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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. #211


    Last week between Xmas and New Year ~ Monday ~I tried some thing totally new ~

    On the Saturday I went to the Fun Park and as I relayed, I had a horror experience which I add I also found that just below my left knee I had either a horror bite or some sort of infection which swelled up to a nasty head before bursting and after some 4- 5 days, thankfully cleared up ~

    But I dropped around to visit my in-laws who were camped nearby. Of course I could not but immediately notice that an island had appeared in the middle of the dam waters ~
    So in conversation, my sister in law offered to lend me her kayak ~ Thus was an appealing idea as to do a recce and check out any potential `

    It was Monday before I finally decided to do a run out early and check it out before I started work at 16.00 hrs ~

    I got on site and readied to revive my kayak skills ~ with MD strapped over my back and pick and bottle of water , (not about to drink the dam waters, I tell you !) in the back pack ~ all else remained with the Brother in law ~

    (Garrett & pack over the back , the poop scoop and fugglies strapped to the back of the Kayak ! )

    So I set off ~ immediately I felt I was struggling and felt a bit like one of the returning to base Cockell-Shell heroes in a sinking canoe ~

    But I pressed on regardless ~ First up I could not even see the Island at all, as it is a low profile at this point, and no more than ½ metre above the water level ! So I aimed where I figured it was ~

    Sure enough I found it and even more so the smell ~ I landed on the north side ~ which is the down wind side ~ and has quickly become a haven for the bird life ~

    So ignoring the bird crap , the stench and obviously Bird lice ~ I set up and away ~ I noted the building foundations which I believe were the Military Bakery building during the war years ~ plus a strip of tar which was a road running right to the foundations and then veering back into the water ` An obvious supply road to the various camps ~

    But immediately I was rewarded with a variety of echoes and straight up a nice vintage brass button ~

    I spent around an hour as I promised Ms M to be back after few hours ~ and so headed back leaving the angry Plovers to their domain ~

    The trip back was quicker as I had a tail wind but seemed to be an even greater struggle ~ ¾ of the way back my sister in law Karen appeared in another kayak , but hers was a fibre glass boat ~ She insisted in taking my back pack despite the fact as I stated there was no weight in it ~

    When I finally hit solid ground she exclaimed that the kayak had to be loosing AIR ~ Oh THANKS Karen !!

    So a few hours well spent though despite minimumal rewards ~ I was well pleased with the Button ` The island may be worth further sweeping.. There is a dump site but at present it is on the typical bog/ quick sand side of the island would have to wait till the ground sets once exposed ~

    A curious item ~ No idea apart from being a miniature flag… ???????

  2. #212


    As a locksmith the long object could be a mortice key with the twist top missing ?
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  3. #213


    the long object could be a mortice key with the twist top missing

    Good call Aust~

    Thanks for the thought ~

    It looks more like a flag to me ?????

    Just a thought ~ as the Diggers in the war years were often into trench art maybe one has endeavoured t make a flag or such out a key ! (??)

  4. #214


    Quote by Australia View Post
    As a locksmith the long object could be a mortice key with the twist top missing ?
    As an other Locksmith, I don't think it is.

  5. #215


    In the state it's in it could be anything

  6. #216


    How about a can opener ?

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  7. #217


    How about a can opener ?

    LOL ~ actually that makes sense too ~

    The closest I think it is some sort of Trench art as it looks like a flags furl~

    - - ------- - -

    Sunday ~ Two of us fronted for a rendezvous time of 05.00 hrs for a MD outing in the back country ~

    We were on site at 06.00 and geared up for a specific target of a Pub or boarding house on the original B&W photo of 1890 ~

    Almost instantly we started picking up large numbers of fragments and 303 bullet heads ~ We knew the site was used for WWII training but the degree of WWII detritus is stunning by any measure ~

    But of course there is a lot of pioneer evidence ~ and occasionally produces a period piece. But frustratingly no coins or 19th century gems or such as yet ~

    This site is quite large and we figure we could spend weeks here ~ but it will require true cordoning off to meticulously work every inch~ and as the owner of the property said to me, the site has been worked pretty hard over the years and as always as a laymen feels the site has little to offer ~

    We worked our way to the river, deliberately pulling away from masses of mixed targets in pursuit of the specific build site ~ sharing space with the many March flies which escorted us with gusto ~ and as I neglected to apply the insect repellent ~ suffered a few bites ~

    I believe we actually found the site and I started to work the section methodical ~ I was progressing when the MD mate called up on the radio to suggest I might like to check out what he had found on slightly higher ground ~

    A 3 “ Mortar UXO ~ So I GPS tagged it and placed the rocks around the item ~ Then discussing the angle of the protruding fin and the possible firing position ~ The challenge being that the embedded ordinance angle is no true indication direction really ~

    To add confusion I found several Mortar capsule end caps which can be seen next to the fin! But we decided to check out the rise to the north ~ This took me away for m my primary target but as the rise was not overly severe we set off ~ but again only found frags and no evidence of a gun position ~ and pushed on to the western face which dropped down to the river bed ~ some 50-70 metres below ~

    Half way down my partner yells ~ “I got one!! It’s a big one!”

    He had found what I believe a 6 pounder solid AP round head ~

    We kept on but no more 6 lbers~ but almost at river lever we found an array of 2 pounder AP and Anti tank round solid shots typical of the area ~ I pulled out two then I started to dig a low echo not more than a metre away ~ in fact was quite aggression as I AS-Sumed it was yet another 2 lber ~ I quickly realised it was not ~ (Put it down to the sky rocketing temperature~ well that is my story ! ))

    Again I tagged the site ~

    By this time we ready for smoko and assessment of the morning~

    But as expected by 10.00hrs the temperature was really souring ~ and we decided to call it quits

    So we decided to do a drive further west before heading home ~

    Wild Brumbies ~

    So after an extended scenic drive we eventually returned to base around 14.00 hrs ~

    Four of The Seven Brothers Atherton Tablelands Far North QLD ~ Aust.

  8. #218


    Have just spent a couple of hours reading through all of your posts, it's a fantastic thread and very informative. Keep up the good work.

  9. #219


    Thanks ~ Trelawney

    I have still yet another post update after today~ and as I am on leave ~ Who knows what is happening by Sunday ~

    This post number two since Sunday ~ and another to come ~ Busy Busy ~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Well first official day of my leave and I decided to head to my Fun Park FNQ~

    As I worked along the shore line the hits came thick and fast ~ but as there was a wind blowing I was not prepared to wade in too deep after the last visit when I ended up with a nasty sore on my knee after the water flooded my boots ~

    There were no ski boats or jet skis as the exposed tree and stumps are pushing any even further out into the deep water ~

    I started hauling in numerous 303 Blanks ~ to the point of frustration ~

    But then an AUSTRALIA badge WITH retaining pin appears from the murky water ~ And that alone is VERY cool ~ A great find in itself ~

    Now we are a high ~ then it happened ~ I pulled up the Florin ~ At first I thought it was in fact a decimal coin !

    Some may recall last Saturday week back I found a small SS piece ~ and asked MD Spirits ~

    “Where is the rest of this!? “

    Well after finding a few more 303 blanks I picked up a real big signal ~ and blow me if I did not scoop it in two attempts ~ Being a 98 signal I was fully expecting a Slouch hat Rising Sun ~

    Then the rest of “ it “ appeared ~ and ~ And IT still works ~ Auto SEIKO !

    In fact I am planning on getting it serviced + a new “sports band” and Woo Hoo ~

    Straight from the slime, grunge, stench of the Fun Park dam ~

    Mystery Object ~ solid steel ~ in WWII Military trash heap ~

    Late in the morning I found a amazing AMF tunic button. Obviously the putrid soil bottom is a fantastic preserver of brass and coppers ~ I actually retrieved the button in the middle of the quick sand/ sludge section ~ very cautiously ~

    The small piece next to the 1/2 penny is intriguing with indentation on both sides.
    The pennies are amazing.. And the filth obviously protects them ~

    So a fantastic day blended with modern and excellent WWII and period pieces ~ The only downer was when the consul of my Garrett broke off the mounts ~ ( Removed and modified the rather sad pathetic mounts, enlarged the screws and strengthened the set ! )

    So all Good ~

  10. #220


    Well ~ Been a Hell of a week!

    Went Bush Sunday with “Ed” and Monday ~ The Fun Park FNQ ~ and again went bush yet again on Tuesday! Wednesday a day of rest ~ well ~sort of ~

    Thursday I joined forces with Paul R and his young boys for a recce which covered a bush walk along “Torpedo Bay” track near Tinaroo~ The weaterh was kind considering this is high Summer ~ Plus I am not super fit bush walker but the plan worked out well ~ and the walk was a good exercise in view my best hike boots are under repair and the boots I had did not work out ~

    The track starts where there is a registered WWII site ~ and the fact that the track title is puzzling Torpedo Bay ~ ?

    There was no lake or dam here before 1958 ~ and one doe s not have to be a Rocket scientist to realise that the track begins –or ends right on the camp site of WWII. There fore this would surely have been a WWII forced training route (some < 5 km> )

    I took along the MD but not a single echo resulted ~

    In this frame there are some 3- 4 different WWII registered sites! But what a view!

    Atherton Tablelands and “The Seven Sister/ brothers”.

    After descending to the car park we decided to have look at another potential camp site ~ but after several hours revealed nothing but a single Jack Knife clasp !

    By then time was marching on a I had not recovered anything but the clasp ~

    I suggested Paul might like to press on to another site he wanted to recce and I planned on some lunch and then a fossick ~

    I took a quick break and took in some of the dam before heading off again.

    The Island increases in size ~

    Good plan and paid off beyond my best hopes ~ The whole day turned into a long one by my standards ~ Immediately again I started pulled 303 rounds the difference right off the bat was that the first couple were live rounds rather the standard Blank!

    But then the targets started thick and fast ~

    I scooped a target under water ~ but when I walked it up the bank I emptied the contents but nothing but stones, dirty mud and a mussel shell~ but still a strong signal!? To my disbelief the echo came from the mussel!

    I spent some 2 ½ hours before calling it a day ~ and headed to base, a tad late ~

    The tally was quite respectable ~

    Now the challenge was that the Officer’s pip, the shoulder badge and even the Rising Sun were battle damaged so I decided to flame them and straighten them !

    As I was heating them I pushed them a little further and then lightly brushed them with the most amazing results ~

    All but the 3 pence were flamed!

    Under fluoro lighting ~

    In natural over cast light

    Then today Friday ~ after declining another outing with Paul and kids but later in the morning Ms M and I agreed to do a run together which is a rarity for her ~ We then arrived on first choice we found Paul and kids, but they were wandering off ~ We enjoyed the outing together but I kept it short for good public relations and we left after an hour.

    Paul and company still visible in the distance ~

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