This is an interesting advertisement from The Murchison Advertiser dated 10th July 1942.
“AIR OBSERVERS POST MURCHISON
PERSONS willing to act as air-spotters at Murchison are requested to get in touch with the chief air-observer, J. G. Kenny or E. Hammond, hon. Secretary.”
During World War 2, the Volunteer Air Observers Corps (VAOC) was formed in 1941 and recruited volunteers who were engaged in spotting aircraft overhead and relaying the information to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). 2,800 Observation Posts were established across Australia staffed by volunteers who were required to report any aircraft seen or heard and reached a strength of 24,000 staff. Training courses equipped the volunteers to recognise all types of aircraft, markings, friend or foe, estimate speed and direction of flight and if an aircraft was in any difficulties.
In Murchison, the observation post was set up at the Fire Station, then located in the Riverbank Gardens close to the bridge as there was a telephone available that volunteers could use to relay their observations to the RAAF. Binoculars were issued and as soon as an aircraft was heard overhead, the staff on duty would scan the skies and identify the aeroplane and details, then report their observations. Apparently there was a reasonable volume of air traffic over the town at this time, mainly flying to and from Tocumwal, where there was a very busy aircraft training base; at one point 7000 Americans were based there.
The Murchison Observation Post was staffed night and day by locals, both men and women. The VAOC was disbanded in 1946 as the war drew to a close.
Kay Ball, President, Murchison Historical Society