hline.gif (2424 bytes)


One of the small Range Observation Bunkers on the Towns Common
in October 2001. Castle Hill can be seen to the left of this photograph


There were originally four small concrete bunkers on the Town Common behind the RAAF Garbutt airfield during WWI. They were apparently used as shelters and observation posts for ground crews servicing the nearby gunnery and bombing range. They are sometimes referred to as the "Machine Gun Bunkers".

One of the targets in the area was a wooden replica of a Japanese landing barge. These targets were located on the salt pans to the west of the four bunkers. Both RAAF and USAAC used the area for Machine Gun and Bombing practice.


The same Range Observation Bunker with Mount Marlow in the Background


The Queensland National Parks & Wildlife Service sign located on the road near the remaining 2 bunkers


The other Range Observation Bunker


A different view of the second bunker


A close-up of the reinforcing in the walls of one of the bunkers


Can anyone tell me what this was used for. There are a number of them located
on both bunkers. Possibly something to do with camouflage arrangements.


Someone suggested that one of the Japanese bombs landed near one of these bunkers
during the second bombing raid on Townsville on the evening of 27/28 July 1942. It is
more likely that this may have been the site where they exploded the unexploded
Japanese bomb from that second Japanese bombing raid.


Another theory from Kevin Parkes is that these bunkers were actually 4 pump house for draining a military tunnel that ran between Kissing Point and Cape Pallarenda. The theory is that there were 4 spur "drain tunnels" leading off at approximately right angles to the main tunnel and heading for the four bunkers.

These bunkers are similar to two concrete bunkers located 10 kms south west of Bundaberg which were probably associated with a WWII RAAF aerial Gunnery Range located in that area.


WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


 Peter Dunn 2015


Please e-mail me
any information or photographs

"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 4 November 2001

This page last updated 18 January 2020