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Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery

Article about: Hi Blokes ~ I am posting this as an going blog for interested parties that have been following my fossicking of (extensive) WWII ~ Far North Qld Australia . This area has been described in r

  1. #141


    Monday ~

    Bill and I returned to the site with an expressed purpose of evaluating the suspect UXO~

    Warm already at around 22 deg ~ Easy trip, he used the back road and Bill showed me SO MANY Gun sites I am flooded with information ~

    MAN! Has this bloke done some leg work over the years ~

    A 155 MM Gun pit ~ “scratched out by hand!” ~

    A lonely fox hole on top of a ridge ~ unmistaken ~

    Such DRY~ Hot ~ rugged country ~ How these blokes found the stamina to stick it out is simply amazing...

    Perhaps a promise of more sites being exposed ~

    Intriguing potential trench art ash tray ? ~ ( 4.5" howitzer HE base )

    Excellent 25 Pounder ( base plate ) 1938

    Misc Fuze pieces

    Severely indented 4.5 " howitzer shell ~


    Additionally ~ I finally pulled the first test artillery shell out of the Vat containing Molasses ~ the result is absolutely spectacular ~

    Removed.. brushed and hosed to remove the residue ~

    Truly amazing result

  2. #142


    Amazing area alright,super finds as well!

  3. #143


    could you please tell me more about this "Vat containing Molasses"?

    Color me interested...

  4. #144




    The deal is 9 parts water to 1 part Molasses ~

    You can go 7:1 ~ Works great on steel or Ferrous metals and also cleans up brass etc ~

    MONITOR the progress ~ as it can simply dissolve the piece but takes as long time ~ I had the 4.5 under for two weeks ~

    DO NOT put high carbon pieces in for long periods... crankshafts, engine blocks etc as it will destroy them !

    It will not remove heavy encrustations ~ Just keep an eye on the progress ~

    Try Googgling cleaning metal and brass with Molasses a big help too ~ ( And if it does not work for you, you can EAT IT!

    LOL )

  5. #145


    So a quiet yesterday ~ Wedensday ~ that is if you consider an appointment to do my 2013 Tax, race around and a list of business and home again by 12.30 to pack up and out for a reasonable period of afternoon MD!

    Being over cast it was a bit cooler day ~ Arrived on site about 13.45 ~ Straight up the internal speaker on the ATP failed@ Fortunately I had the headphones on board and they worked fine ~

    As I am wading I put on the rubber boots and gaiters ~ the less I even touch thsi water the better for me ! It is rank and a Blue Green algae warning is current ~

    After about 45 minutes I was getting very frustrated with the lack of results ~ But then the Game was on!

    First up ~


    Very tidy just a tad shabby after 60-70 years under mud and slime ~

    This quickly followed in very close proximity by a 2003 5 cent ~ no accounting for bed fellows ~ but again in the "Two Up School " region~

    Still no Florin/s~

    And that was just the start ~

    Seemed I could do no wrong ~ ( all amazing considering I left my Poop scope home AGAIN ~ AND even more.. the speaker it he Garrett appears to gone belly up~ I had the headphones on the car so that worked fine ~ But then the shitty putrid mud bottom started giving corrupted signals ~

    So I based my targets on read out and ignore the iron signals ~ even the muddy bottom actually physically bogged me a number of times !

    (Boy what we do for the love of a relcs and history ~)

    This I confirmed when I got home and the MD worked perfectly ! So have to look at the speaker issue !)

    The bottom in the water got so back I was actually bogging ~ And when I scrapped the bottom up it was black and putrid.. so iwa s not keen to reach into the water ~ and scrapped only as far as the Garrett Pick would reach ~ and drag the target up the bank ~ A tedious process ~ but it was working..

    One point about this black bottom .. it preserved the badges.. again this one has the original Blue still on it after 70 years ~

    Then it got even better as I think I found two “Hanging trees” as the targets just got stronger ~

    ( I call a rest / shade tree a "Hanging Tree" purely for the want of a suitable name for a tree soldiers in the 1940s might have rested under in the cool of the afternoon, as the goodies always are strongest on the eastern side of the tree.!)

    Basically the clock rang out on me ~ and with HEAPS more targets ~ and I pulled up at home at 17.55

    But what a fantastic few hours ~ day ~

    Five pennies icluding 2 * 1942s and a 1943 ~ found another one missing from the shot in the camera bag!!

    Two half pennies 1942 & 1943One 1939 shilling 1* 5 cent ~ 1 1928 Threepnce

    Two Rising Suns or as been suggested of recent ~ they are not Rising Suns but "Brandishing rifle barrels and bayonets" ! (??)

    One cut out centre of a two shilling coin ~ as M said.. “ And the outer was turned into a ring !??”

    (It has also been pointed out that that this was not a Florin but a 19 century UK two shilling coin. This I have yet to confirm ~ based on the coat/ Crest of arms (??)

    Is this as close as I get to a Florin!??

    Plus four 303 barrel cleaning rods ~ again thsi area despite the putrid under water conditions ~

    (Well ~ Sammy reckons they are ALL PRETTY Cool!)

    Strange bed fellows!

  6. #146


    Well ~ On leave at present and teamed up for a very early start of Saturday and head to the back country, and the AIF WWII training ground leaving home at 04.30 and despite a 40 kmh drive because of heavy fog , arrived at "Ed'd place' at 05.05.

    We headed off at first lght to arrive on site at 06.00 ~ rigged up and on the beat by 06.15.

    We worked to a plan and headed over Hill 101 which tops put at 800 plus M from start point of 650 m ~ and heavy going, we followed what is/ was a pioneer mining pack horse track ~ amazingly we found what we believe were artillery pads at the end of the very rough track ( which as been maintained even today ~) The pads were roughly at 750 M ~

    And another 50 M plus to the top ~ but what a view! And to think the pioneer miners hacked shafts and tes tpits in this area ~ Then in WWII this entire area was a taining ground for ground troops ~ artillery, mortars and ground support ~ plus dive bombers and air to ground fighter bombers ~

    Mining test digs circa 1870

    We skirted the high ground and slowly worked our way back to base camp ~ a mountain trek of soem 3 hours ! monitoring areas with way points and numerous GPS tags ~

    We found a camp site and I retrieved these tabacco tin lids ~ a bit sad but still ~

    After a rehydration ...and a Smoko ~ we headed out again ~ North ~

    Ths area proved to be an entrenchment and training area with many indications of individuals with bullet shells ~ dug outs, fox holes.. mess detritus and rubbish, even discarded beer bottles ~

    A redoubt position skirted by pickets to accommodate Garnet wire ~

    An accumulation of spent shells ~ ( I suspect our mate Bill ~ who confessed to accumulating stock piles and inert shells and neglecting to return ~ he was focused on UXO and their disposal! )

    I took my MD this time and this revealed some great items including some of the fuzes and one of my favorites ~ a boot heel stop ~ which I feel predates WWII and in fact dates bacto the mining days as it has a manufactures name ~

    But by 12.00 the temperature has rised severely and we had enough so pulled the pin and headed home ~ Yet another good day ~

    Today Sunday was another day and I decided around 11.30 to head to the local WWII camp site where I have been working ~

    The dam level has again dropped as famers drain water from the dam ~

    It was not quite as foul as Weds and there were many skiers and swimmers in presence ~ Sorry not for this puppy !

    Despite the lower waters ~ the scores were few and far between ~

    But I pulled up a section of copper piper and actually discarded ~ but thought secondly about it as I have a theory of .. “Don’t discard anything till you get it home and check it out “ ~

    Plus I scored a few copper coins ~ and another Primer Flash tube ~

    It was not until i got home I realsied that I had pulled up a 1906 UK Bald head penny , worn but in nice shape ~ (oldest coin to date !)

    But I also retrieved the "copper" tube as I looked at it with intrigue!

    It did not look quite right and had one end sawn off ~ It is Brass~

    When I got home I tried the Armour piercing round 2 lber I have ~

    And further more I checked the length specs on a 2 lber ~ < 11.99 " > ~ and guess what ~ even allowing for the sawn off end ~

    I also picked up a perfect bottle in the camp site ~ a rare score in Australia these days

    So what was a slow day turned out very cool ~

  7. #147


    Fantastic finds as always!

  8. #148


    Thanks Sean

    I will clean up the 2 lber head and the case remnant and post when done ~ should be the business eh ~
    Like the 4.5"

    Here it is now I have buffed the fuze up a little more ~

    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 11-18-2013 at 12:09 AM.

  9. #149


    So astounding that it came up to that condition after laying in dirt for so long,be great to see the 2pdr!

  10. #150


    Well after missing the recce yesterday to the back country training area ~ and seeing what a great day the boys had I was pumped to get out today ~ Sunday ~

    And sure enough the weather was good to me too ~ ( as the Dry season here is over whelmed by the Wet season which means ~ rain and catchemnts being refilled and burnt out country regrowth surging once again ~

    I headed to a whole new area which I have been watching for yonks but have not been there since the Dry has taken away the water levels ~

    As usual started out slowly ~ I have a theory on this site is listed as a WWII AIF encampment listed ~ but I reckon the listing is wrong ~

    A beautiful area ~ the water was clear and the sand varied from coarse to classic beach sand ~ pity the water is rank !

    While a few hours sweeping revealed some 2" mortar frags and 303 detritus ~ I was quite surprised by what the day bought forward.. including an even greater surprise than anticipated ~

    Nothing quite like variety ~

    First 50 cent coin ~ * 2 even !!

    Frags * 2

    303 bits * 3

    14 Sinkers ~ including an unusual one ~ captured the Sinker market ~

    1 * unusual bottle cap ~ “Sail and Anchor”

    1 * Dollar Goldie ~

    3 * 10 cents

    1 very sad 5 cents

    1 * Group A touring car

    Four very different blanks !!!

    The challenge is ~ they are all brass ~ I figured 7.62mm blanks from the 60's were plastic bases ~ ????

    ( Are these a rear event ? Being brass ~ )

    So an intriguing find and totally unexpected ~

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