1951 - 1974
13. No 5 Airfield Construction Squadron came to life again on the on the 8th August 1951 when the Squadron was reformed at Bankstown NSW. Its first task was to send a detachment to the Monte Bello Islands from March to November 1952 to work on preparations for the atomic tests.
14. In November 1952, the Squadron moved its headquarters to Williamtown and started work on the new runway and taxiways. From Williamtown detachments were sent to Richmind, Regents Park, Kingswood, Bankstown and Woomera for work as diverse as drainage, road works, and construction of hangers, warehouses, swimming pools and explosive stores.
15. In June 1955 the Squadron moved to Darwin to tackle the biggest task it had so far. An 11000 foot by 200 foot runway with associated parallel and access taxiways, a reinforced concrete control tower, buildings and roads for a radar site and a 50 metre concrete swimming pool; all these were part of the new Darwin works carried out by the Squadron in its nine years there. During this time, construction work was carried out for the Ubon contingent and a detachment at Amberley laid concrete pavements.
16. In August 1955 U.S.A. and British Commonwealth Forces regarded members of 2ACS and 5ACS as elite units and that reputation continued to grow until they were disbanded.
17. Tindal was the next project where a 9000-foot runway and associated taxiways and aprons were built in the period June 1964 to September 1969. Once again, detachments were sent to other areas, this time to Vung Tau and Phan Rang Vietnam, Ubon Thailand, and Darwin and Amberley.
18. At Tindal Due to the climate, refrigeration equipment had to be transported in not for the 5ACS squadron's comfort but to cool water for concrete.
19. In September 1969, with the Tindal airfield completed but for minor tasks, The Squadron moved to Amberley to extend the runway, lay concrete aprons and roads, and put up buildings. On the 29th March 1970 the Squadron sent an advance party to Learmonth to prepare the way for its next task the Learmonth Airfield. The Squadron headquarters followed on 1st February 1971, leaving a small detachment at Amberley.
20. The Learmonth Project involved the building of the campsite and erection of hangers.
Construction of runway and associated taxiways. This included two taxiways to allow high-speed exit from the runway at 50 knots.
Preparation of sites for navigation aids, construction of access roads to the airfield and associated facilities.
Construction of civil terminal apron, associated taxiways, roads and car parks for the Department of Civil Aviation.
Diversion of a major creek.
Construction of levee bank 3 metres wide at the top 15 metres wide at the base and 14 kilometres long.
(In February 1945, a cyclone hit North West Cape producing a 10ft tidal surge over the airfield and drowning 3 airmen in marine section at the Bay of rest)
The Squadron moved 2 million cubic yards of earth.
Placed 42,500 cubic yards of cement concrete pavements.
Layed 41,000 tons of asphalt flexible pavement.
21. At Learmonth the temperature in and on the earthmoving equipment regularly exceeded 45 degrees operators had to wrap cleaning rags around their legs in the cabins of the scrapers to avoid being burnt.
22. In 1974 the squadron was using 184 items of works plant and 130 vehicles of various types. All this is a far cry from the early war years when the Squadron owned only 2 bulldozers, 2 tractors, 6 trucks, 3 graders, 23 tip trucks of varying ages, and one roller of 1890 vintage. Even the new roller scrounged in Port Moresby ended up having to be towed.
23. 5ACS continued to work itself out of a job even though it was regarded as the best equipped, trained and the most proficient engineering force for airfield construction in the Southern Hemisphere. The unit finished up at Learmonth where the grand final took place on December, 1974
24. Amidst the natural feeling of sadness felt by many at 5 ACS's passing, there is also the feeling of wonder that such a small band of great Australians despite prolonged hardship and adversity in war and peace in such a small field left such an indelible mark to remember them by
25. 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.