25TH ORDNANCE MEDIUM
MAINTENANCE (AA) COMPANY,
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
The 25th Ordnance Medium Maintenance (AA) Company was activated at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, USA on 10 February 1941. The unit transferred to Camp Hulen, Texas on 10 June 1941. They were enroute to Port San Francisco, California on 31 January 1942 arriving there on 3 February 1942.
25th Ord Co (MM) embarked on USAT Monterey Convoy on 18 February 1942 arriving in Brisbane, Australia on 9 March 1942. They may have travelled to Geelong in Victoria by train.
The 25th Ordnance Medium Maintenance (AA) Company's main task when it arrived in Australia was to support the 41st Infantry Division. Small detachments of the 25th Ordnance Company Medium were posted to Brisbane, Townsville, and Perth assisting anti-aircraft artillery units by repairing fire control instruments and training other Ordnance companies that sort of maintenance.
The main body of the 25th Ordnance Medium Maintenance (AA) Company arrived without their shop trucks with their tools and machinery and were therefore sent to Geelong in Victoria to establish the Kane Ammunition Depot. This new depot was in an excellent location because ammunition, which was loaded first to provide ballast for the ships was left in the ships after the other supplies were unloaded at Melbourne and the ships then travelled across the bay to Geelong for unloading for the Kane Ammunition Depot.
At Geelong the 25th Ordnance Medium (AA) Company developed the concept of the Ordnance service center which:-
performed storage activities (wholesale and retail)
operated maintenance shops
Significant reclamation and salvage work was done in these maintenance shops. They salvaged everything possible from wrecked equipment, and used it to repair other damaged equipment back to a serviceable condition.
The Ordnance Service Center also became a staging area for Ordnance troops and Ordnance supplies that arrived there directly from the ports instead of moving them through a general staging area. The Ordnance troops arriving at the Service Centre straight off their ships were usually fed a hearty hot meal and a given a bed. Generally they would have arrived without their equipment and they were then put to work in the Service Centre.
Geelong was used as the model for establishing the Coopers Plains Ordnance Service Center at the suburb of Coopers Plains in the south side of Brisbane in Queensland.
The detachment of the 25th arrived in Townsville on 12 July 1942, where their role was:-
to distribute and maintain sixty new 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns.
to operate an Ordnance shop and depot which was located in a building formerly used to manufacture windmills (does anyone know which building this was?)
to service ships' guns at the Townsville Harbour.
sent smaller detachments to isolated units of Coast Artillery around the Townsville area
to assist in establishing the Townsville Anti-aircraft Ordnance Training Center
They soon discovered that many of the Bofors guns, were either defective, or were damaged in shipping. Many had to be rebuilt.
The Townsville Anti-aircraft Ordnance Training Center was directed by the Commanding Officer of the 25th Ordnance Medium Maintenance (AA) Company, Captain William A. McCree.
I'd like to thank Bob Bartlett for his assistance with this web page. http://freepages.military.rootsweb.com/~bartlett47/
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 13 August 2007
This page last updated 06 September 2018