The Royal Australian Air Force in South Australia During WWII - Adelaide - Gawler - Mallala - Mount Gambier - Parafield - Port Pirie - Victor Harbor

Author(s): Peter Ingman


At the start of the Second World War there was no permanent RAAF presence in South Australia, but within just two years there were several facilities housing thousands of personnel and hundreds of aircraft. The bulk of this hurried expansion involved Empire Air Training Scheme facilities, involving around 30,000 South Australians. New air bases were constructed at Port Pirie, Mallala and Mount Gambier while an elementary flying training school was run from Adelaide's existing airfield at Parafield. Other large ground training facilities were established at Victor Harbor and in central Adelaide.After Japan's entry into the war Avro Anson training aircraft were formed into reserve squadrons to protect South Australia's coasts. A 1942 scheme saw a ring of airfields planned for the defence of Adelaide itself. Ultimately only one of these was completed at Gawler, which saw a brief but fascinating operational history as the only wartime South Australian airfield with a sealed runway. From 1943 Parafield was busy as a centre for C-47 Dakota operations, housing both an RAAF and an RAF transport squadron. At the end of the war the RAAF presence ended as quickly as it began, and probably for this reason the story has been mostly forgotten. However, some 147 members of the RAAF died in South Australia during the war, and now the history surrounding their sacrifice can be told.

Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780648926214
  • : Avonmore Books
  • : Avonmore Books
  • : December 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Peter Ingman
  • : Paperback
  • : 96