22 AUSTRALIAN HEAVY
The 22nd Australian Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery was located in the small parkland bounded by South Terrace, Marine Terrace, Ocean Drive and Ocean Road in South Fremantle. The red roofed house opposite the park may have been the original Officers' Mess. During WWII, Ocean Drive did not exist and that whole area was all huts, parade ground, and ablution blocks and the gun pits were near the beach.
AWAS personnel manned the 3.7" guns. There were four gunpits and a central pit which contained the predictor. Nona Bandy was an AWAS Gunner with the 22nd HAA Bty and she was stationed at the battery at South Fremantle for two and a half years. Nona was the Gunner who predicted the fuse to set and when to fire the guns.
Nona Cole (nee Bandy) told me in April 2007 that there were many soldiers attached to the Battery who had arrived from Darwin. It was almost like R&R for them at South Fremantle.
Nona and her daughter revisited the area a couple of years ago, and they were able to find the site. Nona said that there was a lot of newer buildings there now since WW2. Nona said to me "Was a great camp!!! And of course it was reasonably isolated...not built up at all."
Photo:- Nona Cole
Some of the AWAS of 22nd HAA Bty:-
L to R back row: Robin Fogarty,
unknown, unknown, Jean ?, Connie Metaxas, Cam Massara
L to R front row: Nona Bandy, Sgt Strudwick, Lydia Thomas
Photo:- Nona Cole
Nona Cole is standing in front,
Connie Metaxas is kneeling to
Nona's right and Lydia Thomas is behind Connie. Eunice
Grigsby is to the right of the man, who was their Transport
Bombadier and Cam Massara is sitting on the far right.
Can anyone identify other people in the photo?
I'd like to thank Nona Cole (nee Bandy) for her assistance with this web page.
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© Peter Dunn 2006
This page first produced 15 April 2007
This page last updated 05 October 2014