4 Communication Unit RAAF (4CU) was initially formed as 4 Communication Flight RAAF at Archerfield Airfield on 7 September 1942 with Flight Lieutenant J. MacDonald as the Commanding Officer. 4 Communication Flight started out with the following aircraft:-

1 Avro Anson
1 Lockheed Hudson
2 Wirraways

On 11 October 1942, Sqn Ldr MacDonald crash landed in very bad weather after a ferry flight from Melbourne. Earlier on the same day a B-24 Liberator landed at Archerfield and smashed into a trainer aircraft. On 19 October 1942, a severe hail storm damaged two Tiger Moths A17-599 and A17-600. On 26 October 1942, an Avro Anson piloted by Sgt Bamborough took off from Bundaberg and crashed into the sea off Bundaberg. The aircraft was to be loaned to the 370th Squadron, USAAC, possibly the 370th Materiel Squadron.

By the end of January 1943, the 4 Communication Flight had the following aircraft:-

1 Avro Anson
2 Tiger Moths
2 Wirraways
1 Beaufort
1 Hudson

Other aircraft that the unit later operated were Douglas Dolphin, Moth Minor, DH-84 Dragon, Vultee Vengeance, Norseman, Lockheed Lodestar, Gannet, and Lockheed Ventura.

The 4 Communication Flight was involved in ferrying passengers and the occasional aircraft around Australia and New Guinea. Passengers were generally high ranking personnel such as General Blamey, senior public servants and the occasional overseas visitors. Some of the other activities that the unit participated in were:-

On 2 March 1943, a DH-84 Dragon, crewed by Sgt. Pearson and Aircraftman Munt crashed into trees at Toowoomba and caught fire and was totally destroyed. The two crew escaped with minor injuries.

On 27 May 1943, a Wirraway flown by Sgt Henry made a forced landing 50 miles from Roma due to engine problems.

On 14 March 1944 an Avro Anson crashed at Toowoomba with no injuries.

On 20 March 1944, a DH-84 Dragon crashed at Toowoomba killing the following crew and passengers:-

F/Sgt. Bird - crew
LAC Twyford - crew
S/Ldr Henry - passenger
S/Ldr Cantor - passenger

On 22 July 1944, Vultee Vengeance A27-535 crashed during a naval co-operation flight killing Sergeant Oswin and Flight Sergeant Pettit.

S/Ldr V.H. Byrnes took over as Commanding Office on 21 October 1943.

4 Communication Flight was renamed to 4 Communication Unit on 1 November 1943.

His Royal Highness, the Duke of Gloucester visited Archerfield on 15 and 16 February 1945, and then proceeded south in the Unit's Lockheed Lodestar.

S/Ldr G.T. Newstead took over as Commanding Officer on 30 October 1945.

4 Communication Unit was disbanded at Archerfield airfield on 16 April 1946.



Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History
Volume 4 - Maritime and Transport Units


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This page first produced 5 September 2013

This page last updated 13 January 2020