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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. #231

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    Well~ Ten days a go one of my MD buddies and I embarked a totally new strategy by using his aluminium “tinnie” to access otherwise difficult sites.

    Several of these sites I have tried to access via the bush and rain forest and each time been defected by dense rain forest and even Stinging trees!

    We headed out mid morning to perfect conditions and a clam dam waters ~



    We visited four sites but around 14.00hrs the weather turned ominous and a storm threatened to blow in on the area so we headed for home base.



    The first sites left us short and wanting as there was little more than spent bullet shells. The third site was the firing range which I had visited on the Friday two days before ~





    Mine was a very sad outing in accounts to relics recovered ~ In fact the only relevant find I made was a standard WWII Military fork !



    The trench is heavily over grown ~ it is a firing range dug out/ trench with raised front bank ~ approx 20 m long * 3 m wide * 3 m deep! And includes an access trench ~

    I would assume that this is in fact a standard construction vie Commonwealth forces (?)



    The flat area on the opposite shore line to the left is in fact the site of a WWII Airfield ~

    But ironically I found a mystery piece which looked remotely familiar but after Ed suggested it may be a piece off a fuel burner stove I simply dropped into my unsorted relic drawer until I suddenly , once again found accidently ~ a centre tube for a Mills Bomb ~





    (At this rate of scores related I will have a sample Mills bomb by parts alone! )



  2. #232

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    So this past weekend Ed and were the only team members to front up for a “Back to the Start day” when we made an early start to the section where I first started out in January 2013 and found some excellent finds including dog tag/s and my very first live rounds ~

    The air was very heavy, still and very high humidity ~ but very pleasant all the same !



    Ed decided to head in the opposite direction to my self and I headed to the exact same area I started way back as the dam waters have dropped to 56%! And my persistence soon played out ~



    I radioed Ed to announce I had found once again the Golden Fleece of Australian Military MD ` A tad sad as Ed and the other three members of our MD team are yet to find their first!



    The very tidy 1/2 penny is a King George V 1929!~

    The razor head is the best / tidiest I have found to date !

    As I said to Ed ~ “I can give you one ~ but it will never substitute for the first one you find yourself !”

    As we pressed on the over cast skies and cool temps (But high humidity) began to clear and scorching temperatures began to move in!



    And you think that larger webbing buckle rang loud, that is an understatement ~ thought I had found another RS or a Florin!!


    No idea what the brass ring is, but it is very heavy ~

    We finally called it a day around 12.00/ midday ~ The temperatures raging up ward and a Scorching Sun was in fact heralding what was to come as now Tuesday ~ we are anticipating the arrival a yet to be declared Cyclone ~

    Severe winds and heavy rain !!

  3. #233

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    Sunday ~ 26th (Last week )

    I decided to do a short recce on a totally new site ~ The 2/ 117th Workshop and ordnance ~

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Collections | Australian War Memorial Video 2 / 117 Brigade Kiari
    http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F07326

    Activities of the Australian Red Cross and 2/117 Australian Infantry Brigade Workshops | Australian War Memorial

    The site was a short hike from where I parked of abound 1 Kilometre ~

    Finds were limited till I reached the eastern most point Then it was littered with metal and fragments of steel and the usual detritus ~

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As this is on the Tinaroo shore line I soon worked out that the actual camp site was located in the ' regrowth timber' above the high water mark ~

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I wonder if this fire place was part of the Kitchen in this mess !

    Click image for larger version. 

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    KAIRI, ATHERTON TABLELAND, QUEENSLAND. 1944-12-25. OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE MEN'S MESS SERVING THE OTHERS RANKS DURING CHRISTMAS DAY. 2/117 BRIGADE WORKSHOP AND ORDNANCE FIELD PARK PERSONNEL ATTENDED THE EVENT.

    So as I planned a short recce rather than I a full sweep ~ I was back home within a 2 1/2 hour visit ~

    I figure it may be a worth while revisit ~ But wil require a full blown Brush rig up with snake protection ~

    The strip has a serial number but I can only "raise" a 6 and an X.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Photos and Film courtesy of Aust War Memorial ~ Copy right expired ~

    Search | Australian War Memorial
    Search | Australian War Memorial

  4. #234

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    Another Friday ~ knocked off work at 06.00 hrs and headed for a Nanno Nap befoer rising and soon decided in view a failed (Thankfully) cyclone which headed south of us ~

    But still in fear of the late Wet rains arriving I headed out for a short MD sweep. i decided to work the site I found the latest Rising Sun for a thorough working over ~

    I spent some 2-3 hours working the site and then moved onto the Yacht club site next door ~

    I picked up a nice 1917 3d ~ and some decimal coins ~ and planning a short run I worked around the water line where I picked up a very ornamented wedding ring ~ So nothing flash although the 3d ~ now 97 years old is not to be scoffed at ~






    ATHERTON TABLELANDS QLD. 1943 07 02. A CASUALTY DURING A 2ND AUSTRALIAN CORPS DEMONSTRATION OF TANK AND INFANTRY ATTACK METHODS. THIS TANK HAS RUN OVER A STUMP WHICH HAS LIFTED THE TRACKS OFF THE GROUND. (AWM Copyright expired)
    I spent the day at home on Saturday ~

    Then today Sunday with more storms building and showers ~ I headed out with a plan ~ I started at my favourite area and with water levels still dropping I set into the waters ~

    As on Friday I decided to resume with the head phones despite the tropical Summer heat and humidity ~

    But I feel the head phones worked much more effectively ~ and despite a serious down pour I persevered ~ with some fantastic results in a two hour period ~



    Great 'Bed fellows' ~

    But a great short hunt ~




    I like the matching web buckle set ~ found separately ! ~ very cool set!

    The .50 cal is immaculate ~




  5. #235

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    Some local shots ~ (Very local as I/ we live on Glen Allyn rd ~ Malanda ~ FNQ) ~ photos taken during a training exercise November 1944 ~

    MALANDA , QLD. Australia

    1944-12-11. SAPPER C W SCHULZ, 2/6 FIELD COMPANY, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERS, (1), OPERATING A MINE DETECTOR AHEAD OF A C SQUADRON, 2/9 ARMOURED REGIMENT MATILDA TANK DURING THE ADVANCE ALONG THE GLEN ALLYN ROAD.

    THE TROOPS ARE ENGAGED IN THE FINAL ASSAULT AGAINST Lammins HILL AND THE CONCLUSION OF EXERCISE "RAMPANT".



    MALANDA AREA, QUEENSLAND. 1944-12-11. 2/4 INFANTRY BATTALION TROOPS USE BLANK AMMUNITION AND A 2 POUNDER TANK ATTACK GUN TO ENGAGE ENEMY FORCES DURING EXERCISE "RAMPANT". IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- LIEUTENANT E.J. LONG, (1); SERGEANT M. FYFE, (2).




    A LOCAL FARMER ON HORSEBACK STOPS TO TALK WITH D COMPANY, 2/14 INFANTRY BATTALION TROOPS USING HIS PROPERTY FOR AN ASSAULT AGAINST LAMOND'S HILL DURING EXERCISE "RAMPANT". IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- CORPORAL L. GIBSON, (1); SERGEANT HAROLD ALEXANDER PHEFLEY, (2); PRIVATE C. COATES, (3).



    Photos courtesy of Australian War Memorial ~ Copy right expired public domain~
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 02-05-2014 at 05:57 AM.

  6. #236

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    I may stand corrected but that tank does not look like a Matilda to me ...

    Looks more like a Cromwell ???

    But then I don't think they even had the Cromwell by early 1944 ?? Let alone ship a brand new model to Australia ~ Especially as there was an excess of Grants and Matildas which were redundant int he European theatre ..?

  7. #237

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    Nah, it's a Matilda. You can see the side panels covering the wheels on the right hand side. The turret is all wrong for a Cromwell and the central drivers position is Matilda.



    We wouldn't send our best tanks to you Aussies anyway!! Just the stuff that was obsolete......

  8. #238

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    We wouldn't send our best tanks to you Aussies anyway!! Just the stuff that was obsolete......

    At least you blokes never sent us any of those abomination Crusaders ~ or was itt he Valentine that was the disaster ?

    I guess if they were not going to work in the African deserts then it had buckly's chance in Ozz ! LOL
    Well the Matildas were a fine tank in the day ~ and besides the Japanese never really had any substantial tanks or numbers anyway ~ !

    Not sure about the Mailtdas..Stuart or even Churchills ~ but even today a Grant or part there of can be found in scrap yards around Aust ~

    But as you probably well know the Australians eventually built their own tanks ~ the Sentinel

    Search | Australian War Memorial

  9. #239

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    More intriguing surprises

    Last year I was shown a gun pit in the bush north of here by our "team" munitions expert and he explained it was a 155 mm gun,

    I figured the only 155 mm I was aware of was the US Long Tom but had no knowledge of their presence in Australia even in the WWII years ~

    Well~ I was doing some more research and there is is ~ Tolga, some 20 km from home ~ was another major site in WWII ~



    TOLGA, QLD. 1944-04-11. AN IDEA OF COMPARISON OF SIZE IS GIVEN BY COMPARING THE MOBILE HEAVY CARRIAGE GUN, 155 MM. MARK 1.1941. (LEFT) WITH THE 18 POUNDER GUN ON RIGHT.

    AWM ~ Copy right expired. Public acess ~

  10. #240

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    An even better view of a 155 mm Long Tom at Tolga 1944

    Click image for larger version. 

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