NAVY 143

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The US Navy Base Section in Townsville, Queensland during WWII was known as Navy 143 and comprised:-

Many of the Naval facilities for this Naval Base Section in Townsville were constructed by or supervised by the 55th Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees).

No facilities were set up for repairs but arrangements were made with the local base of the Royal Australian Navy at HMAS Magnetic on The Strand to carry out any minor repairs. 

A local warehouse was leased through Australian Hirings for use by the Base Supply Officer. A Pontoon dock at the bottom of Denham Street was also leased as a boat landing for base boats as well as for the crash boats from the Palm Island Naval Air Station, on Palm Island near Townsville.

Due to its location on the north east corner of Australia, the Naval Base was used to supply fresh meat, vegetables and other supplies for other advanced bases as well as for convoy ships and men-o-war, operating in and to forward areas. The Naval Base boats were kept busy to and from merchant ships and me-o-war in Townsville harbour.

The US Navy Base Section in Townsville remained in operation until 15 July 1944 when a detachment of 100 men and 2 officers from Company "D" of the 84th Naval Construction Battalion started to dismantle the base and pack it up to be relocated to a forward area. The dismantling of the base took about two months.

In May 1944 the US Navy presence in Townsville was as follows:-


Commanding Officer:
    Lt. Comdr. G.F. Dickens

Executive Officer
    Lt. A.F. Suhr

Personnel Section:
    Lt (jg) J.J. Molenda

Disbursing Section:
    Officer in Charge:
        Ensign R.L. Walter

U.S. Naval Magazine

    Liaison O. (Aust):
        Lt. R.J. Fox



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This page first produced 28 September 2004

This page last updated 03 September 2018