No. 1 Recruit Depot RAAF
From Our Contribution
This unit was formed on 1 March 1935 at Laverton, Victoria. The school's purpose was to train technical trainees, and was organised into three sections giving training in drill and physical training, trade training (metal riggers and fitter aero) and a reserve pool. Trade training for other musterings was given 'on-the-job', when the men were not required to undergo drill. Wireless telegraphy and armament training were separate. On 20 April 1936, Station Headquarters Laverton was formed, and both training sections were combined to form the Recruit Training Section. ln addition to drill, training was given in wireless telegraphy, air gunnery and armament During August 1936, the section was re-organised into four flights: 'A' wireless telegraphy, 'B' trade training, 'C' drill and 'D' personnel awaiting courses or posting. The scope of training was later enlarged to include Service police, physical education. surveying and many other disciplines. Early in 1937, photographic and carpenter rigger training was instituted.
The survey function was the most important, with aircraft from the unit participating in the survey of Northern Australia as well as more local areas in South east Australia. They also co-operated with the Army Survey Unit at Scone, New South Wales. Initially a wide range of aircraft were used and they continued to operate as a Recruit Training Squadron until October 1939 when the unit split into separate survey and communications flights.
After mobilisation on 3 September 1939. A personnel transit centre was formed and between February and March 1940, the No. 1 School of Technical Training and the engineering school became separate units leaving the main unit to become No. 1 Recruit Depot on 2 March 1940, and with that it moved to Ascot Vale, Victoria, on 19 September 1941. This was followed by its final move, to Shepparton, Victoria, completed on 12 Feb 1942. From that date until the unit ceased to function, servicemen were trained, in addition to normal recruit training. as drill instructors, guards instructors, aerodrome defence instructors, air defence Officers and Warrant Officers (discipllnary). Between March 1940 and when the last entry was made in the Unit History Record on 31 May 1945, 42,376 servicemen had graduated from Mo. 1 Recruit Depot RAAF.