No. 5 Initial Training School RAAF
From Our Contribution
Clontarf Boy's Home
No. 5 Initial Training School was established at Pearce, Western Australia, on 21 Oct 1940, with a strength of three officers and 18 airmen. Early on the unit suffered from a lack training equipment and facilities. New training rooms were provided in August 1941, and on 14 Sep 1941 the largest intake to date was posted with trainees from Adelaide and Perth, plus 16 trainees from w1thin the Serv1ce. During November, training in air frames was undertaken within sight of the tarmac, and normal hangar activity was found useful for instructional purposes.
On 27 February 1942 approval was given for the School to move to the Clontarf Orphanage, but there were many problems with accommodation and essential services at Clontarf. Much of the corrective work was undertaken by students and staff. Squadron Leader J.W. Darling commenced three-day expeditions in which practical experience- in map reading, grid reference systems, travel by magnetic compass, weather observation and star recognition could be given. The first course of four officers, one non-commissioned officer and 27 trainees commenced on 15 September 1942.
Facilities at Clontarf were improved, but maintenance of the buildings was proving to be a problem. During July an alternative site for No. 5 Initial Training School were sought However, on 27 November, the school was notified that training would cease on 2 Dec 1944, and that the School would be disbanded and not reformed. Prefabricated huts were dismantled and moved to 77 Operational Base Unit at Carnarvon, and the unit was disbanded on 20 Jan 1945
- Gerard Henzell Straughan Hemy 9 Dec 1940 - 5 Feb 1941
- Roy Joseph Smith 3 Feb - 2 Apr 1941
- † Alan Wesley Hain 28 Apr - 20 Jun 1941
- † Leslie John (Jock) Powell DFC 28 Apr - 20 Jun 1941
- † William James (Jim) Morcombe 18 Aug -7 Oct 1941
- † Edward Watling 14 Sep - 10 Dec 1941
- † Ernest Ronald William Oliver 19 Jul - 14 Oct 1942
Source of information - Units of the Royal Australian Airforce - A Concise History - Vol 8 Training Units - Australian Government Publishing Service - 1995