BREAKWATER BATTERY
PORT KEMBLA, NSW
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

Breakwater Battery at Port Kembla was completed in September 1939 on the southern harbour breakwater. The two BL 6" Mk XI guns were supported by the sappers of the 132nd Coastal Artillery Searchlight Section which was absorbed into Breakwater Battery in May 1943.

 


Plan:- National Archives of Australia

Plan of Breakwater Battery

 

The above plan shows there were 17 buildings located south of the Close Defence Battery Observation Post CDBOP building as follows:- 3 EM Quarters, 1 Officers Quarters, 1 Officers Mess, 1 W.O. & Sgts Quarters, 1 Mens Mess, 1 Latrines & Showers, 1 Hospital, 1 Engineers Quarters, 1 Canteen, 1 Garage, 1 Office, 1 Orderly Sgts, 1 Store, 2 buildings not labelled. In addition it shows the location of two concrete engine rooms.

 


Photo:- via Donna Abbati

Breakwater Battery Close Defence Battery
Observation Post CDBOP and other buildings

 


Photo:- via Donna Abbati

Breakwater Battery Close Defence Battery
Observation Post CDBOP in the 1990s

 

In January 1942, two QF 3-pdr guns were installed to protect the 6" guns at Breakwater Battery. One gun at Goon Battery was located north of the Breakwater Battery at the mouth of Tom Thumb Lagoon and the other gun at Fish Battery was located to the south of Breakwater Battery at Fisherman's Beach. In December 1942, the two QF 3-pdr guns from Goon Battery and Fish Battery were relocated to Mole Section located on the northern breakwater.

12 VDC Battalion (NSW) started to train in coast artillery in mid 1943 and took over the manning of Drummond Battery and Breakwater Battery on a part time basis with a small AMF cadre for training and maintenance. All guns were placed on a care and maintenance basis in August 1944.

Breakwater Battery site is now home to the Breakwater Battery Military Museum at 2 Gloucester Boulevard, Port Kembla. It is located in the WWII Close Defence Battery Observation Post (CDBOP) bunker. The museum was opened in 1988 to showcase the important military history of the region. The museum building was the headquarters and command post for the Breakwater Battery during WWII.

Kembla Fortress War Diary has the following entries for Breakwater Battery:-

20 Feb 1944 At 0900 hours Practice Seaward 1" A.R. (V.D.C. Manning)
3 Jun 1944 At 1000 hours 14 Rds 6" 2/3 charge fired by V.D.C. Seawards.
3 Jun 1944 At 2000 hours 28 Rds 6" 2/3 charge fixed (sic) by V.D.C. Seawards.
4 Jun 1944 At 0900 hours 14 Rds 6" 2/3 charge fired by V.D.C. Seawards.
15 Sep 1944 Capt A. Gosper assumes duties as Adjutant vic Capt W.K.A. Paver.
16 Oct 1944 Major G. Brown, FC and CO Kembla Coast Arty, M/O to 2 Special Course OCTU, Inf Conversion, Seymour.
28 Oct 1944 18 Pdr Practice Seawards Illowra Bty VDC.
3 Nov 1944 Maj. Mort resumed duty as FC ex hospital.
4 Nov 1944 Practice Seawards 18 pdr. by Drummond Bty VDC 84 rds.
18 Nov 1944 VDC ceased training.
19 Nov 1944 9.2 gun loading completed, shipped to Darwin.
28 Nov 1944 At 0800 hours Lt. T.J. Poole M/O to Aust Arty Rd Trg Regt.

 

Kembla Fortress War Diary has the following entries for Breakwater (CA) Bty:-

14 Dec 1944 Capt Smith M/I from Townsville C.A.
16 Dec 1944 Capt Paver, Lt Foreman, Lt Brown M/O to 2 Aust Inf Trag Bde for conversion trg. Capt Petchler A/OC Drummond vice Lt Foreman.

 

Kembla Fortress War Diary has the following entries for Breakwater Fire Command:-

19 Mar 1944 At 1000 hours Practice Seawards 1" A.R. (VDC Manning)

 

Map of Coastal Batteries around Port Kembla

 

Coastal Defences Port Kembla, NSW

 

Anti-aircraft Defences Port Kembla

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Graham McKenzie-Smith AM, Peter Flockart and Donna Abbati for their assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 30 December 2020

This page last updated 05 January 2021