Theme: Military History of Port Stephens

Military History of Tomaree Headland

Port Stephens was a vital part of the Australian coastal defence system during the Second World War and became the focus of the Joint Overseas Operational Training School (JOOTS).

HMAS Assault


In June 1942, Port Stephens was chosen as the base for combined operations training in Australia because it offered good shelter from Japanese submarines and was sparsely populated with less than 200 people living in the area.

RAAF Catalina


The Catalina flying boat was one of the most versatile aircraft of the Second World War, and was operated by virtually every Allied nation in anti-submarine, air-sea rescue, patrol and minelaying/bombing roles. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) used more than 150 Catalinas between 1941 and 1945.


The Tomaree Museum Association Incorporated aims to develop a  regional museum and interpretative centre to document, protect and promote the history and changing natural environment of Port Stephens.



The Tomaree Museum Association acknowledges the Worimi people, the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters upon which Tomaree Museum stands. We should like to pay our respect to the Elders past and present, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website contains a range of material which may be culturally sensitive including records of people who may have passed away.

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