Search and Rescue Wing RAAF
|Search and Rescue Wing|
|Branch||Royal Australian Air Force|
|Role||Search and rescue|
|Headquarters location||RAAF Base Rathmines|
|Patrol||Consolidated PBY Catalina|
Following the end of World War II, the RAAF's four squadrons equipped with Consolidated PBY Catalina were disbanded. On 1 October 1947 a new Search and Rescue Wing was formed at RAAF Base Rathmines, the RAAF's main seaplane base, to provide a search and rescue capability in and around Australia for the Department of Civil Aviation. This unit operated Catalinas, and took over previously-independent flights located at Darwin, Townsville and Port Moresby. The wing comprised four squadrons, which were designated Headquarters, Flying, Maintenance and Maritime. A Catalina and crew was held at readiness at each of the wing's bases. In addition, pilots, aircraft and ground crew from Search and Rescue Wing were assigned to work with the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition in 1948.
The operations of the Search and Rescue Wing were hampered by insufficient manning, especially among pilots and skilled technicians. In order to meet its operational requirements the wing was unable to conduct training, and its pilots did not take their full leave entitlements. In addition, the Catalinas were in increasingly poor condition. The Search and Rescue Wing was renamed No. 11 Squadron on 1 July 1948.
- Wilson (2003), p. 260
- "Rathmines Base For Big Air Rescue Network.". Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) . NSW: National Library of Australia. 7 October 1947. p. 2. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- Wilson (2003), p. 261
- Australian War Memorial (1995), p. 84
- Works consulted
- Australian War Memorial (1995). Squadrons, Formations & Units of the Royal Australian Air Force and Their Deployment. Canberra: Unpublished monograph held by the AWM Research Centre.
- Wilson, David Joseph (2003). The Eagle and the Albatross : Australian Aerial Maritime Operations 1921–1971. Sydney: University of New South Wales Library.