FRASER COMMANDO SCHOOL
FRASER ISLAND, QLD
|visits since 7 April 2002|
Fraser Commando School was established on Fraser Island near Central Station to train "Z" Special Unit commandos.
"Z" Special Unit Commandos also had a camp near McKenzie Jetty on Fraser Island.
"Z" Special Unit was the holding company for Australian service personnel in SRD, previously ISD.
Lt. F. Holland operated a school at Peak Hill on a promontory across the estuary from Darwin to select potential Portuguese commandos to be trained at Fraser Commando School.
Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) established their School for Eastern Interpreters Initially at Fraser Commando School. It then relocated to Mount Martha Research Station, and then finally to Park Orchards, Melbourne.
In February 1944, Major H.A. "Jock" Campbell handed over the command of Fraser Commando School to Lieutenant Donald M.N. Davidson, RNVR. Campbell then became Director of Operations of SRD. By this time Fraser Commando School was also used by units other than SRD units. 120 Filipinos were trained over four two-month courses. Thirty signallers were also trained at FCS along with twelve medical orderlies and a few personnel from Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO).
Keith Stringfellow, who was Acting O.C. of Fraser Command School at one stage, was President of the NSW Branch of the Z Special Unit Association in late 2002.
"Alatna" was operating out of Fraser Commando School by February 1944.
During World War Two Z Special Unit commandos used the beached vessel Maheno for commando exercises. It had also been used as a target for allied bombing practise. The 5,377 ton, 404 foot former luxury New Zealand trans-Tasman liner had been sold to the Japanese for scrap metal and was being towed to Japan when its tow rope broke during an unseasonal cyclone. It washed ashore on the beach on Fraser Island on 19 July 1935 between Eli Creek and The Pinnacles.
"The Intrigue Master - Commander Long and
Naval Intelligence in Australia, 1913-1945"
by Barbara Winter
© Peter Dunn 2003
This page first produced 7 April 2002
This page last updated 26 March 2005