3 STORES DEPOT RAAF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 18 July 2004

 

3 Stores Depot RAAF (3SD) was formed in Brisbane under the command of Squadron Leader I.G. Watkins. Initial intentions were that 3 Stores Depot would be established in the Brisbane Show Grounds. 3SD's chief equipment officer, Squadron Leader J. Martin identified the old Brisbane City Council Electricity Supply Departments Workshops and Stores building which was located in the position of today's car park behind Energex's Control Centre at the intersection of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road.

3 Stores Depot's main building is the large building to the top left of the photograph.

The rail siding in the above photograph was used by the 5 Transportation and Movements Office RAAF and the US Liaison Office.  The building being built in the above photograph is now occupied by the Queensland Energy Museum. It was probably also part of 3 Stores Depot RAAF.

RAAF No. 3 Stores Depot

 

You can see the faded sign in the background which reads
"Brisbane City Council, Electricity Supply Dept. Workshops Stores"

An advance party of 3 Stores Depot moved into the old BCC building on 22 May 1941. Squadron Leader I.G. Watkins arrived the next day. 3 Stores Depot opened on 2 June 1941 with a compliment of 5 officers and 94 airmen. Their first stocks of equipment arrived on 17 June 1941. Various areas were established in the large building by erecting wire netting.

RAAF No. 3 Stores Depot

 

RAAF No. 3 Stores Depot

The WAAAF's who worked in the depot lived in a large house called "Wybenie" on Gregory Terrace while the airmen lived in another large house on Gregory Terrace called "Grangehill".

As they needed more space, 3SD took over a 1,500 square metre building at New Farm from Austral Motors on 10 September 1941. They then took over a 6.8 hectare building site at Eagle Farm in January 1942 to facilitate more storage space and office accommodation.

Stock Control Office, 3 Stores Depot RAAF.  Some of the signs in
the photo say "NCO Stock Control, Demands Control, etc"

In early 1942, Squadron leader Martin travelled to Gatton, Toowoomba, Oakey and Dalby looking for ideal locations for a new Depot away from the coast. He recommended a site at Drayton near Toowoomba. This later became 7 Stores Depot. 

In about 1943 a number of technical groups were transferred from 3SD to 7SD as it had been decided that 3SD would no longer carry technical items.

During 1943 3SD took over the management of the RAAF nursing staff and patient admissions and discharges from 112 Australian General Hospital and 126 Australian Special Hospital. They did this until 1944 when the Brisbane Medical Unit was established.

In May 1944 3 Stores Depot had two new buildings built at Victoria Park. They also took over two other buildings that were constructed by the Wool Committee at Hedley Park on 21 June 1944.

In June 1944, 3SD took over a large house called "Hamilton" at Breakfast Creek to become their Officer's Mess. The house had previously been used by an Army Anti-aircraft unit.

In August 1944, 3SD established its Motor Transport Repair Section at Lang Park by transferring it from 3 Aircraft Depot.

Wing Commander L.J.K. Holten became the Commanding Officer of 3SD on 1 November 1944.

In late January 1945, Headquarters group of 3SD moved into the John McGrath building in Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley. This building had previously been used by the Depot Supply section of the 81st Air Depot Group.

Headquarters group of 3SD moved into the John McGrath building in Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley

 


April 2002

A different view of the John McGrath Building  with the Old Mill Building in
the background at 111 Constance Street. The Old Mill Building Barracks
was used by the 5th Air Force Service Command during WW2.

3 Stores Depot took over a former US Motor Pool at Eagle Farm when the war ended in August 1945. They then took over the US heavy earthmoving and machinery storage site at Cannon Hill and three Igloos at Breakfast Creek (possibly the GMH Allison Overhaul Assembly Plant "Igloos").

Wing Commander G.S Anderson became the Commanding Officer of 3SD on 16 October 1945.

In early 1946 the Cannon Hill location was developed as a central depot area and for domestic accommodation. On 4 December 1946, they started to upgrade the barracks quarters at Cannon Hill. They were first utilised on 26 February 1947.

All stocks were transferred to 7 Stores Depot in late 1947. 3SD was officially disbanded on 24 September 1948. As some of their sites were vacated squatters moved in causing a number of issues fro the RAAF. The moved out of the Victoria Park site on 17 June 1947.

 

REFERENCE BOOK

 "Units of the Royal Australian Air Force, A Concise History, Volume 6 - Logistic Units"
Complied by RAAF Historical Section

 

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This page first produced 18 July 2004

This page last updated 20 July 2004