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The personnel of 723 Fleet Requirements Unit arrived from the UK on January 27th, travelling to RNAS Bankstown, MONAB II, to commission and equip with 8 Martinet Target Tugs & 8 Corsair fighters at the end of February. The same day 820, 849, 1834, 1836, 1839 & 1844 Squadrons re-embarked in their respective carriers. 857 Squadron followed on the 28th, 854 Squadron on March 6th, and 1830 & 1833 squadrons on March 7th.  The 7th also saw all operational flying transferred to Nowra's satellite airfield at Jervis Bay. This was necessary to permit emergency repairs to be carried out on the runways & taxiways at Nowra which were deteriorating due to wet weather and heavy use. During this period Captain H.G. Dickinson {C.O. designate of MONAB V} relived Commander Nunnerley as commanding officer of MONAB I, assuming command on March 9th 1945.


Overhead view of R.A.A.F.  Nowra which clearly shows the state of the landing areas and runways prior to the resurfacing work. Photo: Courtesy Slipstream Magazine.


In early April M.R. 1 , M.S.R. 1 & M.S.R. 2 components arrived from Sydney to operate with MONAB I at Jervis Bay, these units having been detached from the newly arrived  MONAB V which was at Warwick Farm waiting to take over Jervis Bay as its own operational base.  Flying operations returned to Nowra on April 28th  1945.  MONAB V commissioned RNAS Jervis Bay as HMS NABSWICK, RNAS JERVIS BAY, May 1st 1945, Captain DICKINSON in command. Captain J.D HARVEY assumed command of MONAB I.  On May 18th a new reserve Air Group was formed at Nowra, No. 3 Carrier Air Group, 854 Squadron disembarked from ILLUSTRIOUS to become its first element.


The beginning of June saw 1839 Squadron disembark from HMS INDOMITABLE, and 723 FRU, which had remained at RNAS Jervis Bay, return to Nowra on the 4th. 857 & 1844 Squadrons arrived on the 5th, disembarking from  HMS INDOMITABLE, and 849 Squadron disembarked from HMS VICTORIOUS on the 6th, 849 re-embarking on the 24th.


1845 Squadron's Corsair IVs arrived from RNAS Maryborough, MONAB VI, to join No. 3 C.A.G. on July 14th. 1846 Squadron's Corsair IVs disembarked from HMS COLOSSUS on July 21st, these were joined by 1843 Squadron's Corsair IVs which arrived from RNAS Jervis Bay on the next day to complete No. 3 C.A.G. which now comprised of 854, 1843, and 1845 squadrons.

Early August saw  HMS INDOMITABLE's air group re-embark, 857 Squadron on the 2nd, and 1839 & 1844 Squadron on the 3rd. 1844 squadron was to return for a brief 5 day stay on the 11th. 1846 Squadron re-embarked in HMS COLOSSUS on August 13th.



On August 15th the Japanese surrendered and VJ Day was celebrated at Nowra. The men and women of HMS NABBINGTON marched through the streets of Nowra to mark VP Day (In Australia the war's end was termed 'Victory in the Pacific' or VP day as opposed to Victory over Japan as it was known in Europe).


The end of August saw the return of elements of the BPF to Nowra; 1841 & 1842 Squadrons Corsairs disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE on the 23rd, whist 828 Squadron's Avengers disembarked from HMS IMPLACABLE and 848 Squadron's Avengers disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE on the 24th.  September brought 1771 Squadron's Firefly Is disembarking from HMS IMPLACABLE on the 13th; they were to disband at Nowra on October 16th. 820 Squadron disembarked from HMS INDEFATIGABLE on the 18th.


Corsairs of 1843 squadron, covered against the weather, lined up on the apron at RNAS Nowra in the late summer of 1945. Photo: From the collection of Maurice Ayling.


Early October saw the return of HMS INDOMITABLE's air wing, 1844 Squadron disembarking on the 10th, and 857 & 1839 Squadrons on the 11th. 1839 and 1844 squadrons were to disband at Nowra. The personnel of these squadrons re-embarked in INDOMITABLE for passage to the UK on the 22nd, the aircraft being retained at Nowra, 857 Squadron re-embarked as an operational squadron.


October 24th saw No. 3 C.A.G. officially dissolved. No.s 854 & 1843 squadron personnel embarked in S.S. STRATHEDEN for passage to UK, all aircraft were retained at Nowra. 1845 Squadron also disbanded at Nowra on this date. 706 Pool & Refresher Flying Training Squadron arrived  at Nowra from RNAS Maryborough to commence operations.  Next to leave were 848, 1841 & 1842 Squadrons, embarking in HMS VICTORIOUS on October 25th, the next arrival was 837 squadron which moved here from RNAS Jervis Bay on the 29th to re-equip, exchanging it's Barracudas for 12 Firefly FR.Is.


With the war over, a rationalisation of forces in the Pacific theatre was undertaken, several MONABs were to be paid off, under the 'first in first out' principle MONABs I and III were to be disbanded in early November 1945.


H.M.S. NABBINGTON, MONAB I, paid off at Nowra on November 15th 1945. RNAS Nowra re-commissioned as H.M.S. NABSWICK, the same day, MONAB V replacing MONAB I taking over the stores and equipment in situ, her personnel being drafted back to the UK or dispersed to other units in Australia.


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Function :
The support of disembarked TBR Squadrons, the provision of Continuation & Refresher Flying Training. 


MONAB Components :
Mobile Maintenance 1, Maintenance Servicing 1& 2, Mobile Repair 1, Maintenance, Storage & Resave 1 & 2, Mobile Air Torpedo Maintenance Units 3. 6 & 7, No. 723 squadron Fleet Requirements Unit.


Commissioned :
28 October 1944 (at RNAS Ludham)
02 January 1945 (at RNAS Nowra)


Paid Off :
15 November 1945 (at RNAS Nowra)




  • Commander. G. A. Nunneley 
    28 October 1944 to 09 March 1945
  • Captain H. G. Dickinson
    09 March 1945 to 01 May 1845
  • Captain J. D Harvey
    01 May 1845 to 15 November 1945



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