Central Flying School RAAF - History - World War II

World War II

RAAF flying training was heavily reorganised soon after the outbreak of World War II in response to Australia's participation in the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). Elementary Flying Training Schools were formed, to provide basic flight instruction to cadets, while more advanced pilot instruction was to take place at Service Flying Training Schools. The most pressing need, however, was for flying instructors; the RAAF had only sixteen, and at least 1,000 were needed to meet Australia's obligations under EATS. To train these instructors, the Instructors' Training Squadron at No. 1 FTS was detached to form the nucleus of a new Central Flying School on 29 April 1940. Described as the "nerve-centre of the Empire Air Training Scheme in Australia", it was commanded by Squadron Leader E.C. Bates, RAF, former chief flying instructor at No. 1 FTS. CFS relocated from Point Cook to RAAF Station Camden, New South Wales, on 14 May.

Formerly the privately owned Macquarie Grove Aerodrome, Camden was a new air base, and the school's facilities cost £53,000 to construct. On establishment, its personnel numbered 470 officers and airmen, and its complement of aircraft included twenty-three Tiger Moths, nine CAC Wirraways, and fourteen Avro Ansons. Among the staff were former civil pilots and instructors, as well as career Air Force officers. Graduates from Camden included Bill Newton, later awarded the Victoria Cross for bombing raids in New Guinea, and Jerry Pentland, a World War I fighter ace with twenty-three victories, who went on to become perhaps the oldest RAAF pilot on active duty. The outbreak of the Pacific War led to an influx of United States Army Air Forces units to Australian bases, including Camden. To make way, CFS moved to Tamworth, New South Wales, during March and April 1942. Tamworth, however, was not considered a suitable airfield for the school's Wirraways, Ansons and Airspeed Oxfords, and a further relocation was deemed necessary, this time to RAAF Station Parkes, New South Wales, on 18 January 1944. Later that year, CFS moved once more, returning on 19 September to Point Cook. There it gained an aviation medicine section, which in 1956 was detached to form the RAAF School of Aviation Medicine (later the RAAF Institute of Aviation Medicine). CFS remained at Point Cook for the rest of the war, by which time it had graduated some 3,600 instructors.

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Famous quotes containing the words world and/or war:

    The world and life’s too big to pass for a dream,
    Robert Browning (1812–1889)

    They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
    Bible: Hebrew Isaiah, 2:4.

    The words reappear in Micah 4:3, and the reverse injunction is made in Joel 3:10 (”Beat your plowshares into swords ...”)