RAAF 58 Radar Station, Paluma
- Radar/signal station
Lennox Crescent, Paluma 4816
RAAF 58 Radar Station (58RS) was formed at Camden NSW in August 1943 and arrived at Paluma in October that year.
The Australians replaced a US Army Unit, the 16th Platoon, Company E, 565th Signal Battalion, which had arrived in March 1942, and which operated an SCR 270 type portable radar unit, mounted on three trucks (for transmitter, generator, and aerial), at McClelland’s lookout.
58RS instead utilised four concrete igloos, two large and two small, which had been built at Paluma (within the loop of Lennox Crescent, south of the Mount Spec Road) during 1943 for an Advanced Chain Overseas (ACO) radar station that was not completed before the ACO program in Australia was cancelled in late 1943.
Four ACO stations were completed in Queensland: RAAF 209 at Benowa (demolished); RAAF 210 at Toorbul; RAAF 211 at Charlie’s Hill, near Home Hill; and RAAF 220 at Bones Knob, Tolga. These utilised the larger concrete igloos for housing the transmitting and receiving equipment, and the smaller concrete igloos for housing power generators. The operational ACO stations also utilised two tall timber towers, but such towers were not built at Paluma.
Instead, RS58 probably used a British Mk V COL (Chain Overseas Low Flying) transmitter/receiver set with an Australian tower and AW (Air Warning) Mk II type aerial. RS58 was operational from 30 October 1943, and was placed on a Care and Maintenance basis from 8 January 1945.
Two other Australian radar units also spent some time at Paluma. 342RS was present in February and March 1944; and 343RS operated from a site near 58RS from June to August 1944.
- National Archives of Australia, Item 1360297, ‘RAAF Unit History sheets (Form A50) [Operations Record Book - Forms A50 and A51] Radar Stations 54 to 61 May 42 - Oct 45’.
- Venn, L, 2002. Paluma: the first Eighty Years 1870s-1950s, Thuringowa City Council, Thuringowa Central.
- Smith, N and Simmonds, E, (eds), 2007. Radar Yarns. Radar Returns, Hampton, Victoria.
- Pearce, H, 2009, WWII-NQ: a cultural heritage overview of significant places in the defence of north Queensland during World War II. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.