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'D' Australian Heavy Battery (Coast)

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Magazine Hill.jpg
Magazine Hill at Townsville with American troops preparing to board ships


Brief History

'D' Heavy Battery (Coastal) RAA began manning Skirmish Battery on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane on 8 Sep 1942. Skirmish Battery was equipped with two 155mm M1918A1 American guns mounted on "Panama" type mountings. Besides the gun emplacements, there were magazines, a command post, observation post, and a searchlight battery. In April 1943 the battery personnel moved to Townsville by troop train, and took over the Magazine overlooking Townsville harbour on Signal Hill. Two 155mm M1917 Grande Puissance Filloux (GPF) French made guns on Carriage M3 on Panama Mounts were in use at Magazine Battery during WWII.


On 22 Nov 1943 the unit comprising 5 officers and 111 men embarked in Townsville on HMT Duntroon for Buna in New Guinea where they disembarked on 27 Nov 1943. The battery then manned guns on Sanananda Point, known as Buna Battery tasked with defending the growing port of Buna. With the development of Finschaffen, Buna had become less important, and on 14 Feb 1944 they relocated to a temporary location at Cape Endaiadere, and on 20 Mar 1944 all available personnel were transported by air to Port Moresby where they relieved "C" Australian Heavy Battery at Bootless Bay.


No longer required in New Guinea the unit embarked on 1 Jul 1944 aboard SS Boschfontein and disembarked in Brisbane on 5 Jul 1944. After leave the unit reformed at Malabar with their equipment on 29 Jul 1944, before being disbanded in September 1944.


Battery personnel


Battle Honours

New Guinea 1942 - 44

Notes

Magazine Hill, Townsville was removed to facilitate harbour expansion in 1984/85


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