HOME OF THE FLYING SHOVELS
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This page was last updated on: October 27, 2012
Between 1942 and 1974 the Royal Australian Air Force Airfield Construction Squadrons operated under adverse physical conditions in peace and war.
Forward airfields, vital to the aerial campaigns in the South–West Pacific, were developed, often under fire.
The ACS squadrons landed on the beaches with the assault forces at Aitape, Noemfoor, Tarakan, Morotai, Leyte, Mindoro, Balikpapan and Labuan Island. The task of the squadrons was to land and immediately follow the infantry and build or re-build airfields, camps, roads and wharves as soon as possible. This was done, in many cases, in a matter of days under the most trying conditions, and under continuous air raids, sniper, and artillery fire while the earthmoving equipment was used day and night.
In addition to the post-war development of facilities on the mainland, Airfield Construction Squadrons served with the occupation force in Japan, built the airfield at Butterworth during the Malayan Emergency and developed facilities at Ubon Thailand, Phan Rang and Vung Tau in South Vietnam, Cocas Island, Manus Island, and every State and Territory in Australia.
The book “ALWAYS FIRST” Written by David Wilson is the history of the RAAF Airfield Construction Squadrons 1942-1974, and is based on official records and personal memories.
The book can be obtained by contacting:-
Air Power Development Centre
205 Anketell Street
Tuggeranong ACT 2900
FOR SALE "The Other Side"
A self-published book of Alex Wilson's experiences as a general hand in the RAAF during WWII. Serving with 11 Field Survey, 12 Survey and Design, and No.3 Airfield Construction Squadron. He conveys the little told story of how he and his colleague’s ensured aircrew got into the air, to take the fight to the enemy. After active service in PNG, Alex went with American forces to Morotai, landing under fire from enemy aircraft. It was on their way to Mindoro that they got a taste of Japanese Kamikazes. Written with Australian iconic wit. This is a well-told story that recalls many events of WWII.
Alex Wilson, $20.00 +
$5.00 postage - 7 Bascombe
Place Port Lincoln SA. 5606