MINING THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
OFF NORTH QUEENSLAND COAST
DURING WWII

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On 23 June 1942, the Staff Officer (Local Defences) Royal Australian Navy in Townsville reported as follows:-

 

MINING OF BARRIER REEF

Approved mining policy is for all passages in the Barrier Reef to be mined with the exception of Grafton Passage which is to be left open for our own use. This is the passage referred to by Colonel Matthews (US Army Port Director in Townsville) opposite Green Island.

Progress with this mining has been interrupted by higher priority requirements for mines at Noumea. So far 6 passages have been mined, 2 in the Torres Strait, 2 in the Cooktown area, 1 off Cairns and 1 off Townsville.

Operation orders now being drafted for H.M.A.S. "BUNGAREE" include the mining of 3 additional passages in the Townsville/Cairns area. This operation can be carried out in the near future unless it is decided to mine Bootless Inlet (Port Moresby) or some other area first. In my opinion the Bootless Inlet project should be given priority.

 

REFERENCES

"Fixed Defences - Coastal Guns - Underwater Defences - Defended Ports", NAA File

 

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This page first produced 15 March 2019

This page last updated 15 March 2019