6 REPAIR AND SALVAGE UNIT RAAF
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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6 Repair and Salvage Unit RAAF (6 RSU) was established at Mt. Druitt in New South Wales on 10 April 1944. It was initially sharing facilities with 18 Repair and Salvage Unit, but  took over the shared facilities when 18 RSU started to move out on about 26 July 1944.

One of the first tasks for 6 RSU was to recover a Beaufort bomber from Mascot airfield and relocate it to 5 Aircraft Depot at Wagga. This may have been Beaufort, A9-585, which crashed at Mascot at some time in July 1944. 6 RSU also undertook the relocation of 6  main-planes and and three fuselages for Wackett Trainers from the Newcastle Aero Club. They also carried out 240 hour services on Boomerang aircraft.

Sqn/Ldr V.H. Johns became the Commanding Officer of 6 RSU on 4 July 1944. He was replaced by Sqn/Ldr P.J. Allen on 1 November 1944.

Ainslie Sharpe's father was a member of 6 RSU. From his papers it appears that he was transferred to 6 RSU on 7 August 1944 and did a Liberator course from 15 September 1944 to 6 October 1944 at the Mobile Technical Inst. Section at Tocumwal. This meant that he was not with 6 RSU from its inception, but from the time that it was taking over the facilities of 18 RSU. He was a Warrant Officer. His leave record states (under Leave in Lieu) that he started HLI Tropical Leave on 21 February 1945, which probably means he was in one of the main party of 300 men who left Mt Druitt on 9 February 1945.

On 13 December 1944, Flight Lieutenant R.H. Barnes and the first 45 personnel of 6 RSU boarded a train headed for Fenton airfield in the Northern Territory. They arrived at Fenton on 27 December 1944.

6 RSU's Unit Stores were loaded on to SS Helga Moller at Circular Quay in Sydney, enroute to Darwin accompanied by Flying Officer B.V. McAuley and 11 airmen. They arrived in Darwin on 15 February 1945.

The largest body of 300 personnel left Mt. Druitt by train on 9 February 1945, arriving at Fenton on 21 February 1945. The rear party of 40 personnel, led by Flight Lieutenant P.J. Willington left Mt. Druitt on 14 February 1945 and arrived at Fenton on 23 February 1945.

6 RSU carried out maintenance on B-24 Liberators at Fenton and carried out the salvage of crashed aircraft in the region.

Members of the unit severely bogged a Weapons Carrier in a location about 12 miles east of Adelaide River on 30 March 1945 while trying to salvage a B-25 Mitchell bomber. They were forced to return to Fenton on horse back. They recovered the Weapons Carrier on 2 April 1945.

Sqn/Ldr A.J. Brown became the Commanding Officer of 6 RSU on 27 May 1945. 

It was decided to relocate 6 RSU to Morotai. They travelled to Darwin via 51 Mile Camp and boarded the ship "Luis Arguello" on about 17 June 1945. They arrived at Morotai on 30 June 1945. F/Lt Barnes and F/Lt Willington and 49 airmen went ashore to prepare the camp for the main body of men which came ashore on the 1 July 1945.

Sqn/Ldr J. Hearnden became the Commanding Officer of 6 RSU on 19 August 1945.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Ainslie Sharpe for her assistance with this home page.

 

REFERENCE BOOK

"Units of the Royal Australian Air Force - A Concise History"
"Volume 7 - Maintenance Units"
Compiled by RAAF Historical Section

 

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 Peter Dunn 2003

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This page first produced 26 August 2003

This page last updated 26 August 2003