No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School RAAF
From Our Contribution
Tiger Moths at Narromine AWMP00150.008
No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School was formed at Narromine, New South Wales, on 30 Jun 1940, with 20 Tiger Moth aircraft having arrived from Laverton on 24 June, followed by 46 students, who arrived on the 27th. Facilities at the unit were rudimentary. Living conditions were 'bleak and depressing', with the cold weather producing a heavy incidence of influenza. Heavy dust in summer was a problem, giving that the huts were unlined leading to a high number of conjunctivitis and gastroenteritis cases. from January 1941.
At the end of July 1940, only one hangar had been erected, although three were required to protect the aircraft from the elements, making servicing difficult. Flying training was frequently delayed by strong winds and rain with one Tiger Moth severely damaged by a 'willy willy'. The lack of basic facilities such as a petrol tanker, also made aircraft maintenance more difficult.
Elementary flying training units suffered many aircraft incidents, but few resulted in loss of life. On 3 Aug 1940, however, an instructor and a trainee were killed in a Tiger Moth accident, as was an instructor on 3 Dec 1940. An unusual fatality was that of Leading Aircraftman who was killed when the verandah of the Federal Hotel in Narromine collapsed. There were 32 other servicemen injured in the incident.
By June 1944, 48 courses had been completed at No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School, with 2,850 of the 3,734 trainees successfully graduating. On 26 June 1944, 11 Tiger Moth aircraft were flown to 5 Aircraft Depot, Wagga Wagga. and another II to Mascot. Trainees were posted to other elementary flying training schools to complete their training. No. 5 Elementary Flying Training School Unit appears to have been disbanded in July 1944.
- John Francis George Collins 30 Jun - 9 Aug 1942
Source of information - Units of the Royal Australian Airforce - A Concise History - Vol 8 Training Units