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Royal New Zealand Air Force



The air-warning system depended primarily on plots from the radar stations. In a COL station these plots appeared as bright spots of light on the plan position indicator, which was covered by a gridded map in perspex, the centre of which represented the radar station. The number of aircraft and their exact range could be checked on what was termed the A tube. A COL team normally comprised four persons: a PPI tube observer, range tube operator, converter, and recorder. The usual procedure was for the observer to pass the plots to the filter room, where plots from various stations would be co-ordinated by experienced filter officers. The plots were then passed to the operations room.

In the operations room the plots were recorded on a large table similar to that in the filter room, and above this table sat the controller, normally an Air Force officer, with a Navy and an Army officer. The controller was responsible for alerting squadrons when hostile aircraft were detected by the radar units.

During 1942 two operations rooms were built, one at Auckland and the other at Wellington. Although no attacks were made on New Zealand by enemy aircraft or vessels, the radar organisation when it was established was responsible throughout the rest of the war for maintaining a constant watch on all aircraft and shipping within the area under its control.