94TH COAST ARTILLERY
40TH ANTI-AIRCRAFT BRIGADE
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
The 94th Coast Artillery Group was constituted 16 December 1940.
The three battalions of the 94th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiment arrived in Sydney on the "Queen Mary" on 28 March 1942. The 101st Coast Artillery Battalion (AA Separate) and the 104th Coast Artillery Battalion (AA Separate) also travelled on the "Queen Mary". These three units were members of the 40th Coast Artillery Brigade.
The following units arrived on the Queen Mary:-
40th Coast Artillery Brigade
94th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiment
101st Coast Artillery (AA) Battalion
104th Coast Artillery (AA) Battalion
5th Station Hospital
47th Station Hospital
8th Air Base Group
11th Materiel Squadron
43rd Bomb Group, 64th Bomb Squadron
43rd Bomb Group, 65th Bomb Squadron
15th Signal Platoon
2nd Quartermaster Detachment
Air Corps Replacement Group
Photo:- John Francis Fitzpatrick
Policeman directing traffic at the
intersection of Wickham Street
and Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley in Brisbane
Photo:- John Francis Fitzpatrick
City street scene outside the
"Prince Consort Hotel" at 230 Wickham Street,
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. The hotel later changed it's name to "The
Elephant and Wheelbarrow Hotel" and then again to "The Elephant Hotel".
The 94th CA AA Regiment was attached to the 40th Coast Artillery Brigade when they arrived in Brisbane on 29 March 1942. Other units in the 40th Coast Artillery Brigade were 208th CA (AA), 101st CA Bn (AA) and 104th CA Bn (AA).
The 94th CA AA Regiment boarded a train and headed for Brisbane, in southern Queensland.
Battery "A" 15 Searchlights
Battery "B" 4 x 3" guns
Battery "C" 4 x 3" guns
Battery "D" 4 x 3" guns
Battery "E" 15 Searchlights
Battery "F" 4 x 3" guns
Battery "G" 4 x 3" guns
Battery "H" 4 x 3" guns
Battery "I" .30" calibre machine guns
Battery "K" .30" calibre machine guns
Battery "L" .30" calibre machine guns
Battery "M" .30" calibre machine guns
The 3" guns were deployed at:-
Madonna Tomes told me that her father Ken McLachlan, lived with his parents, Lesley and Shelagh McLachlan, in a house on the corner of Princess Street and Imperial Avenue at Cannon Hill during WWII. Their house was commandeered by the US Army from 1941 -1943 for officer accommodation for those manning the nearby anti-aircraft station. The enlisted men lived in tents and the officers lived in the house.
The .30" calibre machine guns were deployed:-
The Searchlights (30 off) were deployed around Brisbane roughly in an inner and outer circle:-
The 94th Coast Artillery Group established a camp in the grounds of the Magdalen Hospital at Wooloowin in Brisbane in early 1942. Alan Thomas remembers the US Camp. He told me that they were "locked in" and for vital things like chocolates, candy, Coca Cola, they would call over the fence to the local boys to take their offered money to go to the local shops and buy on their behalf. The change would end up being the tip for the boys.
The 94th CA (AA) left Brisbane on 1 June 1942 and on 5 June 1942 Regimental Headquarters with Headquarters 2nd Battalion, Batteries "E" less one Platoon, and Batteries "F" and "G" of the 94th CA (AA) together with the Australian 32nd Light AA Battery and the 64th AA Co., RAE were responsible for the defense of the airfields and repair facilities at Charters Towers.
Headquarters 3rd Battalion, with Batteries "D", "H", "L", "M" and one Platoon each from Batteries "A" and "E" of the 94th CA (AA) defended Reid River airfield and Woodstock Airfield near Townsville.
Battery "M" relocated from Charters Towers to Cooktown on 6 December 1942 and remained there until 19 March 1943.
Headquarters 1st Battalion, with Batteries A (less one Platoon), and Batteries "B", "C", "I" and "K" defended the airfields at Mareeba from 5 June 1942.
On 23 June 1942 (or was it 20 September 1942?), Battery "H" and one Platoon of Battery "A" were moved from Woodstock to Horn Island. They remained there until 1 December 1942.
A reorganisation on 13 August 1942 resulted in the Charters Towers defenses of their armament, so the Regimental Headquarters and the newly activated 3rd Battalion Headquarters were relocated to Cairns on 21 September 1942. Batteries "D" and "C" later moved to Port Moresby in December 1942. All the other units of the 94th CA (AA) remained in Queensland until June 1943.
Battery "H" of the 94th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiment was deployed to Horn Island at some stage. Battery "A" & Battery "B" of the 104th Coast Artillery (AA Separate) Battalion were on Horn Island at the same time.
At the end of 1942 the need for anti-aircraft defenses at Cooktown had ceased to exist, and Australian anti-aircraft units had taken over the Horn Island responsibilities. As a result, Battery "A" and one Platoon of Battery "K" and all of the 104th CA Bn (AA) except battery "D" at Merauke were released from tactical positions and went into staging areas at Townsville. (possibly Camp McClung).
The 94th Coast Artillery was decorated with the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation streamer during WW2. The 94th was reactivated on 1 April 1960 as the 94th Air Defense Group at Kaiserslautern in West Germany under the 32nd Air Defense Command. The 94th Air Defense Artillery Group was renamed to the 94th Air Defense Brigade in 1982.
I'd like to thank Madonna Tomes, Roger Marks, Bob McLachlan, Alan Thomas, Russell Miller and Dave Spethman for their assistance with this home page.
I'd like to thank John Fitzpatrick for sharing two of his father's photos. His father John Francis Fitzpatrick was a member of the 94th CA.
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 3 April 2004
This page last updated 08 March 2019