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PART TWO

 

R.N.A.S. Jervis Bay looking South. Photo: From author's collection.

 

The airfield at Jervis Bay was commissioned as H.M.S. NABSWICK, Royal Naval Air Station JERVIS BAY on May 1st 1945, Captain Dickinson resuming command.  The unit received its first squadrons on May 7th when the elements of 30 Wing disembarked from HMS IMPLACABLE, this included 1771 squadron Fireflies, 828 squadron Avengers, 801 & 880 squadron Seafire IIIs.

 

1771 & 828 re-embarked in IMPLACABLE on the 24th, 801 & 880 joining them the following day. By this time, the shortcomings of the Dorland Hangars became known, they were found to be unsatisfactory due to the insecurity of the attaching straps holding the canvas to the metal framework. In high winds, the securing straps became stressed and many broke away from the canvas; the possibility of the whole of the covering becoming detached was a cause for concern. With hindsight the air engineering department would have preferred the number of hangers increased to 8 instead of the standard 4 which were in their scale of issue.

 

Senior British Pacific Fleet staff inspecting MONAB V operations  Photo: From author's collection.

 

The station was not to remain quiet for long, the Avengers of 848 Squadron and Corsair IVs of 1841 & 1842 Squadrons disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE on June 1st. The last remnant of MONAB Is temporary used of the station, 723 Fleet Requirements Unit, moved back to RNAS Nowra on the 4th leaving the airfield to FORMIDABLE 's air win until they too re-embarked on June 22nd.

 

The next unit to arrive was 1843 squadron which flew in their Corsair IVs from RNAS Maryborough on July 12th, the squadron was intended for the new No.3 Carrier Air Group, which was to form at Nowra and was located at Jervis Bay until room was available at Nowra, the squadron moving there on the 20th.

 

Jervis Bay was to be busy again two days later, when 812 squadron's Barracuda IIs & 1846 squadron's Corsair IVs, disembarked from HMS COLOSSUS, along with 827 squadron's Barracuda IIs & 1850 squadron's Corsair IVs disembarked from HMS VENGEANCE. These units were to stay until August 13th when they re-embarked in their carriers.

 

 

On August 15th the Japanese surrendered and VJ Day was celebrated at Nowra by members of both MONABs I & V. This was to mark the beginning of a quite period at Jervis Bay, a situation which was to continue into early September when 837 squadron's Barracuda IIs & 1831 squadron's Corsair IVs disembarked from HMS GLORY on September 11th. They were to remain until October 29th when they moved to Nowra.

 

As part of a review of the naval air support in the Pacific theatre the Admiralty announced that four Mobile Units were to close in early November 1945, these were to be MONAB 1, 3, 4 and 7; MONABs 2, 5 & 6 plus TAMY 1 would continue operations in support of fleet operations and the reception and disposal of aircraft arising from the disbandment of squadrons as the BPF began to reduce it's size. The airfield at Jervis Bay was no longer required to operate at the same level as during the war, consequently as part of the reorganisation and scaling down of the RN presence in Australia MONAB V was to be transferred to RNAS Nowra replacing MONAB I which was to pay off..

 

MONAB V commissioned RNAS Nowra as HMS NABSWICK, 15th November 1945. HMS NABBINGTON paid off same day. 1831 squadron transferred to Nowra to join 820, 828 & 837 Squadrons that were already present at Nowra. 820 Squadron re-embarked in INDEFATIGABLE on November 23rd.


the scaling-down of operations continued apace, 1831 squadron had its strength reduced from 21 to 12 Corsair IVs on November 26th in preparation for re-embarking. 1837 squadron re-embarked in GLORY on January 14th 1946, to be followed by the new, leaner 1831 squadron on the 19th, leaving only 723 and 828 squadrons as the last remaining occupants of RNAS Nowra. 723 FRU moved to RNAS Schofields, MONAB VI on the 21st. In late February the men of HMS NABSWICK sentimentally marched through the streets of Nowra to say farewell to the town.


MONAB V, HMS NABSWICK, paid off at Nowra on March 18th 1946, the station being returned to R.A.A.F. [828 squadron remained at Nowra as a lodger unit with the R.A.A.F. until embarking in HMS IMPLACABLE on May 5th 1946, for passage to the UK, leaving their A/C behind].

 

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R.N.A.S. JERVIS BAY/R.N.A.S. NOWRA

 

 

 

Function :
Support for disembarked front line squadrons.

 

MONAB Components :
Mobile Maintenance 4, Maintenance Servicing 7 & 8, Maintenance, Storage & Resave 1 & 2, Mobile Air Torpedo Maintenance Unit 6

 

Commissioned :
01 February 1945 (at Ludham)
01 May 1945 (at RNAS Jervis Bay)
15 November 1945 (at RNAS Nowra)

 

Paid Off :
14 November 1945 (at RNAS Jervis Bay)
18 March 1946 (at RNAS Nowra)

 

 

  • Captain H. G. Dickinson D.S.C. 01 February 1945 to 09 March 1945
  • Commander T. K. Masterman 09 March 1945 to 01 May 1945 ? (Temp in command)
  • Captain H. G. Dickinson D.S.C. 01 May 1945 to 18 November 1945
  • Captain J.F.H. Sawyer 18 November 1945 to 18 March 1946

     

 

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