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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. #491

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    Thursday ~

    Invited one of our team members to join me on a hunt !

    We had a lazy start and headed to a 'new ' site but it remains a quandary as the grass is way ~ way too heavy and dense ~

    So we headed off to plan B ~

    An old site ~ but always worth a look! The lower ground is pretty clear but at the top of the rise there is a lot of undergrowth and variety of low ground growth ~

    I focused on the high ground in the theory that the high ground was also part of the camp ~ The area was/ is a fantastic MD and research access area ~ But results were poor ~

    (Note the photos ~ Nice fish eye effect ~ but this was to prove the death knell for the dige camera ~ Long story short ~ which took most of Friday to sort ~ but in short ~ a new Nikon 70 series on the way ~ under warranty !)

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    Paul was on a run ~ better still ~ his first Rsing Sun badges ~ and even better he dug two ! And an unusual trigger guard !

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    I remained focused on the high ground and paid the price ! But managed to retain some degree of dignity ~

    After smoko I made some ground ~ included two KG V pennies ~ both 1927 ~ oh yeah ~ Odds on !??)

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  2. #492

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    Did a solo hunt yesterday~

    Went back to the same area as Thursday ~ had planned to leave home around 10.00 but delays and BS saw me land on site around 12.30~ Much later than planned ~

    Again scanned the high ground timber ~ a lot of ferrous signals and tent rings ~ SURELY cannot ALL be detritus ~

    Makes no sense ~

    Found a few bits and pieces ~ including on modern QE II 20 cent coin being the only coin!

    But was stoked to dig this ripper .. in excellent condition really after being buried in a WWII camp site for 70 years ~

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    (Since been suggested it is a US Machete ~ being some 110 mm longer than the old one we have at home ~ assuming the one at home is an Aust disposals piece ! )

    Other finds for the day ~ The bottle is a modern beer but I have never seen on before ~

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  3. #493

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    Update on that encrusted Rising Sun which many thought was past helping ~

    ( Took three attempted in an electrolysis vat ~ the last being very low voltage [ 1.00+] )

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    The two RS and the Australia badge of last weeks hunts

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  4. #494

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    AND NOW ~ the "Burn off " season begins..... As huge swayves of thick white smoke appears daily ~

    During this time of year ~ at the bottom of Winter and as we ease into spring ~ we watch the antics of the local councils and authorities to see if they actually back burn any relevant or sites of interest to us ~


    They do this as combination of reasons ~ first and foremost to clear potential hazard areas as Summer approaches so does the Bush fire season !

    In order to minimize risk to even the wild life and to we humans it deemed more appropriate to simply let the fires burn off at a slow pace as opposed to the ravenous and potentially dangerous/ hazardous fire storms of high summer !

    Additionally the burn off are used also for promoting healthy regrowth when the rains of the wet season also approach~

    Unfortunately thus far there has been NO fires in our desired areas or search areas !! But we can only hope to see any of our search sites cleared of the dense floor matting!

    It has been some two years since we saw brush fires clear the Irvinebank areas for all vegetation ~ this area is now impenetrable regrowth!

    That was a huge bonus for our team ~ with many many relics being recovered ~ and we even kept our munitions expert and the Army busy as we located many potentially lethal HE rounds being disposed off ~

    We have been told of one particular duo that actually retrieve lethal UXO /s and take them to "Bill's" door step rather than leave in place ~ which of concerns our expert greatly ~ I guess some have NO idea !

  5. #495

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    More fires ~

    A shot of a fire some way off ~ not identified from our front yard ~ this was actually on the wane when I took this photo~



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    Twenty four hours earlier ~ when I went for a Hunt

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    Did a solo hunt ~ more about experimenting with the Minelab ~ heaps of 303 shell cases and sigle battle damaged AMF button ~

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    I put the button in the vat, along with a few other finds from the previous Hunt ~ and the results were excellent ~

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  6. #496

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    Another team hunt.. early start ~ 05.00~

    Ran into a problem ~ white out fog !! ~ Our plan was put in slow Mo ti the fog cleared ~

    Worked three separate sites and pulled some interesting results ~

    The day ended up being a 12 hour day by the time I got home ~

    Ed's tally ~ He had yet a great day with coins ~ found a spill almost right up, front as soon as he switch on !

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    My score ~ I found the remains of a communications telephone switch board ~ note (RCA type) all brass plugs and misc fittings ~

    I dug a lot of brass ~ most will go into the scrap brass drum!

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    The Trench Art penny is a cracker ~ The ID tag is a mystery as the first Digger I found was part of a Ambulance crew and killed in Feb 1942 at Singapore, and the Assault by the Japanese forces ~

    But that would NOT work here as there were no WWII camp sites in this area at that point in time, so further investigation has narrowed the search to three !

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    Once the fog cleared it was extremely hot and humid ~ but another great day ~

    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 09-03-2015 at 01:37 PM.

  7. #497

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    Sat

    Decided at 12.00 Midday to go for a Solo hunt and test the new Mode I created on the CTX ~!

    Decided on a favourite site but it was probably a tough choice as the site is pretty heavily mineralised ~ and it is 50 KM from home ~ But it has been a good site ~

    So arrived after 13.00 ~ I would normally leave home at the latest 10.30 but this was a test ~ I spent a few hours and called it a day around 16.00, with a few modest finds ~

    And once again i proved that Golden Rule we fossickers should ALWAYS ~ abide by ~

    That ~ is ~ NEVER EVER ~ discard a relic until I can either ID it or clean it up to prove it value ~

    One of the final pieces I found was several bent and filthy encrusted pieces of aluminum ~

    Much to my delight the aluminium piece turned out to be a Identity Tag ~ another one that was part of an Ambulance crew!

    And he signed up in registered in Cairns ~ 80 kms from here ~ And ironically was a member of a Ambulance crew ~ ( in view of the baggage tag I found on Weds ~ )

    One of the others turned out to be a serial ID for ammo or Medicines (?)

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  8. #498

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    Just doing some research in the 2/11 Field Ambulance ~

    They were very active blokes ~ including Africa and Tobruk ~ right through to the Pacific campaign ~

    And knowing that the original owner of the ID tag, Private Watson, joined in 1940 I surely would like to see his service record !

    Photos include

    #1 024636
    WESTERN DESERT, EGYPT. 1942-07-22. WALKING WOUNDED BEING HELPED OUT OF THE AMBULANCE ON THE LEFT AT THE 2/11TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD AMBULANCE, WITH A STRETCHER CASE IN THE FOREGROUND.

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    #2 043208
    1942. WALKING WOUNDED AND MEMBERS OF THE 2/11TH FIELD AMBULANCE, AIF, AT THE ADVANCED DRESSING STATION, EL ALAMEIN.

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    #3 080451
    TRINITY BEACH AREA, QUEENSLAND. 1944-09-12. STRETCHER BEARER OF THE 2/11TH FIELD AMBULANCE TAKING A BATTLE CASUALTY TO AN AMBULANCE BARGE DURING COASTWISE TRAINING EXERCISES WITH THE 26TH INFANTRY BRIGADE.

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    #4 099458
    CAIRNS, QLD. 1943-08-01. QX2754 PRIVATE R.D.B. BAREFOOT OF THE 2/11TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD AMBULANCE, 26TH AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE, PATIENTLY AWAITS ORDERS FOR EMBARKATION ON HMAS WESTRALIA AND HMAS MANOORA.

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    #5 052701
    KAIRI, QLD. 1943-06-19. A SALVATION ARMY RED SHIELD HUT WITH AN APPEALING INVITATION TO ENTER. THIS HUT WAS BUILT BY THE TROOPS OF HEADQUARTERS, 2/11TH FIELD AMBULANCE UNIT.

  9. #499

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    Just found this ~

    Seems our friend was a Corporal ~ Seems he was busted to Private as he was a private when discharged ~


    WATSON James Henry (Corporal) : Service Number - QX3869 : Unit - 2/11th Australian Field Ambulance, Australian Military Forces : Date of Court Martial - 5 February 1943]

  10. #500

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    I have been tweaking the mode/s on my new Minelab for a better operation, and the end result has been excellent !

    First I 'built' my own mode based on the Silver mode, opening up the parameters to increase the ferrous content and of course brass. And then changed the tones and frequencies to suit. OVeral giving less critical discrimination. Great result.


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    So Weds I went out in view of further field testing. But on the way to the regular site.s I deviated in view of antoher potential site ~ which is more public access ~

    The results were spectacular ~ with further evidence of WWII presence but then also modern militar exercises during the 1960 and 1970s ~

    Not only that ~ I also decided to gather the detritus and rubbish ~ but I also found a very unusual ring (375 9 Carat Gold). Mate's wife who is a self proclaimed authority on Jewellery feels that it is of of local or Australian origin ~

    I took it to the Jewellers I regularly deal with in servicing relevant finds for me and they also agree it is very unusual and not a local item ~

    The larger blank round (?) is in fact a Stove pipe round as it had mis-fired and then jammed in the breach

    (Head stamp 87 F8 FM )

    Then after an hour or so I now have added yet another site for further investigation, In fact expanding the site parameters simply by the most prolific 'early' detritus I found !

    So then I moved camp to nearby recognised site to compare the area with my new settings ~

    Again the result were impressive and I dug 3 KG VI pennnies in a well worked area ~

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