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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. #481

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    I have done some research on the primers and they are ~

    ‘ME 12/42 Q’

    1713

    Okay it is a QF MKI Fuze ~

    ME ;Explosives Factory Maribyrnong (ME) – Maribyrnong; Melbourne, Victoria (1910–

    I have not established exactly the correct artillery piece but I suspect a they are from a 4 1/2" howitzer !

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  2. #482

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    Did a solo hunt ~ and actually went to Tinaroo site opposite a new housing estate which is infamous for the amount of live ordnance that was recovered while the area was developed ~

    The bush area I checked out is all regrowth Casuarina ~ I started getting hits immediately and was excited as the area is a reasonably large flt top rise ~ perfect for a camp site.

    But it soon degenerated into a rubbish dump and most evident was a single beer bottle base '1942'.. the only thing I dug of noteworthy was water bung of particular good quality being on high ground!

    Now coupled with the fact if one looks at the dam development photos, which are freely available on the Net ~ The entire area was cleared of vegetation and this particular area was bulldozed and 'leveled for regrowth in the mind set that the fore shores would become community recreation area ~

    (This of course over the years has proven to be no more than a token guestere as the amount of ordnance still recovered has been pretty "impressive" !)

    Now considering that and the area/ hill was cleared and then the debris dumped during the WWII years was pushed t a dump and then 'scooped' up and taken away ~ and leaving what I found yesterday as a relatively groomed rise with little to no detritus to be seen ~ unless one scrapes the surface which then brings forth a maelstrom of broken glass and rotted ferrous metals ~

    IMO the chance of finding anything relics of quality are slim as this again is a rubbish dump !

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    Sunday ~ Fossick #202

    Been looking over the fence line at this particular block for some time. Seems originally I was assured by a work place colleague that grew up across the way that there was always soliders on site even into the 1960s!



    The site was bulldozed by a local farmer some 6-8 months but the site had over grown severely ~ even to 'his' horror in very rapid time !!

    My early endeavours revealed numerous 303 shell cases , period cutlery , and my first water drum bung ( 1942).

    Then more recently a few King George V period copper coins. ( Not to mention post period decimal coins~ as the site had been a recreational park into the 1970s ~ )



    So seems there was stories and tales of soldiers camping in the paddock/ field next to a laneway which cuts through the area. Ed, my regular MD mate talked to the owners and we gained acess to the area.



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    So we went in with high hopes ~ But by midday the myth turned into exactly that ~ Myth! Neither of us found ANY~ thing ~ let alone related to WWII and Post war military ~ ZIP!

    But Ed did well with some coins finds back in the original areas!

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    So after Smoko we decided to retire to an area which we call the Chimneys at Tinaroo dam and a known camp site which has been extremely well worked purely because of it's ease of access ~

    My day continued to go DOWN hill ~ South ~

    Seems I went from a previous top of the team to rock bottom ~

    ( I have since taken myself back to Minelab CTX boot camp ~ and found a few issues I have over looked with the new MD ! BUT~ this was anticipated as the Minelabs take some mastering and the range of settings is extremely "impressive" ! And that without even getting into the GPS and Geo mapping!)

    Again Ed did much better with an array of webbing buckles ~ more coins and misc military relics..

    The only thing I found was an intact beer bottle but no date and a trench art arished beer bottle!


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    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 07-30-2015 at 12:24 AM.

  3. #483

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    Some more of my relics 'clean up' including latest Primer and fuze collections ~

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    The 25 pounder shell base plate is now back in the electrolysis tube ~


  4. #484

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    Fossick #204 (Wednesday)

    Cold and overcast ~

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    The day turned into the biggest single day of research and kilometres covered, involving four sites ~

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    A lot of heavy going ~ involving machetes and cane knives ~ I picked up one bush tick ~ so bugs wise a good day ~

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    The first site was positive area which was regrown and an ideal site ~ Ed found a LE Oiler tube ~ We were looking for a specific bottle dump but in hindsight we missed the mark wel and truly and may have to come in from another track ~

    The second site was fail and the road side rain forest was not indicative of camp site/s!

    The third was a positive but heavily overgrown with grass.

    The fourth site was a well worked site and wielded relics ~

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    As the cold weather and or the dry weather has caused a lot of the low grasses to thin out and I worked these with almost instant results in a well worked area ~

    A Digger's Identity disc in usual nice shape being Stainless steel !


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    Then a cache of 303, .380 and 9mm rounds. But the soil here is seemingly highly acidic and these were in poor shape ~ I gave up hoping there would be some more interesting relics to be had ~

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    Total for the day ~

    Mine at the top ~ the 303 were random finds ~ the Tri-Star fuel bung is the best / tidiest one I have found to date ~

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  5. #485

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    We have been endeavouring to establish or confirm the site of a WWII camp site in the back country since April when i was advised by a workmate of a bottle dump and a rusted corrugated iorn water tank ~

    I have mentioned this previously but all endeavours led to a fail ~

    Yesterday two of us took the 4*4 into the site again~ This time we foudn the water tanks and a small modern (1970-80s) bottle dump!

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    So over Smoko we debated the issue at hand and theorised the site ~ It certainly does not constitute a WWII AIF training camp ~

    So we headed off to check out a 1930s caw mill camp site which consisted of a large number workers cabin/s site ~

    But the entire site has been bulldozed and pushed int rows for burning ~

    So we headed off again aiming for a site which i have worked many many times including my first Mills Bomb find!

    I actually did a hunt there on Sunday last with some limited success.

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    Finds included a camera aperture piece, misc .455 projectiles and damaged webbing buckles ~ ( I am collecting the brass tent rings again and toss them into the scrap container for resale at scrap merchants. )

    So we rocked up to the same well worn site but this time we came at the site with my same approach as Sunday with very respectable results ! A few hours resulted in he following ~

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    Ed 's find included two Rising Suns, one very sad but a worthwhile battle damaged piece IMO!

    I dug a 25 lber frag which I am planning to clean up ~ the rifling bands come up superbly!

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    IMO a stunning result in a very short time in a well worn site purely based on a revised approach ~


  6. #486

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    Thursday ~

    Another Solo hunt ~

    Went back to the same lane that Ed and I worked on Tues~

    Scarcely rigged up and set off ~ five minutes later ~ Bamm!



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    I then scored several King George VI coins which I assume were both 1943 ~ This was followed by several webbing buckles ~ always welcome in my bag !


    I then followed a recently excavated stretch in which new telephone cables were laid. This I was endeavouring to establish just how far the camp site extended ~ I found just enough bit and pieces to get some indication of the WWII camp site ~

    Perfect weather ~ but the ground is rock hard with stones and clay base ! So digging was marathon in itself ~

    But pleasant afternoon with some good results including considerable amounts of Brass to add to the scrap bin for resale ~

    Now this is working close to the 'predators" !!

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    The intriguing part was the Penny and 1/2 Penny KG VI are in fact 1948 & 1949 (???) Post WWII !!!

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    One of the shell cases is a US .30 shell case. not standard issue to the Aust forces ~ On our previous hunt we also found US standard webbing buckles ~ (??)

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  7. #487

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    MD buddy in Holland suggested a revised electrolysis method which I took on board and now instead of my relics laying and mellowing for a week these ( including mostly the best relics from the last two hunts this week) ... 24 hours !!!!!!

    The pants button and the KG VI Penny

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    The top right buckle is definitely improved considering it was burnt ~ and I thought it was past saving but I will give it another session!

    No idea what the top left rod is ~ (????????)

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    And the frag 25 lber second time around and in for another round same method ~

  8. #488

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    Fossick # 208

    Solo hunt same site as previous ~ expanded search area ~ proved a theory of a now defunct road separating the current camp site and the replacement road actually trashing the original WWII camp site !

    Started midday ~ by 14.00 hrs ready to quit but had a smoko and rested up ~ then moved sites with more positive results ~ turned into a good day ~

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    Heavily encrusted but has the pins intact ~ nice score ~ Now to see if the elctrolysis can save the day !

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    The AUSTRALIA badge is exceptional as it has the original black enamel 100% intact!

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    The large brass piece is unknown purpose ??

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  9. #489

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    The frag piece ~

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    Will modify the heat treatment as not as effective as I wanted ~

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    The latest Rising Sun badge

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    Unfortunately the split pins are often the first to fall apart in the process ~

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    More electrolysis results ~

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  10. #490

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    More Goodies ~

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    And that Rising Sun take three

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    And yet another Hunt today ~ Thursday ~

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