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Benedict Stone Building at the end of Light Street, Fortitude Valley.
The now non-existent Bowen Hills Railway Station can be seen in the foreground.


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Close-up of the Benedict Stone Building


The US Navy's Torpedo Overhaul Shop was located in Rosetta Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland. It was located at the end of Light Street. The Benedict Stone building was knocked down in about 1999. There are modern apartments now located on the site.

One of the sailors who worked at the Torpedo Overhaul Shop was James Robert Penny who joined the US Navy in May 1941. He served on the USS Fulton on its shakedown cruise. They were two days out from Pearl Harbor when the Japs attacked on 7 December 1941. Jim transferred to the Torpedo Overhaul Shop in Brisbane where they overhauled and supplied torpedoes to the submarines at the large Submarine Base at New Farm. 

In February 2004, 81 year old Jim Penny told me that the Officers stayed in a house at the top of the hill. The Benedict Stone building had an overhead crane and crane ramp that ran outside the building. They used a flat bed truck to deliver torpedoes to and from the nearby Submarine Base at New Farm. Jim was paid a subsistence of $5.10 per day for his accommodation and dinner meal. Jim rented an apartment at Teneriffe Drive on a hill overlooking the Brisbane River at New Farm. He mostly ate Chinese Meals in Fortitude Valley. Jim bought a 1931 Chevy touring car to travel to work and generally get around Brisbane.

Jim used to go to a boxing gym owned by a Fight Promoter, named Jamison?, who lived about a block away from the Torpedo Overhaul Shop. Jim would work out there, and spar with some of the fighters being trained by Jamison.

Jim met and fell in love with a Brisbane girl called Betty Mitchell, who lived on the other side of the Brisbane River. They used to go to the Trocadero and they line danced with Ray Bolger. When he left Brisbane, Jim signed his Chevy car, his motor cycle and his pet Pekinese dog over to his girlfriend Betty.

Jim's group stayed at the Torpedo shop for about 13 months before they eventually they closed it down and moved on to Subic Bay in the Philippines. 



I'd like to thank Russell Miller and Dave Spethman for their assistance with this home page.


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This page first produced 11 April 2004

This page last updated 03 September 2018