In terms of Australian history, the township of Moruya has long been recognized for the quarry site which provided granite for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Underground Operations Building – No 11 Operational Base Unit RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Moruya established circa 1942
However as a coastal town, it also has a wartime history which placed it in the front line during the Second World War. Old time locals have known for years of the existance of a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base which sprung up during the dark days of 1942 and 1943. However new time residents may be surprised to learn that a system of old concrete bunkers exist in and around the modern day Moruya Airport.
Moruya & District Historical Society and the Moruya RSL Sub-Branch invite interested parties to join them for a FREE guided tour of the RAAF bunker system which are stark reminders of when war came to the south coast.
Concrete bunker of the No. 2 Bomb Dump – No 11 Operational Base Unit RAAF at Moruya established circa 1942
This tour offers unprecedented access to all four concrete bunkers which are home to certain community or sporting groups within the Eurobodalla and are not normally open to the general public for casual inspection.
Your guide for the event is Military Historian Gary Traynor who only last month completed his 18th crossing of the Kokoda Trail. Gary is a former Assistant Curator and Tour Guide of the Australian War Memorial. He specializes in 1942 related history; in particular Papua New Guinea and the Malayan Campaign including the Thai Burma Railway. He also is a historian for a number of tour companies and leads guided tours to Gallipoli and Kokoda.
As stated, this event is FREE and open to the general public. It is a ‘walking’ tour and will follow the 11am Remembrance Day Service at Moruya hosted by the R.S.L. Sub Branch. (NOTE: The Moruya Remembrance Day Service commences circa 10.30am on Saturday 11th November 2017. Please consult your local newspaper for further details or contact the Moruya RSL Sub Branch).
No 11 Operational Base Unit RAAF (Moruya aerodrome) circa 1943 AWM photograph P02393.007
Participants will attend the Moruya & District Historical Society ‘War Room’ (85 Campbell Street Moruya) after the Remembrance Day morning tea and the tour will commence from there around 12 midday. Your own vehicle transport will be required from the Moruya Museum to the airport precinct.
This is a rare opportunity to inspect all four RAAF bunkers and is a local event in recognition of the 75th Anniversary of 1942 when war came to Moruya.
ITINERARY:- Saturday 11th November 2017
- 10.30am – Moruya RSL Sub Branch Remembrance Day Service. Citizens and ex-service personnel gather to recognize the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month. LOCATION Moruya RSL Hall, Page Street Moruya (followed by a small morning tea)
- 11.30am – Moruya & District Historical Society ‘War Room’. See local relics and displays relating to the wartime military service of citizens from our district during two World Wars. LOCATION Moruya Museum 85 Campbell Street Moruya.
- Circa 12.30pm – Visitors make their own way to Moruya airport precinct. All interested parties will temporarily meet at the turn off to Moruya Race Course (Jockey Club turnoff) Donnelly Drive, Moruya (off George Bass Drive – North Head Moruya).
- Circa 12.45pm – Bunker # 1 (currently operated by Moruya Pistol Club)
- Circa 1.10pm – Bunker # 2 (location of Moruya Surfair Speedway)
- Circa 1.30pm – Bunker # 3 (location centre grounds of Moruya Race Track – Jockey Club)
- Circa 2pm – Bunker # 4 (location swampland north of Moruya Race Track) NOTE that access to this point is generally 4WD required. However access via a walking track is possible. Visitors may be required to leave vehicles a short distance from this location.
- Stout walking shoes essential.
- Sun hat and outdoor style clothing highly recommended.
- Water and snacks to be provided by you.
- Own transportation to and from Airport precinct required.
CONTACT:- Gary Traynor ph. 044 969 2401 for further details email firstname.lastname@example.org
Moruya Museum Campbell Street. The starting point for the free guided tour ‘When War Came to Moruya’.
Huon Hassall or David Montgomery – Moruya & District Historical Society
PLEASE NOTE:- This is a free event hosted by volunteers as a community service to promote the local history of Moruya. The intent of this event is to recognize those servicemen and women who served at Number 11 Operational Base Unit and Number 17 Radio Direction Finding Station. The grounds upon which participants will walk is rough in some places and pose a minor hazard. Participants will enter these enclosed lands at their own risk.
NSW Office of Environment & Heritage
Australian War Memorial
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