DRUMMOND BATTERY, PORT KEMBLA, NSW
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

Construction of Drummond Battery started in mid 1941 with two BL 9.2" Mk X guns on order from the UK. The delivery of the guns from the UK was delayed and two guns were transferred from the proposed East Battery in Darwin which was halted after the Japanese bombing in February 1942. As a result, Drummond Battery was operational in October 1942. The Battery was supported by sappers of 204 9.2" Gun Section which was transferred to the RAA in May 1943 and then absorbed into Drummond Battery in October 1943.

Work recommenced on East Battery in Darwin in March 1943 and two new Mk VV guns were ordered from the UK for East Battery. However in December 1943 it was decided to redirect these new guns to Drummond Battery and the older Mk X guns at Drummond Battery to Darwin. The first Mk X gun was removed from Drummond Battery in January 1944 and the first Mk XV gun was operational at Drummond Battery in September 1944. The second Mk X gun was removed from Drummond Battery in October 1944 and the replacement Mk XV gun was operational at Drummond Battery in mid 1945.

12 VDC Battalion (NSW) started to train at Drummond Battery in coast artillery in mid 1943. In September 1943 Drummond Battery (VDC) was formed within the battalion to man Drummond Battery and Breakwater Battery on a callout basis. A small AMF cadre was retained to man at least one gun in an emergency until the VDC men mobilised.

Drummond Battery operated at a reduced Manning level from February 1944 and Drummond Battery (VDC) was stood down in August 1944 and Drummond Battery was retained as a maintenance cadre until December 1944 when the second Mk XV gun was proof-fired then placed on a care and maintenance basis and Drummond Battery was disbanded.

Win Television now occupies the site of the former WWII Drummond Battery.

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

28 Nov 1943 130 VDC attended training. Governor of NSW (Colonel VDC) attended by Brigadier General Herring, Lt. Col. Knox and party of Fortress and VDC officers visited the battery to inspect VDC in training.
30 Nov 1943 Colonel Stubers visited the battery. Major Masters and Captain Klyne visited the battery to inspect R.A.P.
3 Dec 1943 Major Watt handed over to Lieut. Neilley
9 Dec 1943 13 AWAS Fortress Sec. marched in.
11 Dec 1943 Work commenced on dismantling No. 2 Gun, No. 2 Pump chamber and Lister Engines No. 1 and No. 2.
14 Dec 1943

Lt. Col. Knox inspected work. Major Chapman marched in.

20 Dec 1943 Brigadier Fields, Col. Wright and party inspected work etc. on removal of equipment.
26 Dec 1943 Lt. Col. Hendry marched in. 8 Tank transporters arrived with 1 Officer & 20 OR's.
1 Jan 1944 Work commenced removal of No. 2 Gun No. L293 and mounting No. 44
12 Jan 1944 Power through to No. 1 Gun. A??? adjusting valves, etc.
22 Jan 1944 Co. Wright, 2 Aust Army visited battery.
28 Jan 1944 Convoy carrying gun moved out.
31 Jan 1944 1st Preparation for Action under power carried out.
17 Feb 1944 Department of Interior electricians completed work on Battery.
23 Mar 1944 2nd Garrison Battalion withdrew main gate guards - Battery Personnel took over.
25 Mar 1944 Lieut. Col. Ord accompanied by C.C.A. Kembla visited and inspected Battery.
29 Mar 1944 Practice shoot carried out at Cape Banks by personnel of Drummond Battery.
2 Apr 1944 Automatic stops now fitted to No. 1 Gun.
3 Apr 1944 Col. Wright inspected equipment, as DDME Second Aust Army
20 Apr 1944 Checker plates now laid in Plotting Rooms and Engine Rooms. During the month, an overhaul of the Bofors was made, and Dummy gun in No. 2 emplacement was removed, in preparation of installation of new gun.
30 Apr 1944 Excavation in front of No. 1 Gun commenced in preparation for removal of present gun.
3 May 1944 Lt. Col. Hendry marches in to commence work on the installation of No. 2 Gun.
11 May 1944 Work Air Conditioning plant in operation.
13 May 1944 3 Pr sub calibre and ?? ?? ?? practice seawards from Banks Bty Sydney Fortress by Drummond Detachments. 30 rds 6 Pr. 20 rds 9.2".
14 May 1944 VDC Practice Seawards by Drummond Detachments fired from Banks Bty, Sydney Fortress.
16 May 1944 NF392218 Lt. E.D. Allwood (AWAS) joined Battery as Plotting Officer, from Sydney Coast Arty.
23 May 1944 Ordnance 9.2" Mk xv arrived by road transport from Sydney.
1-3 Jun 1944 Component parts of 9.2" Mk VV and Mk IX mtg arrived and stored at A.I.S. and Drummond.
10-20 Jun 1944 All new 9.2 stores at Drummond and A.I.S. being cleaned and prepared for installation.
21 Jun 1944 At 1400 hours 182 Rds 40 m.m. A.A. fired by 4 Bty Crews from Gerringong. (Note this entry is shown for Illowra & Drummond)
27 Jun 1944 Inspection of Installations by Lt. Col. A A Ord C.I. LHQ School of Arty (Coast) and party. Inspection of Installations by Lt. Col. A.E. Knox Fortress Cmd. and Lt. Col. A.G. Thomson CCA Brisbane.
3 Jul 1944

Carriage body, No. 2 Gun, placed in position

4 Jul 1944 Shell Pit shield, No. 2 Gun, Placed in position.
6 Jul 1944 Capt R. Allison marched out from attachment on transfer to A.A.
11 Jul 1944 Cradle, No. 2 Gun, placed in position. Inspection of Battery by Lt. Col. A. Knox and Lt. Col. Keogh.
22 Jul 1944 No. 2 piece placed in position in cradle - witnessed by Lt. Col. A.E. Knox and Major Vincent.
27 Jul 1944 GENERAL - During the month the assembly of No. 2 Gun proceeded without incident, except that it was found that when completely assembled the gun house would foul the concrete arch. The difficulty was referred by L. Col. J.E. Hendry to LHQ and a modification to gun house was decided on.
23 Aug 1944 Maj Gen. Whitelaw and Lt. Col. Knox inspected Bty.
23 Aug 1944

A.E.M.E. Artificers are still fitting components and accessories to Mk XV gun.

 

6 Sep 1944

All electrical wiring, breech mechanism and sights removed from No. 1 Gun. At 0630 hours Drummond Bty completely out of action. No. 1 Gun dismantling commenced.

4 Sep 1944 At 1200 hours BOP ceased to be manned - Working party of 18 troops ex Dapto commenced erecting wire fence around battery - List Switchboards replace din both Engine Rooms. All Coast Arty AWAS marched out.
11 Sep 1944 Darwin Draft marched out - 61 other ranks - Painting No. 2 Gun completed.
3 Oct 1944 No. 1 Gun pedestal removed and loaded.
31 Oct 1944 23 Sydney Coast Arty personnel returned to Sydney Coast Arty on 1525 hours train from Wollongong Station.
1 Nov 1944 Lt. Foreman marched in to relieve Lt. Ludlow.
10 Nov 1944 At 1400 hours Lt Ludlow L. B. M/O to Coast Arty. (AIF) Darwin.
16 Nov 1944 Loading No. 1 Gun Drummond commenced at Port Kembla.
23 Nov 1944 At 1130 hours Proofed mounting No. 84 9.2 Mk IX No. 2 Gun Drummond.

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

No. 1 Gun Pit at Drummond Battery

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

No. 2 Gun pit at Drummond Battery

 


Photo:- AWM

 Interior of Pit 1 before No. 1 Gun was installed

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Rear of Battery Observation Post BOP

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Entrance to No. 1 Gun

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Entrance to No. 2 Gun

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Vents for tunnel for No. 2 gun

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Unknown structure

 

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 and Peter Flockart for their assistance with this web page.

 

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This page first produced 30 December 2020

This page last updated 05 January 2021