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The Department of Air is a former Australian federal government department. Created on 13 November 1939 following the outbreak of the Second World War, it assumed control of the administration and finance of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from the Department of Defence. Following the war its functions were expanded to include responsibility for air defence as well as the organisation and control of the RAAF. The department was abolished by the Second Whitlam Ministry on 30 November 1973 when the single service departments were once again amalgamated, with its role assumed by the Air Office within the Department of Defence.[7]

Department of Air
Department overview
Formed13 November 1939[1]
Preceding Department
Dissolved30 November 1973[1]
Superseding agency
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
Department executives
  • Melville Langslow, Secretary (1939–51)[2][3]
  • Ted Hicks, Secretary (1951–56)[4]
  • Archibald Bertram McFarlane, Secretary (1956–68)[5]
  • Frederick Green, Secretary (1968–71)[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b CA 35: Department of Air, Central Office, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 29 November 2013
  2. ^ "Air Department Appointment". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 December 1951. p. 2.
  3. ^ Kingsland, Richard, "Langslow, Melville Cecil (1889–1972)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University, archived from the original on 25 April 2014
  4. ^ "Canberra has two new knights". The Canberra Times. 12 June 1965. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014.
  5. ^ "New Secretary Appointed For Air Department". The Canberra Times. 24 August 1956. p. 2.
  6. ^ "Promotion for air official". 17 May 1968. p. 3.
  7. ^ Dennis et al 2008, pp. 10–11.


  • Dennis, Peter; Grey, Jeffrey; Morris, Ewan; Prior, Robin; Bou, Jean (2008). The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (Second ed.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195517842.