GENERAL OPERATION OF SEARCHLIGHT UNITS, 
IN AUSTRALIAN ARMY
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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In January 1942, the AASL Group obtained a copy of AASL Drills 1940 with 1941 Supplements. It covered in great detail the Controlled Exposure of Searchlights. It was recommended to the Commander of Fixed Defences that theses Drills be adopted. It was immediately implemented as it was clearly a vast improvement on current Drills. Lt. J.L. Mair was appointed the first SCO (SL Control Officer) Lt. R.J. Adams was appointed as SCO2.

In January 1942, Generators, Sound Locators, Binoculars and Lewis Machine Guns were in very short supply. Through some innovative experimentation it was discovered that one Generator stet could supply two Projectors which meant that Searchlight capability could be immediately doubled. The new arrangement lead to what was known as "Cluster" locations. New "Cluster" locations were established at Sydney and Melbourne on 9 January 1942, at Newcastle on 2 March 1942 and at Kembla on 10 March 1942.

The Commander of Fixed Defences (CFD) approved the new practice of AASL units working in closer liaison with AA groups in Sydney, Newcastle and Kembla. To further strengthen this closer liaison, HQ AASL Group RAE moved from Georges Heights to AA Defence HQ at Vaucluse where Brigadier E.M. Neylan was the CO of Anti-aircraft Defence Command. 

 

REFERENCES

"Expose - A History of Searchlights in WWII"
by Noel F. Hill

 

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This page first produced 3 January 2004

This page last updated 03 January 2004