HMAS Albatross was commissioned on 31 August 1948
The decision to build an airfield on the land now occupied by the Naval Air Station was taken soon after WWII was declared in 1939. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) occupied the new base on 7 May 1942 and was soon followed by the US Army Air Corps and the Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force.
In 1944, the British Admiralty directed forces to the South-West Pacific necessitating shore base establishments in Australia to support the Royal Navy and its Fleet Air Arm. RAAF Base Nowra was considered ideal because of its proximity to Jervis Bay, which was large enough to accommodate the entire British Pacific Fleet. The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm began operations at Nowra in late October 1944, and the base was renamed HMS Nabbington. In March 1946, the base reverted to RAAF control “to be retained but not maintained”.
In July 1947, the Commonwealth Defence Council approved the formation of a Fleet Air Arm which would be controlled and operated by the RAN. The initial planning included purchase of two aircraft carriers, aircraft and establishment of shore facilities. The carriers were named HMA Ships Sydney (III) and Melbourne (II), and the shore facilities were at Nowra.