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This site for No. 3 Stores and Shipping Unit and 42 Radio Direction Finding Wing.


No. 3 Shipping and Stores Unit (3SSU) was established in Townsville, north Queensland on 5 October 1942 by amalgamating the Shipping and Stores Sections of North-Eastern Area. 3SSU initially shared its accommodation with the Equipment Section of Operational Base, Townsville.

3SSU's role was to service the semi-static units in the North-Eastern Area. This allowed the Repair and Salvage Units in the area to not worry about holding large quantities of domestic stores. 3SSU also acted as a Port Detachment and Forwarding Unit for RAAF units in New Guinea and the rest of Queensland.

The site constructed for No. 3 Shipping and Stores Unit (3SSU) and 42 Radio Direction Finding Wing (42 RDF Wing) was in a triangle of land bounded by Flinders Street West and Dalrymple Road at Garbutt. It was opposite the site now occupied by Ergon Energy in Dalrymple Road. This site was then used by No 13 Stores Unit and then used by No 8 Stores Depot (8SD), Detachment "A" before finally being used by No 11 Stores Depot after the war. The land had previously been Railway Reserve No. 286.

No. 3 Shipping and Stores Unit (3SSU) and 42 Radio Direction Finding Wing (42 RDF Wing) personnel had a camp at Ralston Street at West End during WWII.

No. 3 Shipping and Stores Unit (3SSU) was renamed to 13 Stores Unit on 20 February 1943. Squadron Leader A.G. Atwell the previous Commanding Officer of 3SSU became the first Commanding Officer of 13 Stores Unit. The movements and shipping elements of 3SSU were reformed into 6 Transport and Movements Office.

13 Stores Unit initially occupied around 25 buildings and shed around the Townsville area including a cordial factory at West End, a tannery building at Aitkenvale for "K" Group, and a stores building at 98 Pott St. (was this Potts St, Belgian Gardens perhaps?).

The Officers Mess was located in a house at 121 Bundock Street, Belgian Gardens and the Sergeant's Mess was in a house in Francis Street, West End while the Airmen's Mess was located under a Catholic Church (which one?).

In June 1943 a detachment from 13 Stores Unit was established at Thursday Island to provide non-technical stores support for 75 Wing forward units that extended from Merauke to Higgins Field. This detachment took over 23 Air Stores Park at Thursday Island on 27 October 1943. Another detachment of 13 Stores Unit was also formed in Cairns.

13 Stores Unit in Townsville was disbanded and absorbed into 8 Stores Depot on 20 September 1943. The Detachment at Thursday Island were reassigned back to 23 Air Stores Park on 15 January 1944.



Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History
Volume 6 - Logistic Units
Compiled by the RAAF Historical Section


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This page first produced 13 November 2008

This page last updated 13 January 2020