ILLOWRA BATTERY
HILL 60, RED POINT
PORT KEMBLA, NSW

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Construction of Illowra Battery at Military Road, Hill 60, Red Point, Port Kembla started in late 1941 to install two 6" Mk XI guns. Whilst this work was underway two BL 60-pdr Mk I guns from 1 Medium Battery were installed as Nebo Battery at Red Hill as an interim measure. Illowra Battery was completed in February 1942. The two 60-Pdrs at Nebo Battery, Red Hill remained in place until September 1942. Illowra Battery was supported by sappers of the 133 Coast Artillery Searchlight Section which was absorbed into Illowra Battery in May 1943.

In about late 1943, a VDC component was attached to Illowra Battery. As it was still the Examination Battery at that time, it still retained a skeleton AMF crew. All guns were placed on a care and maintenance basis in August 1944.

Some unofficial incorrect names from Illowra Battery were Kembla Battery, Wollongong Battery and Hill 60 Battery. The Hill 60 Lookout web site mentions "The bunkers are connected by a series of underground tunnels which honeycomb the entire area."

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

4 Dec 1943 At 1800 hrs Capt. M. Wilson marched out to Coast Arty. Port Phillip. Capt. Leggett L.E. acting O.C.
5 Dec 1943 Electric Lights and power for Battery completed.
7 Dec 1943 M.K. v remote control switch for no. 4 Light installed.
15 Dec 1943 At 2030 hrs 1 inch Aiming Rifle Practice - 3 series each of 16 rounds. Director of Practice - Major G. Blackmore.
24 Dec 1943 M Kv remote control switch for no. 5 light installed.
21 Jan 1944 At 1200 hours Bofors 40mm light A.A. gun sited near red A.G.P.
26 Jan 1944 At 2030 hours 1" Aiming Rifle Practice - 3 series each of 16 rounds.
15 Feb 1944 At 1300 hours Practice Seaward 1" A.R.
16 Feb 1944 At 1400 hours 1" Aiming Rifle Practice seaward, 3 series of 16 rounds.
20 Feb 1944 At 1300 hours Practice Seaward 1" A.R. (V.D.C. Manning)
20 Feb 1944 At 1400 hours 1" Aiming Rifle practice seaward for V.D.C. personnel - 3 series of 16 rounds.
15 Mar 1944 At 1500 hours Practice Seawards 1" A.R.
19 Mar 1944 At 1400 hours Practice Seawards 1" AR (VDC)
25 Mar 1944

At 1000 hours Visit by Lt. Col. Ord.

24 Apr 1944 With the exception of two permanent personnel and night manning provided from Illowra Bty all personnel withdrawn from Mole Section.
27 Apr 1944 At 1400 hours 1" Aiming practice 6 series of 16 rounds (Lt. Col. Knox and Major Vincent present)
29 Apr 1944 At 1700 hours VDC night practice 4 series of 16 rounds.
30 Apr 1944 At 1000 hours VDC shoot 6 series of 16 rounds.
24 May 1944 Evacuation of all stores and equipment Mole Sec. commenced owing to rough weather. Completed 16?? hours on 26th. Mole out of action indefinitely.
28 May 1944 Preliminary construction of AA Firing Platform on top of B.D.R.? commenced under supervision of Lt. Beavis.
30 May 1944

S?CD? & C5? Shoots AMF of 30th, 31st May cancelled indefinitely owing to unavailability of "Norce"?, towing vessel.

3 Jun 1944 At 1900 hours 28 Rds 6" 2/3 charge fired by V.D.C. Seawards.
4 Jun 1944 At 1400 hours 28 Rds 6" 2/3 charge fired by V.D.C. Seawards.
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)
26 Jun 1944 At 1000 hours 112 Rds 1" A.R. fired by Bty Personnel Seawards.
11 Jul 1944

At 1800 hours 6" Shoot. Director of practice Major Blackmore. 58 rounds fire din four series by - Major Chapman, Capt Gosper, Lt. Poole, Capt Laggett.

26 Jul 1944

Bty commenced training on 18 pounder equipment.

Sep 1944 During September approx. 13 females, 25 male surplus personnel disposed of to R.R.D. and 1 Aust Base Depot personnel.
9 Oct 1944 Maj Chapman marched out to Fort Queenscliffe VIC. Q Stores and Armament taken over by Capt Petschler.
17 Oct 1944

22 Surplus AWAS marched out.

18 Oct 1944 13 AWAS marched in.
28 Oct 1944 Illowra Bty VDC carried out 18 Pdr seaward practice from Breakwater Bty 6 series 84 rounds.
4 Nov 1944 Maj. G. Blackmore rejoined ext school. Resumed duty as OC Illowra.
10 Nov 44 Examination Bty ceased operation.
28 Nov 1944 At 0800 hours Lt Duffield A.L. M/O to Aust Arty Trg Regt.
13 Dec 1944 At 1400 hours Party of One Officer and 7 OR's left Illowra Bty for Bowen Island, Jervis Bay to reclaim 2 searchlight cables 37/072 size. One cable approx. 220 yds taken across to mainland and returned to store at Breakwater. Second cable is coiled on wharf at Bowen Island awaiting special transport to bring it across. Party returned to Illowra Bty on 19 Dec '44.

 

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

18 Dec 1944 Capt Petchler marched out to Drummond Bty.
25 Dec 1944 At 1200 hours Message received of submarine in vicinity of Jervis Bay. Battery went to alarm. From maintenance state to readiness in one hour. One gun, one searchlight, Command Post and D.S. completely manned. Full watch system re-introduced by night. One lookout by day.

 


click on thumbnail
to enlarge

National Archives of Australia Plan
showing the layout for Illowra Battery.

 

Fortress Observation Post now used by Marine Rescue
Port Kembla
and Observation Post at Hill 60, Red Point

 

Observation Post at Hill 60, Red Point

 

Now Hill 60 Lookout possibly the WWII
Headquarters building for Illowra Battery

 


Photo:- via Peter Flockart

This structure at 27 Gallipoli St, Port Kembla is possibly
 the Battery Observation Post for Breakwater Battery.

 


Photo:- via Peter Flockart

 Possibly the Battery Observation Post for Breakwater Battery

 

There were two searchlight positions that supported Illowra Battery, one at Boilers Point to the north and the other just south of today's sewerage plant on Red Point. The searchlight at Boilers Point also supported Breakwater Battery.

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Remains of E. L. 3, the northern searchlight for Illowra Battery on Boilers Point

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Remains of E. L. 3, the northern searchlight for Illowra Battery on Boilers Point

 

The National Archives of Australia Plan above shows that there was a 3 pounder gun located immediately to the east on E. L. No. 3

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

No. 2 engine room located south of today's sewerage plant on Red Point.

 


Photo:- Peter Flockart

Rubble near No. 2 engine room position

 

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, Graeme Steinbeck and Panic! for their assistance with this home page.

 

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This page first produced 7 October 2001

This page last updated 05 January 2021