A suggestion was made to RAAF Headquarters that, on the move of 7 Squadron from Ross River Airfield, the existing Teleprinter service to Townsville W/T Station should be withdrawn and installed to operate between Higgins Field and Horn Island.

11 Jan 1944
Two Transmitter-Receiver sets, Type ATR4, were issued on loan to 3 Wireless Unit to be used by en route for communications between first and last vehicles of the convoy. A subsequent report received indicated that the equipment was valuable for such road convoy work.

12 Jan 1944
The installation of the Transmitting Station at Higgins Field was completed. The PMG Department commenced installation of Receivers in the VHF Homer Station at Townsville. Arrangements were in hand with a RAAF Installation party to install VHF Transmitter, Type AT17, at Castle Hill to work with this project. The Signals Officer of 72 Wing Headquarters arrived in Townsville to discuss signals matters concerning units in the Merauke area. The Cooktown H/F D/F became unserviceable owing to a burnt out power transformer, caused by heavy rain damaging the equipment. Arrangements were made for Charters Towers H/F D/F Station to take over responsibilities for guarding the primary reconnaissance frequency.

14 Jan 1944
S.8 of 12 Signals Unit proceeded to Rockhampton to confer with S.8 of RAAF Command regarding Zone Filter Organisation and the taking over of aerodrome control by the Department of Civil Aviation.

16 Jan 1944
12 Signals Unit S.8 returned from Rockhampton.

17 Jan 1944
Communication facilities at Higgins Field became available for full operation as technical installations were completed.

19 Jan 1944
Advanced Operational Base Coen resumed scheduled W/T Communications with Townsville W/T Station.

20 Jan 1944
Cooktown H/F D/F Station resumed operation. Charters Towers H/F D/F Station resumed normal operations. Cooktown H/F D/H had been unserviceable for seven days, nineteen hours and five minutes.

23 Jan 1944
S.5 departed by air for Karumba via Cairns with an Inspection Party. Their specific duties were to lay remote control cable between the Signals Office and the Transmitting Station, and install a new 25kVA power unit.

24 Jan 1944
A course of high-speed training was completed for RAAF Telegraphists at Townsville W/T Station. This training was undertaken in preparation for their posting to 9 Operations Group. A report was received advising that the W/T channel recently established between 33 Zone Filter Centre, Cairns and 112 Fighter Sector, Horn Island was operating satisfactorily.

25 Jan 1944
S.6 departed by air for Horn Island and Merauke for inspection of maintenance facilities, squadrons and Repair Salvage Units.

30 Jan 1944
S.1A departed for inspection of Charters Towers H/F D/F Station and returned to Townsville the next day.

31 Jan 1944
A new site was selected for the H/F D/F in close proximity to the existing VHF D/F station at Garbutt, due to electrical interference being experienced at the existing site. RAAF Headquarters approved the move of the teleprinter circuit from 25 Operational Base (Tropical Theatre) Cairns to 11/20 Squadron Operations Room to operate 25 Operational Base (Tropical Theatre) to 33 Zone Filter Centre, Edgehill.

3 Feb 1944
The Commanding Officer of 12 Signals Unit visited RAAF Units at Charters Towers, Macrossan, and Breddan in relation to signal facilities.

4 Feb 1944
S.5 and the Installation Party returned from Horn Island after completing installation and laying of new underground cable between the Signals Office and the Transmitting Station, and reorganising the telephone lines. S.5 and the Installation Party returned from Higgins Field after completing installation of technical equipment and erection of aerials and remote control lines for the Signals Office and the Transmitting Station.

5 Feb 1944
S.1A departed and returned by air for an inspection of the H/F D/F site at Mackay with representatives of 3 Divisional Works Office.

7 Feb 1944
The Officer Commanding Townsville W/T Station returned to the Unit following a conference at RAAF Headquarters held to discuss various aspects of traffic handling at large W/T Stations.

8 Feb 1944
A Typex machine was installed at 1 Wireless Unit RAAF at Stuart.

9 Feb 1944
Flying Officer John Harold Hullin (03248) arrived at 12 Signals Unit to organise Air Support Tests to be conducted at Cairns.

10 Feb 1944
S.5 returned following inspection of progress being made by the Installation Party at Karumba.

11 Feb 1944
WAAAF Telegraphists were detailed for duty at Cairns Road Remote Receiving Station, (Bohle) Townsville.

12 Feb 1944
12 Signals Unit commenced installation of a VHF Homer on Castle Hill.

15 Feb 1944
Point to point W/T Watch Townsville W/T Station to Higgins Field opened for continuous operation.

16 Feb 1944
North Western Area - Townsville W/T Station Tone Line began operating with Telex equipment terminations, although still hand speed operated. Staff Officers S.3 and S.8 of RAAF Command, accompanied by S.8 of 12 Signals Unit departed for inspection of Signals facilities at Horn Island, Higgins Field and Merauke.

17 Feb 1944
S.5 returned from Higgins Field having sited the location for a new H/F D.R. D/F Station at Higgins Field in conjunction with representatives of 3 Divisional Works Office.

18 Feb 1944
211 Radar Station RAAF at Home Hill commenced plotting to 103 Fighter Control Unit using all land lines.

20 Feb 1944
RAAF commenced operation of Aeradio facilities for ground to air communications with all aircraft on travel flights.

21 Feb 1944
Installation of the VHF Homer on Castle Hill was completed. The PMG Department was still working on the installation of receivers for the VHF Homer. A Report was submitted by Flying Officer Hullin in respect of Air Support Control Tests dealing with communication matters and difficulties encountered.

23 Feb 1944
North Western Area Headquarters W/T Station was working high speed W/T with Townsville W/T Station as required.

25 Feb 1944
Signals Officers S.3 and S.8 of RAAF Command and S.8 of 12 Signals Unit returned from inspection of signals facilities at Horn Island, Higgins Field and Merauke. 343 Radar Station RAAF commenced plotting into 103 Fighter Control Unit by land line. The Teleprinter Service between 76 Wing and 11/20 Squadron RAAF Operations Room was withdrawn and transferred to operate from 76 Wing Signals Office to 33 Zone Filter Centre.

26 Feb 1944
Signals Staff Officers S.3 and S.8 of RAAF Command and S.8 of 12 Signals Unit departed by air for an inspection of signals facilities at Cairns, returning on 28 February 1944.

29 Feb 1944
A Telegraph circuit opened between Charters Towers W/T Station and 13 Aircraft Repair Depot, Breddan. Signals Staff Officer S.3 of RAAF Command returned to RAAF Command. Signals Staff Officer S.8 of 12 Signals Unit returned from Cairns.

2 Mar 1944
S.5 of RAAF Headquarters returned from Cairns following an inspection of the site for a VHF link termination at Cairns. S.8 of RAAF Command departed for Port Moresby for an investigation of an Aircraft Movements Organisation between the mainland and New Guinea.

5 Mar 1944
Flying Officer Little arrived in Townsville after completing the installation of a H/F C.R. D/F Station at Merauke. He departed for RAAF Headquarters on 6 March 1944.

6 Mar 1944
Flying Officer Janes (RAF) Signals Officer, arrived with an Installation Party, to effect the changeover of W/T equipment for three squadrons in 9 Operations Group to VHF equipment. The Frequency Measuring Unit recommenced operations, after personnel returned from sick leave. The necessity for providing communications at Tanamera was under discussion. The P.M.G. Department was working on the calibration of VHF D/F facilities at Townsville.

7 Mar 1944
Flying Officer Janes and the Installation Party departed by air for 9 Operations Group. The Townsville - Horn Island Telex Service changed to Townsville - Higgins at 071300Z hours.

12 Mar 1944
D.C.S.O., North Eastern Area Headquarters departed for Cairns to carryout Air Support Control test.

14 Mar 1944
The Director of Radio Services arrived in Townsville on a tour of inspection and conference communications matters. Flying Officer Garside, of RAAF Command, Signals Officer in charge Air Support Control, visited 12 Signals Unit to discuss organisation issues. Flying Officer Janes returned from New Guinea.

16 Mar 1944
Teletype at Townsville W/T Station with switching arrangements for selection of circuit to No. 1 Wireless Unit Rear Detachment or U.S. 5 A.S.C, was changed to two direct point to point teletype channels, namely Townsville W/T Station to No. 1 Wireless Unit Rear Detachment and Townsville W/T Station to 5 A.S.C. Teletypes were provided by U.S. Forces.

17 Mar 1944
S1, S6 and S.8 RAAF Headquarters arrived by air and departed with Flying Officer Janes for 9 Operations Group for VHF installation for operational squadrons in New Guinea.

19 Mar 1944
D.C.S.O., North Eastern Area Headquarters, returned from Air Support Control Tests.

20 Mar 1944
Air Support Communications Section was formed in 72 Wing. Two naval telegraphists arrived in Townsville from New Guinea for air sea rescue duties, for the relief of RAAF Wireless Air Gunners. VHF tests conducted between Dunk Island and Castle Hill were unsuccessful. Further tests were carried out between Dunk Island and Mt. Spec.

20 Mar 1944
Air Officer Commanding North Eastern Area Headquarters, accompanied by Sir Donald Cameron made an inspection at Townsville W/T Station. WAAAF Telegraphists in the Townsville area were instructed in types of enemy deception and jamming on W/T circuits. Special recordings were played for the training.

21 Mar 1944
Sgt Bull, Assistant S1A, 12 Signals Unit, departed by rail for an inspection of H/F D/F Station, Julia Creek.

22 Mar 1944
S1A, 12 Signals Unit, departed by rail for an inspection of Rockhampton H/F D/F Stations.

23 Mar 1944
S8, 12 Signals Unit departed by air for inspection of site for Karumba Zone Filter Centre.

27 Mar 1944
Cyclonic weather with heavy rains disrupted all line communications in North Eastern Area.

29 Mar 1944
Sgt. Bull, Assistant S1A, 12 Signals Unit, returned from his inspection of H/F D/F Station at Julia Creek.

30 Mar 1944
S1A returned from inspection of Rockhampton H/F D/F Stations. A.C.S.O., RAAF Command, returned from an inspection of communications in 9 Operations Group and attended 12 Signals Unit conference and discussed communication matters within North Eastern Area.

2 Apr 1944
Signals Staff Officers, S.2 and S.8, of 12 Signals Unit, departed by air to arrange transfer of signals equipment from 112 Mobile Fighter Control Unit to 32 Zone Filter Centre, Horn Island and general inspection of signals facilities.

3 Apr 1944
112 Mobile Fighter Control Unit relinquished all communications and 32 Zone Filter Centre commenced operation at 0001Z hours.

6 Apr 1944
W/O W. E. Bischoff (300029), S.6, returned from Dunk Island VHF Installation. The VHF equipment used for the Dunk Island link proved unsatisfactory on tests. Recommendation made to RAAF Headquarters that the installation be withheld until suitable equipment was available.

14 Apr 1944
Signals Staff Officer S.8 with Acting S.5, P/O McLennan, departed by air with nucleus party to install VHF D/F facilities at Merauke.

17 Apr 1944
Signals Staff Officer S.8 returned from Merauke having commenced the installation of VHF D/F facilities. Aeradio facilities available at Mackay were operated by DCA personnel for specified daylight hours or on request.

19 Apr 1944
Flight Lieutenant J. C. Rinder (286910) departed by air for relocating the Mackay VHF D/F Station in conjunction with representatives of State Public Works Office.

21 Apr 1944
72 Wing advised that the installation of the VHF D/F Station was completed and ready for calibration.

22 Apr 1944
Assistant S.1A, Sgt. J. F. Bull (17899) departed for Merauke to calibrate VHF D/F Station. Pilot Officer D. A. Norman, Officer in Charge No. 3 H/F D/F Installation Party, departed by air with five personnel as an Advance Party for Higgins Field H/F D/F installation.

25 Apr 1944
Arrangements were made for Mr. Bilson of the Department of Interior for air travel to Higgins Field to assist No. 3 H/F D/F Installation Party.

26 Apr 1944
Wing Commander N. W. Simmons departed by air for inspection of VHF D/F Installation and general communication facilities in the Merauke area. 1 Wireless Unit Rear Detachment D/F Station at Rockhampton (Rockhampton No. 2 H/F D/F Station) was taken over by 21 Operational Base Unit. Proposal submitted to RAAF Headquarters for No. 1 Station to be employed on Aeradio frequencies and No. 2 Station on normal D/F frequencies as radio aid to navigation of aircraft. Advance party of Wireless Maintenance Mechanics from RAAF Headquarters arrived for fitting standard beam approach equipment in C.47 aircraft of 36 Squadron RAAF.

27 Apr 1944
The first notification was received of the possible intention to install ADF52 Type H/F D/F equipment at Merauke.

29 Apr 1944
Acting S.5 returned from Merauke. Flying Officer Buzacott (Ex S.5) arrived in Townsville from RAAF Headquarters for two weeks temporary duty, and to hand over installation work to the new Officer in Charge of Section S.5.

30 Apr 1944
Sgt. Bull, Assistant S.1A, returned from Merauke, after completing the calibration of the VHF D/F Station.

1 May 1944
F/O Buzzacott, S.5 RAAF Headquarters, and Assistant S.5, 12 Signals Unit, carried out an inspection of site for an Ionspheric Recorder Stations in the vicinity of Charters Towers.

4 May 1944
The VHF D/F station at Merauke became operational and was being used by a Dutch Squadron.

6 May 1944
The Commanding Officer returned from Merauke after an inspection of signals installations. F/O Buzzacott, S.5 RAAF Headquarters, departed for Melbourne.

7 May 1944
F/Lt Coats, S.6 RAAF Headquarters, arrived for inspections of wireless maintenance within North Eastern Area.

9 May 1944
S.6 RAAF Headquarters departed for Higgins Field.

10 May 1944
P/O Gerrard, S.6, 12 Signals Unit, departed from  Cooktown for Higgins Field to link up with S.6, RAAF Headquarters, on inspections.

11 May 1944
S.6, RAAF Headquarters, and S.6, 12 Signals Unit, departed Higgins Field for Merauke.

12 May 1944
The Radiosonde installation for 30 Operational Base Unit was completed.

13 May 1944
S.6, RAAF Headquarters, and S.6, 12 Signals Unit, arrived in Townsville from Merauke. 12 Signals Unit was advised that VHF communications for aircraft at Merauke were unsatisfactory due to temporary ground installations deteriorating and faulty Squadron equipment. A request was made for a visit by an expert from RAAF Headquarters.

14 May 1944
S.6, RAAF Headquarters, departed Townsville for Cairns.

15 May 1944
Assistant S.5, 12 Signals Unit, departed for inspection and locations of signals installations at Mackay, Rockhampton, and Bowen. S.6, RAAF Headquarters carried out an inspection of USA Depot No. 2 near Mount Louisa.

16 May 1944
12 Signals Unit commenced construction of VHF D/F prefabricated huts.

18 May 1944
S.6, RAAF Headquarters, S.6, 12 Signals Unit and S3T returned from Charters Towers.

20 May 1944
S.5, 12 Signals Unit, and F/O James, S.6, RAAF Headquarters, departed for Merauke in connection with VHF communications. Fittings and aerials for Ionospheric Recorder at Higgins Field was being constructed by 12 Signals Unit.

22 May 1944
S.6, RAAF Headquarters, departed Townsville for Brisbane. Assistant S.5 returned from Bowen, Mackay and Rockhampton.

24 May 1944
S.1A departed for H/F D/F inspections at Higgins Field, Merauke, and Cooktown. F/O Norman, OIC No. 3 H/F D/F Installation Party returned to Higgins Field.

25 May 1944
C.O. departed for inspection of K.C.C. sites at Charters Towers.

26 May 1944
S.1A departed Higgins Field for Merauke. A new system was initiated whereby W/O Signals from the workshop would visit ground transmitting stations to check maintenance. The first visit was to Charters Towers.

29 May 1944
S.1A and S.5 returned from Merauke via Cooktown. S.1A reported that a new site was required for VHF D/F at Higgins Field and for the ADF52 D/F at Merauke. Alternative sites were discussed. S.5 reported that VHF communications were overhauled and were now satisfactory. S.5 also reported that work was progressing on K.C.C. sites at Cooktown. The Power Unit for DCA Cairns was removed from the Dispersal Point to the DCA building.

29 May 1944
The C.O. departed with C.S.O. and a representative of 3 D.W.O. on an inspection of sites and communication facilities at Rockhampton. Bowen, Mackay, Longreach, Cloncurry and Charters Towers.

On 30 May 1944, S.8, RAAF Command, arrived for discussion on the Aircraft Movements Organisation.

31 May 1944
12 Signals Unit was advised that Julia Creek and Tolga D/F Stations were to be closed down and dismantled by 12 Signals Unit.

5 Jun 1944
Signals Staff Officers S.2 and S3T departed by road for an inspection of the Equipment Store and Telephone and Cable installations respectively at 8 Stores Depot, Macrossan.

6 Jun 1944
The Telegraph channel from Charters Towers W/T Station to Macrossan was opened. S.2 and S3T returned from their 8 Stores Depot inspection.

9 Jun 1944
Signals Staff Officer S.5 departed with a representative from 3 D.W.O. for an inspection of progress on the Signals installations at Horn Island, Higgins Field and Merauke. Two Wireless Maintenance Mechanics completed type "X" Maintenance Course which was conducted at 12 Signals Unit Workshop Section.

12 Jun 1944
R/T facilities were available at Charters Towers H/F C.R. D/F Station for communication to aircraft requiring Navigational Aid.

16 Jun 1944
F/Lt Pearson, S3T, RAAF Headquarters, visited North Eastern Area on an inspection of Telephone and Cable Installations and requirements.

23 June 1944
S.5 returned from Horn Island via Cooktown. He advised that a permanent VHF D/F site was selected at Higgins Field. Arrangements were finalised with 3 D.W.O. and A.W.C. for the installation of a VHF D/F Station and a Ionospheric Recorder at Higgins Field. Sites for Radio Range and new Operations Building at Horn Island were selected and arrangements were made for work to proceed on Key Communication Centre (K.C.C.) buildings and Radio Range Installations. A site for the ADF52 (Portable H/F D/F) was selected at Merauke.

25 Jun 1944
H/F C.R. D/R receiver Tolga (1 Wireless Unit) was dismantled and brought back to Townsville for storage pending transshipment to New Guinea.

28 Jun 1944
The Key Communication Centre Signals - Operations Building and VHF D/F building were completed at Cooktown.

29 Jun 1944
12 Signals Unit was advised that VHF D/F receiver at Rockhampton was to be installed in the No. 2 H/F C.R. D/F building.

3 Jul 1944
F/O A.R.D. Gostelow, ex 72 Wing HQs, was appointed temporary S3T, responsible for installation and maintenance of telephone and cable facilities in North Eastern Area. The Telegraph Channel for 61 Operational Base unit Roseneath to Townsville W/T Station was placed into operation.

4 Jul 1944
S.5 party started to dismantle H/F C.R. D/F Station Julia Creek which was no longer required by No. 1 Wireless Unit RAAF..

6 Jul 1944
P.M.G. Department assisted by RAAF personnel, commenced laying an earth mat at Cloncurry H/F C.R. D/F Station.

7 Jul 1944
Section S.6 moved to No. 42 Wing, Garbutt. P/O C.N. Gerrard was appointed Officer Commanding 12 Signals Unit Garbutt Detachment with the power of a subordinate commander.

8 Jul 1944
Arrangements were made for all VHF maintenance at No. 1 R.S.U. to be carried out by the Merauke Detachment.

9 Jul 1944
The installation of two VHF channels at Mount Stuart was completed for 103 Fighter Control Unit.

11 Jul 1944
P/O V.C. Cooper, S.5, accompanied by Mr. Bongers, PMG Engineer, and P/O Coulter, No. 3 Divisional Works Office representative, departed for Higgins Field, Horn Island, Cooktown, on an inspection of the K.C.C. building program.

16 Jul 1944
Installation party departed for Cooktown to install VHF D/F equipment.

17 Jul 1944
P/O Sydney Louis Honeyman (S1A) (1561), departed for Karumba via Cloncurry on D/F inspection duty.

18 Jul 1944
An Installation Party proceeded to Cairns to install a 16KVA emergency power unit at the Signal Office in the Tropical Theatre.

19 Jul 1944
P/O Sydney Louis Honeyman (S1A) (1561) returned from Karumba.

20 Jul 1944
F/Lt. Heath, C.O., accompanied by P/O Lempriere (S.2), visited No. 8 Stores Depot, Macrossan, No. 84 Squadron RAAF and No. 86 Squadron RAAF. P/O Cooper returned from Cooktown.

24 Jul 1944
P/O Sydney Louis Honeyman (S1A) (1561), P/O McLennon, and No. 3 D.W.O. representative, selected a new site for the Bohle River H/F D/F Station.

26 Jul 1944
5KVA emergency Power Plant was being installed for Townsville W/T Station at Cairns Road (Ingham Road?) Remote Receiving Station.

27 Jul 1944
S.6 proceeded by road on an inspection tour of No. 13 A.R.D. and No. 6 C.R.D.

28 Jul 1944
A work party was installing new receiving aerials for Townsville W/T Station.

30 Jul 1944
12 Signals Unit arranged with No. 1 B.P.S.O. for one F/Sgt and one Cpl. Wireless Maintenance Mechanic, ex 20 Squadron RAAF, to proceed to No. 74 Wing HQs for a Loran D/F Course.

31 Jul 1944
C.O. F/Lt. Heath and P/O Cooper, S.5, left by air on an inspection tour of Cairns, Cooktown, and Iron Range.

1 Aug 1944
The huts which are to house the main equipment and power units for the Ionospheric Recorder at Higgins Field have been completed. Arrangements were now being made for the installation of all the technical equipment.

2 Aug 1944
R/T ground-air communications was made available from the C.R. D/F Station Karumba. Transmitter type AT14A was being used for that purpose.

3 Aug 1944
C.O. F/Lt Heath returned by aircraft from Iron Range where he had completed the inspection of the signals facilities at Cairns, Cooktown and Iron Range.

At Cairns - Arrangements were made with the Signals Office, 76 Wing for telephone facilities to be installed at Edgehill Barracks. Arrangements for a telephone service at the Sheridan St., Camp were also discussed at a conference with the Wing Signals Officer, P.M.G. Divisional Engineer and the District Telephone Officer, Cairns. At this Conference the unsatisfactory service on the 20 Squadron Teleprinter circuit was discussed. They also discussed telephone facilities for No. 56 Radar Station RAAF and cable facilities for the new Key Communication Centre. A conference was held with R. Read, Department of Civil Aviation, and Mr. Hill of the same Department. RAAF assistance at the Aeradio Station was discussed with Mr. Read and the positioning of the proposed Key Communications Centre buildings on the airfield was discussed with Mr. Hill. With reference to the Key Communication Centre, a new site for a Transmitting Station was selected. The previous site was found to be under cultivation as a cane farm. The very high frequency D/F site was selected at the airfield, and details of both these sites was forwarded to RAAF Headquarters and the Department of Civil Aviation for approval.

At Cooktown - An inspection was made of the progress of the Key Communication Centre buildings. The Transmitting Stations and Operations Room were ready for internal wiring. The VHF D/F building was completed and technical equipment was being installed. In connection with the VHF D/F it was found that the building itself was 75 feet from the airfield taxiway, and discussion were held to either:-

(a) Retain existing buildings

(b) Re-Site building approximately 50 feet further from the taxiway.

(c) Select an alternative site well away from the airfield.

Of these, the latter was rather difficult owing to the surrounding country being heavily timbered. The position regarding the housing of American AACS Transmitters in the RAAF Transmitting Station was investigated. Interference had been experienced in the RAAF Signals Office from AACS Transmitters due to the proximity of the two. Tests were carried out at the new Operations building site and it was decided that the interference would not be such as to warrant removal of AACS Transmitters.

At Iron Range - Signals facilities were found to be reasonably satisfactory, but further re-organisation of the telephone system was recommended. The present system was inadequate. The length of unserviceability of the Telex Services both North and South was investigated. Difficulties were found due to:-

(a) Untrained personnel for maintenance of P.M.G. equipment

(b) Termination of line at Horn Island was not on the alarm system

Arrangements were made with the Signals Officer Horn Island for the line to be terminated with a loud speaker. The maintenance of power units was unsatisfactory due to Fitter D.M.T.s being fully occupied on transport vehicles. S.5, 12 Signals Unit, who was accompanying C/O remained at Iron Range to investigate fully.

S/Ldr Madden of D/D R.S. S.1 RAAF Headquarters arrived in Townsville on a brief inspection of the D/F organisation in North Eastern Area. Several matters in relation to D/F maintenance were discussed with Section S.1.A, F/O Honeyman. During the visit of this Officer an inspection was made of the American Portable Cathode Ray D/F at Bohle River. This D/F is a rotating genio type and although it was found to be very portable, it was considered to be inferior to the RAAF D/F systems as it required a good strength signal for accurate results.

9 Aug 1944
N.C.O. in charge of the D/F Calibration Party departed for a routine inspection of the C.R. D/F at Charters Towers.

10 Aug 1944
C/O - F/Lt. Heath accompanied by S/Ldr. Shaw, Area Works Officer, departed of an inspection of the Signals facilities at Higgins Field, Horn Island and Merauke.

11 Aug 1944
N.C.O. in charge of the Calibrating Party returned from Charters Towers and reported the station in good order with minor details requiring attention.

15 Aug 1944
The new RAAF frequency organisation was introduced. Some delays were caused in the change-over. Karumba was not contacted by Townsville W/T Station for a period of 9 hours.

17 Aug 1944
C/O - F/Lt. Heath returned from an inspection of Higgins Field, Horn Island and Merauke.

33 O.B.U.  - C/O recommended that the present power hut erected for H/F and VHF D/F Station be retained rather than a permanent hut be built. The C/O reported that living quarters were not yet being provided at the new Transmitting Station, and such quarters were considered desirable. Staff Officer Works agreed to investigate that living quarters be provided at the new Transmitting Station.

44 O.B.U. - C/O suggested that 70 ft. steel towers be provided to replace the existing masts as these are considered to be of too light construction. S.5, 12 Signals Unit was instructed to investigate. An Inspection was made of the stationary power engines and these were generally found to be in good condition. A discussion was held with the C/O of 44 O.B.U. with a view to the Transport Section acknowledging responsibility for the maintenance of the power units. Difficulties in the W/T Maintenance Section were found to have been experienced with test equipment probably due to inadequate tropic proofing. C/O instructed S.6 to investigate and report to RAAF Headquarters.

113 M.F.C.U. - C/O examined a complaint by C/O 113 M.F.C.U. regarding the inadequacy of VHF communications, air to ground. C/O arranged for closer attention to routine maintenance of both ground and airborne equipment and better supervision in the tuning of aircraft equipment. Test were carried out and results disclosed that equipment was fundamentally satisfactory provided sufficient attention was paid to the details in maintenance. C/O recommended to C/O 113 M.F.C.U. that arrangements be made for the Sector  Controller to use remote reception from the VHF D/F Station for control of aircraft, should it be required.

120 Squadron - C/O discussed VHF ground to air communications with W/O Signals 120 Squadron, and Staff Officer Signals Training N.E.A., who was on a visit of inspection at the unit.

1 R.S.U. Detachment - C/O discussed difficulties in the maintenance of W/T equipment stationary engines with the C/O 1 R.S.U. and found that difficulties were mainly to do with personnel and spares.

18 Aug 1944
The VHF D/F installation at Cooktown was completed. However, the site required clearing and grading before the calibration can be carried out. S.5.A P/O McLennan departed for Cairns in connection with the Key Communication Centre sites as further investigation for the Transmitting Station was necessary due to the previous site being situated in a malarial area, and condemned by the Medical Authority.

20 Aug 1944
The NCO in charge of the D/F Calibrating Party departed for Cloncurry to ground calibrate the C.R. D/F installation Type 2C5352 following the completion of the earth mat installation by P.M.G. Department assisted by 12 Signals Unit.

22 Aug 1944
The S.5 Installation Party departed for Higgins Field to install VHF D/F Rack Type A3 and associated equipment in the D/F building. R/T ground to air communication facilities were made available to the C.R. D/F Station Cooktown using a Transmitter AT14A.

23 Aug 1944
VHF D/F Installation Rockhampton was completed and ready for calibration.

24 Aug 1944
The installation of the 5KVA Emergency power unit at the Radio Range Garbutt was completed. This installation was found to be necessary due to the unreliability of the Townsville Electricity supply. Sister D. Beckett of R.A.A.F.N.S. was posted to Townsville W/T Station.

25 Aug 1944
S.6 P/O Gerrard inspected the standard beam approach equipment in 36 Squadron aircraft. Four aircraft were completed by this time and the rate of progress of further installations had improved. S.1.A F/O Honeyman visited the D/F Station at Garbutt to investigate abnormal errors apparent in bearings to aircraft and in ground calibrations. Errors returned to normal after several receiver faults were rectified, but the cause of the abnormal bearings was not definitely established.

S.5 party departed for Mackay to install an AT14A transmitter in the Civil Aviation Transmitting Station. This transmitter was for use of H/F D/F frequencies for R/T ground - air communication.

Ground calibration of C.R. D/F Station Cloncurry was completed. Error curves on certain frequencies showed an improvement but results were not fully satisfactory. Full results were forwarded to RAAF Headquarters for analysis.

Karumba reported that the Bellini Tosi M/F D/F facilities were now working satisfactorily. It had been previously difficult to obtain satisfactory sense and this has now been rectified. Check bearings on ground stations at various distances up to 420 miles, and at various points of the compass proved to be satisfactory.

P/O McLennan returned for Cairns after inspection of K.C.C. sites.

27 Aug 1944
Emergency 5KVA power unit at Radio Range Garbutt was tested on load. The results were satisfactory.

28 Aug 1944
P/O McLennan Signals Officers Assistant S.5, 12 Signals Unit was attached to 23 O.B.U for signals duties.

29 Aug 1944
S.5 P/O Cooper departed for Cairns to select further sites for K.C.C. buildings.

S.5 party departed for Charters Towers to carry out the bonding of the earth mat at the C.R. D/F Station mast base plates. This work was not completed to standard specification when the earth mat was installed.

S.6 reported a second Typex Machine was modified for C.C.M. (Inter-service) operation at Townsville W/T Station.

30 Aug 1944
NCO in charge of the D/F Calibration Party departed for Rockhampton to ground calibrate the H/F D/F Station.

S.6 P/O Gerrard supervised the check of the Frequency Measuring Meter of Townsville W/T Station against the Frequency Measuring Unit P.M.G. calibrated meter. This was necessary due to frequent errors in the Townsville W/T frequencies. A considerable number of errors were found to exist in the meter.

1 Sep 1944
The month's activities opened with the Installation Party from S.5, Sgt. Lyons in charge, installing an R/T Transmitter type AT14A at Mackay. This transmitter will provide communication for the C.R. D/F Station Mackay. The installation was carried out at Aeradio Transmitting Station, and aerials are also being erected for use in conjunction with the transmitter. Power will be supplied by C.A.D. and the Transmitter will be maintained by the RAAF.

An Installation Party with Sgt. Jones in charge was at Higgins Field installing telephones and cables for the new Signals, Administrative, and camp requirements. The H/F D/F Station installation at Higgins Field was almost ready for testing, but was being delayed owing to non-arrival of equipment. Sgt Robinson of this party returned to Townsville on 5th May 1944, to locate and forward missing equipment.

The issue of four weapon carriers to 5 Squadron RAAF was approved by Headquarters North Eastern Area. These carriers were to be fitted with two complete sets of W/T equipment, namely an AT5 transmitter and an AR8 receiver. Work was being carried out under the supervision of Section S.6, and the vehicles were then to be used in lieu of the normal mobile W/T vehicle, in forward areas.

5 Sep 1944
Installation party returned from Cooktown on completion of the installation of equipment in the VHF D/F Station. The site of the D/F Station was not yet finally graded and the testing and calibration was held up until this was completed.

6 Sep 1944
Section S3T, F/O Gostelow, departed for Bowen to inspect telephone facilities in that area, with particular reference to the new facilities required for No. 1 Flying Boat Maintenance Unit following the enlargement of the Flying Boat Base.

7 Sep 1944
Telephone facilities No. 6 Postal Unit transferred from building in Flinders Street to the School of Arts building by the P.M.G., under arrangement with Section S3T, following the move of the Postal Unit.

8 Sep 1944
RAAF Headquarters advised 12 Signals Unit that the results of the recent calibration of the H/F D/F Station Cloncurry following the installation of an earth mat were not satisfactory on certain frequencies. The aerial system was to be dismantled and all connections checked. As the re-erection of the aerial masts is a precision job, the P.M.G. Aeradio Section, Brisbane, was to assist with Mr. Gibbs, P.M.G. engineer.

Section S6 supervised the installation of a Teleradio 3B Transmitter Receiver in a barge used by the salvage section of North Eastern Area Headquarters. Installation was effected to enable emergency communication only.

9 Sep 1944
Section S3T returned to Townsville on completion of duty at Bowen. Whilst at Bowen, he inspected the telephone facilities at No. 1 Flying Boat Maintenance Unit and No. 9 Squadron and conferred with Mr. Roden, P.M.G. mechanic in connection with the provision of cable pairs for the new facilities in the slipway area at the Flying Boat Base. S3T also conferred with the C.O. and the Signals Officer of No. 1 F.B.M.U. in connection with telephone requirements in the slipway area.

10 Sep 1944
Sgt. Bull, NCO in charge D/F Calibration Party, returned from Rockhampton. The calibration of the VHF D/F Station at Rockhampton could not be completed owing to a faulty component in the aerial system. The faulty component was returned to 12 Signals Unit for repair, and the VHF D/F Station was scheduled to be calibrated at a later date.

Information was received from Iron Range of a complete power failure, necessitating the temporary closure of Aeradio facilities. The power failure was due to worn ball races in the generating sets. A servicing party was despatched by North Eastern Area Headquarters to service the generating sets and replacement ball races were despatched from Higgins Field.

12 Sep 1944
Experiments were carried out by Section S.6 to determine the cause of excessive interference being experienced on Type "S" power supply units. Experiments resulted in some suitable modifications being found. The results were forwarded to RAAF Headquarters with a recommendation that the modification be accepted. The Type "S" power supply was designed to provide alternating current from 12 volt accumulators.

P/O Cooper, S.5, with F/Lt. Ulrick of RAAF Headquarters, departed for Higgins Field to select a suitable site for the Radio Range equipment.

Headquarters North Eastern Area was informed that R/T ground to air communication was now available at C.R. D/F Stations, Garbutt, Cooktown, Cloncurry, Karumba, and Charters Towers. This information was supplied to North Eastern Area for promulgation to units throughout the area. Under good conditions, R/T communication can be speedier than W/T working.

13 Sep 1944
Section S.6, P/O Gerrard, accompanied by two airmen from 5 Squadron RAAF, departed 13 Aircraft Repair Depot to supervise the installation of W/T equipment in the weapon carriers allotted to 5 Squadron RAAF. The majority of the actual work was to be carried out by personnel of 13 ARD.

Mr. Gibbs, P.M.G. Engineer, arrived in Cloncurry to investigate and report on the aerial system of the C.R. D/F Station and to endeavour to improve the error curves on certain frequencies.

The NCO in charge of the D/F Calibration Party carried out further tests at VHF D/F Station Garbutt in connection with the balancing of the aerial array. These test were carried out following on from comments from RAAF Headquarters on the balancing of calibration carried out previously at this D/F Station. The job being to find a point of balance which would enable the aerial array to cover the entire frequency range without adjustments of the aerial lengths being necessary when the frequency was changed.

Alternator and exciter units from a spare 25KVA generating set at 12 Signal Unit were despatched airfreight to Iron Range to be used in providing power over the period that the Iron Range generators were being repaired.

15 Sep 1944
NCO in charge of the D/F Calibration Party, departed for Higgins Field, to ground calibrate the VHF D/F Station. The installation of equipment had been completed by 12 Signals Unit installation party.

Mr. Gibbs. P.M.G. Engineer, advised Section 1.1A that the Cloncurry H/F D/F equipment appeared quite satisfactory, with the final report to be made within the next day or two.

Unserviceable alternators arrived from Iron Range and were to be serviced by Headquarters North Eastern Area engineering section. It was found impossible to satisfactorily repair and service these units at Iron Range.

16 Sep1944
R/T ground to air communication on H/F D/F frequencies was now available at Rockhampton and Merauke. Information was forwarded to Headquarters North Eastern Area for promulgation throughout the area.

P/O Cooper, S.5, returned from Higgins Field after assisting in the selection of the Radio Range site. Details were forwarded to RAAF Headquarters for final concurrence.

17 Sep 1944
The final report was received from the P.M.G. Engineer, Mr. Gibbs, following the completion of the investigation of the C.R. D/F Installation Cloncurry. Mr. Gibbs reported that from the tests carried out, the installation is quite satisfactory, and it was not considered necessary to dismantle the aerial masts for further inspection. Some minor improvements were affected to the error curves, but on the whole, they remained substantially the same as determined by the NCO in charge D/F Calibration Party.

Mr. Gibbs returned to Brisbane where he would tender a report to the P.M.G. Department Head Office.

18 Sep 1944
Advice was received from Mackay that the town electrical supply was now connected to the C.R. D/F installation and that the Station was ready for initial tests. Arrangements were made for the NCO in charge Calibration Party to proceed to Mackay to act as RAAF representative during the initial tests which were to be carried out by the P.M.G. Engineer and then for the NCO to carry out the normal calibration.

20 Sep 1944
Section S.5, P/O Cooper, accompanied by representatives of No. 3 Divisional Works Office, departed for Cloncurry to select the VHF D/F site.

22 Sep 1944
Installation Party from S.5, in charge Sgt. O'Toole, departed from Iron Range and Coen to overhaul and re-erect telephone lines and install the new switchboard. The re-erection was in conformity with the scheme proposed by the Commanding Officer 12 Signals Unit on his recent return, following an inspection of these bases. The party was also to erect Receiving and Transmitting aerials for use at the Signals Office and RAAF operated Aeradio Station at Iron Range.

The NCO in charge D/F Calibration Party completed the calibration of VHF D/F Higgins Field, and proceeded to Merauke for an inspection of D/F Stations in that area. The calibration at Higgins Field was held up for three days owing to the unserviceability of the VHF D/F Receivers. Apart from that initial delay, the calibration was satisfactory. Control lines were yet to be connected to the D/F Station.

23 Sep 1944
The installation of the W/T equipment in 5 Squadron RAAF weapon carriers was completed at No. 13 Aircraft Repair Depot. The installation provided two complete Transmitter Receivers, with power supply units and batteries in each vehicle. The installation could be operated within the weapon carrier or by remote control from a point up to 110 yards away. There was sufficient space in each carrier for two personnel to be seated and operate two independent watches. Canvas covers were made so that each piece of equipment could be completely covered when not in use.

Installation Party returned from Mackay on completion of the installation of the AT14A Transmitter and aerials at the Aeradio Transmitting Station for use by the C.R. D/F Station.

25 Sep 1944
Section S.6 returned from Charters Towers. Before returning this Officer carried out an inspection of the bonding of the earth mat to the mast bases at the C.R. D/F Station at Charters Towers. On his return he submitted a report to Section S.1A to the effect that the bonding was not entirely satisfactory. In view of this, arrangements were made for further work to be carried out.

NCO in charge Calibration Party returned from Merauke, and reported that the main difficulty at that time in the Merauke area was unserviceability of the test equipment. Both the VHF D/F Station and the C.R. D/F Stations were inspected and found to be satisfactory.

26 Sep 1944
Section S.5 returned from Cloncurry where the VHF D/F site had been selected. The Installation Party from S.5 had dismantled and removed six 43 feet masts from the aerial system at the old Operations Building of No. 1 Wireless Unit RAAF at Stuart. Those were then to be transported and installed in the aerial system of the Ionospheric Recorder Station at Charters Towers.

28 Sep 1944
NCO in charge Calibration Party departed for Mackay in connection with the initial tests of the C.R. D/F Installation at that location.

30 Sep 1944
Initial test C.R. D/F Installation Mackay was held up due to an internal failure of the coaxial cable leading out to one of the aerial masts. Attempts were being made to obtain replacement coaxial cable by the P.M.G. Engineer in charge of the testing.

 

Note:- The entries for the 30 September 1944 were the last entries in the ORB available online at National Archives of Australia.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thanks John Kidd, Lorna Grasswell (nee Mittelheuser) and Joan Archibald (nee Hatfield) and Mary Hilbig (RAAF Museum Garbutt) for their assistance with this home page.

 

BOOK REFERENCES

"The WAAAF in Wartime Australia"
by Joyce Thomson

 

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