No. 1 Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF

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Brief History

No. 1Wireless Air Gunners School was established at Ballarat, Victoria. to train wireless operator/air gunners, under the Empire Air Training Scheme. Operations commenced on 29 April 1940, but it was not until October that the School received its fist aircraft-fourAvro Ansons. At the end of 1940 the unit's overall strength was 770.

During January 1941, two Douglas DC-2 aircraft were received. In March, another DC-2 was brought on strength, and these aircraft were joined by a de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth In May and seven CAC Wackett Trainers in October. In early 1942 the school doubled in size, with the unit staffing increasing to 43 officers, 1238 airmen, five civilian instructors and seven civilian labourers. The aircraft available were 2 Douglas-DC2s, and 51 Wackett trainers. By the end of 1943, 3,836 Wireless/air gunners had been trained

In February 1944 an instructor and his trainee were killed in a crash involving a Wackett trainer. In late 1944 No. 3 Wireless Air gunners School had been absorbed into No.1 School, and in th eunit was now also training radar and wireless (air) trainees. By then, 5,025 trainees had passed through the school. In January 1945 a Radar Training Wing was established, with the first training course completed in February. The Radar Wing then absorbed the Radar School from Maryborough, Queensland, during September 1945.

Basic training for Wireless operator (air) ceased on 31 May 1945, after 3,500 trainees had graduated from the School. The nature of the unit was intended to become an aircrew pool, and 400 aircrew were posted in. On 16 July a pre-operational training gunnery section was established using 0.303 inch and 0.50 inch Browning guns and a Bristol turret and power unit, to train wireless operators (air) before posting to No. 7 Operational Training Unit. No. I Wireless Operator (Air) Refresher Course commenced on 2 Feb 1945, and 646 trainees undertook this course. 746 radar trainees also passed through the School. No.1 Wireless Air Gunners School was wound up on 21 Jan 1936.



Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 8 Training Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995

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