5 Airfield Construction Squadron 2017 09 July 2017, 11:00AM

Early in 1942, Air Board realised the urgent need for 'an organisation capable of producing airfields in forward areas at short notice while under threat of air attack'. No 5 Airfield Construction Squadron's family tree can be traced back to a detachment of No 1 Mobile Works Squadron which was formed in July 1942 to construct an airfield at Wards Field five miles from Port Moresby. The detachment was named No 1 Mobile Works Squadron (Special Works Force) and it completed its task in the face of extraordinary difficulties. In November 1942, the detachment became No 5 Mobile Works Squadron and on 15th July 1944, was renamed No 5 Airfield Construction Squadron. This title the Squadron has borne proudly ever since. As No 5ACS, the Squadron became part of No 62 Airfield Construction Wing, with a strength of 800 men.

After the construction of the landing strips at Wards Field, the Squadron continued to be active throughout the war years. On the 11th February 1946, the Squadron left Labuan Island for Japan to become part of No 81 Fighter Wing and of the RAAF Occupational Force, Japan. The Squadron’s task in Japan was the reconstruction of damaged buildings, also to work on the airstrips at Bofu and Miho, and all the maintenance work for HQ BCAF in Japan. Air Vice Marshal Bouchier RAF, Commander BCOF Air Forces Japan, described 5ACS in Japan as one of the finest outfits he had ever been associated with and stated in a document dated 20th March 1946: "It is always invidious to try and single out individuals, officers and other ranks or units for special mention, particularly here at Iwakuni where everyone from the start has been flat out to help, but I would just like to mention one particular unit namely No 5 Airfield Construction Squadron RAAF. I do not know what we should have done without them. No job was too big or too small for them. Although little more than an advance party in numbers, this unit under their Commanding Officer has worked wonders, and they are still on the job".

The squadron's war service ended in June 1949 when the squadron disbanded at Iwakuni Japan. 5ACS and the other ACS's have left lasting assets and monuments to their work in every State/Territory, on the Australian mainland, Japan, Cocos Islands, the South-West Pacific and South-East Asia.

5ACS BATTLE HONOURS: · Moresby 1942-1943: No 5 Mobile Works Squadron was formed at Port Moresby on 16 November 1942. It’s move to Goodenough Island was completed on 11 May 1943. Milne Bay A detachment of No 5MWS was at Milne Bay in early 1943 · New Guinea 1942-1944 No 5MSW served in New Guinea from its formation at Port Moresby on 16 November 1942 · At Milne Bay Goodenough Island, and Aitape in early 1944. · Dutch New Guinea No 5MWS served at Noemfoor and Biak in late 1944 and early 1945 · Borneo 1945 No 5 Airfield Construction Squadron moved to Labuan in mid 1945 · Pacific 1942-1945 No 5MWS / No 5ACS served in operations against the Japanese in the Pacific Theatre from 1942 to 1945.

Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary

Shrine Representative:
Shrine Governor Squadron Leader Steve Campbell-Wright

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