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In the early hours of 23 May 1942, a Japanese Yokosuka E14Y1, Navy Type 0 "Glen" small float plane from Japanese submarine I-29 under the Command of Lieutenant Commander Izu, was launched from the deck of the submarine to carry out a reconnaissance flight over Sydney in New South Wales.


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Yokosuka E14Y1, Navy Type 0 "Glen"


As it approached the entrance to Sydney Harbour it was spotted by the Sydney Port War Signalling Station and RDF School (RAN 281) located 1/3 of a mile SSE of the Hornby Light on South Head but ignored as it was assumed it was an allied aircraft. It was then tracked by a mobile radar station at Iron Cove in Sydney Harbour near the suburb of Rozelle. The detection was also ignored as it was considered an anomaly on the military's experimental radar station.


Photo:- Don Caldwell-Smith

The mobile radar set located near
Iron Cove, in Sydney which
detected the Japanese float plane


Photo:- via Richard Michalak

It is believed that the radar at Iron Cover
was a British GL Mk 2 Radar Receiver


It is not clear which unit operated this radar station. There was an Australian Army anti-aircraft gun station and a separate searchlight battery very close to the Iron Cove area in the suburb of Five Dock. These two sites can be seen on the 1943 aerial photos of Sydney. Apparently the British GL Mk 2 Radar is typically used to direct anti-aircraft guns. Another possibility is that It could have been a Royal Australian Navy Radar. Can anyone please confirm?

The Australian Army's 1 Anti-aircraft Battery (1 AA Bty) established four 3.7 guns at Five Dock in late 1941 and these transferred to 15th Anti-aircraft Battery (15 AA Bty) in May 1942 along with other gun stations at Rose Bay, Moore Park and Fort Denison, and Battery Headquarters at Randwick. In July 1942, the Five Dock guns became 356 HAA Gun Station. Troops from the 11th Volunteer Defence Corps Battalion (11 VDC Bn) trained at Five Dock from May 1943. In August 1943 they became 356 HAA Tp (Static) in 15 HAA Bty (Static) and the troop was a mixture of AMF and VDC soldiers. Perhaps this mobile radar was associated with the Heavy Anti-aircraft guns?



World War II Sea War: Volume 6: The Allies Halt the Axis Advance

Pearl Harbour
Office of Environment and Heritage NSW

Six Maps - NSW Government Spatial Services



I'd like to thank Richard Michalak and Graham McKenzie-Smith for their assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 24 March 2017

This page last updated 25 March 2017