26 RADAR STATION RAAF
CAPE CLEVELAND, QLD
DURING WW2

hline.gif (2424 bytes)

 

The RAAF established No. 26 Radar Station (26RS) at Cape Cleveland near the Cape Cleveland Lighthouse on 1 June 1942. It was a Radio Location station. The Operations Record Book initially shows it as 26 Radio Station. Later entries show it as 26 RDF Station (Radio Direction Finding Station). From September 1943 it is called 26 Radar Station.

Cape Cleveland is at the eastern end of Cleveland Bay near Townsville in north Queensland.

The Commanding Officers of 26 Radar RAAF were as follows:-

Pilot Officer Carey 15 Jul 1942
Pilot Officer Uren 25 Sep 1942
Pilot Officer H. White 25 Jan 1943
Pilot Officer Ian William Young 23 Apr 1943
Flight Lieutenant Frank Vernon Bassett  5 Sep 1943
Flying Officer Michael William Robson 20 Mar 1944

The Environmental Protection Agency web site indicates that an observation post and a radar were set up on high ground near the lighthouse. The power house building remains, but is disused and in a dilapidated condition and only the foundations of the observation post and the radar hut remain. I wonder if the observation post was an RAN unit?

Joseph Henry Carter, the lighthouse keeper at Cape Cleveland from 1939 to 1943 was a member of the Volunteer Air Observer Corps.

 

 
Colin Victorsen Collection

Radar Antennae array at Cape Cleveland during WW2

 

Plan of the Lighthouse layout in 1952. The location of the WW2 Radar Aerial and Power House building are shown. The Observation
Post shown was actually the Watch House for the Lighthouse. It is no longer there as it was blown off its foundations during a
cyclone in the 1990's putting a dent in the lighthouse roof, and then disappeared out to sea. The Flying Fox can also be seen above.

 


Photo:- Carter Family

No1 Cottage after cyclone 18 February 1940. Bill Carter believes
this was where they later put the radar hut with the antennae on top.

 


Photo:- Carter Family

This house replaced the one in the photo above, probably
built beside it, and maybe they used some material from the other.

 


Photo:- Carter Family

The top end of the Flying Fox, Lighthouse Watchhouse on the right

 


Photo:- Carter Family

The bottom (beach) end of the Flying Fox and Boatshed,
 a very young Bill Carter sitting near the Flying Fox

 


Colin Victorsen Collection

Headed for Cape Cleveland Radar site, possibly members of 26 Radar unit

 


Colin Victorsen Collection

Lighthouse and 26 Radar site during WW2

 


Colin Victorsen Collection

Flying Fox to Lighthouse and Radar Beacon during WW2

 


Colin Victorsen Collection

Flying Fox to Lighthouse and Radar Beacon during WW2

 


Photo:- Ralph Sheffield

Remains of 26 Radar Site, Cape Cleveland in 1953

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

WW2 Concrete bunker, probably the powerhouse building associated with 26 Radar site

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

WW2 Concrete bunker, probably the powerhouse building associated with 26 Radar site

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Note all the old concrete rubble on the left. This was from the old houses they replaced in 1953

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Another shot similar to above. Note the concrete at left of photo. Bill Carter
told me that the piece of concrete was something they had down the
end of the track, where they lowered a trolley on rails down there with a
light on it so nothing would run into a big rock sticking out of the sea there

 


Photo:- Carter Family

Taken from the same area as the above 2005 photo with the car tracks covering the tram line tracks

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

End of the tram line tracks

 


Photo:- Carter Family

The Tram Line Trolley, May Carter at the right and her friend Ruby Andrews of Townsville on the left

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Cape Cleveland Lighthouse in August 2005

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Lighthouse Workshop

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Lighthouse Workshop

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

You can see a large rock in the sea to left of the distant headland.
No. 2  House and its water tank can be seen in the foreground.

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Another view of the rock in the sea.

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

From left Operators Steve White, Gavin Reibelt and Les Steel at International Lighthouse and
Lightship Weekend which is held every year, on the 3rd weekend in August. Radio Hams operate
from Lighthouses all around the world, mainly to publicise them and the radio connection with
them. Bill Carter usually turns up at a lighthouse somewhere on that weekend.

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Steve White operating the radio set

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

Radio equipment International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend

 


Photo:- via Bill Carter

View from the Lighthouse at Cape Cleveland

 


 

There was a Mustard Gas testing range somewhere near Cape Cleveland during WW2. Volunteer Australian soldiers were used in Mustard Gas trials in Australia from 1942 to 1945. The trials were carried out to study the possible effects of mustard in a tropical climate, which at that time were still unknown. Does anyone know where these test were carried out near Cape Cleveland?

Irv Hamlin who was a member of the 208th Coastal Artillery (AA) Regiment, US Army believes the 208th may have had a battery of 3" guns somewhere near Cape Cleveland for a while during WW2. Can anyone confirm?

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Bill Carter for his assistance with this web page.

 

In Association with Amazon.com

Heaps of WW2
books available at
Amazon.com

                         "Australia @ War"
                         

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2006

Disclaimer

Click here to E-Mail me
any information or photographs


 "Australia @ War"
Available on CD-R

Peter Dunn's
explode.gif (15799 bytes) AUSTRALIA @ WAR explode.gif (15799 bytes)
WWW.OZATWAR.COM


Do you need a holiday!
Sun, surf, beautiful beaches and lots more!


  Genealogy Software
190 Mbytes of Genealogy Indexes & Programs

This page first produced 18 January 2008

This page last updated 24 February 2008