No. 4 Stores Depot RAAF

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4 Stores Depot.jpg

Brief History

With the outbreak of War in 1939 the RAAF strength in Western Australia began to increase, accelerating with the Japanese threat to the north-west. To provide support for an operational build-up, two stores depots were to be formed in Western Australia, one of these being No. 4 Stores Depot. On 19 Jan 1942 an advance party gathered at a military drill hall in Lord Street, East Perth. While proposed sites at both Narrogin and Merredin were inspected, the No. 4 Stores Depot nucleus remained in temporary accommodation for several weeks until the new depot site had been organised. Eventually, the Depot was located in the McKay Massey Harris building in Maylands where initially they had access to about half (some 3000 square meters) of the total building area was available for the RAAF. The remainder being used to store tractors.

The Depot headquarters staff later moved to Maylands and another part of the Depot, comprising workshops and messes were later located in Caledonian Avenue, Maylands. On 1 Jan 1943 an advance cadre group were posted to form No. 10 Stores Depot RAAF at Merredin. Like other stores depots during the war years, No. 4 Stores Depot initially occupied several remote sites around Perth, such as the Kauri Timber Company building at 1Oth Avenue Maylands, and one in Wright Street for clothing. Ongoing alterations to the Massey Harris building eventually enabled some of these remote sites to be vacated, and stock brought into the Maylands building on 30 Sep 1943. Some of the Depot's bulk storage was actually at 10 Stores Depot at Merredin as 4 Stores Depot was short of storage space.

Other construction carried out at the Maylands site was a new administration block, completed on 8 Dec 1943. No. 4 Stores Depot had no domest1c accommodation on the Depot, with airmen generally living out-either at home for those coming from Perth or in private accommodation. Later a large private building called the 'Gables', was taken over to accommodate the WAAAF. No. 4 Stores Depot was handicapped regarding the service it could provide, as Western Australia did not have much local industry at the time. Virtually all manufactured goods had to come from the eastern states, with the attendant transportation delays of that time.

Near the end of the War, No. 4. Stores Depot formed the Central Footwear Repair Section to effect shoe and boot repairs for all or the Perth units, including those as far away as Busselton and Gerald ton. During May, ten 7.6m x 7.6m huts were acquired and erected in the Depot domestic area compound to alleviate chronic storage problems, with the first two ready in June 1945. Immediately following the end of the War, it was decided that most of No. 4 Stores Depot's stocks would be transferred to Merredin. Remaining stock was transferred to No. 14 Stores Unit in Adelaide, and th1s was completed on 30 September 1945. No. 4 Stores Depot was disbanded on 19 Nov 1945, becoming the first depot to disband at the end or the War.

Unit Personnel


Content has come from Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History - Volume 6 Logistics Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995

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