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Coastal Artillery at Jervis Bay
         
Jervis Bay
Panorama created from two photographs supplied by Ms Merilynn Weiss
Panorama from OP Position Bowen Island 2011
         
     

What an ideal site for a coastal gun.  Elevated site for the gun with no restrictions to fire from SOUTH WEST to Point Perpendicular and from the OP a clear view of both the bay and ocean in every direction.  The purpose of the battery was to protect what had already proven to be a deep water anchorage for major capital ships up to and including ships of the Shropshire 8 inch heavy cruiser class as well as HMTS Queen Mary.

The Bay offered safe waters not unduly affected by a rolling southerly swell.  It also offered a working storage and workshop area behind a breakwater that enabled barges to be loaded with stores and supplies to be taken to the ships.  This has to be protected, so wisdom suggested the mounting of a gun at the entrance to the bay except there was an island at the extreme perimeter of the bay with only a small viable landing area on the western side of the island.  This was exposed to the prevailing westerlies that created a very rough and steep surface chop that made landing supplies and personnel fairly exciting a factor that later on aided the decision to decommission the battery. The initial task was to transfer the gun pedestal, the gun, ammunition, stores and equipment to the island.  Some sort of landing stage was necessary so a jetty had been constructed from the centre of a small shallow beach with a shore line of about 800 metres.  The jetty consisted of a long, narrow raised platform at the end of which was a pontoon in the letter ‘T’ configuration. 

     
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The remains of the jetty and (below) the beach in 2011.
By war’s end the jetty had a crane to assist with
off-loading and tramway to move cargo.
Photo: M. Weiss
  The beach over which stores and equipment were landed
before the development of the jetty
Photo: M. Weiss
     
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The pontoon had buffers fitted to protect vessels as they came alongside and it tended to pitch in the surface chop.  Heavy items had to be landed on the shore line and moved to the gun emplacement using a D8 dozer with blade from which hung several slings for lifting items such as the gun and its pedestal.  Movement across the beach would have been impossible without a tracked vehicle.  Prior to the gunners arriving on the scene it was reported that the first dozer made an undignified exit during the preparations by fortress engineers.

Initially building materials had been shipped to the island by barge secured fore and aft to the workboat.  The main building housed a battery office, orderly room, officers’ quarters and Q store.  A second building was a mess hall, lecture room, kitchen and RAP.  Tents were provided for all other ranks and the senior NCOs had a large marquee. When it was realised that some heavy lifting was required to prepare the gun site a D8 dozer with full blade and a number of slings was organised.  The problem of moving it to the island was resolved by the well tried method of loading it onto the barge, beaching the barge and creating a timber ramp to drive it off onto the sand – really simple!

However there is a point at which a floating platform will remain stable when weight is applied but heavy weight changes the rule and has the effect of magnifying pitch and roll.
The barge was duly loaded with D8 in centre stage.  Ropes were cast off and the barge, secured to the workboat, docilely accompanied it towards the entrance to the breakwater.  Outside the breakwater the prevailing westerly was about to have an effect.  As the breakwater was cleared it was evident that there was friction between the barge and the workboat caused by the lumpy surface conditions.

  It was decided to tow rather than ‘mother’ the barge.  No one remembers just how it happened or even how quickly but the barge affected by the conditions pitched and tilted heavily, sufficient to move the centre of gravity and all was lost.  Probably, sitting on the bottom of Jervis Bay, not too far from the breakwater is a D8 offering an ideal fishing reef. Another D8 was deployed but this time it was taken to the island in a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) which for obvious reasons remained the preferred workhorse during subsequent work phases.

At the completion of the building program, artillery personnel began the work of erecting the gun and bringing the battery up to an operational level.  As time progressed it became evident that this was not going to be easy.

Prevailing winds frequently made it difficult for the general duties launch to come alongside the pontoon.  There was the day that Local Medical Officer (LMO) came for a planned visit.  The water was rough.  The LMO was ready to jump to the pontoon, the launch rolled steeply towards the pontoon, the coxswain who was barefooted tried to fend off the launch from the pontoon but unfortunately caught his toes between gunnel and the pontoon.  It was very messy.


The inevitable rigid life of the gun crews began and included gun drill, marching, gun drill, moving stores.  Sick parade proved very popular, especially after inoculations when many were unwell.  All this just happened to coincide with the submarine raid on Sydney Harbour so morale suffered.


Some of the Personalities at Bowen Battery
 

Among the early troops on the island was Capt Woodrow (Woody) Weight, an eminent real estate agent in Dee Why, about 5’6” tall, Errol Flynn moustache and like Errol had a flair for attracting attention as he always carried his service pistol strapped to his waist and fixed to his right thigh.  He had a bit of a swagger about him, a bright demeanour and ready to fight the world single handed.

His 2IC was LT Len Bland, newly commissioned and a bit unsure of his power which he exhibited when he gave what appeared to be conflicting orders.  Short of stature, slender build always spotlessly turned out and keen to exhibit authority but hesitant about using it.

SGT Bill (Silk Stockings) Reid:- Don Juan, Lothario or Valentino, you name it, he was all of them.  Bill came from Larakia Barracks where he was a drill instructor.  Fair headed, fit and muscular, it was easy to see him in the role of ardently admired by the female of the species.  Relaxed and humorous, he had a way of giving orders that, no matter how difficult or dirty the work, never drew a grumbling response.  He also had a portable record player and a number of recordings that featured Artie Shaw, Lena Horne, Benny Goodman, Kate Smith, The Dorsey Brothers, etc.  This was popular with the ‘inner circle’; Bill Reid, Jock Anderson, Jim Stuart and Bluey Mercer.  On the occasion of the beer ration, the ‘inner circle’ met in Bill’s marquee and listened to the music – songs we knew by heart, but that did not matter.

The Battery Orderly was BDR Len Libow,-  it seemed he was given the job to keep him indoors so he would not blow away in a strong breeze.  He was skinny but had an aptitude for administration.

John Anderson, also slight of build, with a head of wavy hair, was a qualified silversmith and had his own mark to put on the pieces that he made following his apprenticeship at Angus & Coote prior to joining the army in 1942.

James (Jim) Stuart,- a gentleman, dapper, the business man, always fastidious in his grooming he was a member of Stuart Bros Builders family but ran his own building maintenance and repair business.  Meticulous in kit, everything had its own place and order.  Jim was easy to call friend.

Bobby Cook, fair complexion with a shock of wiry hair.  Had a gripe about being called up but this did not affect his work. A hard knock around type but quite amiable.

Don (Bing) Bowman,-  he treated the world with complete indifference.  Nothing worried him.  He was 18 and a gambler, nothing else had any importance in life.  Tall, thin, dark hair with very fine facial features, Don loved to sing and had a better than average voice, hence the nickname “Bing”.

Stan Marchant, - very wiry with ruddy complexion and a bit of a rogue by nature.  Truly great friends with Bing Bowman and if there was something going on they usually jointly had a hand in it.  Stan did what had to be done but completely without enthusiasm.  He was clearly there only to make up the gun crew.

BDR Bluey Mercer transferred from West Head with experience in difficult conditions.  He filled two roles Battery tiffy and  gun crew training to achieve speed and efficiency.

WO2 “Boof Martin, AAOC,- His job was to oversight the installation of the gun to ensure conformity to standards.  He was a ‘hail fellow well met’ personality.  He had been in Ordnance for years as a regular soldier with lots of experience in fortress situations.  But there is always a first time and for Boof, Bowen Island was it.

Dr Norman Hansard, LMO and local GP, - paid daily visits to the island, weather permitting.  He always came well prepared with all his important equipment.  Fishing basket, two rods, lots of hand lines, lures and bait.  Doc was probably the most enthusiastic person about the development of the island as it meant he could fish every day, in fact twice a day as he would troll on the way to the island and back again.  He caught some beautiful kingfish which he took home to his smoke room.  He was an attentive doctor bringing words of experience and knowledge to the situation as witnessed the day when the coxswain instinctively tried to fend off the pontoon.

Jack Kelly was the coxswain of the workboat, Korree, and had been involved in the erection and proving of the West Head Battery, Broken Bay.

With the arrival of artillery personnel it was necessary to quickly establish routines that ensured the smooth running of the battery.   Landing stores, administrative material and rations were of course a daily fact of life and depended on the weather.  It was not uncommon to wade out to the barge at low tide to speed up unloading but this practice suddenly changed with the appearance of a shark only a few metres from those in the water.  That was soon forgotten and wading came back into fashion but with the added precaution of someone with a rifle on watch.

There were a couple of occasions when the workboat or launch would not attempt the crossing.  On these occasions the local fishing family, the Goldsmith brothers, came to the rescue in their very seaworthy boat.  Built in the shape of a Viking vessel with rounded bow and stern it did not matter how wild the bay was this boat just rode the waves.  Being on board during such a crossing was altogether another experience.  It was not for the faint-hearted.  The vessel was powered by a Petter, two stroke, kerosene engine, which just kept a steady reassuring rhythm.  Rations and stores would be transferred by the launch and taken to the seaward side of the island where, in the lee of the westerly winds, it could be manoeuvred in deep water up to flat rocks, unloaded of its supplies which were then carried by hand across the island back to the administration area.

The pedestal, cradle barrel and breech were transferred from the beach landing by dozer sling to the gun position.  The gun was erected, WO2 ‘Boof’ Martin spending much time in ensuring that each component was installed correctly and level.

The drill routine of marching was fairly difficult because of the loose sandy nature of the ground.  It was roughly held together with tufts of a hardy short leaved grass obviously quite at home in this difficult eco system, constantly battered by winds and salt spray.  It was very easy to be tripped by these tufts while trying to achieve some semblance of marching order.

The duty gun crew were given their duties at or near the gun.  Mostly this was gun drill where positions in the detachment were frequently changed to ensure a more efficient gun crew.

But there was one thing that created lots of discussion about the gun.  It was OLD.  It was suggested by some that it could have been the main armament on the ‘Mary Rose’.  It was ancient and well past its ‘use by date’. 

Painted surfaces were badly in need of attention.  The breech mechanism had the ‘feel’ of lots of use and the real surprise was the bore.  There was practically no rifling.  It would have passed inspection as a smooth bore piece.  In short, it had been a well used gun and somehow it had to be made work.  Gun drill went on in preparation for the day of the proving shoot.  [RAN records show it to be a Mk 1 gun].
     
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Gun 4.7 Inch Q.F.    
Number Built: Mk 1: 154 in service from 1887  
Variants: Mark I, II, III, IV, VI Total: 1 1,167  
     
Specifications:    
Weight:    
Barrel & Breech: 4,592 lb (Mk I - III);  
Barrel Lenght: 189 inch bore (40 cal)  
Construction: Tube and Hoop  
Crew: 10  
Shell: Separate loading QF; AP, HE 45 lb (20.41kg)  
Calibre: 120 millimetres (4.72 in)  
Breech: Single motion interrupted screw  
Rate of Fire: 5 - 6 rounds per minute  
Muzzle Velocity: 2,150 ft/s (648 m/s)  
Maximum Range: 10,000 yards at 20 elevation  
Table Source 5    

During this time all other duties and routines went on including the settling in phase.  All ranks below sergeant were based in tents.  Three men of quite disparate backgrounds including those who had been conscripted with attendant displeasure and of others who had lived a fairly free and challenging life were now suddenly in a close almost domestic situation where trouble could easily become evident.  The realisation that they were all in the same situation, formed some strong bonding friendships.  This meant life on the island was a lot easier and eased the feeling of imprisonment on the island.

Our days could bring some unexpected variations to our routine.  Imagine waking up one morning to find a huge grey ship at anchor in the Bay.  HMT Queen Mary had slipped in during the night while waiting access to Sydney harbour to pick up troops.  Didn’t the gun sentries have some explaining to do!

Another aspect of war that was going on around us involved the RAAF.  Bristol Beaufort bombers used the bay to practice torpedo bombing.  The aircraft would leave the RAAF Air Base, fly south east to a point distant from the bay, turn and fly very low hugging the coast line around the island and set themselves up for a run to the target on the western side of the bay.  Once they had established their required height and flying attitude they would launch the torpedo, bank sharp right and return to the airport.  The target vessel, HMAS Burra Bra steamed steadily north and south as the aircraft took aim.  It must be realised that the torpedoes being used were not meant to run a great distance.  They were practice torpedoes and used so that the flight crews could perfect the launch techniques.  The torpedoes had to hit the water in a flat plane.  Head down and it would plunge.  Head up and the impact would alter the setting of the gyro affecting its course.  American forces arrived flying B25 Mitchell Bombers but they did not seem to have the same taste for low level flying.

Breaking away sharp right had its risks.  There were many that damaged wing tips in that manoeuvre as it was almost impossible at that speed and height to know how close the water really is.  On 14 April, 1943 the gunners witnessed the unintended outcome of a briefing for war correspondents executed by three Beaufort Bombers and recorded by Fox Movietone News.  Two of the Beaufort bombers clipped each other in the final manoeuvre, resulting in the loss of eight lives. 

With all this activity there still had to be time for rest and relaxation.  Leave fell in this category and leave passes were granted, either for four days or a short 24 hour pass.  The four day pass really only provided two days leave as getting to and returning from Sydney took up the other two days.
         
Image   Left: During the Hotel Period the Senior Sailors Mess at what is now HMAS Creswell was renamed the Naval Lodge Hotel (the front doors still bear the initials NLH) and managed by a Mr and Mrs Maffesoni. According to a WAAF Officer stationed at Jervis Bay during the war, the Lodge was an"upmarket rendezvous for holidaymakers from Sydney".

The 24 hour pass did have an attraction as those with this pass went to the “Mainland” where there was the welcoming portals of Maffesoni’s Naval Lodge Hotel and the Quarter Deck Hotel where ‘magic medicines’ were dispensed that could hide the routine of life on the island.

Right: Quarter Deck Hotel
From HMAS Creswell and the RAN College, heritage jewel in the defence crown by Tom Lewis under articles on the http://www.navalofficer.com.au website]

The lucky ones who drew the 24 hour passes on Friday, Saturday or Sunday had the pleasure of meeting young females that had come to the Bay for the weekend to “holiday”.  This overcame any thoughts of the island very quickly.

While the administration area was well developed on arrival, the gun site was only partly developed.  The duty gun detachment had a picquet tent in the rear of the gun position.  Ammunition was also stored in a tent.  Facing EAST, the searchlight with its generator was situated forward of the gun and perhaps 200m to the right. 

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The 4.7inch gun, observation post, battery command post and searchlights were all in place.  The gun crews were now at that point in their training that the enthusiasm that they felt, because of their efficiency, made the proving shoot too far away.  They were ready now!

A recent photograph of the gun position taken 69 years later.

Naturally the day arrived and all preparations had been made.  Shipping and aircraft had been warned, the workboat Koree tasked with towing the target was in position with a fairly long tow line to the target awaiting the signal to move.  There was a slight swell but it was a good day for the shoot.
 

The gun detachment was in position on the gun, bearing and range ordered.

‘ON TARGET’ was reported.

‘FIRE ONE ROUND’ ordered.

The gun thundered for the first time in many years. Anxious and critical eyes swept to the target. The shot fell short and off the bearing given. The shot fell on a line between the towing vessel and the target but well short.  This brought about two things; mild panic aboard the towing vessel and consternation among those in command.

Hasty recalculations were made, range and bearing were called but this shot also fell short and again on a line between target and workboat. 
SGT Jack Kelly, Coxswain of the towing vessel, requested permission to lengthen the tow line which was given.  The next two rounds produced more confusion and caused the shoot to be abandoned and as far as I know, not repeated.

Following the shoot I was posted to Drummond Battery a 9.2 inch gun on Mt Keira, overlooking Port Kembla.  As I understand it, for a short time life went on as usual following all the standard routine duties but the complete uncertainty of the gun and the ever present problem of supplying the island made the decision to decommission the battery almost the only practical one.

Bluey concluded his recollections with the comment, ‘the island returned to its original inhabitants, a colony of fairy penguins.’

 

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Left:  Underground magazine completed after Bluey left the island.

Postscript to Bluey’s recollections – Vic Rae Editor Gunfire

It is obvious from the photographs that quite a deal of development occurred between the proving shoot and the decommissioning of the battery – upgraded jetty, engine rooms for the generators, protected magazine, duty huts for the gun detachment and Listening Posts.

According to list of buildings on the island in 1945 the army constructed timber and galvanised iron buildings for officer accommodation, battery Q and orderly room, engine rooms for the searchlights.

Today there are two major brick buildings on the island in the areas where the battery HQ was established.  It is possible that these were brick veneered after the war when the island was leased to a local tourist operator before it was incorporated into Booderee National Park and is now managed by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community. 

Photo: M Weiss
   
 

In late 1943 Land Headquarters responded to the reduced strategic threat to south-east Australia.  This resulted in coast batteries being placed in a ‘maintenance state’, reduced manning and a phase out of artillery personnel who were replaced by VDC (Volunteer Defence Corps) with a small nucleus of AMF personnel.  It is likely that Bowen Fort was closed down as the gun may never have been proved.

Right : Recent exterior photograph of the Battery Command and Observation Post.

The Mk1, 4.7 inch gun was produced from 1887 and only 154 of this mark were manufactured.  It was certainly old by the time it was erected on Bowen Island.  Most of this mark had seen service on a British warship prior to WW1 and as they were then obsolete they were used to arm merchant ships to provide a defence against U-Boats.  At the end of WW1 they were dismounted and placed in naval storage around the empire. 

As Bluey remarked in GF2/2011 ‘The breech mechanism had the ‘feel’ of lots of use and the real surprise was the bore.  There was practically no rifling.  It would have passed inspection as a smooth bore piece.

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Photo: M Weiss
 

The worn rifling would account for the round drifting off-line and for its reduced range.  It is understandable that this gun proved to be ineffective. 
It was just fortunate that a submarine did not surprise either the troopships, Queen Mary or Queen Elizabeth as they alternately sheltered in Jervis Bay to avoid both being in Sydney Harbour at the same time.  Submarines, float planes, armed merchantmen and minelaying activity off the Australian coast by both German and Japanese forces commenced in 1940.  The final offensive act by U-862 occurred off the far south coast of NSW on 9 December, 1944.

In the first section of this narrative Bluey recalled that the first Battery Commander at Bowen Island was CAPT Woodrow Weight.  Bluey also wondered what became of him so here is a bit of his story.  ‘Woody’ as he was known was a militia officer with 1 Heavy Brigade, North Head and a Real Estate agent in civilian life. LTs Weight, Lemon (North Battery) and Fullford (Signal Battery) were duty officers in the Battery Command Post and during long night shifts were required to answer questions on Standing Orders and ranging techniques by the Fire Commander who coordinated the Sydney Fortress. (Fullford p 57).  Weight was promoted Captain and given the task of erecting and commanding the single gun battery at Bowen Island.  On 20 Aug 1942, Weight joined the 2AIF while at Jervis Bay.

On 28 May, 1943 CAPT Weight arrived in Darwin and witnessed an 18pdr shoot by coast artillery on the next day (Rayner p 254).  A year later, Major Weight was appointed Battery Commander, Waugite Bty.  Waugite Bty consisted of 2 * 6inch MkXI guns and construction had commenced in 1942.  Its construction appears to be slow and tedious, probably due to its location in sandy swamp and the difficulties of resupply.

By 20 Mar 1944 No2 magazine was completed and excavations begun on No1 Magazine. The low height of the battery above sea level made observation difficult and in Mar 1944 a new Fire Observation Post/Battery Observation Post (FOP/BOP) with a height of 120ft commenced at Waugite as well as buildings to house Coast Artillery equipment, Battery Command Post (BCP), Directing Station (DS) and sleeping accommodation. By April the gun position had been rehabilitated and off-duty areas upgraded.  In Jul a Tactical Control centre was established at Waugite. In Sep 1944 a new range finder (12’ Bar & Stroud) was installed and Waugite became the Examination Battery with the responsibility of identifying vessels and challenging them on approach to and exit from Darwin.

9 Nov 1944 the Defence Committee recommended to War Cabinet that HQ NT Force reduce scale of Coast Defence to Waugite, Dudley Pt, Elliott P and West Point.

8 Feb 1945 Mk V radar was installed at BOP Waugite Bty

10 Jul 1945 AA artillery was withdrawn and all coast artillery resources were placed into maintenance.

At around this time Weight with a number of other gunner officers were posted to BRITISH BORNEO CIVIL AFFAIRS UNIT (BBCAU).  This unit was formed by the Army School of Civil Affairs, Duntroon, Canberra and was tasked with re-establishing civilian procedures, processing Japanese POW and hearing War Crimes in Borneo.  BBCAU officers operated in Labuan, Brunei, Sarawak and British Borneo until mid 1946.  Weight returned to Australia and discharged in Jan 1946.

Woodrow Weight returned to a successful real estate business in Dee Why and was prominent in the Real Estate Institute of Australia.  His contribution was recognised and he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 1982 for his contribution to the Real Estate industry.

 
         
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The Lady Denman Museum hosted a travelling exhibition There’s A War On -  WWII at Home and augmented it with the experiences of local identities and stories in Down to the Wire The Bay and Basin in WWII. 

Jack ‘Bluey’ Mercer and I were guests of The Lady Denman Heritage Complex and attended the official opening.  The exhibition confirmed many of Bluey’s recollections and enabled him to meet Graeme Goldsmith, the son of the fisherman who landed supplies on the seaward side of the island using a double ended fishing boat that could handle the westerly swell in the bay.  In visiting with Graeme and his wife I was able to reproduce a photograph of MV Reliance as it was in 1946
 
         

On 20 July 1942 the George S Livanos was sunk off Jervis Bay and in the early hours of the 21st the Coast Farmer was sunk off Ulladulla.  At the exhibition opening we met Joseph Miller, now in his nineties and living at Callala who was a crew member on Coast Farmer.  The deterrent concept of a coastal fort at the bay was certainly not short-sighted.  A copy of the publication produced by the museum to commemorate the period has been lodged with the RAA Historical Company Library.

Right: Section of the group attending the opening of the twin exhibitions at the Lady Denman Heritage Complex

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Left: The team behind the Bowen Island story (L-R) Vic Rae, Gunfire, Merilynn Weiss, Lady Denman Heritage Complex; Roger Hart, Education and Legal Unit, Booderee National Park,  Shane Sturgeon, Resources Manager, Booderee National Park,  Jack ‘Bluey’ Mercer, Bowen Battery 1942.

 
         

References:

1. http://www.ozatwar.com/crashnsw.htm & http://www.ozatwar.com/nsw29.htm
2. http://www.ozatwar.com/japsubs/japsubs.htm
3. http://www.artillerywa.org.au/RAAHS/history.htm
4. http://www.navyhistory.org.au/burra-bra-%E2%80%94-ferry-and-warship/
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_4.7_inch_Gun_Mk_I%E2%80%93IV
6. National Archives of Australia: Military Board Agendum B6681 52/1942 & 78/1942; and SP1048/7 S10/1/604 Coast Defence - Jervis Bay
7. Navy History, Canberra, undated annotated map of East Coast Fortresses showing Bowen Bty.
8. http://www.ww2troopships.com/ships/q/queenmary/crossings1941.htm
9. April 9 to May 3 & November 1 to November 22
10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Sydney_(D48)#Start_of_World_War_II –escorted QM to Jervis Bay in April 1941
11. Fullford RK, We Stood and Waited, Sydney’s Anti-Ship Defences 1939-1945, , Southwood Press 1994.
12. Rayner, RJ; Darwin and Northern Territory Force, Rudder Press 2001 ppvar
13. Weiss M, Down to the Wire, The Bay and Basin in World War II, Lady Denman Heritage Complex, 2011.

The assistance of Ms Merilynn Weiss with photographs from Bowen Island and with access to archive documents held the Lady Denman Heritage Complex is very much appreciated in the preparation of this article for publication. Booderee National Park, in which Bowen Island is located, is owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community.  My thanks to the Community, in particular to Paul Stuart and Shane Sturgeon, for assistance to Ms Merilynn Weiss in facilitating her visit to Bowen Island. Also Mr Roger Hart, Education and Legal Unit, Booderee National Park. (Vic Rae, Editor Gunfire)

Our Association Member, Jack ‘Bluey’ Mercer, left an apprenticeship to enlist in 1941 and was allocated to 1st Heavy Brigade, North Head.  He qualified as a Bdr but enjoyed the technical aspects that he had observed and encouraged by Captain Jack Stathers he trained as an artificer seeing service at Bowen Bty (Jervis Bay).

He expanded his knowledge working on Bofors, 3.7 in AA guns, 2 and 6 pdrs at ordnance workshops at Warrawong before returning to West Head then posted to Drummond Bty (9.2 in) at Port Kembla.  Following further training at Sydney Technical College he worked on 6 in How and 18 pdr at Ingleburn workshop before being transferred to 7th Aust Watercraft Workshop.  He joined 1st Aust Floating Dock en route to Bougainville the vessel survived a torpedo attack.  Following hospitalisation in Cairns for dengue fever and pneumonia he sailed on HMTS Taroona to Port Moresby, returning to Cairns in Feb 1946.  Subsequently he joined the CMF and served from 1955-58 with 30th Infantry Battalion NSW Scottish Regiment serving as a corporal in the anti-tank platoon and qualifying as a sergeant.

This article on Bowen Battery, Jervis Bay was published in Gunfire 1, 2 &3/2011 the Newsletter of the RAA Association NSW Inc

 
         

The Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company wishes to acknowledge the Royal Australian Artillery Association (NSW) Inc for allowing this article to be reproduced and published on the website.

 
         
         
         
 

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