During WW2 there was a quarry in
Bankstown Bunker after the fire
The two and a half story underground bunker was up and running between 1945 and 1947.
Although a top secret bunker, many locals were aware of its existence. Local newspaper reports a tragedy of a 14 year old boy accidentally shooting himself in the head whilst playing in a RAAF sentry box in
Staff, who were often locals would have to take the train into the city, to catch a bus with blacked out windows. This bus would take them to the bunker, which, in some cases were a few streets away from where they lived.
During its short time in operation, Australian, British and US air services were based at the Bunker. The
The Volunteer Air Observers Corps were also based here, where ‘Spotters’ were used to plot the course of any plane, making comparisons with the pre-planned flight of each one. However the advent of radar made these jobs obsolete.
After the end of WW2 the bunker was closed and mostly forgotten about, until April 1971 when the editor of
The land was owned by the Federal Department of Housing, but after the Torch article they offered the land up to Bankstown Council. The council was undecided whether they wanted to take up the offer. Public debate was sparked up about what the Bankstown Council should do with the bunker. The most popular ideas were to turn it into a youth center and/or a museum.
However just four months after the 'rediscovery' of the bunker there was an arson attack. As the structure was timber lined and sound proofed with flammable canite, the destruction was devastating. The media blamed it on teenage vandalism, but could it have been set alight by officials who did not want the cost of turning the site into a youth center or museum?
The bunker now lies underneath war service homes turned private housing. Boulders on
Allegedly one of these war homes has a third door that leads to the bunker. I have also read that the entrance is in David Hoare’s back yard, although I am not sure whether he still lives there.
The light lock entrances have been filled with cement, but it is still possible to enter through one of the ventilation shafts.
I think it is a shame that such an important part of Australian war history has been left to be forgotten.
Where else in the world would something as significant as this not be celebrated? It’s almost typically Australian – it’s like, ‘so what?
Mr Hutton - Federal Member for Blaxland