HF/DF STATION GARBUTT
WOOLCOCK STREET, GARBUTT, TOWNSVILLE
DURING WWII

rad01.jpg (91046 bytes)

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HD/DF station at top centre of picture

Click on photos to enlarge them

Photos showing the "off limits" HF/DF station
where Corporal Lawrie Stratford worked during WW2.

 

Lawrie Stratford was a RAAF signals operator at the Garbutt HD/DF Station at the time of the Japanese air-raids on Townsville and actually DF'd the two planes on their 2nd raid. The DF hut was just off Duckworth Street.

He was on duty that night, and picked up a brief transmission when the planes were probably well north of Cairns, alerted the other DF stations in the region to listen up, and picked up the next two brief transmissions which allowed them to triangulate their shifting positions and calculate an ETA at Townsville - hence the scrambling of the fighter aircraft.

Lawrie Stratford located the site of the old DF hut in about 1985 for a newspaper reporter. There was no building left but all of the concrete compass calibration points were intact. More recently, the extension of Woolcock Street from the east has put a 4-lane highway pretty well smack over the top of the old hut site.

Lawrie Stratford went on to become Squadron Leader Stratford by the time he retired from the RAAF.

 

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This page first produced 30 June 2002

This page last updated 15 January 2017