ANTI-AIRCRAFT POSITIONS
NEAR FREMANTLE SUBMARINE BASE
FREMANTLE, WA, DURING WW2

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visits since 4 April 2004

"E" Battery of the 2nd Battalion of the 197th Coastal Artillery (AA) Regiment arrived in Fremantle on 23 March 1942 and manned a number of defensive position (50 Calibre Machine Guns) along the quay leading to the US Navy Fremantle Submarine Base until 27 July 1942.

Warren Rollins of the 197th Coastal Artillery (AA) Regiment made the following notation in his diary:- 

On March 14, 1942, the SS Monterey sailed out of Brisbane to Perth and the Fremantle Harbor. We set up defensive positions along the key leading to the submarine base. 

The 197th Coastal Artillery (AA) Regiment (197th CAAA), New Hampshire National Guard, had earlier arrived in Brisbane, Queensland on 9 March 1942 on board the SS Monterey.

Warren said "Our regiment was one of the first to arrive in Australia and it was equipped with an Automatic Weapons Battery with 50 cal. machine guns. A Gun Battalion, the 744th with 3 inch anti aircraft guns, and a search light Battalion. Our 50 Calibre anti- aircraft machine guns were used against low flying planes. They were set up along the runways on both strips (Iron Range Recovery Base). While in Fremantle we were set up along the key leading to the Fremantle Submarine Base and lived with the Australian soldiers in the buildings along the tracks." 

 

Warren Rollins in the middle

 

Warren Rollins in the middle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Michael from Manchester NH at the entrance to the heavy
anti-aircraft machine gun emplacement on the beach in Fremantle

 

Thomas Michael from Manchester NH

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Warren "Wally" E. Rollins, who was a member of the 197th CA (AA) Regiment for his assistance with this home page. W.E. Rollins told me that he got a thankyou from the Lord Mayor of Perth and other than that nothing has ever been said of their occupation in Fremantle. 

 

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This page first produced 4 April 2004

This page last updated 14 February 2011