JIMMY'S LOOKOUT, TOWNSVILLE
VARIOUS MILITARY UNITS
BASED THERE DURING WWII

 

Jimmy's Lookout was a centre of military activity during WWII. But unfortunately very little is known about what happened at Jimmy's Lookout during WWII. What is known is that the 16th Anti-aircraft Battery 16 A.A. Bty had its Headquarters on the western side of Jimmy's Lookout. The Queensland Main Roads Commission began excavating for the Battery Command Post at Jimmy's Lookout on 9 January 1942.

Andrew Ball, one of the founders of Townsville in 1864, claimed that he had named the hill Jimmy's Lookout after one of his Aboriginal employees.

The infantry and field regiments of the 5th Australian Division were distributed widely around the Townsville area including, Aitkenvale, Antill Plains, Castle Hill, Jimmy's Lookout, Belgian Gardens and Mount Louisa.

On 14 May 1942, the 26th Battalion, 11th Brigade were located at Jimmy's Lookout near Garbutt airfield in Townsville.

On 21 April 1942 the men of the 31st Battalion were woken when a large explosion rocked the battalion area. It was associated with the tragic crash of B-26 Marauder, #40-1473, of the 33rd Squadron, 22nd Bomb Group. The crew of 8 were all killed when the aircraft crashed and exploded after takeoff at Garbutt airfield about 500 yards west of Jimmy's Lookout.

The Allied Works Council had a Depot at Belgian Gardens in Townsville, located immediately to the west of Jimmy's Lookout.

 

Jimmy's Lookout with the Belgian Gardens Cemetery just below the hill in October 2001

 


Click on picture to enlarge

A very large (276Kbytes) panoramic view
of Jimmy's Lookout, Rowes Bay, Many Peaks Range,
Pallarenda and Magnetic Island in October 2001

 

Jimmy's Lookout and the Belgian Gardens Cemetery in 1941

 

Jimmy's Lookout in 1941

 

Similar shot in 1952

 

Greg Martin told me in February 2011, that there used to be boxes stacked inside Jimmy's Lookout. They would enter a small cave near the top of the hill and look down through a hole and see lots of timber boxes. Greg suspects that the Americans may have buried surplus in there. Greg said that if you look at the site where the Aborigines live it looks like a dirt ramp has been there in the past. They were always scared of going to the cave as there were stories that it was a Dingoes' cave.

Geoff Pavey described a concrete bunker which was fairly close to the Belgian Gardens cemetery fence on the side of Jimmy's Lookout. He said that some people used to camp there. There was a tunnel was driven into the side of the hill (back along the hill in the Garbutt direction The tunnel had no reinforced concrete and was cave like in appearance, it was narrow, and there were signs of electrical installations. The tunnel was hard to see when overgrown with grass, but due to the electric cables and its proximity to the reinforced bunker he thought it may have had some military significance.

Geoff wondered whether it "may have been a small ammo storage area. Instead of sand bags it had the hill around it to protect it from air attack, and if it did go up in smoke it had the hill to take the impact. Then again maybe someone tried their luck mining there." Last time that Geoff had visited the cemetery a huge chunk of Jimmy's Lookout had been quarried.

 

WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Peter Murray, Kevin Parkes, Greg Martin and Geoff Pavey for their assistance with this web page.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 19 February 2011

This page last updated 25 June 2017