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In August 1942 the Engineer Section of the Postmaster Generals Department (PMG) received a request from Lt. Col. Grable of the Signal Corps, USAFIA for the construction of a radio transmitting and receiving station at Rocklea near Brisbane comprising:-

Transmitting Station
3 rhombics
6 dipoles
4 vertical H.F. transmitting aerials
associated R.F. transmission lines and selector switches

Receiving Station
3 rhombics
6 double doublets

plus V.F. and R.F. patching and switching arrangements

The PMG were lead to believe that the wireless site was for use by the Dutch administration. The estimated cost for the erection of the above by the PMG was 4,727. The works were 30% complete by 30 September 1942 and 60% complete by 31 October 1942 and 80% complete by 30 November 1942.

The scheme was rearranged at about the 31 December 1942 with the Transmitting site to be used as a combined Transmitting and Receiving site. This was 90% complete by 31 December 1942. The Receiving site was used in conjunction with a 40KW transmitter at the Hemmant Transmitting site. The existing Rhombic 50 foot poles were dismantled and 90 foot Rhombics on Point Reyes California were erected. The combined Transmitting and Receiving site was complete by 31 January 1943.

A much later letter to the PMG dated 18 December 1943 from Colonel Hugh Mitchell, Chief Signal Officer, Signal Corps, APO 501 requesting additional erection of three single-wire curtain receiving rhombic antennas at Rocklea.


Photo:- 1946 BCC Aerial photo

I believe that the Rocklea Transmitting & Receiving Station was located in the
 area circled above which is about half a mile from the Crown Hotel at Rocklea


Photo:- 1946 BCC Aerial photo

Closeup of what I believe was the location for the Rocklea Transmitting & Receiving
Station. There appear to be a number of smaller foundations for the various aerials.
The Crown Hotel is located towards the bottom right side of the photograph.


Clarence Irvin (ASN 35279754) wrote his memories in 1990 of his time in the Signal Corps, US Army. He arrived in Brisbane on 29 January 1943. He helped to set up the Signal Centre in Base Section 3 Headquarters at the Somerville Girl's School in February 1943. They provided radio and teletype links from General Douglas MacArthur's GHQ, SWPA in the AMP building in Queen Street, Brisbane to all points including W.A.R. in Washington D.C.  He then moved to Hemmant Transmitting Station where he installed a large Diesel Power Plant and helped to install all of the transmitters, antennas, etc and hook up power to them all. He later went to Rocklea Receiving Station and installed two gasoline power plants with his offsider Russ Krotky.

Clarence was then left to operate the plant at Rocklea. During his spare time he attended classes in single sideband receivers. He soon became the "Tour Chief" on the midnight shift during which they had to accomplish all repairs in about 2 hours. There were only 11 men at Rocklea so they had a ration allowance for meals. They were located about half a mile from the Crown Hotel at Rocklea.

Clarence wrote in his memories of his time in the Signal Corps at Rocklea in Brisbane:-

"We really ate good for about 7.50 a week and were treated very well. White tablecloths, napkins, & fine service. Then Mr. Cummings, the owner took us out to his Pub and gave us a drink of rum. Mr. & Mrs. Cummings were owners of the Hotel & Pub. Nice looking couple. I have their pictures in my war album."

Clarence was then transferred to the crew of riggers installing rhombic antenna systems at Hemmant Transmitting Station and Redland Bay Transmitting Station.



US (United States) Transmitting and Receiving Station - Rocklea
National Archives of Australia



I'd like to thank Russell Miller for his assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 9 March 2015

This page last updated 31 August 2018