208 Radar Station Swansea (RAAF) was established near the Mine Camp, Swansea near Catherine Hill Bay near Newcastle in New South Wales on 10 February 1943. The initial Commanding Officer was Flying Officer A. J. Ryan. It was fully operational on 16 July 1943.

The Radar Station was located on a 93 metre high cliff overlooking the ocean. This radar station  as one of nine in Australia using the imported British ACO Radar which was known as the "Rolls Royce" of radars. The Radar Station comprised two 44 metres timber radar towers which carried the transmitter and receiver aerials, two above ground concrete bunkers housing the transmitting and receiving equipment and a smaller concrete bunker for a backup generator and guard's hut.

Their barracks were located in the town of Catherine Hill Bay in the area known as the Mine Camp west of the Radar Station. The operators at the Radar Station were mostly WAAAFs. There were male RAAF radar mechanics, guards, cooks and other support staff.

Subsequent Commanding Officers during WWII were as follows:-

2 June 1943 - Flying Officer A. G. Price
16 September 1943 - Pilot Officer R. S. Coggins
6 October 1944 - Flight Lieutenant W. C. Hammer
3 April 1945 - Pilot Officer R. S. Pearce
14 July 1945 - Section Officer E. Robertson


Photo:- Radar Returns - Echoes from the Past and Present Volume 10, No. 1

Under the 44 metre timber Receiver Tower at 208 Radar Station Swansea


208 Radar Station Swansea was disbanded in January 1947 and the operational equipment was removed.


Photo:- Hamish McDonald

Remains of one of the two bunkers


Photo:- Hamish McDonald

The same bunker from the other direction


Eric Manning, younger brother of Arthur Manning an ex WWII Radar operator, submitted a proposal to list 208 Radar Station and remaining buildings on the NSW Heritage Register.


Did German Commandoes land
at nearby Yondaio during WWII?



I'd like to thank Hamish McDonald for his assistance with this web page.



Radar Returns - Echoes from the Past and Present Volume 10, No. 1


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"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 4 April 2017

This page last updated 13 January 2020