4th Military District Ordnance Workshop Detachment (ALICE SPRINGS), 2nd Line of Communications Workshop, 2nd Australian Motor Transport Workshops

62. The first recognised Ordnance Workshop detachment to move NORTH was formed from the 4 Military District Workshop in February March 1941. This consisted of 1 officer and 30 other ranks and was comprised of motor transport repair tradesmen and a few ancillary trades with Major W. DUNCAN as Officer Commanding and Warrant Officer Class 2 C. JACKSON as 2nd in Command.

63. The remaining members were:

WO2 D. RADKE Motor Transport
SSGT G. TIVER Motor Transport
SGT A. McDONOUGH General Engineering
CPL C. HUGHES Electrician
CPL L.H. HARRINGTON Clerk
CPL McMASTER Storeman
PTE WEDDING Motor Transport
PTE OATES Motor Transport
PTE HEAD Panel Beater/Welder
CPL SIMMONS Cook
PTE SPARROW Batman/Driver
CPL BISHOP Carpenter



64. The detachment moved to ALICE SPRINGS on 4 March 1941, and was originally located in open ground on the WESTERN side of the railhead. After the detachment was set up, Major DUNCAN left the area and Captain John SILCOCK became Officer Commanding in June 1941. The unit expanded, and a new workshop, consisting of Motor Transport and General Engineering facilities was erected in the Department of Interior area in the centre of town. At a later date this was further expanded, and another building was erected on property next to the Police Station in the same area.

65. In July 1941 the detachment became known as the 2nd Line of Communication Workshop. Captain SILCOCK remained as the Officer Commanding, with Lieutenant C. ANGAS as second in charge, the unit strength then being increased to two officers and 130 other ranks.

66. Because of the build-up in the area, the 2nd Line of Communication Workshop proved inadequat3e, and a further site was proposed. A new Motor Transport Workshop was then built next to the ALICE SPRINGS Racecourse, about six miles NORTH of the township.

67. The building commenced in late 1942, and was fully operational in early 1943 with the strength increased to 7 Officers and 196 other ranks. The 2nd Line of Communication Workshop then became known as the 2nd Australian Motor Transport Workshop, Australian Electrical Mechanical Engineers.

68. Captain SILCOCK was promoted to Major in September 1942 and remained as Officer Commanding with the following officers under his command:

  • Captain G. ANGAS
  • Captain J. C. TAYLOR
  • Captain A. A. WHITE
  • Lieutenant A. E. BROWN
  • Lieutenant J. DINGLE
  • Lieutenant K.A. MILNE

69. 2nd Australian Motor Transport Workshop was mainly a Motor Transport Workshop and it consisted of 5 main buildings with a machine section (General Engineering), Heavy Motor Transport section, Light Motor Transport section, Tyre Retreading section and Ancillary Trades section. The Ancillary section carried out carpentry work, textile and tent repairs and all the boot repairs for the area.

70. In August 1943 Major ELLIS was posted from 4 Military District and took over as Officer Commanding from Major SILCOCK and the workshop continued to operate until the end of the war. In 1945 46 it was finally closed down by Captain Cyril JACKSON, who was the senior Warrant Officer in the original Ordnance Workshop Detachment.

105 Independent Brigade Workshop

71. 105 Independent Brigade Workshop was formed at the WAYVILLE showgrounds in early 1942; the strength was 3 officers and 130 other ranks. The officers were Capt. H. BROOKS, Officer in Charge, Lieutenant A. CRAGO, a former Permanent Military Force non commission officer, and Lieutenant TIVER, who was promoted from Warrant Officer within the unit.

72. After forming, the unit moved to SPRINGBANK, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, and in July 1942 left that location and moved to BELMONT COMMON near GLENELG in VICTORIA. The unit functioned at that location for approximately three months, then moved to PUCKAPUNYAL and became part of the newly formed 6 Australian Armoured Brigade Work

275 Australian Light Aid Detachment

73. 275 Australian Light Aid Detachment was raised at KESWICK in late 1941 and was organised to serve with an Infantry division headquarters.

74. Lieutenant F. FLINT formed the unit with 13 other ranks and was posted as Officer in Charge. In February 1942 the unit moved to NORTHERN TERRITORY and was located at WINNELLIE, 8 miles SOUTH of DARWIN. After 3 months, a further move was carried out to the 45 mile Mark on the North South Road.

75. In March 1943 the unit equipment was handed over to a WESTERN AUSTRALIAN unit and the personnel returned to SANDY CREEK in SOUTH AUSTRALIA. Here they took over the equipment of the WESTERN AUSTRALIAN Light Aid Detachment, and after reforming, moved to STUART in NORTHERN QUEENSLAND in April 1943. The Light Aid Detachment operated at STUART until March 1944, when it returned to BRISBANE and was disbanded

106 Independent Brigade Group Workshop

76. This unit was formed at WAYVILLE Showgrounds between January and March 1942. The strength was approximately 120 all ranks and the majority were South Australians with a few Victorians. It was formed by Captain R. FORSTER and was later taken over by Captain A. A. WHITE.

77. In early March 1942, Captain FORSTER left with an advance party and moved to NORTHERN TERRITORY. The main body moved there in late March and was located at NOONAMAH by April 1942. During the following month the unit moved to 44 mile, ADELAIDE River. In September 1942 a further move was made to a new site at "38 mile" MANTON GAP.

78. Shortly after this, four sections were formed (1,2,3 and 5) and became known as the 12 Australian Motor Transport Workshop. The 106 Independent Brigade Workshop then became known as No 3 Section of the 12 Brigade Workshop, and Captain E. PATRICK, an original member of 5 Recovery Section, became Officer Commanding.

79. No 3 Section moved again in the latter part of 1943 to WONDECLA on the ATHERTON Tableland, where it became the 135 Independent Brigade Workshop with Captain PATRICK as Officer Commanding. Later Major A. TAYLOR took over from Captain PATRICK as Officer Commanding and remained until October 1944, when the unit embarked for NEW GUINEA. A further change of Officer Commanding was made, Captain (Temporary Major) W. HALL, the original Officer Commanding of 2/36 Australian LADS, replaced Major TAYLOR.

80. On arrival in NEW GUINEA, the workshop operated in the AITAPE area until May 1945, when it moved to WEWAK and remained with Major HALL as Officer Commanding, until the end of the war. It was finally disbanded in BRISBANE in early 1946.

219 Australian Light Aid Detachment Att
13 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery

81. 219 Australian Light Aid Detachment was formed at WOODSIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA during February 1942. The Light Aid Detachment was commanded by Captain H. M. WALKINGTON and commenced with two non commissioned officers, Warrant Officer Class 2 F. SMITH and Sergeant A.MMcDONOUGH, and six craftsmen.

82. During March of 1943 the Light Aid Detachment moved to WAYVILLE where the strength was increased to one officer and fifteen other ranks, and issues of stores and equipment were made, including:

  • 1 Garage vehicle
  • 1 Binned Stores vehicle
  • 1 Recovery vehicle
  • 1 Stores truck 3 ton
  • 2 Utilities.

83. On 25 April 1942 the Light Aid Detachment embarked on the SS 'GLENPARK' at PORT ADELAIDE en route to SYDNEY and five days later assembled at INGLEBURN in NEW SOUTH WALES, where an intensive training programme was undertaken. Training continued until the Light Aid Detachment embarked on the MV 'MACDHUI' on 8th June 1942 bound for PORT MORESBY.

84. The Light Aid Detachment arrived at its destination on 26 June 1942 and joined 13 Field Regiment at the four mile mark outside PORT MORESBY. The Regiment was engaged in coastal defence duties with troops at MINLNE BAY and BUNA, and the Regimental Headquarters at PORT MORESBY. 49 Battery was equipped with 18 pounders and 50 Battery was equipped with 4.5 Howitzers.

85. 48 Battery remained in Australia as Depot Battery at HOLDSWORTHY School of Artillery; they were equipped with 25 pounders, and did not go to PORT MORESBY until after the Light Aid Detachment joined the Regiment. In August 1943 the Regiment was relieved and returned to AUSTRALIA, accompanied by the Light Aid Detachment.

86. On arrival in AUSTRALIA, the Light Aid Detachment was given leave and did not re assemble until December 1943. On this occasion the unit was located at TOOWOOMBA in QUEENSLAND and further training was carried out.

87. During May 1944 the Light Aid Detachment moved to ATHERTON in NORTH QUEENSLAND with the 13 Field Regiment and remained with it until it prepared to embark in 1945. However, embarkation plans were cancelled due to cessation of hostilities. The period of training at ATHERTON was devoted to intense training for jungle operations, including the use of the short barrel 25 pounder, which had been introduced for air drop and jungle operations.

88. The original members of the Light Aid Detachment were:

  • Captain H. M. WALKINGTON
  • Warrant Officer 2 F. SMITH
  • Staff Sergeant A.MMcDONOUGH
  • Corporal P. FLOOD
  • Private G. GASK
  • Private C. BARTRAM
  • Private W. BROWN
  • Private W. CLEELAND
  • Private H. COLLINS
  • Private F. DONOVAN
  • Private R. EARLE
  • Private L. INVERARITY
  • Private D. HALL
  • Private J. MILLICH
  • Private L. WEBSTER
  • Private K. ROBINSON


89. Captain H. WALKINTON was Officer Commanding for the entire period that the Light Aid Detachment operated.

90. In 1942, Australian Electrical Mechanical Engineers was formed, and the Light Aid Detachment had all the vehicle mechanics and gun fitters transferred from the 13 Field Regiment to the Light Aid Detachment. After the transfer, the Light Aid Detachment strength became one officer and 46 other ranks. It then consisted of a Headquarters, with a percentage of personnel attached to each battery.

91. The original 16 members were all from SOUTH AUSTRALIA, with the exception of one Victorian, Private W. CLEELAND.

92. From the commencement until disbandment, a total of 57 personnel passed through the unit. Of this total members were from:
 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA 32
VICTORIA 10
QUEENSLAND 1
NEW SOUTH WALES 13
WESTERN AUSTRALIA Nil
TASMANIA 1

93. Unit re unions were commenced in 1953 and carried on until 1957. The re - unions consisted on an ANZAC Night Dinner at the Central Hotel, ADELAIDE. Because of the shortage of numbers, the re - unions lapsed in 1958, but some members still meet annually with their parent unit 13 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery.

5 Recovery Section (2/2 Army Field Workshop)

94. 5 Recovery Section was formed in ADELAIDE in May 1940 from personnel from the AIF recruit depot at WAYVILLE, who had been trade tested at 4 MD Workshop at KESWICK.

95. Staff Sergeant A. GANNON and Sergeant E. PATRICK were originally in charge of forming the unit, but later command was taken over by Captain R. BRINKMAN with Lieutenant McGILLIVRAY as 2IC.

96. By September 1940 the unit's establishment was complete, ie 2 officers and 71 other ranks. They left ADELAIDE with 6 Recovery Section and sailed on the ship ‘NEW HOLLAND' from MELBOURNE on 15 September 1940. 4, 5 and 6 Recovery Sections formed the recovery element of 2/2 Army Field Workshop.

97. 5 Recovery Section disembarked on 15 October 1940 in the SUEZ CANAL at EL KANTARA. From there they moved to IKINGI MARUIT, which is approximately 16 miles from ALEXANDRIA.

98. In late November 1940 portion of the Recovery Section moved into the desert, while the remainder operated in the ALEXANDRIA area.

99. Later, in January 1941, members of 5 Recovery Section were brought together and in late February the complete Section embarked on the cargo ship 'DEVIS' at ALEXANDRIA and sailed for GREECE. At this time Lieutenant McGILLIVRAY was replaced by Lieutenant R. WEBBER, a Permanent Military Force Officer.

100. After operating in GREECE for about four weeks, evacuation of our forces commended, equipment was destroyed, and 5 Recovery Section was split up and left GREECE, some for ALEXANDRIA and some for CRETE. Some members reached ALEXANDRIA, but others were in a convoy which was recalled to CRETE.

101. Ten members were taken prisoner in “GREECE, including Lieutenant R. WEBBER. Those members who went to CRETE were used as infantry for about four weeks. A further evacuation was then carried out and a further ten members were captured.

102. The unit was re formed in BARBARA in PALESTINE as was located near the aerodrome. As no equipment was available, tradesmen of 5 Recovery Section were employed in a field workshop located in that area.

103. In August 1941 the unit was moved to SYRIA, where they rejoined 6 Recovery section and on 12 March 1942, together they embarked at TUFIHR and eventually reached AUSTRALIA in mid August. The unit was disbanded and members were subsequently absorbed into other workshop units.

65 Australian Light Aid Detachment.

104. 65 Light Aid Detachment was formed by Captain R. BRINKMAN at WAYVILLE Showgrounds in May 1940. In June 1940 the Officer Commanding was changed and Lieutenant E.H. COLLEY, who was assisting in forming 5 Recovery Section, changed positions with Captain BRINKMAN. Unit strength was 1 officer and 12 other ranks. The unit stayed at WOODSIDE until late June and during this period training was carried out at MURRAY BRIDGE with the Royal Australian Engineers on pontoon and bridge training.

105. The unit then moved to PUCKAPUNYAL in VICTORIA. Here they joined their parent unit 2/3 Australian Corps Field Park Company Royal Australian Engineers, who formed part of Corps Engineers.

106. Training was carried out at PUCKAPUNYAL and in February 1941 the Light Aid detachment embarked at MELBOURNE on the SS MAURITANIA. The ship stayed for three days at FREMANTLE and a similar time at BOMBAY, where the unit was transhipped to the ship WESTERNLAND. The unit disembarked at SUEZ and was transported by rail to ED MAGDAL in the GAZA area, where they camped at Hill 69. The unit took an active part in the SYRIAN campaign and also operated in EGYPT, PALESTINE, JORDAN and LEBANON until December 1941.

107. In February 1942 the unit left the SUEZ area for COLOMBO in the ship SUTLEJ, which formed part of a convoy. Lieutenant E.H. COLLEY was posted and Warrant Officer Class 2 V. RESEIGH became acting Officer Commanding the unit. SUTLEJ was too slow to keep up with the convoy which headed for JAVA, so she was diverted to FREMANTLE, where she took on provisions. The ship reached PORT ADELAIDE, where the unit disembarked at the Electricity Trust of South Australia wharf on 22 March 1942.

108. The unit, including transport and equipment, was railed to EAST OAKLEIGH, VICTORIA, when an Engineer dump was set up. Lieutenant C. SMITH was appointed officer commanding and he took over from Staff Sergeant A.W. MARSH, who had been the senior non commissioned officer of the unit. The unit was refitted and training was carried out. One task was to assist a newly formed Signal Unit which moved by road from RINGWOOD, VICTORIA, to GROVELLY Camp, BRISBANE, with 205 vehicles and 100 motor cycles. After the Light Aid Detachment returned to EAST OAKLEIGH by road, it packed in readiness to move to the ATHERTON Tablelands, QUEENSLAND. Part of the unit moved by road and the remainder by ship to CAIRNS. The unit was then located at ROCKY CREEK on the Tableland area.

109. The unit, with Lieutenant ROSBOROUGH appointed Officer Commanding, embarked from CAIRNS for NEW GUINEA on 18 October 1943, and landed at BUNA. It then moved by road to FINCHHAVEN, SCARLET BEACH area and back to FINCHHAVEN. After two months the unit embarked for AUSTRALIA, but at LAE it took over from another Engineer unit which returned to AUSTRALIA. The unit again embarked for AUSTRALIA on 9 June 1944 and disembarked at TOWNSVILLE, then proceeded to BRISBANE. At KAPOOKA, Royal Australian Engineers Training Centre, it underwent a 15 weeks course and then continued with further training.

110. The war ended in 1945, the unit was refitted and ready to return to NEW GUINEA from its location at WONGABELL, QUEENSLAND. Before moving to CHERMSIDE, BRISBANE, the unit was engaged in carrying out demotion tasks at Artillery Practice Range. In February 1946 the unit was disbanded by Warrant Officer A.W. MARCH at CHERMSIDE.

2/63 Australian Light Aid Detachment (Attached 2/7 Field Regiment RAA)

111. 2/63 Australian Light Aid Detachment was formed at WAYVILLE in June 1940. When assembled, they moved in August 1940 to WOODSIDE and became attached to the parent unit, 2/7 Field Regiment RAA. The Light Aid Detachment strength was one officer, Captain W. HALL, and 14 other ranks. The senior non commissioned officer was Warrant Officer Class 2 L. HEFFERNAN, a Permanent Military Forces soldier. Training was carried out at WOODSIDE and on 18 November 1940 the Light Aid Detachment embarked and sailed with the parent unit on the SS STRATHEDEN from OUTER HARBOUR. After a seven day stay in PERTH, they left AUSTRALIA and arrived at KANTARA in the MIDDLE EAST on 17 December 1940.

112. During the next twelve months the unit served at AMRIA from April 1941, MERSA METRUH from May 1941, and SIDI BARRANI from September 1941.

113. On 19 February 1942, 2/63 Light Aid Detachment became part of the newly formed 9 Division and were located at ALEPPO in SYRIA. From there they moved to EL ALAMEIN in July 1942.

114. On 5 December 1942, movement was carried out, with the destination PALESTINE, but in January 1943 they again return to EGYPT.

115. In 1943 orders were received for the 9 Division to leave the MIDDLE EAST, and after embarking on the 'NIEW HOLLAND' on 31 January 1943, they sailed for AUSTRALIA on 1 February and arrived in MELBOURNE on 25 February.

116. After a leave period, the Light Aid Detachment assembled on the ATHERTON Tableland at KAIRI by 20 April. Extensive training in jungle conditions was then carried out over a long period, with the unit located at RAVENSHOE.

117. The second overseas commitment for the unit arrived, and the embarked at TOWNSVILLE on the USS GENERAL H. W. BUTNER on 8 April 1945, and sailed to MOROTAI.

118. Captain W. HALL, the original officer commanding, had been replaced by Lieutenant RIDLEY in SYRIA, and on 8 April 1945 Captain P. C. O’SULLIVAN was appointed officer commanding.

119. In May 1945 action was carried out in TARAKAN and the unit served in this area until hostilities ceased.

120. 2/63 Australian Light Aid Detachment finally returned to AUSTRALIA and was disbanded in November 1945.
2/4 Army Field Workshop

121. 12 Recovery Section was formed at WAYVILLE in January 1941 with Captain J. McKECHNIE as officer commanding and Lieutenant H.C. MOORE as 2IC.

122. The Section moved from WAYVILLE to BALCOMBE in VICTORIA in April 1941, then to PUCKAPUNYAL in VICTORIA in May 1941, where it became part of 2/4 Army Field Workshop together with 10 and 11 Recovery Sections. Captain McKECHNIE was promoted Major and became Officer Commanding 2/4 Army Field Workshop.

123. This unit embarked at PORT MELBOURNE on the ship MARNIX VAN SINT ALDEGONDE on 31 July 1941 and sailed for SINGAPORE, arriving there on 15 August 1941. It moved into camp at ANSON ROAD, SINGAPORE, into the 2/4 Motor Transport Unit area, which was commanded by Major J. HARRIS, then subsequently moved to JOHORE BAHRU in MALAYA in October 1941, where it changed its unit identification to 27 Independent Brigade Group Workshop.

124. After the JAPANESE attack on SINGAPORE, the unit was again moved, this time to KLUANG in December 1941, and operated NORTH of that area in independent sections until it moved back to SINGAPORE in early February 1942. Vehicles were withdrawn from the unit, which then dug in a defensive position around TANGLIN Barracks. On 13 February Captain MOORE and 10 specialist members of the unit were moved to JAVA SUMATRA. Captain MOORE was killed during this move.

125. SINGAPORE fell on 15 February 1942 and unit members were captured and moved to SELARANG Barracks in the CHANGI area. Officers and other ranks were separated, but the other ranks managed to keep together until 14 April 1942, when working parties named A to H Forces were formed by the JAPANESE.

126. A Force was sent to BURMA (TAVOY aerodrome), MERGUI (VICTORIA POINT) and kept moving whilst they built a road and railway from the 15 Km mark to the 105 Km mark. Some members were sent to BUKIT TUMAH to build a shrine to the JAPANESE dead.

127. B Force moved to BORNEO, where all members were lost. No record can be found of C, D and E Forces, but F Force moved to SIAM and BURMA and G and H Forces to SIAM. F, G and H Forces worked on the BURMA SIAM Railway.

128. Prisoners were released from CHANGI, BANKOK and PETCHABURI on 28 August 1945 and returned to AUSTRALIA between September and October of that year.

129. Of the unit strength of 2 officers and 71 other ranks, casualties were 20 dead.

301, 302, 303 Australian Light Aid Detachments

130. 301, 302 and 303 Australian Light Aid Detachments were raised at WAYVILLE in February 1942 for the purpose of carrying out unit repairs for units of the 6 Cavalry Brigade.

The Officers Commanding were:

  • 301 LAD Lieutenant J. GLENN
  • 302 LAD Lieutenant R. HALLETT
  • 303 LAD Lieutenant A. BRUCE

131. These Light Aid Detachments never actually operated with their parent units because soon after being raised, they moved to GEELONG, VICTORIA, and in July 1942 were disbanded and the equipment and personnel absorbed in 105 Independent Brigade Workshop, which then moved to PUCKAPUNYAL to form the 6 Armoured Brigade Workshop.

6 Recovery Section (2/2 Army Field Workshop

132. 6 Recovery Section was formed at WAYVILLE between May and August 1940. The personnel were drawn from AIF recruiting and consisted of 2 officers and 71 other ranks. The Officer Commanding was Captain J. REDPATH with Lieutenant P. FOOKS as 2IC.

133. This Recovery Section formed part of the Recovery Element for the 2/2 Army Field Workshop, with 5 Recovery Section (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) and 4 Recovery Section (VICTORIA).

134. On 13 September 1940 the unit moved to MELBOURNE, and on 15 September embarked on the ship NIEW HOLLAND, together with the remaining recovery elements of the 2/2 Army Field Workshop.

135. After calling at PERTH and COLOMBO, disembarkation was carried out near the SUEZ CANAL at EL KANTARA on 15 October and the unit moved into camp at HELWAN the following day.

136. During the next eighteen months 6 Recovery Section operated and served in the MIDDLE EAST and were located at various times in ALEXANDRIA, SIDI BARRANI, BARDI, TOBRUK, MADELELINA, MERSA MATRUH, JORDAN VALLEY, KHASSI, HAIFA and BERUIT.

137. During the period of service in the MIDDLE EAST, much time was spent on the recovery and repair of enemy equipment which was captured and eventually used by our own forces.

138. The Section was separated from the parent unit, the 2/2 Army Field Workshop, for long periods, including one spell of eight months. One task of note carried out by the 6 Recovery Section was after the capture of TOBRUK. A Welding Section was sent out in a vehicle and moved with the protection of tanks. The purpose was to recover another tank damaged during action. The task was completed, and as a result three members of the unit, Sergeant Bill ALLISON, Private Scotty SMITH and Private Ossie DUNNING, were awarded the Military Medal for their gallant action.

139. With the entry of JAPAN into the War, changes were made and on 12 March 1942 the unit embarked at TAFIHR on the Dutch ship WESTERNLAND and sailed for COLOMBO, where they were located until mid July.

140. The return to AUSTRALIA was carried out when the unit embarked at COLOMBO on the British India ship EKMA, and after calling at PERTH, arrived in PORT MELBOURNE in mid August.

141. All members were granted leave to their home states, and later assembled at SINGLETON (NEW SOUTH WALES) with the 2/2 Army Field Workshop in September 1942.

142. The Recovery Sections were disbanded at this stage, and the personnel were absorbed into newly formed Independent Brigade Workshop and other existing workshop units.

274 Australian Light Aid Detachment.

143. 274 Australian Light Aid Detachment was formed at WAYVILLE by Lieutenant E. WILLIAMS in January 1942, and had a strength of 1 officer and 15 other ranks. After being raised, the unit was attached to 6 Cavalry Brigade and located at SPRINGBANK (SOUTH AUSTRALIA).

144. In May 1942, 273 Australian Light Aid Detachment was required for movement, but as it was not completely formed, 274 Australian Light Aid Detachment changed identification, and became known as 273 Light Aid Detachment (AIF).

145. At the end of May, this unit moved from SPRINGBANK, and joined its parent unit, 12 Division Signals, in NORTHERN TERRITORY in mid June 1942. From this date until August 1943, the unit remained in NORTHERN TERRITORY before returning to ADELAIDE.

146. After the unit members returned from leave, the unit moved to HOMEBUSH in NEW SOUTH WALES, and was again attached to Signals. On arrival at HOMEBUSH, the officer commanding was changed to Captain H. DAY, and Warrant Officer 2nd Class W. BAILEY became 2IC.

147. In April 1944 the parent unit, with the Light Aid Detachment, was located at NARELLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) and about the end of June 1944 it was disbanded at NARELLEN, and all personnel were re allocated to other existing AEME units.

Headquarters 9 Australian Anti Aircraft Ordnance Workshop.

148. In late 1942, two ANTI CRAFT BATTERIES, RAA and two ANTI CRAFT SEARCHLIGHT COMPANIES, RAE, were located in SOUTH AUSTRALIA, with a Battery and Company each at WHYALLA and DRAPER.

149. Workshop facilities were required to carry out first and second echelon repairs for these units, and consequently the following Workshop units were formed, each taking the title of the parent unit, and were known as:

  • 12 Australian Anti Aircraft Ordnance Workshop
  • 26 Australian Anti Aircraft Ordnance Workshop
  • 58 Australian Anti Aircraft Searchlight Workshop
  • 69 Australian Anti Aircraft Searchlight Workshop


150. 12 Anti Aircraft Workshop was located at ALBERT PARK with Lieutenant C. JAMES as Officer Commanding, whilst Lieutenant J. LAPIDGE commanded the 26 Anti Aircraft Workshop at WHYALLA.Lieutenant A. LAKE was officer commanding of 58 Anti Aircraft Searchlight Workshop at ALBERT PARK and The Workshops units were formed at WAYVILLE in late 1942 and moved to ALBERT PARK in February 1943 26 AA Wksp and 69 AA Wksp then moved to WHYALLA. These units operated until late 1944.

151. The Workshop units were formed at Wayville in late 1942 and moved to Albert Park in February 1943. 26 AA Wksp and 69 AA SL Wksp then moved to Whyalla. These units operated until late 1944.

152. During this period, a variety of tradesmen were responsible for First and Second Echelon repairs to the AA guns including Bofors (Light), 3.7 in AA guns (Heavy), searchlights, instruments, vehicles and ancillary equipment. During the initial stages, the workshops were also responsible for the installation of the guns and equipment in the DRAPER and WHYALLA areas.

153. Although these four workshops were independent units, they all came directly under HQ 9 Aust AA Ord Wksp, which was responsible to the DADEME in the HQ SA L of C area.