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"A" Aust Heavy Battery was formed in Townsville on 18 July 1942. Major T.Y. Butterworth was the Commanding Officer. New personnel for the unit arrived at the Cluden Staging Camp. Colonel L. H Thompson of the US Army gave training on the new guns to supplied by the Americans.

The 168 Coast Artillery Searchlight Section (168 CASL) was attached to the "A" Aust Heavy Battery.

Eventually the 2 new 155mm guns arrived on 20 August 1942 and were installed on Signal Hill. The men of "A" Battery moved from Cluden to their new barracks at Signal Hill in Townsville. They received hands on training on the guns at Signal Hill.

On 26 August 1942, the Commanding Officer, Major Butterworth and the Battery Captain, Capt. F.E. Tierney flew to Port Moresby in prepare for the units move to Port Moresby. On 30 August 1942, 6 rounds were fired from each gun to calibrate the guns.

On 3 September 1942, "A" Battery relocated to Cluden. to allow "F" Battery to man the guns at Signal Hill.

On 14 September 1942, the men of "A" Battery left Townsville for Milne Bay, New Guinea on board the "Van Heutsz". Their new guns for Milne Bay were carried on the ship "West Cactus", while their ammunition and provisions were transported on the "Hanyan".

On 10 May 1943, "A" Battery moved to Port Moresby. Battery then relocated to Boera on 17 May 1943.

On 20 May 1943, "A" Aust Heavy Battery was dissolved and its men and equipment were transferred to Boera Battery, Coast Artillery, Moresby. On approximately 18 August 1943, the unit was renamed as "R" Aust Heavy Battery (Coast) AIF.

On 20 March 1944, "R" Battery moved to Port Moresby, where they boarded the "Ormiston" on 10 April 1944, headed for Australia. The "Ormiston" arrived at Townsville at 3pm on 9 April 1944, where 1 officer and 4 other ranks disembarked. The "Ormiston" arrived in Bowen at 3pm the following day, where the whole unit disembarked and boarded a train bound for Brisbane.

They moved to Kalinga Staging Camp in Brisbane. After some welcomed leave, they reported back to Fort Lytton, on the south side of the Brisbane River near the river's mouth.



"The 'Letter' Batteries - The History of the 'Letter' Batteries in World War II"
by Reg Kidd and Ray Neal


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This page first produced 18 May 2003

This page last updated 06 September 2018