On 27 February 1941, the War Cabinet gave official approval for the Combined Operational Intelligence Centre (COIC), Central War Room (CWR), Combined Defence Headquarters (CDH) and for Area Combined Headquarters (ACHs). The Central War Room and the COIC were to be manned full time from 27 February 1941.

For trade defence operations, the naval and air forces were co-coordinated via Area Combined Headquarters (ACH) which were established in four main areas.

Combined Defence Headquarters were established to provide coordinated operations to counter an enemy attack at defended ports where naval, army and air forces were based. New Combined Defence Headquarters were established in Townsville, Thursday Island and Newcastle.

I believe that the Combined Defence Headquarters in Townsville were located on the top floor of the old Commonwealth Building in Sturt Street

Loftus Dun of "A" Company of the 31st Australian Infantry Battalion was temporarily transferred to Combined Defence Headquarters from about mid February 1942. There they received reports from outposts around Townsville and on Magnetic Island regarding any suspicious movements on land, sea or air. They took calls and reported to the various Liaison Officers on duty from the different services for action by hem. Loftus shared 12 hours shifts with another person. They worked 12 hours on and 12 hours off and lived in tents on some flat ground at Kissing Point. They ate in the artillery mess and their transport to Sturt Street  was by heavy Army bicycle. Loftus was issued with an RAAF Pass to enter the Commonwealth Building. He still has his pass. It was described as RAAF Offices.


Central War Room (CWR)


Area Combined Headquarters (ACH)


Combined Operational Intelligence Centres (COIC)


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This page first produced 31 March 2002

This page last updated 17 January 2020