RAAF No.5 Postal Unit

1st Floor, Ryan House,

Supply facility
Brisbane City

233-243 Charlotte Street, Brisbane 4000

No.5 RAAF Postal Unit was formed in Brisbane in May 1943 to handle all RAAF or WAAF mail originating from the Queensland capital. A small RAAF ancillary unit, it leased an office in 'Ryan House' in Charlotte Street in the City. The increasing volume of mail caused the Unit to lease further floor space in this building in October 1944. The Unit remained at 'Ryan House' until disbanded in early 1946.


No.5 RAAF Postal Unit was formed on 20 May 1943. The Unit comprised three airmen under the command of Flight Lieutenant J.V. Marshall. No.5 RAAF Postal Unit occupied an office on the First Floor of 'Ryan House' in Charlotte Street in Brisbane’s CBD. It was a sub-unit of No.5 (Maintenance) Group Headquarters.

The Unit assembled and despatched all Brisbane mail that was addressed to RAAF units and personnel based in forward areas or overseas. It dealt with public or Postmaster-General (PMG) Department’s complaints of mail non-delivery and redirecting mail to any new theatres of war. Liaison was kept with the RAAF censors and the Commonwealth Government Censor (located on Second Floor of the Commercial Bank Chambers, 240 Queen Street, CBD). The No.5 RAAF Postal Unit office also sold stamps and postal notes to RAAF and WAAF personnel visiting Brisbane City.

On 9 August 1943, the Unit became part of the postal route between Sydney and Townsville that was serviced by civil flying boats that landed at the RAAF flying boat base on the Brisbane River at Hamilton. On 18 November 1943, Flight Lieutenant E.A. Harley became Unit commander.

Additional office space was leased in October 1944 due to the increasing volume of mail that was being handled. Approximately 10,940 registered mail items were received at 'Ryan House' in this month. Flight Lieutenant J.F. Deegan became Unit commander on 6 September 1944. Flight Lieutenant C.D. Foster replaced him on 13 November 1944.

The arrival of British Royal navy support units in Brisbane in January 1945 saw No.5 RAAF Postal Unit take responsibility for the British mail until the Royal navy organised its own postal service. The Unit disbanded on 18 February 1946.


Units of the Royal Australian Air Force Vol.9