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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. #521

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    Been pretty quiet around these parts of late. Apart from the extremely fickle weather I have been busy and loading my bow with more than a metal detector ~



    This of course is a give and take from Ms M as she reckons I never rest enough as it is ~ probably right ~ as we all know the Le Femme of the species ~ and who of us is game enough to debate the point ~ well an point with a woman! LOL!

    But on the flip side she is keen to join in as soon as he foot is back to normal ~ after SEVEN months of being incapacitated and losing a small toe. all because of a lost a GPS !!

    *BTW ~ The Garmin was never found ~ *


    But I did get in a small hunt mostly to introduce a Newbie who contacted me last week~

    Only a few hours and a very well worn side on the Atherton Tablelands ~

    I managed a few surprises ~ Just proof any site can deliver regardless of how hard it is hunted ~


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    For one crazy moment i thought I had finally duga LE 1911 Bayonet ~ but not to be ~

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    Intriguingly I have regularly found examples of the 'crushed' hood ~ and I like to research items purely by panning through sites like EBay ~ and that is exactly how I found out what the small hood/s are ~ plus the handle!

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  2. #522

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    Been preoccupied with getting a new vehicle road worthy after my MD mate made me an offer to good to refuse ~

    So i have been working on roadworthy and servicing plus essential mods ~ This will allow me greater access to MD sites rather than the pocket Hyundai ~

    Finally completed and did a first 'recce test'' last Wednesday ~ and again today ~ Wednesday ended in a one hour hunt!

    But today had fuel flow issues and ended up at the "workshop' and pleasantly surprised when the blokes including the manager hung back well past midday & closing time to make sure I was mobile for another test run ~

    But better still I spent a lot of time sharing stories and facts with the manager who is of similar age to self and has a military background ~ and he showed me his modest militaria collection which he is keen to expand!

    But Wednesday's one hour collection ~ I was stunned by the amount of shell cases and even detritus in this old but now expanded site ~ as I ventured to the outer boundaries of the site ~

    Cool insulator~ as I have never seen the light blue insulator ~

    The item on the right I think is a brass illumination lamp frame/ base or a large heater base (??) It is engraved "Clean as required " ~

    Like I need more .380 revolver rounds ~ Pftt!!!

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    But l am always ready to bring scrap brass home !!

    Maybe tomorrow for another drive out ~

    A very Short hunt weds but enjoyable ~ then today ~ Saturday~ wipe out ! ~
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 11-07-2015 at 11:37 PM.

  3. #523

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    Here I am lamenting my demise yet again!!

    Thursday ~ Geared up ~ packed the vehicle for a BIG DAY OUT ~ and off we go ~ got half way to the target zone and sure enough the motor played up yet again~

    Hobbled back to the shop that did the service and ended up leaving it with them ~ They promised to get it back tome by the weekend and good as Gold!

    But here we are Saturday morning and they announced they found a hair line crack in the carb manifold ~ and the bits have been ordered and will arrive say Tuesday~

    I am still skeptical and feel it is more associated with the electronic ignition. My Brother in law assures em that the Suzuki Jimmy one of his boys has is also prone to this erratic ignition failure ~


    Told the boss I would like to see them run the thing for at least 45 minutes t make sure which of course is the obvious thing to do really ~


    Ironic though I have hit right of with the boss as he is about same age as myself, ex-military, and wants to 'horse trade relics ' with me ~ So we have struck up a first trade off ~

    Looks like wll have to settle for a local ol' grounds hunt ~ and swallow my pride !!
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 11-14-2015 at 09:19 AM.

  4. #524

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    Headed out around 10.00 and on site 10.45

    Feeling very positive and all geared up ~

    Immediately pulled a single projectile head, quickly followed by a Aust Military Forces jacket button ~ in a very well worked area ~

    Again I am working a much slower pace and digging 99% of targets ~

    The theory paid off big time today ! And in retrospect I am really getting on top of the Minelab now ~

    I was pulling target left right and centre then it happened ~ Taa-Dah!!! Number # 50 ~ ( in nice condition too!)

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    Washed off with drink bottle.


    Kept plugging on and broke for Smoko around 13,00 ~ before checking out another nearby previous productive area ~ But zip !

    Well~ I did find a very deep Torch ! well what was left of it ~ Closest to a complete torch yet ! LOL Oh well it is AL brass ~

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    A little TLC will save the day I am sure ! Hehehe!!


    Back to the previous grounds ~ found a bloody spill of 303 blanks ~ must be dozens there as the area is about 2 sq-metres ~ !!

    Only thing that kept me digging was the single webbing buckle that I found amongst the shells ~ As soon as I moved out of the zone nothing ~

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    Firstly I think the ‘T’ piece is in fact a trench art piece designating the Digger’s regimental / battalion patch ~ while there are a mired of units that used the ‘T’ as their shoulder patch.

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    The renowned 2/13th ( and 2/12th) batt which served on the Kokoda track and the bun fight at Buna, Gona, Sanananda~ also were based here at Kairi ~


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    AUSTRALIAN MANNED GENERAL STUART M3 TANKS BUST JAPANESE PILLBOXES IN THE FINAL ASSAULT ON BUNA. MEN OF D COMPANY, 2/12TH BATTALION, SHOOT JAPANESE FLEEING FROM A TANK BLASTED PILLBOX.

    SMOKE AT LEFT IS FROM THE PILLBOX WHICH THE TANK IS ATTACKING, AT RIGHT IS A TANK BLASTED EMPTY PILLBOX. THE SOLDIER AT BACK OF TANK, PRIVATE E. R. GLOVER, WAS KILLED A FEW SECONDS AFTER THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN.

    FAR RIGHT IS PRIVATE DAVIES. THE PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN DURING THE ACTUAL FIGHTING.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Then we have the tubes with holes ~ 2 lber primer flash tubes ~ and the stars are safety caps for the two pounder artillery shells ~ The small tube is a 303 drop weight for cleaning the barrels ~ was attached to a piece if hemp string ~

    The scrap and some shell cases and blank cartridges ~ the blanks are inert as they had powder in them and not cordite ~

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    But then it was scary today when M tried on the Clobber ~ (note the damaged toe ~ looking batter again ~ She wanted to demo her weight loss ~ and try the gear ! Her time is coming despite the critical injury experienced in April assisting the Fossicking Hunts!

    And I have two Metal detectors !

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    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 11-14-2015 at 11:58 PM.

  5. #525

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    Hello again...yes, my Dad is 91 also and now lives in the UK. He still has his old uniform and hat, although it would be a bit of a struggle to get into it now. When he marches with the British Legion in November he always wear his "slouchie". Very proud of him. He was in the 2/5th and was wounded in New Guinea, near the village of Bulolo. Keep up the good work. Great to read your posts...Matt

  6. #526
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    Hi, I believe the mortar to be a 2' Smoke as the pic shows the the base ejection holes on the bottom of the canister (bomb body). The initiating cartridge cap in the tail fin appears to be live as there is no strike mark from the firing pin. The bomb body also shows signs of possibly being coloured green or Eu De Nil which would have been the overall bomb body colour therefore designating Smoke. Hope this helps - kind regards.

    Mark

  7. #527

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    MSlusa/ Mark
    Thanks for your feedback ~ always appreciated ~ ( I was a little confused as to your reference at first but soon worke dit out ! )

    You are correct and thanks for even more details which I did not know ~

    I actually surrendered the thingto the Queensland Mines and Explosives folks the same week I dug it up ~ I only surrendered it because it snapped in half when I was digging it ~ (Not very experienced "MD diggest" , then ~ LOL)

    And because it appeared to be live in the propulsion charge ~ just how dangerous that would be is debatable as they similiar to a 12 gauge cartridge and in 1940s the shell would have been waxed paper (?) I am sure ! Therefore the odds of the propellant charge being live would be remote IMO ~ but I gave to them anyway ~

  8. #528

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    Made an excellent trade this week!

    Met an agreeable gentleman and owns and runs a ( retail) armoury !

    Ironically first time we met and once he realised my recent back ground, he enthusiastically stated he wanted to Horse trade ~ I asked what he would horse trade me ! (??)

    Last week we struck up a deal to enhance his modest collection ~ I supplied with him with an expended inert 25 lber Smoke shell case ~

    He is now supplying me with 20* 20.08 cartridges~ but he is removing the heads and the propellant ~ then firing off the primers and refit the heads ~

    ( After all I figure I don't need to have any live stuff sitting around, even in my lock up display cabinets ~ )

    He is sacrificing 120 grm rounds as they are more military style as per projectile seating ~

    This was initiated after I dug the spill of 20.08 cases and very sad steel chain link/s which suggested the use of a Browning .30 MG, locally ~



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    This then lead to one of our on site members generously donating a 'few' Browning .30 chain links to match the shell cases !

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    End of the day should be a very nice display piece for my collection and no live ammo laying around ~

    Many Thanks Sean and thanks Gus ~



  9. #529

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    Hello again...yes, my Dad is 91 also and now lives in the UK. He still has his old uniform and hat, although it would be a bit of a struggle to get into it now. When he marches with the British Legion in November he always wear his "slouchie". Very proud of him. He was in the 2/5th and was wounded in New Guinea, near the village of Bulolo. Keep up the good work. Great to read your posts...Matt
    Hey Matt

    Always glad to hear your feed back !

    The 2/5th was a very active unit indeed as were most of the Aust WWII units.. but ironically the camp site of the 2/5th Fld Regt. is one of my favourite digs ~

    It is pretty well spread across as steep incline and the soil is very good/ kind to the relics I find there !

    It is where I dug my BEST EVER Rising Suns and a superb AMF button still with the black enamel 95% intact~ (2) !!

    ( Not the most prolific of sites in regard to relics but hey sure as Hell threw around the ammo ! )

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    Last hunt was on the 2/5th but was only able to spend an 1 1/2 hours this time by the time I got on the site !

    I do wonder like all such badges~ I guess ~ if only they could talk!! LOL

    (I was planning a Hunt today but it is too miserable with showers blustering through ! Looks liek a Mid week jobbie again! )

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    There is an EXCELLENT series on U-Tube about the Australians in North Africa ~ Great watch ~ (Made in 2012)

    Remember blokes like your father ~ and the Australian Military (backed by British artillery) were the FIRST to bring a full on defeat to the Germans at Tobruk ~

    Even Rommel called the Australians "the elite of the Empire!"

    And then as further endorsement of the Aussie fighting spirit ~ also the FIRST to deliver a defeat to the Japanese at Milne Bay ~

    Makes me proud to be an Aussie !!! LOL

    Part I ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYN8zEbhsko

    Part 2 ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYQx74YisMc

    https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U56048/
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 11-25-2015 at 10:32 AM.

  10. #530

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    Finally ~

    Put in a Hunt ~ but there problem was that the only window of opportunity was last weekend ~ so I headed out < 08.30 > on Saturday morning with high hopes of a great day's hunt!

    The catch being that after several weeks of on going heavy storms and rain we are currently experiencing hot days and relatively high humidity ~


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    WONDECLA, QLD. 1944 04 05. MEMBERS OF A TANK ATTACK GUN CREW OF THE 2 2ND INFANTRY BATTALION, LISTENING TO A LECTURE ON SIGHTING.

    So Saturday was < 33 deg > and < 67%> humidity ~ which does not sound a lot but put those elements together ~ where as our average temp is around 25 deg C. Occh !

    And on the west side of the hills there easterly breeze did not make it to my position!


    It was very pleasant to begin with but as the temperature rose ~ it got very hot ~ and very humid!

    I broke for smoko around 11/30 and then moved onto another nearby site.. 13.00 I shifted again ~ but ti was getting too much and I felt I was not tuning in with the CTX and I think I was simply not in the groove at all and more than likely missing targets galore ~ so pulled the pin at 14.00hrs.

    Drank over two litres of mineral water just on the drive home and then once home could not get enough fluids ~

    Try again next Saturday ~ we have forecast of rain before then so may break this weather extreme..


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    Yet another torch handle ~ I do wonder if the second fork could be defined as trench !!? ~ more like a lethal weapon!!

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    The glass stopper was a near miss being dark glass in black soil!

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