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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. #221


    Is a very good thread mate , not my cup of tea , but unlike my fishing , you seem to catch something most of the time

  2. #222


    Love the clam shell, was expecting a pearl.......
    The Stainless frag ?? looks like the tip of a dinner knife

  3. #223


    Well what a week it has been ~ nine days off work and 7 days MD ~

    From Bush and back of the humpy to water wading ~ with some amazing results ~

    With modern and WWII finds the collections have increased quite a bit !

    Yesterday Saturday the rains finally arrived and this make me very uneasy as it means the dam water s may well increase ~

    So I headed over for a look and it turned out ~ as soon as I descended from what I call Malanda Heights to the lower ground the rain ceased and the actual dam site was dry as ~

    I hooked and once again wading and sweeping thoroughly ~ but a shower grounded progress for around forty five minutes

    But after few hours I finished the week with yet more great finds ~

    A little dejected as I had not seen any coins I headed back to the car parked on the high ground to avoid the risk of lane access as a result of rain I picked a single high tone of 85, along the bush walking track. A nice 1943 Three pence !

    But one is a little different to any others I have found ~ with the Off set mount pins ~ any suggestions ?

    But all items are as were found and toally molested this time ~

    So sadly a quiet Sunday before returning to the grind tonight ~

    BUT ~ bring on Wednesday when I plan another run for a few hours wading ~

  4. #224


    I had planned a two stage day after finishing work at 06.00 and after a Nanna nap and up again around 10,00 ~

    I had planned to hit the favourite Fun park around 11.00 hrs ~

    All went to sort of to plan when I left home base around 10 45 ~ but heavy road works and a failed specific purchase plan put me way behind the battle plan!

    Finally I teamed with Paul R and his two young blokes~ we arrived at the camp site well into the back of Tinaroo~ a completely new site ~

    The walk to the target was longer than we figured and the heavy grassed areas were hard going but the weather was on our side ~ with temperature being around 22 deg and heavy overcast ~ Perfect `

    But the area is fantastic with great scenery and bordered by heavy tropical rain forest ~ (that's where them Stinging trees like to hang out ! )

    NOW this ~ once was a great hanging tree and the evidence of WWII detritus around the base proved that indeed this former HUGE tree was the place to be after a hard day ~ The back ground was the target area and generally did not disappoint for a first time recce ~

    I can just imagine the troops relaxing after big day training on what was to prove to be afiring and rifle range on the flat beyond ~

    Once we reached the target area ~ Paul pressed on to find the objective ~ a long deep trench ~ (15 m long * 3 m wide * 3 m deep about) soon revealed it’s purpose purely by the amount of both live and expended 303 shells that littered the area ~ plus evidence of Mortar rounds ~ The trench was a firing / rifle range!

    I worked the shore line pursuing numerous spent and live rounds and evidence of both rifle fire and mortars Additionally we believe on good information that this areas was also use din 25 pounder training on to the hills in the back ground~

    Mean while I scored the find of the day ~

    A Shimano Calcutta 200 over head reel with a graphite rod complete with lure ~ lulling in the mud ~

    Then rain set in but we remained undeterred ~ but began the walk back to the car ~

    A very productive day ~ with a few WWII treasures and some excellent modern contemporary scores ~

    My total for the day ~ Love the bottle ~ it is a period WWII cork stop bottle ~\

    The reel works fine considering the amount of mud it was encased in!

    Again actually kept several live 303 rounds , one had been breach jammed , damaging the bullet ~ ( can be seen clearly middle of extreme left of frame )

    Plus a 3 “Mortar safety end cap – “Remove before firing”

    And a two 2” mortar aluminium fins ~

    Plus there was an abandoned or lost Cray / yabby pot also retrieved ~ Paul may well better use than me!

    I was disappointed not to make the Fun Park but it was a great productive day in a new site ~ with potential to return without doubt ~

    Any clues on the use ? I reckon a sauce bottle !

  5. #225


    Wow, you've got some great finds there mate!

  6. #226



    I was planning a day n but after a run to town to restock the larder I figured Sunday is a different plan and I wanted to test a wading access theory ~ So I headed out late and arrived on site in quick time ~

    Again the water has dropped noticeably.

    So rigged up and headed into the water ~ I had only been sweeping around 15 minutes when I noticed a tinny with two peeps aboard edging toward me ~

    We greeted and a father and son around 12 years old anchored the boat and jumped over board to wade in a engage in an extended conversation on metal detecting the WWII history of the Tablelands ~

    Neither Dad or son had any insight into the historical facts regarding an estimated 500,000 military and medical staff occupying the Atherton Tablelands from 1942 – 1946 ~ Australian and USA ~

    They never knew of General Macarthur and General Blamey competing on the Tablelands ~ or of the Rats of Tobruk residing after returning to Australia ~ or of Australians fighting the Vichy French in Palestine ~

    These blokes really took on some Australian military history ~

    Anyway they enjoyed their encounter and proved good company ~ The young was stoked to be returning to the boat with a cluster of inert 303 blanks ~ “Very Cool!!”

    Australian Troops train before General Macarthur and entourage~ Atherton 1943 ~

    So they stayed with me for some time and chatted before returning their tinnie and the fishing ~

    I extended my searching into slightly deeper water but seems picking were thin but good ~

    Four very nice coins ~ all pre-decimal ~ including three 3d and a 1943 ˝ penny ~

  7. #227


    In your previous post, the cap is for a No 151 or 161 fuze used on the 2 inch mortars. The 3 inch safety cap was for a No. 152 fuze which is much smaller than the 151 or 161.


    Forgot to say, the only difference between the 151 and 161 was the addition of a safety wire on the later mark, allowing for safe(r) air dropping of 2 inch ammo

  8. #228


    An interesting turn of events locally after this NEWS item appeared ~

    The point being that I was on this same emerging spit around two to three weeks ago ~

    But the water levels were a little higher [ Refer my post re; the Island,] ~ But my point here is that given the included photo was taken by the individuals that found the Mills, as I can see, the grenade is disarmed with no base screw and top screw (??)

    Which makes it a little sad as there is nothing more certain than the Military will simply DESTROY the thing !

    (As I did not report my finds of last year to the Media ~ i.e; the Mortar rounds *16 or the individual Mills grenades in the same area ~ this would seem a little less than~ )

    Grenade found by Cairns family fishing at Lake Tinaroo | Cairns Post

    A hand grenade, likely to have been from WW2, found by a local resident at Lake Tinaroo. Pic. Supplied Source: CairnsPost

    A CAIRNS family made an explosive discovery while fishing at Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tableland over the weekend.

    On Saturday, Bryan Walton and his family had pulled up their tinnie at an exposed sandbar to throw in redclaw pots when the father-of-two noticed a hand grenade.

    "I recognised it straight away, I've seen enough war movies to know what a grenade looks like," Mr Walton said.

    "It had that crocodile skin look on it ... it had a disk at one end and a pin-type arrangement at the other. My two boys were right behind me and I said 'boys get back in the boat and give me the camera'.

    "I took a few pictures and backed away from it, I didn't touch or poke it I knew how unstable these things are.

    "If the pin is rusted away there could be something that could trigger it and make it go off."

    The Edmonton resident called police immediately, returning to the sandbar, about 30 metres offshore, with an officer to obtain GPS co-ordin

    ates for the Australian Defence Force.

    Small ammunition technical officers were due to cordon off the area yesterday and destroy the device, which was believed to be a war relic.

    "There is a lot of World War II ordnance around the Tableland area; it's fairly common," Atherton police Acting Sen-Sgt Matt Duncan said.

    "They won't be able to make a judgment call as to whether it's live or inert until they get out there. But if it is live, they'll most likely try and remove it either to a safe location and destroy it or destroy in place."

    The Tableland was used extensively as a military training ground during the war.

    In December 2012, nine live grenades were found in a pit in the Millstream area, south of Ravenshoe.

    With hundreds expected at the popular Lake Tinaroo tourist attraction over the Australia Day long weekend, Sen-Sgt Duncan urged members of the public to contact police immediately if ordnance was found.

    "We ask for anyone who finds an item to leave it where it is and not to handle or touch it," he said.

    "It could be unexploded ordnance and then has the potential for serious injury or death."

  9. #229


    Wouldn't worry mate, looks live to me. The filler plug is in place as is, according to the finder's statement, the base plug. Not one you would want to take home.

    On a plus point, now you know where to look for nades

  10. #230


    now you know where to look for nades

    Yes well I am little surprised as this particular island spit is regularly exposed in the drier years ~ the dam is at 57% thus far ~ and I - we agree the way the Wet season is shaping up the water WILL be dropping a whole lot more ~ in fact it is going to be a very dry season ~

    And even four of us as a combined team cannot see how we can possible cover all the areas ~ One is retiring in 3 weeks but that won't cover it either ~

    But this entire region is essentially peppered with WWII sites ~

    But thanks once again for your input Steve ~
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 01-22-2014 at 03:47 AM.

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