WWII Radar Station Bunker is Deteriorating

The WWII 13RS Doover bunker at Cape Otway, built in early 1942 and now housing the WWII RAAF Radar Interpretive/Interactive Exhibition, is currently seriously degrading with “concrete cancer”.

The WWII 13RS (Radar Station) Doover stands in the Cape Otway Lightstation precinct and is the responsibility of the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCPA). It is thought that the 13RS Doover maybe the only complete radar station structure from WWII remaining in Australia           

In 2023 GORCPA applied to the Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water for a Heritage Grant of $150,000 to fund the required rectification work on the structure of the 13RS Doover.

The rectification work is critical for the futures of both the historical Doover structure containing its original radar aerial turning equipment, as well as the WWII RAAF Radar Exhibition that it now also houses.

The Victorian RAAF Radar Association/Air Force Association Victoria RAAF Radar Branch formally supported the GORCPA Grant application and was also able to have similar letters of support provided by then Air Force Association President, Carl Schiller, and the RAAF Director General History and Heritage – Air Commodore Lawson, OAM.

In supporting the Heritage Grant for 13RS Doover, Air Commodore Lawson said, “13RS … remains an important reminder to current and future generations of a period when the Australian mainland came under direct threat from an adversary and of Australia’s ability to adapt and apply world-leading technologies to help counter that threat”.

The decision on the grant application remains pending at time of publication (June 2024).

Find out more about the the 13RS Doover Bunker on our website.

PLEASE NOTE: Air Force Association members are encouraged to visit the 13RS Doover WWII RAAF Radar Interpretive/Interactive Exhibition situated within the Cape Otway Lightstation precinct of the Great Ocean Road National Park. AFA members and their guests are entitled to a 50% discount on the entrance fee for the entire Cape Otway Lightstation precinct (upon presenting their AFA badge).

Did You Know?

It is possible the term ‘Doover’ may have come from WWII radar personnel who were sworn to maintain secrecy around WWII radar, and referred to a radar station as the ‘Doover’ – possibly derived from the old Aussie slang ‘Dooverlackey’.

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