This Day in History: 1954-03-22

His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, opened the new RAAF Base Edinburgh near Adelaide, South Australia on 22 March 1954. The site of the base was acquired in 1940 and the Salisbury Explosives Factory was constructed in 1942. A small RAAF airstrip known as Edingurgh Airfield was also constructed. Construction of a new base was commenced in 1953, to support the Australian and British joint weapons testing and the long-range experimental firing range at Woomera. A Headquarters for the base was established the following January, followed by a Base Squadron in March 1955. The base supported a large number of British and Australian personnel as well as RAF and RAAF aircraft of diverse types involved in the weapons trials. The base was used by a small detachment to handle Bristol Freighters and RAF Hastings transports operating into Woomera, along with elements of 1 and 2 Air Trials Units. Source: RAAF