US ARMY SIGNALS CORPS
HEMMANT TRANSMITTING SITE
YOUNGS ROAD, HEMMANT, BRISBANE, QLD
DURING WW2

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visits since 9 May 2003

 

The US Army Signals Corps built a radio transmitting station on many acres of land at Youngs Road, Hemmant in Brisbane, Queensland in 1943. The transmitter building was a tee shaped building. There were some 100 feet high rhombic aerials erected by the Americans at the Hemmant site. The aerials have long gone, but the old transmitter building and diesel (250kilowatt Buckeye) building still remain to this day. 


Photo:- via Leo Maloney

Photo of the original buildings as they looked probably in the 1950's

 


Photo:- via Leo Maloney

View of the main Transmitter Station building probably in the 1950's.
Note how it was originally raised above the surrounding swampy ground

 


Photo:- via Leo Maloney

The generator building can be seen past the end of the main Transmitter Station
building. They are probably PMG vehicles parked near the generator building.

 


Photo:- via Leo Maloney

Close-up of the main Transmitter Station building

 


Photo:- via Leo Maloney

Fuel drums can be seen beside the generator building

 


Photo:- via Leo Maloney

An aerial can be seen in the swampy surroundings

 

The Transmitter Site main building today at 180 Youngs Road, Hemmant

 

Side view of main building showing the tee part at the rear of the building (on the right)

 

Note the old timber construction barbed wire security fence around the buildings

 

Generator Building at Hemmant Transmitter Site

 

The inside of the Generator building

The site was used after WW2 by the Commonwealth of Australia as a Radio Station. The Hemmant site was sold a number of years ago to a former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Clem Jones. It has since been resold and converted into a private residence which is owned by Ian and Roslyn McIlwain. The Generator Building is now used as a storage building.

 

Old Commonwealth of Australia sign on the end of the main building.

Lionel Sharp told me that this US Army Signals Corps site at Hemmant worked in conjunction with a Receiving Site about 5 - 6 miles away at Capalaba which was established in 1943 at Cotton's Farm, Capalaba. Lionel mentioned that a George S. Barr used to work for the Americans at the Hemmant transmitting site. Roy McIlwain told me that an American, John Pollitt also worked at the Transmitter site and used to live at Wynnum West.

Christopher McIlwain mentioned that at one stage they dug up a very large multi-core cable in the paddock.

Lionel Sharp said that when the original generator was removed at some time after the war, you could see the names of three persons and the year "1943" etched into the concrete slab. The three men were as follows:-

Sgt. B.E. Norris
Sgt. H.V. Fowler
Sgt. R.J. Krotky

 

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The names in the concrete slab
inside the Generator Building

 

Concrete slab at the Transmitter site (possibly not a WW2 slab)

There was a Press brand Wireless Shifter Unit at the Hemmant site, which converted teletype signals into radio signals. This then drove 1,000 watt Federal brand transmitter type BC339K. This transmitter then drove a 10,000 watt Colonial brand amplifier. 

It is understood that the purpose of the US Army Signal Corps WW2 radio system was to:-

- listen to enemy broadcasts and
- maintain direct contact with Washington

Messages were apparently relayed directly by teletype link to General Douglas MacArthur's GHQ, SWPA in the AMP building in Queens Street, Brisbane.

Ken Osterberg of Detachment 3 of the 832nd Signal Service Company, advised that part of Detachment 3 was the men who operated the overseas radio station in Brisbane. It's possible they are the men who ran this site and the one at Capalaba.

There is a line of smaller slabs running up diagonally away to the right from the above larger slab.
These smaller ones are possibly WW2 slabs for the rhombic aerials

 

One of the smaller slabs

 

Another old slab with a more modern steel base anchored to it

 


via George E. Boileau, Jr.

Pass for Corporal G.E. Boileau (14063483) to access the Hemmant Transmitting Station

 


via George E. Boileau, Jr.

Corporal G.E. Boileau was living at Camp Yeronga

 


via George E. Boileau, Jr.

 

 

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via George E. Boileau, Jr.

Calendar for part of 1943 and all of 1944

 


Photo : via George E. Boileau, Jr.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Lionel Sharp for his assistance with this home page. Lionel worked at both the Hemmant and Capalaba sites back in the 1950's and has provided much of the above technical information. 

I'd like to thank Christopher McIlwain (Ian's son) and Roy McIlwain (Ian's brother) for their assistance with this home page.

I'd like to thank George E. Boileau, Jr. of Gilbert, Arizona USA, for his assistance with this web page. His father George Edward Boileau, Sr. worked at the Hemmant Transmitting Station during WW2. George died in 1987 and is buried in New Orleans, Louisiana USA in the family tomb.

I'd like to thank Leo Maloney for his assistance with this web site.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2005

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This page first produced 9 May 2003

This page last updated 27 September 2009