393 AUSTRALIAN HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN STATION
16 HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY
MOUNT ST. JOHN, TOWNSVILLE
DURING WWII

 

393 Australian Heavy Anti-aircraft Gun Station of the 16 Australian Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery was located at Mount St. John, on the outskirts of Townsville not far from Garbutt Airfield. It became operational in March 1942.

 

mtsj01.jpg (38425 bytes)

Mount St. John can be seen behind the industial buildings.
Photo taken in February 1999 from Mount Louisa looking towards Many Peaks Range

 

16 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery at Mount St. John was known as No. 2 Station, Y Battery and 393 HAA Gun Station. Terry Daley was the 2nd in charge of the installation at Mount St. John which is located adjacent to the Garbutt airfield.

Construction of this Anti-aircraft battery commenced in February 1942. It comprised four 3.7" calibre Anti-aircraft guns. The four hexagonal gun emplacements are still partially visible to this day. There were four single-roomed underground ammunition magazines with stairs leading down into the bunker. They had large steel doors over their entrances. These have since all been removed. They were  two ventilators in the roof of each ammunition bunker.

There was another large square shaped building which was the command post and plotting room. Its steel door is still attached. It was constructed partially underground.

Mount St. John Zoo was located slightly to the west of 393 HAA Gun Station. Mt St. John Zoo was started by St. John Robinson in 1932. The Norline Drive-in was opened in September 1957 on the other side of Mount St. John, that is on the opposite side of the hill from the Zoo. The site of the Norline Drive-in may have been a possible WWII bomb dump.

 


 

Philip Dulhunty was based at Gunsite 393 at Mount St. John during World War 2. He has sent me the following photographs from a nostalgic visit that he made back to the location. He was also posted to an anti-aircraft battery at Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island.

 

Ammunition storage bunker still standing at Mt St John

 

Ants nest & snake skins hanging inside one of the ammunition storage bunkers

 

The gun site overgrown with brambles and broken concrete slabs

 

The concrete roof of one of the underground storage bunkers

 

A view across to Garbutt and Castle Hill from Mt St John

 

Philip Dulhunty standing on top of one of the concrete bunkers still remaining

 

The overgrown site with concrete bunker in the back ground

 

View of Mt St. John from Garbutt Field

 

 

Were you stationed at Mount St. John during World War 2?

If you were, I'd like to hear from you

 

16 Heavy Anti-aircraft Battery

 

WWII Bunker Tour of Townsville

 

WW2 Bunkers & Fortifications in the Townsville area

 

Anti-aircraft Batteries in the Townsville area during WW2

 

16 HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY
Nelly Bay Magnetic Island

 

14 HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY
At the Oval and Parap in Darwin

 

"DARWIN BOMBED"
THE UNIT HISTORY OF 14 HEAVY ANTI-AIRCRAFT BATTERY
By Jack Mulholland

 

REFERENCES

"The North Queensland Line - The Defence of Townsville in 1942"
by Ray Holyoak, 1998

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 1 July 2000

This page last updated 23 Jun 2017