4TH ENGINEER AMPHIBIAN BRIGADE
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 13 January 2004

 

The 4th Brigade was made up of three regiments:-

Each Regiment had two Battalions, a Boat Battalion consisting of Companies A, B and C, and a Shore Battalion consisting of Companies D, E, and F. As far as I know, only the boat battalions of the 534th were on the "West Point". There were about 1,000 men of the boat battalions that disembarked in Sydney on 18 May 1944. About 6,600 other non Amphibious troops went on to Milne Bay. 

The 1st Battalion of the 534th Engineer Amphibian Regiment, 4th Engineer Amphibian Brigade landed in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on board the USS West Point on 12 May 1944. They moved by train to Camp Warwick on the outskirts of Sydney as it was then. They stayed at Camp Warwick for three days and then hopped on another train headed for Brisbane. They arrived in Brisbane on 15 May 1942 and moved to Camp Bulimba, Camp "B". On 21 May 1942 they started to work at the adjacent USA Barge Assembly Depot, possibly also known as Bulimba - Apollo Barge Assembly Depot (USASOS) on Apollo Road at Bulimba. It was also known as the Engineer Boat Yard, Bulimba.

The Barge Depot was located in the vacant land at the centre bottom of the
photograph which was taken on 4 August 1942. It was located opposite
the Hamilton Wharves on the other side of the Brisbane River.
(Photo via Russell Miller)

Bob Jarvis was a member of Company "B", 1st Battalion, 534th Engineer Amphibian Regiment, 4th Engineer Amphibian Brigade. Bob said that by the time they arrived at Camp Bulimba Camp "B" the shipyard was building large refrigerator barges. Bob said that their camp was at Stop 38 on the Balmoral tram line. They had to climb a hill, past a Catholic church to get to the camp area. The shipyard and the Chinese Camp (Camp "A") were on the river beyond the camp.

1st Battalion, 534th Engineer Amphibian Regiment Orchestra. 
Front Row L to R:- Gentry, Alvarado, McLain, Betcher, Organist
Second Row L to R:- Terrill, Clem, Bowen, Clarke, Hendricks
Third Row L to R:- Smith and Sullivan

 

Coolangatta

In late August 1942, the men of the 534th Engineer Amphibian Regiment started to spend time at the Rest Camp at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast. Every Monday and Wednesday, twenty two men would leave Bulimba and spend three days at the Rest Camp at Coolangatta.

Bob Jarvis worked with the Chinese from May till October 1944. He was sent with a detail of eight others to sail a 97 ft schooner "Morewa" up the coast as far as Cairns, and then across the Coral Sea to Milne Bay, and then up to Hollandia, where they turned the vessel over to the Hollandia Base. It had come to Brisbane from Auckland. They left Brisbane with one of the Chinese aboard as a cook. They only got as far as Moreton Island when the Chinese Cook became very seasick, and they had to take him back. They then got a fellow who had been in the Australian Army. His name was Steve Burroughs and he was from Brisbane. He was an excellent cook and a lot of fun. Bob Jarvis told me that he learned some very colourful language from their Aussie Cook.

They then flew back to Brisbane and went to a Rest Camp at Coolangatta. After that they moved to Luzon, in the Philippines where they trained with the 25th Division at Lingayan to make the landing at Kyushu where the Japs surrendered. They were sent with the 25th Division to Nagoya. 

Joe Sickler was also stationed in Brisbane with the 534th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. 

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Recall"
by Company "C", 1st Battalion, 534th Engineer Amphibian Regiment,
4th Engineer Amphibian Brigade

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Id' like to thank Bob Jarvis for his assistance with this home page. Bob was a member of Company "B" of the 1st Battalion, 534th Engineer Amphibian Regiment, 4th Engineer Amphibian Brigade.

I'd also like to thank Bobbie Sickler, whose husband Joe Sickler was a member of the 534th Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2003

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This page first produced 13 January 2004

This page last updated 19 June 2005