History of the Rathmines RAAF Flying Boat Base

No. 41 Squadron

During the war a series of squadrons were set up which were to operate covertly along the east coast of Australia up to the islands. They were formed from the nucleus of other squadrons including No. 9 Squadron and No. 11 Squadron. Rathmines trained the majority of the men who filtered through into No. 40, 41 and 43 Squadrons.

No. 41 Squadron was formed from ‘A’ Flight of No. 33 Squadron in Townsville on 21 August 1942. Equipped with ex-Qantas Short Empire flying boats the squadron flew its first transport missions on the day it was formed.

These aircraft were returned to QANTAS in July 1943 and the Squadron operated Dornier Do.24k flying boats until receiving the superior Martin Mariner aircraft in early 1944.

Throughout the war No. 41 Squadron flew regular transport services from its bases in Townsville, Cairns and Rathmines between Australia and New Guinea and along the Australian east coast. The Squadron also carried out air sea rescue tasks using its flying boats and small ships and is credited with rescuing 150 people. No. 41 Squadron was disbanded in Cairns on 27 September 1945.