No. 42 Wing RAAF

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No. 42 Wing
A RAAF Boeing E-7A Wedgetail in 2013
A RAAF Boeing E-7A Wedgetail in 2013
Active 1943–44
Branch Royal Australian Air Force
Role Airborne Early Warning & Control
Part of Surveillance & Response Group
Garrison/HQ RAAF Base Williamtown
Motto(s) "Defend From Above"[1]
Aircraft Boeing E-7A Wedgetail

No. 42 Wing is a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) wing responsible for supporting the service's Boeing E-7A Wedgetail aircraft. It was first formed in February 1943, and commanded RAAF radar stations in north Queensland and the south coast of Dutch New Guinea until being disbanded in October 1944. It was re-raised in its current role in 2006.


No. 42 Wing was established at Townsville, Queensland, on 1 February 1943.[1] It was one of three radar wings formed at around this time (along with No. 41 and No. 44 Wings) to improve the command and control arrangements for the RAAF's large network of radar stations.[2] No. 42 Wing had responsibility for the radar stations located in northern Queensland and the south coast of Dutch New Guinea.[3] As well as controlling their activities, the wing headquarters coordinated the movement of replacement personnel, medical services, mail and supplies to the stations. In addition, the wing established new stations and moved existing units in consultation with the local operational RAAF commands in the area.[2]

By mid-1944 it was judged that the radar wings were not suited to supporting the rapid Allied advance in the South West Pacific. As a result, it was decided to disband all three units and transfer the radar stations to mobile fighter control units.[4][5] No. 42 Wing was disbanded on 1 October 1944, and its subordinate radar stations were transferred to No. 113 Mobile Fighter Control Unit.[1][6]

During the mid-2000s it was decided to re-establish No. 42 Wing as part of the process of introducing the RAAF's six Boeing E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft into service.[1] The unit was reformed at RAAF Base Williamtown on 1 January 2006.[7] No. 42 Wing commands a single unit, No. 2 Squadron, and has the role of conducting planning, communicating with higher headquarters and working with the systems program office that supports the Wedgetail fleet. The intention of this structure is to allow No. 2 Squadron to focus on operating the Wedgetails.[8] As of 2015, No. 42 Wing's headquarters and No. 2 Squadron were based in a highly-secure facility at RAAF Base Williamtown.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "No. 42 Wing readies for reformation". Air Force News. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b RAAF Historical Section (1996), p. 19
  3. ^ Simmonds and Smith (2007), p. 24
  4. ^ RAAF Historical Section (1996), p. 21
  5. ^ Simmonds and Smith (2007), p. 25
  6. ^ Simmonds and Smith (2007), p. 119
  7. ^ "Surveillance and Response Group". Royal Australian Air Force. Retrieved 12 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Moclair (2015), p. 53
  9. ^ Moclair (2015), p. 52
Works consulted