562ND ENGINEER BOAT
2ND ENGINEER AMPHIBIAN BRIGADE
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
The 562nd Engineer Boat Maintenance Company, 2nd Engineer Amphibian Brigade, sailed from San Francisco, USA on 24 January 1943 accompanied by Headquarters, Headquarters Company, and the 532nd Engineer Amphibian Regiment of the 2nd Engineer Amphibian Brigade. They arrived in Townsville in north Queensland on 23 February 1943.
The 562nd Engineer Boat Maintenance Company and Headquarters, 2nd Engineer Amphibian Brigade camped at Camp Cluden on the southern outskirts of Townsville near today's Cluden Racecourse. There had been torrential rain during their stay at Cluden which gave them a very interesting time navigating the very soft mud in the Camp area.
The 562nd then travelled by train to Rockhampton in central Queensland. Their camp was located between a point 12 miles north of Rockhampton through to the nearby coastline. Within a week of their arrival "Tokyo Rose" had broadcast a welcome to "the three new amphibian regiments and service units in Australia".
On their arrival at Rockhampton, they found that there were no landing craft available for them to start their combined training with Australian and American troops. The boat assembly unit which had arrived in December 1942, was not able to start construction of their landing craft as the promised building had not been built due to a dispute for more money by the property owners. Equipment and knock down landing barges were also arriving at various ports across Australia, which caused delays in arriving at the production facility.
Whilst waiting for their landing craft to be built, the Company trained in infantry tactics, with an emphasis on jungle training. Training included:-
training of Amphibian scouts
water-proofing of land vehicles
use and maintenance of amphibian vehicles
Shore units were trained in laying matting for beach roads. Experiments were also carried out with the new still secret 4.5 inch barrage rockets.
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"Australia @ War" Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 13 July 2003
This page last updated 19 November 2017