{THEY PREPARED THE WAY}

Extract from Always First by David Wilson

No.3 Works Maintenance Unit formed at Darwin on the 25th May 1942, by taking over personnel from No.1 Mobile Works Squadron in North Western Area to the strength of 2 Officers and 198 other ranks.

In Darwin in 1942 when Bouch and forty others were issued with half a dozen trucks and as many shovels, and assigned to the maintenance of airfields and military bases in, Australia’s North West. In order to carry out their repairs, often done while under attack from Japanese air raids, they were forced to beg, borrow or steal whatever building supplies an machinery they could find. Bouch, a civil engineer with the Public Works Department in Sydney before the war, was Mentioned in Dispatches for his services in Darwin and promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader.

After almost two years of maintenance duties in the Northern Territory.
This was the period the Japanese bombers concentrated their attention on the. Northern Territory. The Unit was chiefly employed on maintenance works on the strips, building new taxiways and the sonde meteorology station at Darwin, and other facilities for the Royal Australian Air Force at Darwin, Coomalie, Daly Waters Livingstone, Wyndham, Strauss, Fenton, McDonald, Bathurst, Island, Hughes, Batchelor Island, Pell, and Groote Eylandt. 

On the 15th January 1943, this Unit became known as No.3.Mobile Works Squadron. It devoted its strength to widening and lengthening the various strips and building new taxiways, and erected the radio sonde meteorology station at Darwin

In March 1944, the squadron was withdrawn to Melbourne to recuperate and re equip.