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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. #581

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    Sunday ~

    Very early rise ~ 05.00 hrs planned to be out on the site by 06.30 ~

    A; beat the Heat ~
    B; Beat the PM storms
    C; Missed Saturday and I had to work midnight Sunday ~ So planned to be home again by 13.00 hrs!

    All good plans went slightly pear shaped ~ and delayed talking to the better half ~ On site 07.30 ~ Probably for the best as it was a Pea souper fog early !

    I opted for a well worn area and lunged into the brush ~ to my utter horror ~ The March flies are in plague numbers! ~

    The Diggers and even colonials of the 19th Century MUSt have been utterly devastated by these insidious creatures ~

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    Major General E J Milford, General Officer Commanding 7 Division (6), inspecting 2/4 Field Regiment troops at the Kairi Sports Ground.

    Identified: VX14125 Major Hugh St Omer Dentry, Brigade Major Royal Artillery (1); Lieutenant Lyall, Aide de camp, General Officer Commanding (2); Lieutenant Colonel Blythe, Commanding Officer 2/4 (3);

    Captain Hume, Battery Commander, B Battery (4);

    Brigadier O'Brien, Commander Royal Artillery, 7 Division (5);

    Major General Milford (6); Gunner H Pfeffer, 8 Battery (7); Lance Bombardier K Goodnew, 8 Battery (8); Gnr R Francis, 8 Battery (9); Bdr F Minchin, 8 Battery (10); VX14468 Sergeant Ray Edward Harle, 8 Battery (11); Sgt N Radcliffe, 8 Battery (12).


    I had 'Bushman's 40% Deet spray ' on and they simply ignored it ~ But fortunately I was well covered and the little Barstards essentially landed but ''cleared off ' very quickly ~

    My luck was rewarded though the very first strong signal revealed a Superb 1943 Florin ~

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    Inspired I kept on ~ despiet the March Flies ~ and these are 'Yellow' versions and infamous for the wrong reasons. In fact the sods hammered my right hand first finger which is the gripping hand on the Minelab ~

    And hammer they did. I even saturated the gloves with DEET but the were not deterred ~ almost like they could smell blood!

    ( End of the day I had some 11 bites on the same finger and back of my right hand ~ but no where else !!! ??)

    I managed a few scores ~ including an Officer's razor ~ i.e. Much more ornate handle ~


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    The large iron piece is a door lock and the brass key broken off in the lock assembly!

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    1943 Florin KG VI

    1942 Six pence KG VI

    1943 1 /2 penny KG VI

    I plugged on as planned and the storms started to build ~ then called it a day ~ I was home 12.45 !

    But the bites made a Hell of a mess of my right hand ~ and only today Tuesday are they receding any ~ Several bites on my lower legsare very nasty and are more insidious ~ as huge welts ~

    But I will survive ~ The Diggers suffered these things in tents with no AC or relief ~

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    KAIRI, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-13. "LAUGHING WATER", A 25 PDR GUN BEING MAINTAINED BY 8 BATTERY, 2/4 FIELD REGIMENT TROOPS DURING THE VISIT BY THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF AUSTRALIA TO TO ROYAL AUSTARLIAN ARTILLERY UNITS IN THE 7 DIVISION AREA. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- GUNNER M. GEBBIE, (1); STAFF SERGEANT MCKEOWN, (2); SERGEANT HARLE, (3); GUNNER HART, (4); CRAFTSMAN HEANE, (5); LIEUTENANT W.H. JONES, (6).

  2. #582
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    Sounds like those flies are attracted to movement; the lower legs and master hand doing the most movement. And they were biting through gloves??

    Nice silvers!

    Oz.

  3. #583

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    Ubique

    Yes ~ they were biting through the gloves ~ Work 'nylecs' gloves ~ but only the MD grasping hand which is stationary ~ As best i can research they are attracted to Blue i.e. my hat ~ but no bites on the face or neck !!

    I will adapt a thicker garden soft glove for the Summer till March Flies dissipate ~

    No bites on the left hand ~ I think the bites on the lower legs were when I called it quits and removed my boots sock and gaiters whiel having a final cuppa ~

    The Florins generally are excellent being high silver content ~

    ( But I chuckle over the Florins as they were worth 24 P ? A middy / beer was 4 p (?) ~ I mean that's a night out for me ! (Maybe !! LOL)

  4. #584

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    2 shillings was also the daily part of a private's pay that was deferred till demobilisation...

  5. #585

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    Well Two hunts this week ~ both involved checking out two potential new sites and extended areas ~

    The first was an extended area associated with one of our recognised sites ~ The difference being that we came in from the North and explored the area working SSE and back onto the original now well know areas~

    This in deed did reveal more extended camp site presence ~ This took a few hours trekking the high ground and ridges ~


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    This was the first terraced site, high on the ridge line I was tracking ~ Tidy lot though these blokes ~ not trasures were to be had !

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    It was the return trek to base camp that became the labour of dedication as I can now offer cheaper substitutes for the Kokoda track ~ as i endeavoured to reconnoiter the country back the vehicle~

    Up ridges down deep ravines ~ dense bush and obstacles ~

    I know how these blocks felt by the time I got "home" ~

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    TROOPS OF THE 11TH BATTERY, 2/3RD AUSTRALIAN TANK ATTACK REGIMENT AND THE 2/6TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD REGIMENT MANHANDLING A 57MM GUN INTO POSITION.

    ( SHOWN ARE: NX66317 GUNNER L. M. SMITH OF INVERELL, NSW, 2/3RD AUSTRALIAN TANK ATTACK REGIMENT (1); VX17693 BOMBARDIER T. F. CALLANDER OF NORTHCOTE, VIC, 2/3RD AUSTRALIAN TANK ATTACK REGIMENT (2); NX43629 GUNNER L. J. BARTON OF SYDNEY, NSW, 2/3RD AUSTRALIAN TANK ATTACK REGIMENT (3); NX54084 BOMBARDIER S. G. EDENVOROUGH OF SYDNEY, NSW, 2/6TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD REGIMENT (4); NX55201 GUNNER J. H. MCCALLUM OF SYDNEY, NSW, 2/6TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD REGIMENT (5); VX18845 SERGEANT J. W. PHILP, 2/3RD AUSTRALIAN TANK ATTACK REGIMENT (6).)

    After a Smoko we headed across the creek to another area which we know was a south side area of another camp site ~ but apart from a modern fiberglass radio aerial. a mortar primer rag and some spent 303 cases there was nothing ~ Oh and a very misplaced modern empty 'stubby' beer bottle !

    We then moved to the nearby camp site for a hunt before calling it a day ~ The March flies were not intense ~ but I Still got bitten on the second joint of my left thumb in a moment when driving to the second area ~ resulting in a very irritated & painful few days ~

    Dwayne and I put in an hour or so before heading home to beat the storms ~ which in fact developed within 30 minutes of my unloading and putting the last of my gear away ~

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    Slow day on the Relics front and totally exhausting ~

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    Has a Bakelite centerpiece ~ knurling on the outer rim and inner threads ~

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  6. #586

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    My Dad was 2/3 Anti Tank 1940-46. 'Tank Attack Regt' sounds more proactive (in the modern vernacular) but it's not as though they were pushing the guns around chasing after the tanks!
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  7. #587

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    My Dad was 2/3 Anti Tank 1940-46. 'Tank Attack Regt' sounds more proactive (in the modern vernacular) but it's not as though they were pushing the guns around chasing after the tanks!
    Thanks for the input ~ Mate ~

    I chuckle too when the phrase "Tank Attack" is used.. certainly would seem almost an Oxymoron ~ Closest Obviously to that would be "lay in wait-ambush "~

    The only application I am aware of in the South Pacific campaign was in 1942 when the US forces on Guadalcanal set up their 37 mm anti-tank guns in wait for Japanese tanks which they correctly anticipated would come along the beach to attack Henderson Field.

    Obviously the Japanese paid dearly for such a passage of tanks !

    And in Malaya up against the Aust 2 pounders !

    Actually I think the Australians hammered the Japanese tanks elsewhere too ~ You probably know that history better me ! (?)

    As for the photo above ~ I did not know the Australians were even equipped with 57 mm guns? But there it is once again ~ title confusion ~ the 57 mm is/ was defined by the Commonwealth forces as a 6 lber!

  8. #588

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    The A/T job was a minor role in the Pacific compared to the Desert and Japanese tanks were vulnerable to someone armed with a stout can opener up to the end of the war-Japanese A/T was similarly well behind best practice which was why the M3 Lee/Grant, M3 Stuart and Matilda II were still in our line up in late 1945-they could still do the job-the A/T troops were re equipped with the 4.2 " heavy mortars or used as infantry as manpower was in short supply by 1945...

  9. #589

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    There was a documentary via History channel which was quite the education for me, answering some questions for me ~ i.e. ~ what did they do with a lot of the tanks as they were superceded ? ~

    The documentary followed the travels of the Grants when they were transferred to Burma ~ as they had the big gun ~ they were a fantastic artillery platform, and could be readily moved to required positions relatively quickly as opposed to actual guns ~ which added the dilemma of the japanese !

  10. #590

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    Decided after a late rise ~to do a solo hunt ~ around 09.30 ~ ( Well I am on leave for a few weeks ~ )

    But I am well set up now and can be loaded and gone around 20 minutes ~

    Worked two sites ~ and put in a very pleasant few hours.. Perfect weather ~ light breeze and no storms ~

    Plan evolved as I approached the area ~

    I have not seen of the unusual webbing buckles ~ with 'flip' bracket ~ I assume is a Post 1944 USA supplied item ~

    Intriguing find was a Aust. CSIRO wildlife identity band ~

    I finally called it day around 14.00 hrs and on the way home I decided to do a walk around at a local recreational area ~ As soon as i started alocal whom I have talked with previously turned up and we kept our selves entertained chewing the fat and sharing tall stories for two hours ~

    Interestingly apart from the numerous pull rings tabs and beer bottle caps ~ I dug a WWII type belt buckle!

    A great casual relaxed day hunt in perfect weather ~ a Great day !

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    Blank Dog tag ~

    one "Familiar?" hex bung + jack knife clasp

    Australian CSIRO Wild life identity (leg) tag ~ addressed and ref code ~

    Stock brass pants button

    AUST $2

    KG V 3d 1918 (Immaculate)

    Knife handle ~

    Match box toy ~

    Booby trap trigger ( large road transport - trigger) case only




    Typical tent layout of camp site ~ ( So much for the comment that the tents were 20 Meters apart !?? )

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    PERSONNEL OF NO. 2 PLATOON, "A" COMPANY, 2/5TH INFANTRY BATTALION PROUDLY POSE IN FRONT OF THEIR IMMACULATELY KEPT TENT LINE. IDENTIFIED IS:- NX86211 PRIVATE D. EVANS, HEADQUARTERS COMPANY (1).

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