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66th Anti Aircraft Searchlight Battery

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66th SL Battery.jpg
Personnel from 66th AA Searchlight Battery at Bibra Lake


Brief History

The 66th Anti Aircraft Company RAE was formed in February 1942, when it was slit off from the 55th Anti Aircraft Company RAE. The unit then moved to Swanbourne to control all search light units north of the Swan river. In November they were restructured as the 66th Australian Anti Aircraft Searchlight Company with Sections at Swanbourne (181 Section), Como (182 Section), Mosman Park (183 Section), Kings Park (184 Section) and Shenton Park (206 Section).


With all searchlight units transferring from Engineers to Artillery in May 1943 they became the 66th Australian Anti Aircraft Searchlight Battery. In September they were given a static role, and with many VDC personnel training to man searchlights, the unit became 66th Australian Searchlight Battery (Mixed) with its sections being the 214 Medium Searchlight Troop, the 139th, 140th, 141st, and 142nd Heavy Searchlight Troops, each of which had a Volunteer Defence Corps component.


With Cockburn Sound being developed as a naval base the area covered by searchlights was expanded south, with the 66th Australian Searchlight Battery (Mixed) tasked with establishing the new positions to the south. Battery HQ moved to Mt Brown, with 139 Heavy Searchlight Troop at Jandakot, 140th Heavy Searchlight Troop at Mandogalup, 141st Heavy Searchlight Troop at Coogee, and 142nd Heavy Searchlight Troop at Garden Island. the 214th Medium Searchlight Troop had been disbanded. While most anti aircraft defence units were closed in December 1944, the AMF Cadre of the 66th Australian Searchlight Battery were retained in a care and maintenance capacity until the unit was disbanded in May 1945.

Unit Personnel

Notes

Content has come from The Unit Guide - Volume 3 - The Australian Army 1939-1945, page 3.333 - Graham R McKenzie-Smith - Big Sky Publishing - 2018


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