RAAF Ground Training Schools

About This Unit

RAAF Ground Training Schools WW2

This is a generic listing covering the host of RAAF Ground training schools that trained candidates in a host of non-flying 'musterings' or skills classifications, from communications, radar, technical and trades training, intelligence, clerical, catering, support and administrative personnel to name a few.

Schools of Technical Training:

Fig 1.  The imposing facade of the RAAF's No. 4 School of Technical Training, North Terrace Adelaide.  Housed in the former Exhibition Building, it trained over 21,923 trainees.

No.1 Melbourne.   On 17 Dec 1939, the Training Centre Barracks was formed at the old Melbourne Junior Techn1cal School, West Melbourne as a sub-unit of the Training Depot. The staff consisted of 18 personnel, with 10 cooks under training and 97 technical trainees waiting to commence the No. 1 Fitters Course.  On 29 January 1940 the unit was designated as 1 School of Technical Training. Training was provided in many disciplines such as W/T operators, electricians, instrument makers, instrument repairers, fitters, cooks, X-ray technicians, welders, mess stewards, and also a course to train personnel in high frequency direction finding. Courses in teleprinter maintenance, PMC maintenance, Bristol gun turrets, wireless mechanics and meteorological charting were added later. Training was undertaken at several institutions including the Brunswick Technical College, the Amalgamated Wireless (Australia) School, the Footscray Technical College and the Emily McPherson School of Domestic Economy. With inadequate facilities, and overcrowding the unit moved to the Exhib1tion Building in Carlton in March 1941, although a detachment remained behind until the facilities occupied by them were transferred to WAAAF trainees in October 1941. At the end of October 1945, 21,324 trainees had graduated from No. 1 School of Technical Training and the School was disbanded on 22 Dec 1945.

No. 2 - Canberra. Raised in September 1939, on 1 July 1940, No. 2 School of Technical Training moved to new barracks constructed at the Canberra Technical College in Kingston, where it remained until it was disbanded on 16 Nov 1945. At the time of the move. the strength of this unit was two officers, 33 barracks staff and 222 trainees. Lectures on elementary electricity and internal combustion commenced on 27 April. Courses conducted at the School were fitter II(A) (airframe), fitter II(E) (engines), flight rigger, instrument maker, instrument repairer, fitter armament, armourer, fitter driver motor transport, electrician. turner, and motor boat crew. In the period December 1939 - July 1945, 578 courses were conducted and 3,921 trainees passed through the School.

No. 3 - Ultimo, Sydney. Raised at Ultimo NSW: 26 February 1940.  Disbanded: 31 October 1945

No. 4  - Adelaide. Raised at Adelaide SA: 1 April 1940. Disbanded: 5 October 1945  On 1 Apr 1940 the school was established at the Headquarters of Southern Area, before moving to the Exhibition Building in North Terrace, Adelaide. by June 1942, the total strength of the unit including staff was 1,273. The facilities at the Exhibition Building were inadequate for this number of personnel, and so on I Sep 1942, the Implement Company Building was taken over for the advanced electrician course. In early October, the Dunlop Building and St Marks College were occup1ed by airmen and WAAAF respectively. This enabled accommodation tents on the Exhibition Building oval to be evacuated. Courses were offered at the school for riggers, service police, welders, storekeepers, trainee technicians, cooks, mess stewards, recruit drill, filter armourer, fitter IIA, dental orderly and dental technician.During September 1942, there was an epidemic of measles, mumps, and influenza. There was a daily average of 103 patients in hospital and four cases of meningitis (two fatal), were recorded. During October the same sickness rate prevailed, but in November the daily average was down to 78 patients. In December 1943. the cases reported included scarlet fever, pharyngitis, and tonsillitis, reflecting the age of the trainees.

When training ceased at No. 4 School of Technical Training on 5 Oct 1945, 21,913 trainees had passed through the school.

No. 5 - Perth.  Raised at Perth WA: 31 July 1940. Disbanded: 27 September 1945

No. 6 - Hobart. 

No. 7 - Geelong

No. 1 Engineering School, Ascot Vale VIC: Raised  1 March 1940. Redesignated RAAF Ground Training School: 4 March 1946

Equipment Training School. Raised at RAAF Station Laverton VIC: 30 November 1942. Moved to Ascot Vale VIC and subsumed by No. 1 Engineering School: 29 April 1944

Medical Training Unit. RAAF Station Laverton VIC / Preston VIC

RAAF School of Languages. Sydney NSW

RAAF Staff College - Raised at Mount Martha VIC: 28 September 1943

No. 1 Radio School - Richmond NSW. Raised at RAAF Station Richmond NSW: 4 August 1941.  Relocated to to Maryborough QLD: November 1944. Disbanded: 26 November 1945

School of Administration - Laverton Vic. Raised at RAAF Station Laverton VIC: 9 August 1940.  Relocated to Ascot Vale VIC: 27 December 1941 then Carlton VIC: 21 February 1942.  Relocated to Victor Harbour SA: 3 December 1944.  Subsumed into No. 5 Medical Rehabilitation Unit: 30 November 1945

Aircrew Officers and Non Commissioned Officers School - Watsonia VIC

School of Photography RAAF Station Point Cook VIC then to Canberra ACT. Disbanded: 24 September 1945

No. 1 Signals School Raised at RAAF Station Point Cook VIC: 1 August 1940. Disbanded: 20 November 1945

Ground Training School RAAF Station Wagga Wagga NSW