Wednesday, May 18, 2005

This date in history: 1 CSWG took over operations in Darwin

On this date in history, 18 May 1945, 1 Canadian Special Wireless Group took over operations at McMillan's Road Camp in Darwin, Australia. Numbering 325 personnel all ranks, 1 CSWG operated at Darwin from 30 April 1945 until 11 October 1945, working at first in conjunction with the Australian Special Wireless Group before taking over operation of the station.

Operators at work at McMillan's Road Camp
Photo by Don Vaughan-Smith courtesy of Jim Troyanek

The unit intercepted approximately 1200 messages (70,000 code groups) a day, forwarding the traffic to the US-Australian Central Bureau in Brisbane, and later to Manila. A number of members of 1 CSWG's Intelligence Section also worked at Central Bureau and/or Manila during the unit's time in Australia.

By all indications, the Canadians did excellent work. According to Central Bureau,
The Canadian Special Wireless Group at Darwin has been doing a magnificent job continuously in all its contacts with us. They have increased the totals of traffic copied, improved the standard of the teletype service, and turned in a much finer grade of traffic than we have ever before received from any other station. At the present time they are sending us between 1000 and 1200 messages daily over the teletype and the quality of these is such (90% accuracy) that results are about 20% better than those from any of our other stations.

Lots of additional information is available at Jim Troyanek's 1 Canadian Special Wireless Group page.

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