US NAVAL MAGAZINE AND MINE ASSEMBLY DEPOT
AT CAMP COOT-THA
AT J.C. SLAUGHTER FALLS
MOUNT COOT-THA, BRISBANE

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visits since 21 May 2000

 

The role of the US Naval Magazine at Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane, Queensland was to obtain, store and issue all types of ammunitions and explosives to all U.S. Naval activities and ships in the Brisbane area.

The Naval magazine at Mt. Cooth-tha comprised:-

On 15 September 1945 there were 8 Officers and 179 enlisted men stationed at the US Naval Magazine at Mount Coot-tha.

In May 1944, the Brisbane Military Telephone Directory had the following entry under US Naval Base Headquarters, Navy 134, Naval Base Activities:-

Naval Magazine:
    Commanding Officer:
        Lt. Keeting, R.L.

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Company "D" of the 55th Battalion Seabees from Camp Seabee located at Eagle Farm built a Mine Depot at Camp Coot-tha in the J.C. Slaughter Falls area of Mount Coot-tha on Brisbane.

The following were some of the personnel involved in the construction of this mine depot at Mount Coot-tha:-

R. Coleman
J. Collins
A. Cooper
J. Cordero
T. Correll
H. Craig
V. De Witt
R. DeWIre
W. Driggers

M. Dring
H. Duncan
J. Duncan
J. Dymus
H. Elliott
L. Else
E. Feazle
J. Feeley
D. Fender
J. Fickert
A. Figone
E. Ford
G. Hansen
R. Harper
C. Haulman
F. Heller
H. Henderson
L. Hill
S. Holliquilla
F. Horre
R. Huff

J. Humphrey
V. Hunter
M. Imberi
G. Jisa
A.E. Johnson
C.E. Johnson
L. Johnson
P. Johnson
F. Jordan
O. Kangas
C. Keller
M. Knowles

 

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Construction of a road up the valley near J.C. Slaughter Falls on Mount Coot-tha

 

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Work at the mine depot at J.C. Slaughter Falls

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Covering the ammunition huts with soil to keep the temperature even

 

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Looking east. Samuel Griffith Drive is between the large quonset and the trees. Stuartholme can be seen on the skyline

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Looking east. Samuel Griffith Drive is between the large quonset and the trees.

 

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Looking west towards Mount Coot-tha. Samuel Griffith Drive is in the foreground. The cement floor of the quonset building on the left is used today as a parking lot.

David Hinchliffe, Chairman of the Brisbane City Council community policy committee, has been leading some research by the Brisbane City Council into the wartime history of Mount Coot-tha. David Hinchcliffe said that about 120,000 tonnes of high explosives, bombs, depth charges and materials used in the production of mines were stored at various depots on Mount Coot-tha.

Many of the existing park trails were once used to access these depots. Garrisons of troops based on Mount Coot-tha helped to ensure that the Japanese spies and the residents of Brisbane were kept in the dark about the various military activities on Mount Coot-tha during World War II. There were apparently searchlights and anti-aircraft guns located at the site of the Mount Coot-that lookout and restaurant.

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Councilor David Hinchcliffe at the bush chapel at J.C. Slaughter Fall

One of the few reminders of these activities is an open-air chapel once used by US military personnel. An existing shelter shed at J.C Slaughter Falls stands on a concrete slab once used for a military building during World War II.

Picnic area erected on top of one of the concrete slabs
for a WW2 building on 31 August 2003 located at the end
of the road before the track to the summit of Mt. Coot-tha

 

The same Picnic area on 31 August 2003

 

REFERENCE DOCUMENTS
"The 55 Seabees 1942 - 1945"
Published by the officers and men of United States Naval Construction Battalion 55

Articles by Peter Collins in Brisbane "Sunday Mail" of 6 June 1999 and 8 August 1999

 

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 Peter Dunn 2003

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This page first produced 21 May 2000

This page last updated 19 January 2004