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Australian Flying Corps - PLEASE READ DESCRIPTION Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 07/25/2021
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Geocache Description:

This is a very busy road during the week with road trains, wide loads and workers going to and from work.

All efforts have been made to ensure enough room to pull off the road safely with caravans but, it was not always possible.

We hope you enjoy the drive.


The Australian Flying Corps (AFC) was the branch of the Australian Army responsible for operating aircraft during World War I, and the forerunner of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). The AFC was established in 1912, though it was not until 1914 that it began flight training.

On 30 December 1911, the Commonwealth Gazette announced that the Australian military would seek the "...appointment of two competent Mechanists [sic] and Aviators", adding that the government would "accept no liability for accidents". On 3 July 1912, the first "flying machines" were ordered: two Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 two seat tractor biplanes and two British-built Deperdussin single seat tractor monoplanes. Soon afterward, two pilots were appointed: Henry Petre (6 August) and Eric Harrison (11 August).

On 22 September 1912, the Minister of Defence, Senator George Pearce, officially approved formation of an Australian military air arm. Petre rejected a suggestion by Captain Oswald Watt that a Central Flying School be established in Canberra, near the Royal Military College, Duntroon, because it was too high above sea level. Petre instead recommended several sites in Victoria and one of these was chosen, at Point Cook, Victoria, on 22 October 1912. Two days later, on 24 October 1912, the government authorised the raising of a single squadron. Upon establishment the squadron would be equipped with four aircraft and manned by "...four officers, seven warrant officers and sergeants, and 32 mechanics" who would be drawn from volunteers already serving in the Citizen Forces.

On 7 March 1913, the government officially announced formation of the Central Flying School (CFS) and the "Australian Aviation Corps". According to the Australian War Memorial, the name "Australian Flying Corps does not appear to have been promulgated officially but seems to have been derived from the term Australian Aviation Corps. The first mention of an Australian Flying Corps appears in Military Orders of 1914." Flying training did not begin immediately, though, and it was not until 1914, that the first class of pilots were accepted. No. 1 Flight of the Australian Flying Corps was raised in the 3rd Military District on 14 July 1914.

In March 1914, a staff officer, Major Edgar Reynolds, was officially appointed General Staff Officer in charge of a branch covering "intelligence, censorship, and aviation" within the Army's Department of Military Operations. Following the outbreak of World War I and the expansion of the Army, aviation later became a separate branch commanded by Reynolds. However, during the war, AFC operational units were attached and subordinate to Australian ground forces and/or British ground and air commands. Reynolds' role was mostly administrative rather than one that involved operational command.

After the outbreak of war in 1914, the Australian Flying Corps sent one aircraft, a B.E.2, to assist in capturing the German colonies in northern New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. However, German forces in the Pacific surrendered quickly, before the aircraft was even unpacked from its shipping crate.

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