24 February 2017
“I joined from Whyalla in 1942. The first thing I had to do was the six week course, to learn to march and to obey everything…and that was really full on.”
Before Patricia Dowling could start her Morse code course, she was told she needed to enlist. So on 30 November 1942, she enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force as an Aircraft woman, going straight to RAAF Wireless School.
While serving in Gawler, Patricia would have to send and receive a bench mark of 22 messages on Morse code before passing her course. After a message was completed, it was then sent to the ciphers for coding. When messages came in from Darwin and New Guinea, it was decrypted, sent to the teleprompter and sent immediately to Melbourne.