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02 - Stark Bay Radar Station - Radar Tower Base

Stark Bay Radar Station - Base

As expected, a somewhat extensive search of any possible keywords, including RAAF No 32 Radar Station and any related historical records, came up empty handed..

It appears that two radar stations was located on the island during World War 2. One being the location of these photos dubbed Stark Bay, seeing as the official name is unknown at this stage. The second being Radar Hill on the very west side of the island, although most online search results mention Cape Vlamingh instead. Furthermore, almost all search results/records focus on that far west location, rather than that of Stark Bay.

The Radar Station was formed on 16 October 1942 in Fremantle Port, before relocating to Rottnest Island on November 5th (1). The fixed radar installations were "tasked with monitoring aircraft movements and to provide early warning of enemy incursions".

A team of nine RAAF and 18 Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) personnel made up the No.32 Radar Station on the island. They disbanded in 1946.

Commanding Officers (2)

  • January 1944 - Flight Lieutenant R.M. O'Hanlin

  • 29 June 1944 - Flying Officer J.D. Balfe

  • 16 September 1944 - Flight Lieutenant R.M. O'Hanlin

  • 16 March 1945 - Flying Officer H.J.W. Williams

  • 4 June 1945 - Flight Lieutenant A.D. Lum

  • 20 October 1945 - Flight Lieutenant J.S. Flett

  • 24 January 1946 - Flying Officer J.S. Mekarry

  • 18 March 1946 - G. Schofield


1) Units of the Royal Australian Air Force: A Concise History. Volume 5 - Radar Units. AGPS Press Publication (1995), p.82

2) ibid, p.82

06 - Stark Bay Radar Station - Radar Office

Stark Bay Radar Station - Radar Office


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