L.H.Q. TRAINING CENTRE (JUNGLE WARFARE)
CANUNGRA, QLD
DURING WW2

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The L.H.Q. Training Centre (Jungle Warfare) was established at Canungra in the Macpherson Ranges in south east Queensland in November 1942. Soldiers learnt bushcraft and survival techniques at Canungra. Lieutenant-Colonel "Bandy" MacDonald was the Commanding Officer at Canungra from January 1943.

L.H.Q. Training Centre (Jungle Warfare) filled the following roles:-

The first troops to arrive at Canungra on 27 November 1942 was an advanced party of Independent Troops from the Independent Company Training School at Wilson's Promontory, which closed with the establishment of the school at Canungra.

On 3 December 1942, the first draft of Infantry reinforcements arrived at Canungra for their training. By the end of December 1942, the first draft of 218 trained men left Canungra and there were 1,279 men still being trained at Canungra. By the end of April 1943, there were 164 officers and 3,320 men camped at Canungra.

By May 1943, Canungra Training Centre comprised:-

The Infantry Training Centre trained all combat units except for Signals units. Men trained to normal draft Priority 1 standard (D.P.1's) were given an extra 4 weeks jungle warfare training.

There would be 2,000 reinforcements in 8 training companies. 500 men would be received each week and 500 sent forward each week. The Commando Training Battalion trained men for 7 different Independent Companies.

The training and living conditions at Canungra were tough and as close to jungle combat conditions as possible. Discipline was tough, and you needed to be physically fit to survive the exercises. Over a three week period, the men trained six days per week for 12 hours per day. This included six nights per week. On the fourth week they were sent on a six day exercise in the rugged Macpherson range. They carried their own rations. The training for the Independent Company reinforcements was even more intensive than this and extended over an eight week period.

There were very few facilities at Canungra. They had a Canteen Day once a week and a movie night once a week.

The Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) trained 60 new officers every 6 weeks as a platoon commander in jungle warfare. 

Because they did not have the area mapped well enough, fire beacons were used to guide infantry soldiers doing jungle training in the Canungra area during WWII  Apparently smoke was used during the day and the light of the fire by night to provide reference points for the troops. These stone ring fireplaces were used at Cainbable, Mt Withern and Mt David. Large fires were started inside a 3.5m diameter rings of porous basalt rocks as 24hr navigational aids for troops. 


Photo via David Cameron:     Environmental Protection Agency

Cainbable WW2 Fire Beacons

 


Photo via David Cameron:     Environmental Protection Agency

Cainbable WW2 Fire Beacons

 


Photo via David Cameron:     Environmental Protection Agency

Cainbable WW2 Fire Beacons

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank David Cameron from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for his assistance with this home page. David is keen to hear from anyone who knows of crashed aircraft and other military sites that are located on state lands such as National Parks and State Forests.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"The New Guinea Offensives"
by David Dexter

 

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 Peter Dunn 2004

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This page first produced 23 May 2004

This page last updated 01 December 2010