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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. #371

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    So Mid week hunt again with terrible trio !

    Seems I had a slow day but blow me down I chased a huge signal which turned into Two squares of sheet metal and a BOTTLE dump under them, Then I had to dig to Taiwan to get the bottom of the hole ~

    I picked up another 'tampered with" Boys anti-tank cartridge~ But also found a huge tent dump site and those brass tents rings are a superb signal ! Plus a very sad 1932 1/2 penny KG V ~

    Plus my first ever WWII Period intact knife ..

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    The Beer bottle is a ripper ~ and embosed ~ "Remains the property of the NSW Brewing Company " upper and lower surfaces !

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    Terry had a huge day with his E-Trac going " deep and SLOW" and scored his first Rising Sun . But he had to dig deep for it too ~

    Additionally Terry dug a webbing buckle with Webbing intact , the only second one I have seen ~ I dug one similar around 18 months ago. Plus he dug four KG V 3d and a penny

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    Ed scored a superb 1897 QV Penny ~ plus a mirid of smalls ~

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  2. #372

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    Well ~ after soem 4 recces to find the mystery case I FINALLY located it ~

    But sadly there was nothing to be had.. no Owen guns ~ no Bren Guns or even a Vickers MG!

    BUT ~ In my endeavours I uncovered even more small goodies including an Aussie digger's ID Disc ~

    Born in 1924 and joined the AIF in 1942 ~ so only 17 or 18 when he joined he may well have seen action in North Africa but certainly in New Guinea ~ He was a member of the 2/1 st battalion ~

    And get this ~ looks like he is alive and kicking as I have found a phone nunber in the right place ~ where he was born !

    So this one may be interesting call ~

  3. #373

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    So I finally come up with one more plan for locating the missing case ~

    When I went to the local dump for a drop off I skipped past the scrap metal section I spotted a load of twin leg 1/4" rod stakes ~ perfect for a probe stake !

    So modified one of the lot I took home ~ and headed out to the same site for a solo hunt yet again ~

    I spent another couple of hours armed with the stake and the MD ~ and again i found more bits an dpieces including a Diggers ID Tag ~ This time I had much more luck !

    Service Record

    Name RYAN, MICHAEL FRANCIS

    Service Australian Army

    Service Number QX45733 (Q147027, Q147033)

    Date of Birth 21 Feb 1924

    Place of Birth WARWICK, QLD

    Date of Enlistment 7 Apr 1942

    Locality on Enlistment TOOWOOMBA, QLD

    Place of Enlistment TOOWOOMBA, QLD

    Next of Kin RYAN, MICHAEL

    Date of Discharge 20 Jun 1946

    Rank Private

    Posting at Discharge 2/1 AUSTRALIAN PIONEER BATTALION

    WW2 Honours and Gallantry None for display

    Prisoner of War No

    Ironically I when I was researching Owen Guns ~ I recently found a photo of two diggers in New Guinea having a durry ~ and one of them is extremely young.. but what was ironic I thought just maybe the young bloke was the same bloke ~ Private Ryan that was in the photo ~ and it turned out that the two Diggers were the same Battalion ~ the 2/1st battalion ! But it was not the same bloke but the same unit!

    And I found the chest but it turned into a fizzer !! Nothing!

    And I was way off the mark from when I found it first time but ' Hey '~ it was almost a month ~ till I found it the second time ~ Just goes to show ALWAYS mark the spot ~

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    I then traced "Private Ryan" via Telstra phone listings and blow me down if there was not a M. F. Ryan in the Warwick area

    So I rang the number today ~

    And when it answered I explained I was not selling anything but looking for Michael Francis Ryan... and he confirmed it was him ~ and I replied ~ "Mate~ you do not sound like you are 90 years old!"

    Turned out he was 57 ~

    But we had a great yarn but no known connection to the man I was pursuing ~

  4. #374

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    I have been playing around with electrolysis and steel anodes for cleaning brass, And despite opinions to the contrary I am well pleased with my tests to date ~

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    I tried various agents from Bi-carb, baking soda and now even laundry detergent! All are simply an agent to enhance the conductivity so no big deal! They all work just fine !~ ( I am looking for an environmentally friendly agent here! )


    I have hooked the relics and the anode to a 6V > 12V battery charger ~ and primarily "cooked" for some 24 hours and depending on the condition of the relics I usually change the brew and clean off twice for each batch !


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  5. #375

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    Quote by Kenworth View Post
    Mighty big guns mate , I was unaware that they had them over here either .

    Going through my pops ww2 pics i think these are the same guns?

    IMG_0044 by Marc Russo (Australia), on Flickr

  6. #376

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    Quote by AT P Sweep View Post
    Well ~ Glad to say ~ the (2) Cyclones have proven to be a complete phizzer for us ~ despite our being locate d squarely between the two ~ Thankfully ~

    In fact only now are we have any dgree of serious rain ~ has been just heavy clouds ~ spectacular Sun sets !


    So on Sunday I wnet back to "grass roots" and site not so far from Atherton where I actually found my first shilling ~ and blow em down a mere metres from where I foudn the shilling 12 months ago ~

    I found these two "aces in the hole" !


    Rising Sun number 19 and trick piece of trench art ~


    The total was not too bad for a few hours on a Sunday ~ a padlock , several boot grips, a flare cartridge shell, several pieces from what I assume is a English made clock - print says "English make".

    Another tracer round ~ note swelling on the bullet head ~

    ( The photo does not include 3-4 brass pieces typical of what I have found many times before ~ not sure what they are but think they are simply related to packing cases ~ )

    The trench art Aussie piece looks so much like this that i found and returned to its ww2 veteran not long ago . Turns out it was a piece of a shot down zero they shot down over burma....
    What are the chances? WW2 trench art braclet makes its way back to owner after all these years | marcrussoamazingadventures

  7. #377

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    Good story there mate !

    And yes that is a Long Tom 155 mm ~

    And yes they DID have them here locally ~ But how they ever got them to Irvinebank must have been a story unto itself !

  8. #378

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    Well ~ put in a fantastic Hunt yesterday ~

    We covered a lot of ground ~ including the training grounds north of here ~

    Had an early start ~ up at 005.30 and two of us were on site by 07.30 ~

    We were hoping for big things and explored the colonial town site which had been used as an artillery target area during WWII ~ for all ranges of guns from two lbers right up to 25 lbers, 5.5 BL and 155 mm Long Toms ~

    We then moved onto a new hill site ~ plenty of frag and shrapnel~

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    Extremely harsh country

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    On the way back to the vehicle for lunch I spotted this puppy ~ 25 lber HE

    I thought you bewty ! Until

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    Not a huge day regard to relics but a great day out !

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    The ring at the end of the fork is a calibration ring from a artillery shell primer.

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    Mystery shell casing.. I suspect it is Japanese ~ Assume a Digger bought it back after the New Guinea campaign/s )

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  9. #379

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    Some great finds again Stuart , time to build another shed !
    With the heat that your TNT has been exposed to up there i think i would be worried that it has become more unstable than inactive !

    Your shell could be a 8 by 53 mm Japanese Murata but it appears to have the slightly radiused case wall behind the shoulder of a 8 by 50 mm French Lebel .

    Lebel measurements are : Rim dia. .621" , case length 1.98" , neck dia. .347" , base dia. .536" .

    If indeed you do have a Murata you are a lucky man as they are rare .

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  10. #380

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    Just checked the Lebel ~

    Cannot find a definitive photo or specs but it sure does look liek a Lebel (French) After all the Australains did battle with the Vichy French in Palestine prior to the Japanese !

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