About This Unit
No. 1 Wireless Air Gunnery School (1 WAGS) Ballarat
RAAF aircrew training expanded dramatically following the outbreak of World War II, in response to Australia's participation in the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS).
The following Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] schools were established across Australia to support EATS:
Elementary flying Training
Service Flying Training
Bombing and Gunnery
Wireless Air Gunnery
No 1 Wireless Air Gunnery School [W.A.G.S] Ballarat was established on the 22nd April 1940 as part of the Empire Training Scheme. Its purpose was to train Wireless Operators and Air Gunners to form air crews for the RAF in their air war in Europe.
1 WAGS was the first school in Australia to train Wireless Operators, Air Gunners and Navigators with over 6,000 trainees passing through the school from 1940 to 1945.
Over 6,000 RAAF personnel were trained at 1 W.A.G.S Ballarat during WW2. There were 58 Wireless Air Gunner Courses and 12 Navigator Courses conducted from 1940 to 1945.
Approximately 20% of these trainees died in action or on active service.