NAVAL MAGAZINE TOWNSVILLE, US
|visits since 28 September 2004|
The construction of the Naval Magazine for the US Navy in Townsville, north Queensland was authorised on 10 May 1943. The magazine was located about 4 miles north west of Townsville on the outskirts of Garbutt airfield. The Naval Magazine was connected to the USAD telephone exchange so perhaps it was located adjacent to Garbutt airfield close to the US Air Depot #2 at Mount Louisa.
The Magazine comprised two 20 ft x 50 ft Armco Ordnance Magazine huts along with two light wood frame buildings for barracks and mess hall. These two latter buildings were built from local materials. Local Australian labour, possibly from the Civil Construction Corps, was used to construct the Magazine under the supervision of the Company Commander, Company "C" of the 55th Naval Construction Battalion. The work was completed on 23 August 1943.
I believe the Armco
Ordnance Magazine huts may have looked like
the above huts located at the Darra RAN Ammunition Dump in Brisbane
Very thick corrugated iron sheets on
the Magazine Huts at
the Darra RAN Ammunition Dump in Brisbane. Armco is a
self-supporting heavy gauge arched and ribbed metal sheeting
The War Diary for Commander Service Force, Seventh Fleet shows that Field Torpedo Unit No. 28 arrived in Brisbane from overseas on 24 March 1943 and moved from Brisbane to Townsville on 30 April 1943. The War Diary noted that "Works requisitions have been submitted for the erection of magazines for reserve ammunition at TOWNSVILLE."
Field Torpedo Unit No 28 with a compliment of 12 men and 1 officer were based at the Naval Magazine.
The Naval Magazine was later enlarged by an extra two Armco Ordnance Magazine huts.
The Naval Magazine was part of the US Navy Base in Townsville which comprised:-
Fleet Post Office
Base Supply Depot
120 Bed Naval Hospital
The US Navy Base in Townsville remained in operation until July 1944 when a detachment form Company "D" of the 84th Naval Construction Battalion started to dismantle the base and pack it up to be relocated to a forward area.
NOTE:- The War Diary for Commander Service Force, Seventh Fleet shows that Lt. (jg) OVS J. F. Schipper (141229) was appointed Commanding Officer of Mobile Torpedo Unit (MTU #28) on 1 May 1943. I'm not sure if this is the same as Field Torpedo Unit No. 28.
I'd like to thank Gina Nichols for her assistance with this home page.
I'd also like to thank Mel Dundas-Taylor for his assistance with this web page.
© Peter Dunn 2004
This page first produced 28 September 2004
This page last updated 23 January 2012