Lowood Operations Building
- Civil defence facility
Rifle Range Road, Lowood 4311
A semi-underground reinforced concrete Operations building was sited on the north slope of Mount Tarampa overlooking the airfield from the south. This abandoned facility survives on private property.
RAAF Station Lowood was constructed in late 1941 for No. 12 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS). It was used by two USAAF fighter squadrons in early 1942, before becoming a RAAF Operational base (OB) for dive bombers.
The Operations building, sited on the north slope of Mount Tarampa overlooking the airfield, was about 35m by 7m and was camouflaged to resemble a farmhouse. The land was acquired around late January 1943, and three masts forming a triangle around the building are indicated on plans from April 1943. The site was about a kilometre drive south of the entrance to the airfield’s camp area. There was also an observation post near the summit of Mount Tarampa, reached by a gazetted easement which passed just to the west of the Operations building.
By mid August 1943 the Operations building was close to the back-filling stage, and by December that year it and the Transmitting building were reported as 95% complete. However, fitting out of the two semi-underground buildings was still occurring in early 1945. With the threat of Japanese air attack on Lowood fairly remote at this point in the war, there was probably no rush to complete such buildings. On 9 December 1943 a conference at RAAF HQ had in fact decided, regarding the Lowood Operations building, that “owing to the very dispersed location of this building it may be regarded a shadow operations signals building only” (for use only under conditions of enemy attack).
Main Roads Commission, Queensland, 1949. The History of the Queensland Main Roads Commission during World War II, 1939–1945. Government Printer, Brisbane.
Marks, RR. 1994. Queensland Airfields WW2—50 Years On, R and J Marks. Brisbane.
National Archives of Australia 774. RAAF Directorate of Works and Buildings - Engineer Intelligence Section - Lowood, Qld 1943
National Archives of Australia 171/56/10 Part 2. DWB [Director of Works and Buildings] - RAAF Lowood Qld - Aerodrome works, 1944-1947
National Archives of Australia 171/1/1493. RAAF Headquarters - DWB [Director of Works and Buildings] - Utilization of semi-underground buildings. 1943-1948
National Archives of Australia Z5. Lowood - Royal Australian Air Force [RAAF] site for VHF/DF [very high frequence/direction finding] transmitter site. 1942.
National Archives of Australia LS863. Lowood - Plan of Bomb Shelter Compound and Access on Resub. 3 of Sub. 1 of Portion 287, Parish of England, County of Cavendish.1943
National Archives of Australia QL618/1. Acquisition of land from Walter Utz. RAAF Order. Lowood Underground Operations Building. 1943-1949.
Dunn, P. Lowood Airfield during WW2
State Library of Queensland, John Oxley Library Photographic Collection.