{AWAYS FIRST}

7/7/42 No. 1. Mobile Works Squadron received. ASCOT VALE instructions from Air Force Headquarters for a detachment from No. 1. Mobile Works Squadron to be created and proceed on special Duties to North Eastern Area. Detachment was organised and named No. 1. Mobile Works Squadron (Special Works Force).

22/07/42          Squadron Leader T. M. Scott, OBE appointed to command.

07/08/42          Detachment arrived at Port Moresby No. 1. Mobile Works Squadron Special Works

11/11/42   Force renamed No. 5. Mobile Works Squadron. Port Moresby 11 Nov 1942

26/02/43   (Det) Goodenough. Det Milne Bay. Goodenough.
11/05/43          Unit movement to Goodenough complete

22/07/43   Flight Lieutenant G. VV. Barlow   (Temp)

07/08/43   Flight Lieutenant J. F. Hawe(Temp)

17/08/43   Squadron Leader J. N. Edwards  (Temp)

26/12/43   Squadron Leader J. N. Edwards appointed to command.

01/01/44   Ransford, VIC
23/04/44   (Persecution (Aitape NG                                                    

06/07/44   Noemfoor

18/07/44   No. 5. Mobile Works Squadron re titled No. 5 Airfield Construction Squadron.

31/01/45   Unit completed movement to Biak Biak DNG

10/06/45   Labuan Island

11/09/45   Flight Lieutenant A. J. Fowler

16/11/45   Wing Commander A. M. Harrison

24/02/46   Iwakuni

03/04/47   Flight Lieutenant A. S. Brown (Temp)

31/08/47   Wing Commander A. M. Harrison (resumed) Bofu (Det) Miho

15/10/48   Flight Lieutenant T. A. Westley (Temp)

30/06/49   No. 5. Airfield Construction Squadron disbanded at Iwakuni Japan

08/08/51   No. 5. Airfield Construction Squadron Bankstown Re formed at Bankstown NSW
                      Group Captain A. M. Harrison OBE

03/52       (Det) (Monte Bello (Islands

15/11/52   Williamtown

12/01/53   Detachment 'B' Regents Park

03/02/53   Detachment 'A' formed Woomera

26/05/55   Detachment 'A' formed Williamtown

2/6/55       Headquarters No. 5 ACS ceased operations Darwin at Williamtown and opened at Darwin

17/7/59            Wing Commander A. G. Wooley  (Temp)

23/05/61           Group Captain P. G. Lings M.B.E.

29/11/63           Wing Commander J. F. Dawson


This unit, along with its sister outfits, became absorbed into the American machine, No. 5. Squadron appearing in the Order of Battle as "5th Task Force Engineers" under General Kreuger, later reverting to Australian 9th Division (24th Brigade) to perform the engineering tasks for General Morsehead and lastly, to S. E. Asian Command (Mountbatten’s) at the finale.

The tasks allotted to the organisations 61 and 62 Wings, R.A.A.F., commanded by Group Captains Rooney and Dale respectively, involved us in operations and campaigns from Milne Bay   Moresby area in 1942 to Borneo and the Phillipines in 1945 ending in Japan itself after the capitulation. The motto of "Advance the Bomber line" was the practical object of 3 years in the Pacific War Theatre.

                   "F1yinqShovels" 5 A.C.S.   5 M.W.S.. R.A.A.F. Unit Strength   500 History of Campaigns

1942         Formed in Melbourne from earlier experimental unit which was raised and used in Darwin 1941.

1942         Built Wards Strip, Port Moresby, in record time. Planes from this strip hammered Japanese Supply      
               Lines, while A.I.F. stopped Japs at Kokoda. Navy won Coral Sea Battle.

1943        Goodenough Island   most advanced Allied Territory. Vivigani Strips built under threat of enemy air  
              and ground attack. Jap. remnants from Bismark Sea battle landed but were despatched.

22nd        April 1944   Landing at Aitape, Karako Village; Tadji Strip in use 45 hours after capture.

2nd         July, 1944   Noemfoor Island  . 62 Wing H. C. elements landed 9 a.m. 'D' day, No. 5. A.C.S. 'D + 6'. Two
              strips completed   one 5,000 ft. fighter strip at Kamiri and one 9,000 ft. bomber strip at Kornasoren from                  Virgin jungle, operating in 72 days. Furthest West base in S.W.P.A. No other Australian troops so far
              advanced. Sporadic bombing raids.  

              Dec. 1944 Biak Island   maintenance of Worido Borokoe and Mokmer strips, whilst awaiting  
              orders for next invasion force.

              April   May 1945   Morotai. Formation of Borneo invasion convoy. No. 5. A..C.S. and associated Units of                   Airfield Engineers awaiting Australian 9th Division moving up from South. 10th June 1945 Labuan
              Island, North Borneo. First combined services operation by Australians No. 5. A.C.S. landed 'D' day 
              with 24th Brigade A.I.F. Labuan Airfield, the most bombed strip in the S.W.P.A., was operating by 'D+ 6'.

              September October 1945   Time expired men for home, remainder of unit on to Japan.

              Since the War. No. 5. A.C.S. still exists and has operated in Darwin, and is now back in North Australia.

Footnote: In the two Wings, comprising nine Squadrons, serving in the Pacific War there were at least 10,000 who saw action allowing for 3 changes of personnel during the 32 years the units served in the islands. Some of the men served during both  tours of service.