Located approximately 100 miles West of
Brisbane, R.A.A.F Oakey, Queensland opened on 14 October 1943 as the
home of No. 6 Aircraft Depot (6AD). The stations function was to act
as a Receipt and Despatch Unit & forward depot for aircraft
operating from New Guinea and northern Australia. The station also
operated as an aircraft repair yard, carrying out repair and
overhaul work to relieve the load of its sister unit No. 3 Aircraft
Depot at Amberley. The Depot was to process Beaufort, Mustang
Norseman, Wirraway and Spitfire aircraft.
As part of the build up of equipment in
Australia for supporting the British Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers
the Admiralty was searching for additional facilities in Queensland
to help take the pressure off the newly arrived Transportable
Aircraft Maintenance Yard no.1 (TAMY 1) at Archerfield, Brisbane. Om
May 6th 1945 Commander Senior RN and Commander Morgan RNR visited
RAAF Oakey to make arrangements and preparations for the erection of
Seafires on the station for the Fleet Air Arm.
On May 11th four Seafire fuselages and
four sets of mainplanes arrived at 6AD for erection; a further six
Seafire fuselages and three sets of mainplanes arrived on the 15th.
Unpacking in preparation for assembly of the Seafires commenced at
the Aircraft Repair Squadron on the 17th ahead of the arrival of a
party of three Petty Officers and twenty-one other Ranks which
arrived from TAMY 1 at Archerfield on the following day to commence
assembly, along with a further eight sets of Seafire mainplanes.
Several members of naval staff visited
RAAF Oakey on June 7th to inspect various aspects of the Seafire
erection programme. Sub-Lt H. Sykes, from the staff of F.O.N.A.S.(A)
(Flag Officer Naval Air Stations (Australia)) arrived on the Unit to
carry out Seafire Gyro Gun .Sight inspection, while Mr. C.C.
Bosworth, visited the Unit as ROTOL Representative to F.O.N.A.S.(A).
Lt. Cdr A.B. Napper of V.(A) Staff British Pacific Fleet visited the
unit on inspection duties concerning Seafire tyres.
Aircraft arrived in several crates,
containing engine, fuselage, and mainplanes (wings). These were
unpacked, checked, assembled and test flown. The final stage of the
process the aircraft were painted in British Pacific Fleet colours
and markings before being flown to Archerfield for storage or issue
to an active unit.
Technical problems were to cause some
initial delays; fuselage and mainplanes were matched items and the
receipt of unmatched mainplanes did occur on occasion, this caused
delays in getting production started and a shortfall in production
targets. The first completed Seafire III (PR196) was not ready for
dispatch to TAMY 1 at Archerfield until July 14th. This was followed
by a farther eight aircraft on July30th. The small RN detachment was
supplemented by the addition of 50 ratings and NCOs from MONAB 7
from the beginning of August; MONAB 7 was a forward area receipt and
dispatch unit but had been installed at Archerfield to work
alongside TAMY 1 upon its arrival in Australia on July 28th.
ON August 2nd two more officers from
F.O.N.A.S.(A), Cdr Coote R.N.V.R., and Lt. Armstrong R.A.N.R.
visited the station n connection with its possible use by the Royal
Navy - RAAF Oakey and RAAF Amberley were being considered as a base
to house MONAB No.8 which was not expected to fulfil its designated
role as a forward area fighter support MONAB for some months after
its arrival in Australia. Amberley was finally chosen but the need
for its transfer to the RN had passed with the cessation of
hostilities on August 15th.
Following the surrender of Japan the
men from TAMY I and MONAB 7 marched through the streets of the town
taking part in the Victory parade marking the end of the war in the
A further 19 Seafires were to arrive on
the station during August and the final two aircraft, PP954 & PR285,
departed Oakey for Archerfield on October 19th . With the departure
of the last aircraft the naval detachment began packing up their
equipment having completed and dispatched total of 29 Seafires. The
personnel of the RN detachment left RAAF Oakey to return to Brisbane
on October 26th.
@1999 - 2011
Seafire erection party
MONAB Components :
None - specially assembled working party
17 May 1945
26 October 1945
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