Latitude 27°34'10"S Longitude 153°00'28"E

   
ACQUISITION Airfield on loan form R.A.A.F.

 

OPENED Start of February 1945 - No.1 Special Maintenance party arrived on site.

 

COMMISSIONED

27 March 1945 at Archerfield.

 

PAID OFF 31 March 1946.

 

CLOSED 31 March 1946.

 

   
C.O. Commander B. J. L. ROGERS-TILLSTONE 01 February 1945 to 31 March 1946  [Promoted Captain 01 July 1945]
   
FUNCTION Aircraft Maintenance Yard.

 

ADDRESS T.A.M.Y. 1

Archerfield airport

Brisbane

Queensland

Australia

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies 3½ miles SSW. of South Brisbane and about 1 mile W. of the Brisbane - Sydney railway.

 

LANDMARKS Oxley Creek flows fro, 500 to 800 yds. past the SW. side if the airfield, and loops of the Brisbane river lie about 2½ miles to the N ad NW.

 

ROAD AND RAILACCESS Access to the main road to Brisbane; Brisbane Central railway station on the W. bank of the Brisbane river, is distant 8 miles (R). Station on the railway to South Brisbane is distant 1½ miles (R) NNE.
   
   
CONTROL Control Building on the E. side of the landing area.

The airfield is in use by R.A.A.F., D.C.A., and U.S.A.A.F.

 

ELEVATION  50' above M.S.L.

 

LANDING AREA Irregular shape with natural grass surface.

Unsafe fir heavy aircraft when the field is wet, but otherwise suitable foer all types at all times.

 

Maximum runs available
00/18 -  N/S ........1870 yds. 

04/22 - NE/SW ....2230 yds. 

10/28 -  E/W .......2000 yds. 

 

TRACKS None.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation Hills rising 600' above e he airfield 3¼ miles NNE. and NW.
Circuit None.
Approach Control building, 100' on the E. side if the landing area and trees, 30' adjacent NE.

W/T masts, 200' about 1¼ miles NNE.

 

APPROACH No special approach recommended.

 

WIND INDICATOR Not known.
   
   
HOMING - VISUAL By day Not known.
By night Not known.

 

HOMING--RADIO D/F R.A.A.F. type not known.
Beacons R.A.A.F. type not known.

 

APPROACH - VISUAL By day None
By night Standard Flare Path

 

APPROACH - RADIO R.A.A.F. type not known.

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F & H/F R.A.A.F. type not known.
VH/F R.A.A.F. type not known.

 

GROUND RADAR

None.

   
   
ACCOMMODATION T.A.M.Y. Living quarters are at Rocklea Camp about 1mile N of he airfield.

 

Capacity:

Officers: 31
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: 1,282
W.R.N.S. Officers: None.
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; None.

 

ARMOURIES Not known.

 

COMPASS BASE Not known.

 

DISPERSAL Not known.

 

HANGARS Hangars
Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width
12, various civilian types 58' x 16'

to

150' x 30'

? ?
       
MEDICAL Not known.

 

 

 

METEOROLOGICAL Not known.

 

 

 

FUEL AND OIL
Aviation: Not known.
M/T: Not known.
Oil : Not known.
TEST BASE Not known.

 

TEST BUTT Not known.

 

WORKSHOPS T.A.M.Y. 1 mans aircraft workshops at and near the airfield.

Facilities at the airfield for major engine overhauls and essential aircraft repairs.

 

EXPLOSIVES Not known.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES  

Air to air

None.
Air to sea One, in Moreton Bay
Live and practice bombing None.
Practice bombing None.

Assault training

None.
   
   

Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45


 

 

List of first and second line squadrons, station flight and other flying units based at this location

 
721

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Disembarked from HMS UNICORN to regroup and re-equip at Archerfield 15.10.45.      Embarked in HMS SPEAKER 28.12.45

Issued with 12 Vengeance Target Tugs, 6 Defiant Target Tugs, 9 Corsairs, 2 Avengers, and 1 Harvard


1701 Air Sea Rescue 'A' Flight

Moved here from RNAS Maryborough  01.11.45. Embarked in HMS STRIKER 04.11.45

Equipped with 3 x Sea Otter.


1845 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed at Archerfield 01.06.45. Moved to RNAS Maryborough 23/06.45.

Equipped with 24 Corsair IV.


 

 

 

Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard No. 1 (TAMY 1) assembled in the UK at RNAS Ludham, Norfolk, and at RNATE Risley in Lancashire from December 4th 1944; TAMY I was commissioned as an independent command bearing the ships name H.M.S. NABSFORD, on February 1st 1945, Commander B.J.L. ROGERS-TILLSTONE in command.

TAMY I departed by road and rail for Gladstone docks, Liverpool, on February 16th for passage to Australia. TAMY I was destined for Archerfield, Brisbane, Queensland, a joint civil/RAAF airfield. The main party of TAMY I, (a total of 23 officers & 1,191 ratings), sailed for Australia on board the S.S. STIRLING CASTLE on February 18th, in company. A second, retard party, comprising of 8 Officers and 91 ratings sailed on March 10th on the S.S. EMPRESS of SCOTLAND. The first echelon of stores and equipment sailed from Liverpool on board the S.S. EMPIRE WAIMANA on February 20th, with the second echelon sailing from Liverpool on board S.S. HORORATA on March 1st.

An advance party of TAMY I comprising of 4 officers and 28 technical ratings had been sent out from UK on earlier transport, arriving in Brisbane at the beginning of February 1945. This party, together with 80 hands loaned from HMS GOLDEN HIND, the RN Barracks in Sydney and supplemented by the addition of No.1 S.M.P. (Special Maintenance party?) were accommodated at Rocklea Camp in Brisbane, this camp was to be the main accommodation site for TAMY I. Known as the 'Corsair technical party' this advance party was tasked with erecting 16 Corsair IV aircraft at Kerry Road, Archerfield; 12 of the aircraft were almost completed by the time the main body of TAMY I arrived on March 27th. This was an extremely slow rate of progress; however the work was started without any equipment or stores, all of which had to be acquired or borrowed from the Department Of Aircraft Production, the Royal Australian Air Force and other local sources. Work was farther hampered in early March when many of the ratings had to be taken off aircraft erection duties in order to prepare Rocklea Camp, in advance of the main party's arrival at the end of the month.

TAMY I inherited facilities formerly used by US forces in the Brisbane area, the US presence having been withdrawn after the liberation of the Philippines; the principle facilities left by the Americans were those at Kerry Road and Rocklea Camp. The men of the advance party enjoyed relative luxury in their accommodations at the beginning, the huts at Rocklea Camp having single beds and fitted wardrobes. These were soon to go; a programme of alteration was to carried out to convert hundreds of fitted wardrobes to enable two-tier beds to be installed. Other tasks which were attempted by this small party were the transporting and rigging of extra beds, bedding and other furniture, rigging up of offices, and the general cleaning of all quarters and provisioning ships stores.

The S.S. STIRLING CASTLE arrived at Brisbane, on March 27th, after unloading the first echelon of TAMY I personnel. TAMY I was transported to Archerfield airport, on the outskirts of Brisbane, the same day where it was commissioned as HMS NABSFORD, Royal Naval Aircraft Maintenance Yard Archerfield. Rocklea Camp was the administration and accommodation base of TAMY 1, aircraft operations were conducted at Archerfield airport and Kerry Road.
The Air Yard' comprised of several sites in the city, not all were close to the airfield:
Airfield facilities at Archerfield

Erection, inspection & repair, air radio and air gunnery workshops at Kerry Road, Archerfield,
Engine & ancillary workshops at Rocklea Factory
Workshops for the reduction of airframes to spares and produce at Benedict Stone Works,
Airframe parts and engine store at Runcorn
Accommodation at Rocklea Camp.

One of the main problems facing TAMY I was transport; owing to the dispersed nature of the ‘Yard’ large numbers of personnel needed to be ferried to and from their accommodation to their places of work. Aircraft erection, airframe inspection and repair, air radio and a part of the air gunnery workshops were situated at Kerry Road, Archerfield airport, about 2 ½ miles from Rocklea Camp and 3 miles from Rocklea Factory. Later site acquisitions like Benedict Stone Works were 5 miles away across the city.

It was clear that arrangements for flying would be limited, Archerfield was a busy civil and military aerodrome; flights were restricted to maintenance test flying, routine storage flights and aircraft ferrying. Initially, TAMY I set up its own flying control alongside that of the civil control in Archerfield control tower but this system was abandoned as the volume of naval flying grew. Civil control of all flying was adopted and a naval flying control officer acted as liaison.

By far the greatest difficulty encountered by the TAMY upon its arrival in Australia was the complete absence of ground equipment and air stores. Much of this was to be issued from local stores; the rest was still en route from the UK on the slower transport ships. Work commenced using borrowed stores and equipment, loaned from the Department of Aircraft Production, Royal Australian Air Force and American sources, together with some local manufacture of parts. The spares shortage was so severe that engine overhauls could not be undertaken for several months, parts requiring complete replacement on overhaul simply did not exist in Australia at that time. Another problem was the carrying out of essential constructional work; the partitioning and fitting up of workshops and offices and large items such as the building of stop butts, without which no air gunnery testing could be carried out. All of these works were scheduled to be carried by the Allied Works Council, but their work programme was so far behind schedule it would be months before anything would be started, therefore manpower and resources from the unit were utilised to put these projects in hand. An air to sea firing range was also established in Moreton Bay.

The original monthly output for which TAMY I was complemented called for 15 major inspections, 25 minor inspections (and modifications), 25 aircraft erections, and 25 engine overhauls; the need to divert manpower to construction works coupled with equipment and spares shortages resulted in only 4 Corsairs being erected by the Ait Yard, 3 Expediters were erected by a civil firm at Archerfield with assistance from ratings from the Yard. From June, the reduction to spares and produce of category Z (beyond repair) aircraft sent back from the forward area was added to the Yard's tasking;. to facilitate this new function additional premises were acquired at the Benedict Stone , about 7 miles from Rocklea Camp, and fairly convenient for access to the wharves.

On June 1st 1845 Naval Air Squadron was reformed at Archerfield as a single seat fighter squadron, equipped with 24 Corsair IVs. The squadron was to move to the newly established MONAB 6 at Maryborough on the 23rd. June’s programme called for 10 Seafire III & 40 Corsair IVs to be erected together with 5 Corsair II & 1 Corsair II TR for minor inspections. Performance figures were 0 Seafire III, 24 Corsair IVs erected, 5 Corsair II & 1 Corsair II TR inspected. No Seafires could be assembled due to there being none available for erection until late in the month. The Corsair IV figures were affected by 11 engine changes becoming necessary through sand-contamination, and also by lack of electrical spares. The minor inspections required more work than normal, the Corsair II aircraft having suffered considerable corrosion before arriving at Archerfield.

Early June saw the completion of the stop butts at Archerfield undertaken by Yard resources. Later in the month three large stores were acquired at Runcorn, about 6 miles from Rocklea Camp and 4 from Kerry Road. These were to provide an airframe parts store, an engine store and a general store; this acquisition resulted in the building of a 20,000 sq. foot store at Kerry Road being cancelled.

The beginning of July 1945 saw Commander Rogers-Tillstone promoted to the rank of Captain on the 1st, and the Flag Officer Naval Air Pacific (F.O.N.A.P.), Rear Admiral Portal, visited the station on the 8th; Admiral’s Divisions were held, and the Admiral addressed the ships’ company, praising their efforts and predicting that TAMY I could expect to be on station for at least another year.

Early July saw the conversion of a building at Archerfield, acquired from the R.A.A.F., into a Test Flight Office, and a Maintenance Test Flight was set up as a separate entity under the Senior Test pilot. The ground crew consisted of ratings who had by now gained valuable experience of test flying snags. In July an attempt was made to recover the shortfall in Seafire production. Targets were; erections - all available Seafire III - up to 25. & 25 Corsair IV, perform minor inspections on 15 Corsair II. Performance was only 9 Seafire III & 25 Corsair IV erected with 11 Corsair II inspections, 1 Engine change and 1 Avenger (major Inspection). A further hold-up in the Seafire erection line occurred when a batch of crated airframes were received with unmatched mainplanes. Uncompleted Corsairs resulted from stores being unobtainable.

From August 10th the site at Archerfield was shared by MONAB VII, HMS NABREEKIE; this unit was outfitted as a Forward area Receipt & Despatch Unit but no operational location had been assigned prior to its arrival in Australia, it was decided to operate it alongside TAMY 1 at Archerfield until being called to the forward area. 300 ratings of started work at Kerry Road; this resulted in some disruption while they were introduced to the stage system in use for aircraft erection. These additional ratings were integrated into the TAMY I gangs, and in some areas took over from them. Victory over Japan (VJ) Day was announced on August the 15th and this was celebrated in Brisbane the following day in Australia this was referred to as VP or Victory Parade Day. August also saw the introduction of the new Seafire Mk. XV to TAMY I’s inventory, this month's programme called for 20 Seafire III, 5 Seafire XV, & 40 Corsair IV to be erected, with 10 Corsair II & 5 Corsair II (T) for minor inspections. Performance figures were 9 Seafire III, 0 Seafire XV, 23 Corsair IVs erected, and I Corsair II & 1 Seafire inspected. Delays in Seafire production continued as in previous months, and Corsair output again suffered due to all Corsair IVs being required to be fitted with Gyro Grin Sights.

Work on engines was able to commence during September, none being possible during April to August apart from putting one or two engines through to test the lines and to practice the personnel concerned. Limited supplies of some outstanding spares became available in September enabling a few engines to be processed during the month. With the war against Japan now over, the numbers of replacement aircraft required for the British Pacific Fleet had reduced considerably, work shifted towards the stripping out of surplus aircraft and disposal of surplus airframes, engines and other equipment.

On October 15th the personnel and aircraft of 721 Naval Air Squadron disembarked from HMS UNICORN, having been evacuated from RNAS Ponam (MONAB IV) in the Admiralty Islands. The squadron, a Fleet Requirements Unit, was at Archerfield to re-equip before sailing to Hong Kong for operations with MONAB VIII at Kai Tak airport. The new equipment complement was 12 Vengeance Target Tugs, 6 Defiant Target Tugs, 9 Corsairs, 2 Avengers, and 1 Harvard. The squadron was to remain at Archerfield for the next two months preparing and testing their new aircraft.

On October 22nd Rear Admiral Portal flew into HMS NABSFORD and addressed the assembled ships’ company at Kerry Road; he told the men that TAMY I would be scaling down over the next few months but still had an important role to play, announcing that the newly arrived MONAB VII would be paying off in early November to leave a much smaller ‘Air Yard’ to continue the repair and maintenance tasks which still existed. A week later the first 500 men from HMS NABSFORD were embarked on the S.S. STRATHENDEN for passage home to the UK.

On November 1st the three Sea Otters of 1701 Squadron ‘A’ flight arrived from RNAS Maryborough to prepare for embarkation in HMS STRIKER on the 4th, this unit was also bound for MONAB VIII at Kai Tak airport. MONAB VII, HMS NABREEKIE, was paid off on November 5th; many of the units’ technical ratings being absorbed into HMS NABSFORD, many for Mobile Repair Unit 3 (MR3), others were drafted to HMS GOLDEN HIND, RN barracks, Sydney, to await other postings.

721 squadron embarked in HMS SPEAKER on December 28th, this was to be the last Fleet Air Arm flying unit to operate from Archerfield. By mid February the ships’ complement had been reduced by two thirds, approximately 1000 men being drafted either home or to RN Barracks , Sydney; HMS NABSFORD & RN Air Maintenance Yard Archerfield paid off March 31st 1946 and the ‘Air Yard’ closed, one year and four days after the main body of TAMY I arrived at Archerfield.

 


 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

Drury, A.J., (2000 - 2014) 'The MONAB Story' - A history of the Mobile naval Air Bases of the Royal Navy.

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

6676/45 Mobile Naval Air Base Np.VII (H.M.S. "Nabreekie") - Paying Off.

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

197/45 Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard No.1 - Date of Commissioning

3099/46 Transportable Aircraft Maintenance Yard No.1 (H.M.S. "Nabsford") Paying Off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 © 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


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