Following the promulgation by History and Heritage Branch of a name change back to RAAF Base Point Cook in May 2018, Commander Air Force Training Group (AFTG), AIRCDRE Glen Braz CSC, DSM has unveiled new badges and signage at the Base removing a duplication of RAAF Base Williams.
“In 1992, RAAF Base Laverton and RAAF Base Point Cook were consolidated as RAAF Williams Laverton and RAAF Williams Point Cook for ongoing estate management,” said GPCAPT Robert Coopes MBE, Director Air Force Heritage Estate and Centres.
RAAF Base Point Cook was the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force and acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and pays respects to its Elders, past and present.
It is the longest operating military airfield in the world and continues to operate as a military airfield.
RAAF Base Point Cook operated under that title from 1921 until 1992 and now operates under that title once more.
Number 21 Squadron operates the base and airfield under command of Number 96 Wing, Combat Support Group.
The RAAF Museum, a detachment of Number 1 Security Forces Squadron, and Australian Air Force Cadet Units call the base home.
Officially re-badged, the base entrance signs carry the original RAAF Base Point Cook Badges from the 1921 to 1992 era.
“This has been a collaborative effort with Estate and Infrastructure Group and local contractors to cut moulds and rebuild the badges for instalment at the front entrance to the base,” GPCAPT Coopes said.
Point Cooke was named after John M Cooke, a Ship’s Mate on board HMS Rattlesnake under command of Captain William Hobson, who brought Captain William Lonsdale to Port Phillip in 1836, to survey a site for a settlement from Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).
Although officially named Point Cooke, the last letter was dropped in common usage to Point Cook.
It was known officially as Point Cook as early as 1853 when pioneer grazier and horse breeder Thomas Chirnside took over the farmlands in the district and began to build his Point Cook Homestead which he occupied from 1857 to early 1920s.
In 1912, the Australian Government purchased 734 acres from George Chirnside at the bayside of Point Cook for the establishment of a Central Flying School (CFS) to develop military skills in flying machines.
The Australian Flying Corps (AFC) was formed at Point Cook in 1914 as part of the Australian Imperial Force.
Point Cook Airfield was established in 1913 and was the home of Central Flying School (CFS) and the AFC from 1913 to 1921. It was placed on the National Heritage Register on 29 August 2007.
The AFC Squadrons mounted from Point Cook for deployment to Mesopotamia and the Western Front during World War One when military aviation came of age as a military capability to shape the battlespace.
The base will be the focus for some celebrations of the RAAF Centenary 31 March 2021 and 13 August 2021.