The beginnings of the secret Australian radar countermeasures unit during the Pacific War

  • Craig Arthur Bellamy

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU

    Abstract

    It is the aim of this thesis to show the significance of the early radar countermeasures (RCM) work done by the RCM Organisation during the Pacific War and how it laid the foundations for the future RCM unit called Section 22 which expanded on its initial RCM efforts. It will be shown that RCM during this time had definite Australian origins, starting with the RCM Organisation, which has not been previously acknowledged by other authors. Previous studies have generally portrayed RCM work based in Australia as being a US initiative with the formation of Section 22. This thesis provides evidence that early RCM work in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) during the Pacific War was not initially driven by the Americans, but was an initiative of Australia and other Commonwealth countries. The focus of this study is on the establishment and operations of the RCM Organisation which pre-dated Section 22. The obscure history of the development of RCM and the role of the RCM Organisation and then Section 22 are important missing elements in Australia’s military history.

    This thesis utilises primary sources such as military documents and personal files in various archives, as well as correspondence with veterans who served with the two RCM units to show the significance of the early radar countermeasures work conducted by the RCM Organisation during the Pacific War. This thesis redresses an obscure but important aspect of Australia’s military history in the development of RCM that was previously neglected. It provides evidence that early RCM work in Australia was driven by the Royal Australian Navy assisted by Britain’s Royal Navy with Australia in fact being the first to conduct RCM operations in the SWPA theatre and shows evidence of Australian initiative, ingenuity, innovation and determination in this field at a time when Australia’s future looked bleak.
    Date of AwardFeb 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorSteven Farram (Supervisor), Alan Powell (Supervisor) & Nathan Franklin (Supervisor)

    Cite this

    The beginnings of the secret Australian radar countermeasures unit during the Pacific War
    Bellamy, C. A. (Author). Feb 2020

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU