South Brisbane Dry Dock - A History
by David Jones and Peter Nunan

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When a ship is docked to clean away underwater barnacles and weed and to paint its bottom, dock workers often referred to this as a "haircut and shave". But the South Brisbane Dry Dock did much more than this, repairing seriously damaged shipping in peace and war, building wooden boats - and even hosting championship swimming events.

The South Brisbane Dry Dock became  the South Brisbane Ship Repair Base during WWII. Many RAN ships and US Navy Ships and Submarines were repaired there.

Two workshop buildings, a powerhouse building and a breasting wharf were built at the site. A number of smaller buildings were also constructed including a two story administration block which included the Naval Commander's office. Other buildings included specialised stores and dressing, and toilet and ablution sheds.

One notable docking was of USS Growler, a US Navy submarine, which had her bow bent at right angles after colliding with a Japanese warship in February 1943. A total of 85 US Navy Submarines were dry docked at the South Brisbane Dry Dock.


Soft Cover, 283 pages, 6 page Index, 4 pages of Sources,
includes many black and white and colour photographs


You can purchase your copy of this
very interesting book from 
Boolarong Press



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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 29 July 2014

This page last updated 21 January 2020