29TH QUARTERMASTER REGIMENT (TRUCK)
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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The 29th Quartermaster Regiment (Truck) (Corps) was redesignated as the 29th Quartermaster Regiment (Truck) on 8 January 1940 and then as the 29th Quartermaster Regiment on 1 April 1942. The Components of the Regiment were made active as follows:-

Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment  6 March 1942
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 1st Battalion 10 June 1941
      Company "A" 1 June 1941
      Company "B" 1 May 1941
      Company "C" 4 March 1942
      Company "D" 15 February 1942
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 2nd Battalion 16 December 1940
      Company "E" 28 July 1930
      Company "F" unknown
      Company "G" 17 June 1941
      Company "H" 25 January 1942
Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 3rd Battalion 6 March 1942
      Company "I" 10 February 1941
      Company "K" 11 June 1941
      Company "L" 10 February 1941
      Company "M" 31 December 1940

 

The 29th Quartermaster Regiment (Truck) boarded the "Queen Elizabeth" at San Francisco on the evening of 18 March 1942. The "Queen Elizabeth" sailed for Australia on 19 March 1942 docking in Sydney on 6 April 1942. The 29th Quartermaster Regiment disembarked and moved to their camp at Randwick Race Course with the exception of Companies "K", "L" and "M" who remained with the ship for three days to discharge the cargo. Some difficulty had arisen with the wharfies which led to the Ship's Officers requesting the work to be done by the US Servicemen.

The Regiment arrived minus their Motor Vehicles and began immediately to furnish Labour Details for unloading ships and storing cargo in warehouses. Lieutenant Colonel Leo A. Dupre was the American Liaison Officer in Sydney at the time as the American Base Section organisation had not yet been established by that time.

On 11 April 1942, Major Francis P. Mulky, Lieutenant Jordan B. Spina and two Enlisted Men were sent to Brisbane to locate Regimental equipment supposedly sent there. Whilst still in Brisbane Major Spina proceeded as a member of a reconnaissance party by air to Mt. Isa, then by Motor Vehicle to Birdum and Darwin in the Northern Territory to survey the expected route for convoy operations. Major Mulky returned by aircraft from Batchelor Airfield south of Darwin to Brisbane and then by air to Sydney arriving there on 25 April 1942. Major Mulky submitted a written report on the reconnaissance to the Regimental Commander.

On 12 April 1942, the Regimental Commander travelled by train to Melbourne and drove back to Sydney in a Nash Sedan on 16 April 1942.

The Motor Equipment for the Regiment began to arrive in Sydney in early May 1942. The Regiment was fully equipped by the end of May 1942. On 10 May 1942, the 3rd Battalion moved from Randwick Race Course to a camp at Prospect, a few miles west of Sydney (Does anyone know where this American camp was located?). They were joined a few days later by the 1st Battalion. The 2nd Battalion moved to Parramatta a few miles west of Sydney (Does anyone know where this American camp was located?).

Whilst in Sydney, the Regiment organised a baseball team which played in a league organised by the Australians. This team, under the supervision of Lt. Jean C. Stapenhorst, won the championship of Sydney, losing only one game. It was awarded the MacArthur Cup. (I wonder where that cup is today?)

Whilst in Sydney, any medical attention required by the Regiment was given by the 47th Station Hospital and Medical and Dental Officers were attached temporarily for this purpose.

The Regiment started moving to Mt. Isa on 2 June 1942. 31 trains were used with the last train leaving Sydney on 12 June 1942. The Regimental Commander accompanied by Lieutenant Dewey Mayes, the Supply Officer 29th Quartermaster, left Sydney on 14 June 1942 by air for Brisbane. When the New South Wales trains arrived at South Brisbane Station on the south side of the Brisbane River, the men and equipment had to be unloaded and transported by truck across the river to the Roma Street Station for reloading onto a Queensland train. The reason for this was that the two states have a different size rail gauge. By 22 June 1942, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, "I" Company and a Detachment of "K" Company had been shipped out of Brisbane by train. Due to the congestion of the Queensland train network, the remainder of the 3rd Battalion have to move overland to Mt. Isa on 23 June 9142. On 23 June 1942, Lieutenant Dewey Mayes left for Mt. Isa by air, and the Regimental Commander left on 25 June 1942.

Company "F" did not accompany the rest of the Regiment to Mt. Isa as they had been diverted to Brisbane for the purpose of securing equipment. Once completed Company "F" proceed to Mt. Isa overland to rejoin the Regiment.

 

Mutiny by 4 men of "F" Company, 29th QM Regiment at Winton on 13 June 1942

 

The entire Regiment had arrived in Mt. Isa by 27 June 1942 with the exception of "E" Company, which had been diverted to Townsville and then to Port Moresby, New Guinea where it arrived on 19 June 1942.

The mission for the Regiment was to convoy supplies from the terminus of the rail-road at Mt. Isa to Birdum in the Northern Territory, the end of the rail-road south from Darwin. The first convoy left Mt. Isa on 17 June 1942, and was furnished by "A" Company. Operations continued until late October 1942. Up until September 1942 there was no time at which there was not at least one convoy on the road. The length of the trip was approximately 700 miles and required four days each way, with one day lay-over at Birdum. The roads were extremely bad and the bull dust was intense.

At Mt. Isa, despite the numerous convoy operations performed by the Regiment, it managed to secure a good baseball team. It played the 48th Quartermaster Regiment during all the periods from June until October 1942 and won every game. The team, still under the management of Sgt. Johnson, was awarded two trophies by the citizens of Mt. Isa for it's outstanding work on the diamond.

Whilst in Mt. Isa, Chaplain Paul W. Strickland (0411550) of the 48th Quartermaster Truck Regiment held regular services in the 29th Quartermaster area.

Certain Officers of the 47th Station Hospital in Sydney moved with the 29th QM Regiment to Mt. Isa to attend to medical requirements. They remained with the Regiment until relieved by a Detachment of Officers and Enlisted Men from the 33rd Surgical Hospital in Townsville. In August 1942 a permanent detachment reported for duty, commanded by Captain John A. Ritchey (031873). The rest of the detachment comprised 1st Lt. Sidney M. Falk (0358992), Captain Mordecai L. Falick (0336635), 1st Lt. Robert C. Griffith (0240147) and 1st Lt. Harry P. Cohen.

In October 1942, the Regiment was ordered to transfer to various points in Australia. On 8 October 1942, Major Mulky proceeded by rail and air as an advance agent to arrange for liaison for movements of elements of the Regiment to Brisbane and Sydney, and to coordinate plans for building a camp at Richlands west of Brisbane. Major Mulky reported to the Commanding Officer of Base Section No. 3 in Brisbane on 13 October 1942.

Companies "A" and "B" moved to Sydney. The 1st Battalion, Less "A" and "B" Companies moved to Townsville. The 2nd Battalion, less "F" Company moved to Port Moresby and joined "E" Company.

Regimental Headquarters, with the 3rd Battalion moved into Brisbane. Their move to Camp Columbia west of Brisbane was completed by rail on 26 October 1942. "F" Company moved from Mt. Isa to Townsville in November 1942.

All movements were by rail except that of "F" Company, which moved by rail only to Cloncurry and thence overland to Townsville. The 2nd Battalion's move to Port Moresby was completed in late November 1942 with the exception of a detail under Lieutenant John W. Hoar, which remained in Townsville with certain equipment until January 1943.

The scattered units of the 29th QM Regiment furnished Truck Transportation for each of the respective Bases in which they were located.

Chaplain Jason M. Cowan (0406552), C. of C. reported to the 29th QM Regiment in October 1942 in Brisbane and remained with the Regiment until 22 March 1943 when he was transferred to the 91st Engineer Regiment in New Guinea.

On 18 February 1943, Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion moved from Camp Columbia to Camp Freeman at Richlands located west of Brisbane.

On 10 February 1943, "D" Company left Townsville for Milne Bay and later was transferred to Oro Bay. The 1st Battalion, less "A", "B" and "D" Companies moved to Oro Bay.

"A" Company left Sydney and arrived in Brisbane by train in January 1943. It was encamped with the Regiment at Camp Columbia while getting completely equipped and then moved to Milne Bay. Early in April 1943, one Platoon of "B" Company under the command of Lieutenant Jean C. Stapenhorst moved by train from Sydney to Brisbane where it was equipped and then moved on to Milne Bay and later became part of the 6th Army Task Force at Goodenough Island. On 23 April 1943, the remainder of "B" Company, under the command of Captain George W. Whiteside, moved by boat to Milne Bay and later moved to Goodenough Island.

"F" Company remained in Townsville until 29 December 1942 when it moved by boat, less one Platoon to Brisbane. The Platoon joined the Company in Brisbane at a later stage. On 3 June 1943, "F" Company moved by boat to Oro Bay.

On 21 May 1943, "M" Company, having been attached to the 6th Army, moved by boat to Milne Bay, New Guinea where it stayed until 24 July 1943. It then moved to Kiriwina Island and furnished Truck Transportation to a 6th Army Task Force.

On 11 July 1943, Regimental Headquarters and the 3rd Battalion boarded a ship at Brisbane and sailed for Milne Bay, New Guinea where it arrived on 19 July 1943. The Regimental Commander moved by air on 12 July 1943 to Port Moresby then to Milne Bay arriving there on 16 July 1943. The Regiment moved into a temporary camp at Milne Bay whilst a permanent camp was being built. They moved into the new camp ten days later.

Regimental Headquarters moved from Milne Bay to Port Moresby on 26 September 1943. In November 1943, the 2nd Battalion moved into a new camp at Port Moresby. Chaplain Darneal F. Johnson reported to the Regiment for duty in September 1943.

On 2 December 1943, the Regiment was redesignated as the 29th Quartermaster Group and the Battalions and Companies were redesignated as follows:-

 

OLD DESIGNATION NEW DESIGNATION
Hq & Hq Det, 29th QM Truck Regiment Hq & Hq Det, 29th QM Group
Hq & Hq Det, 1st Bn, 29th QM Truck Regiment Hq & Hq Det, 29th QM Bn, Mobile
Hq & Hq Det, 2nd Bn, 29th QM Truck Regiment Hq & Hq Det, 67th QM Bn, Mobile
Hq & Hq Det, 3rd Bn, 29th QM Truck Regiment Hq & Hq Det, 119th QM Bn, Mobile
   
Company "A" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3441st QM Truck Company
Company "B" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3442nd QM Truck Company
Company "C" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3443rd QM Truck Company
Company "D" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3444th QM Truck Company
Company "E" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3445th QM Truck Company
Company "F" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3446th QM Truck Company
Company "G" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3447th QM Truck Company
Company "H" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3448th QM Truck Company
Company "I" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3449th QM Truck Company
Company "K" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3450th QM Truck Company
Company "L" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3451st QM Truck Company
Company "M" 29th QM Truck Regiment 3452nd QM Truck Company

Each Company would have had 3 Platoons and each Platoon would have had 2 Sections.

On 21 February 1944, the Advance Forward Echelon of Group Headquarters move by plane to Base "F", and assumed command of the Base Motor Command on 22 February 1944. On the same date the following units were attached to the 29th Quartermaster Group:-

155th Quartermaster Battalion, Mobile
3521st QM Truck Company
812th Amphibian Truck Company
469th Quartermaster Battalion, Mobile
377th Quartermaster Truck Company
464th Amphibian Truck Company

On the 3 April 1944 the two Amphibian Truck Companies were transferred to the Port Command. The rear Echelon of Group Headquarters, 29th Quartermaster Group arrived by boat in Base "F" on 26 March 1944.

 

Official History of the 29th Quartermaster Truck Regiment

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Russell Miller for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 5 January 2015

This page last updated 27 February 2016