TOWNSVILLE DURING WW2

 

Subject:      War in Townsville
Date:               Fri, 6 Nov 1998 21:29:47 +1100
From:              "Hereward" <hereward@mypostbox.com>

Hi, sorry I can't help out on the bunker, but I do like your home page. I lived in Townsville for 5 years during the mid-80's. I hope to be back for a visit early next year. You have given me a few more things to do while there!

Cheers

Hereward Dundas-Taylor

 

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Subject:     Re: War in Townsville
Date:              Fri, 6 Nov 1998 21:47:53 +1100
From:             "Hereward" <hereward@mypostbox.com>

Boy, that was a fast reply Peter! My eldest brother, Melville, who lives at Aitkenvale is right into it as well. I'll send him an email tonight and let him know about your site.

Cheers

Hereward.

 

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Subject:      Re: War in Townsville
Date:               Fri, 6 Nov 1998 22:12:28 +1100
From:              "Hereward" <hereward@mypostbox.com>

Peter,

Fast is the word this evening! I just emailed Mel as I received your second 'express courier' reply!

I just recognised the P-39 photo of Syds (Syd Beck). Melville was a very good friend of Syd when his museum was located in Townsville. He lost a good friend when Syd moved to Atherton and was forced to get a life with no life-sized toys to play with anymore. Melville knows a lot of Townsville area war history. He is now a Squadron Leader in RAAF reserve with I think Intelligence. if you haven't already met Mel around the ridges, I am sure he will contact you via the internet. He might have a copy of the doco made by the ABC in the mid 70's regarding the P-37 on your site.

bye

Hereward
***********

P.S. I know Haig Street, although I haven't been there for nearly 13 years.

 

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Subject:      Re: War in Townsville
Date:               Fri, 6 Nov 1998 23:26:22 +1100
From:              "Hereward" <hereward@mypostbox.com>

Hello again

-----How do you do that BIG RED Writting?    (EASY!!!)     8-)

You were in RAAF reserve? Well you must have sighted each other at some stage. Melville has the same last name as me, Dundas-Taylor. Surely that rings a bell. the whole world knows him.

Melville has sited a book that Syd has which lists hundred's (maybe ALL) of known plane mishaps and disappearances before, during and after WWII even though I have never been able to see it. I assumed that you had a copy of it to. But don't rely on a single source of info as in research one always uncovers units that aren't officially known or logged.

I had an interesting time in the UK last year. I visited the closest hurricane, spitfire airfield to France in the Kent region. Still with freshly filled in bomb craters, officers accommodation, bunkers, remains of bombed out hangers, lots of camouflaged pillar boxes, and many buildings about to be bulldozed for suburbia (yes, it happens there to). I visited the local Battle of Britain Museum with many recently dug up fighter wrecks. No one is interested in B17's that lay under the sand on the beaches there because they are not B of B era. Weird. I also met a man who spends lots of time photographing thousands of wrecks aircraft, ships, submarines etc that lay on the bottom and near the coast of the English Channel. He lives upstairs from my Aunt in Edinburgh.

I am just going through your plane wreck listing. I hope to do a scubba course when I return to Townsville for a visit early in the new year. I can see that I'd like to do more than just dive on the reef. Sydney just doesn't have that opportunity. Still we have one more mini-sub to find.

I have spent a bit of time out at Tocumwal recently. The Americans build this huge Heavy Bomber Aircraft base there. As the Japs were stopped pushed back it was moved to Dolby then Townsville. The Dalby one is now just blocks of concrete. However Tocumwal still has four huge Bomber Hangers (one now houses a near complete squadron of modern jet fighters - Hawker somethings. They were fully armed - until the Federal Police found out recently and rocked up only like you see in the movies) . It remained a Liberator training base throughout the war. Even Gracie Field performed there for the troops in Sept. 1944. Do you know much of Liberators in Townsville. I wonder whereabouts they ended up in the region. Possibly at Garbutt where now houses are built over those huge vast grassed covered bitumen runways that lead halfway down to Aitkenvale even 15 years ago.

Bye for now

Hereward

 

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Subject:     Re: War in Townsville
Date:              Sun, 8 Nov 1998 15:50:53 +1100
From:             "Hereward" <hereward@mypostbox.com>

Hello Peter,

The log of lost aircraft Mel sighted is an official aviation one I believe. I think it covers all civil and military crashes in Australia. Melville is still in the Reserve. By day he is a school teacher. I have lost track of where, but he lives in Aitkenvale. He went to Duntroon around 1967 but was later found to have a medical condition and couldn't finish. He was very disappointed. He moved to Townsville and went to teachers college. He's never left.

The midget sub I was referring to is the third one of the 3 that attacked Sydney harbour and that has never been found. Some people believe it was buried under Darling Harbour. Others believe it escaped the net and got back out to sea. I think it was damaged by shelling. So it's probably rusting off the shore from the northern beaches somewhere.

Thanks for the info on the Dalrymple Road Stock Strip. I'll keep an eye out on it.

On a different subject of the war: I didn't know till I started researching information of an unrelated subject that Japanese Submarines were sunk off the Queensland Coast. I don't know how real the reports are accept that I have come across two separate articles referring to pilots reports a sub was sunk off the coast of Gladstone and one further down the NSW Coast. I wrote down the details of the first. Something for me to look into at another time. There were rumours of one on the beaches of Shoalwater Bay, but I believe Mel found that this turned out to be something else.

Your information mentions that several planes went down in the bay and around Magnetic Is. Have any of these been dived on do you know?

 

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Gooney Bird wreck
at Kuranda

(Can anyone give me some details on this aircraft?)

 

I have a picture of Gooney Bird (see above) which went down north of Cairns while returning for New Guinea with the loss of all onboard. But it is very well known and at the time out on display at Kuranda. I'll send the picture if you don't already have one. I took it in Easter 1985. 

Do you have any aerial pictures of the airstrips leading out Charters Towers and beyond? Apparently there were a number taken. Mel has seen these as well.

Bye for now

Hereward
********

 

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Subject:     Gooney Bird
Date:              Mon, 9 Nov 1998 11:11:12 +1100
From:             "Hereward" <hereward@mypostbox.com>

Hi Peter,

You're a mountain of information.

kuranda.jpg (77378 bytes)

Gooney Bird wreck
at Kuranda

(Can anyone give me some details on this aircraft?)

 

Here's the picture of the aircraft. It was taken on 7th July 1985. I remember they had a tap of The Andrew Sisters music playing continuously for effect in the cockpit. I wrote on the back of the picture

"Saren in foreground." [my girlfriend at the time]

"...This plane crashed in a storm in around 1942 with the loss of all those on board - nurses and wounded soldiers"

I hope it didn't take long to download. I scan everything at 8mb then save as a 2mb Jpg and reduce from there to smaller files for sending over the internet.

The man in the white shirt was one of those irrelevant people who step in front of something only when you go to take a picture of it. Oh, it was moved to this site from where it crashed in the mid-1980's. Very unusual considering it was large fatality crash.

I'd be interested in knowing more about the crashes & wrecks off the Townsville coast. They would not wasted their time recovering the aircraft at the time especially after being in salt water. A flying boat might be different. But raising a sunken aircraft off the bottom at that time would be rather unusual. But they may have broken up on impact or moved from their resting place on the bottom, although maybe not a great distance due to storms and other water disturbances. Some of the wrecks near coral atolls in the Pacific have not moved an inch in 50 years. I imagine these war birds have been left & forgotten. Something to ponder isn't it?

I'd be very surprised if a book exists on the Japanese subs. having grown up off the Central Queensland Coast, I'd never heard anything of such sub sinkings before. That's what took me by surprise this year. You get to hear a lot about aircraft and the occasional (hospital) ship etc. There was in fact a great deal of shipping sunk off the Queensland Coast, even some down into NSW. I think people would be quite surprised if they knew just how much.

Hopefully Mel will contact you sometime soon. He'll be able to tell you more about the crashed aircraft book. Should you not hear from him by the end of the week his email address is meldt@writeme.com. I am sure he won't mind me passing it onto you.

I look forward to viewing your new web pages. There was one noticeable mistake in one of the items on planes. It regarded the pilots names. You'd write 1 of them down as both experiences. Next time I look at it I'll make note and let you know.

Bye
Hereward
***********

WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville

 

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This page first produced 13 March 1999

This page last updated 13 May 2015