US NAVY DEGAUSSING STATION BRISBANE
BRISBANE RIVER, BRISBANE, QLD
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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Lt. L.A. Rovelsky, USNR, was detached from Task Force 42 and reported by letter to Commander Service Force in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for duty in connection with a new degaussing station near the mouth of the Brisbane River. From about December 1942, all degaussing operations in the Brisbane area came under the Commander Service Force, 7th Fleet, US Navy.

In December 1942, a channel loop range and a channel coil range were under construction in the Brisbane River. Preparations were also being made to degauss submarines and mine sweepers in the harbour using portable instruments.

On 19 January 1943, submarine U.S.S. ALBACORE (SS 218) had its degaussing measured.

On 28 March 1943, the Degaussing Unit depermed U.S.S. LARK and an inspection was made of the degaussing system on S.S. JOHN SEDGEWICK.

On 14 June 1943, submarine U.S.S. ALBACORE proceed downstream from New Farm Wharf to the degaussing range. After completing degaussing U.S.S. returned to the New Farm Wharf.

On 5 August 1943, the Degaussing Unit carried out degaussing maintenance inspections on S.S. MARMACWREN, S.S. JOLL PALMER and S.S. AMCOA BURLINGAME.

At 1620 hours on 12 September 1943, PC 1122 steaming on various courses and speeds traversed the degaussing range on the Brisbane River.

On 14 September 1943, U.S.S. MIZAR (AF-12) passed over the degaussing loop at 0822 hours on heading 022 (T).

On 21 September 1943, the Degaussing Unit (YDG2) compensated the magnetic compass on PT192 and PT 193 and PT196.

On 23 September 1943, the Degaussing Unit carried out a degaussing unit inspection on U.S.S. GOLD STAR, and issued new degaussing charts based on calibration at Fremantle.

At about 1810 hours on 27 September 1943, U.S.S. GOLD STAR crossed over the degaussing range, 102 amps, zone 8.

On 19 October 1943, the Degaussing Unit calibrated the degaussing system on submarine U.S.S. BLACK FISH (SS-211).

On 20 October 1943, PC 1122 crossed the degaussing range at 0834 hours and berthed at C.S.R. Wharf. PC 1122 got underway again on the same day and crossed the degaussing range again at 1323 hours.

On 21 October 1943, USS MIZAR passed over the degaussing range on heading 203 (T). USS HELM (DD 388) also ran over the degaussing range on the same day.

At 0838 hours on 4 November 1943 U.S.S. YMS 313 left the Sugar Refinery Wharf at New Farm and proceeded down river to the degaussing range. At 0955 hours YMS 313 commenced runs on the degaussing range which were completed at 1155 hours. YMS 313 then proceeded down river to sing the ship for compass compensation. YMS 313 commenced swinging the ship at 1310 hours and finished at 1420 hours and returned to the Sugar Refinery Wharf.

At 1721 hours on 13 November 1943, U.S.S. MIZAR made a run on the degaussing range on heading 121 Magnetic.

On 17 November 1943, the Degaussing Unit adjusted the magnetic compass on S.S. SIMON BOLIVAR.

On 10 December 1943, the Degaussing Unit carried out a degaussing maintenance inspection on S.S. MARCUS DALY.

On 12 January 1944, the Degaussing Unit calibrated U.S.S. HENRY T. ALLEN.

At 0812 hours on 27 January 1944, U.S.S. CALAMARES ran over the degaussing range on heading 202T.

On 31 January 1944 wiped the USS Balao. Commander Service Force, Subordinate Command, Seventh Fleet reported twelve ships, including eight submarines, had been check ranged. One ship, a tender, required recalibration, but there was no opportunity yet to do that.

On 28 April 1944, U.S.S. ARAYAT (IX 134) passed over the degaussing range, "M" coil setting -08. 1047.

On 10 March 1945, the Commanding Officer, US Naval Base Navy 134, Brisbane reported on the Brisbane Degaussing Office as follows:-

Degaussing Office

Degaussing maintenance inspections with needed adjustments and minor repairs were made on twenty-two (22) U.S. Naval and Merchant ships. Magnetic channel range signatures were analyzed for submarines. No Flash "D" Deperm treatment was needed on these submarines at this time. Compass compensating coil adjustments were made on two (2) ships. Magnetic compass adjustments were made and ships swung in compass deviation for seven (7) compasses on three (3) ships. This activity has commenced dismantling and crating Flash "D" Deperm equipment. Such work is approximately fifty per cent (50%) completed. This command has requested from Commander Service Force, SEVENTH Fleet the disposition of equipment of this activity and has recommended that the personnel of this unit be reduced.

On 7 April 1945, the Commanding Officer, US Naval Base Navy 134, Brisbane reported on the Brisbane Degaussing Office as follows:-

Degaussing Office

Degaussing maintenance inspections with needed adjustments and minor repairs were made on twenty-nine (29) U.S. Naval and Merchant ships. Degaussing coil ground was eliminated on the U.S.A.T. FRED C. AINSWORTH. Compass compensating coild adjustments were made on seven (7) ships. Magnetic compass adjustments were made and ships swung in magnetic compass deviations on eight (8) U.S. Army, Navy and Merchant ships. Surplus degaussing equipment was readied for shipment to the forward area.

On 11 May 1945, the Commanding Officer, US Naval Base Navy 134, Brisbane reported on the Brisbane Degaussing Office as follows:-

Degaussing Office

Degaussing maintenance inspections with needed adjustments and minor repairs were made on twenty-three (23) U.S. Naval and Merchant ships. Compass compensating cold adjustments were made on seven (7) ships. Degaussing coil grounds were cleared on:-

S.S. STANVAC WELLINGTON
S.S. MISSION SOLANO
USCG BUTTONWOOD
USAT SEA CAT

Degaussing system mechanical repairs were made on the S.S. INTERNATIONAL. Magnetic compass adjustments were made and ship swung for magnetic deviations on:-

U.S.A. FS-3A
S.S, FRANCIS WARREN
U.S.S. MARIVELES

During the month of April, a letter originated from this base recommending the roll-up of the Degaussing Office. As yet, no word has been received from Commander Service Force, SEVENTH Fleet in respect of this recommendation. In the event the Degaussing Unit were discontinued, the Royal Australian Navy, which maintains a Degaussing Office at this port (at Lytton), could be contacted for needed services by American ships.

On 13 June 1945, the Commanding Officer, US Naval Base Navy 134, Brisbane reported on the Brisbane Degaussing Office as follows:-

Degaussing Office

Degaussing maintenance inspections with needed adjustments and minor repairs were made on forty-three (43) U.S. Navy and merchant ships. Compass compensating coil adjustments were made on eight (8) ships. Degaussing coil grounds were cleared on the following vessels:-

U.S.S. CALAMARES
U.S.S. YMS-316
S.S. CITY OF HOUSTON
S.S. LEWIS MORRIS

Extensive degaussing repairs were made on the S.S. FRANK J. IRWIN and magnetic compass adjustments were made on U.S.S. VENUS and S.S. CARIBQUEEN. Work of a liasion nature was carried out in connection with the operation and maintenance of the degaussing channel range. As mentioned in last months report, the Royal Australian Navy, which maintains a degaussing office at this port (at Lytton), can be contacted for needed adjustments by American ships in the event Commander Service Force, SEVENTH Fleet decides to discontinue the service in this area.

On 13 July 1945, the Commanding Officer, US Naval Base Navy 134, Brisbane reported on the Brisbane Degaussing Office as follows:-

Degaussing Office

Degaussing maintenance inspections with needed adjustments and minor repairs were made on twenty-six (26) U.S. Navy and merchant ships. Compass compensating coil adjustments were made on eight (8) ships. Degaussing coil grounds were cleared on the U.S.A.T. EVANGELINE, an new degaussing charts were issued to the S.S. GEORGE P. PORTER. Six (6) ships were swung for magnetic compass deviations and adjustments were made. During the month, U.S. Navy magnetic compass and degaussing services were discontinued at this base. Reference is made to Commander SEVENTH Fleet confidential dispatch 260735 June, which reads as follows:-

"EFFECTIVE 15 JUNE 45 U.S. NAVY DEGAUSSING FACILITIES BRISBANE DISCONTINUED X FOLLOWING RAN FACILITIES NOW AVAILABLE BRISBANE (1) SHALLOW CHANNEL RANGE (2) DEGAUSSING INSPECTION MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR (3) MAGNETIC COMPASS SERVICE."

U.S. Navy degaussing equipment, materials and tools, comprising fifty-four (54) boxes and fifty-two (52) reels were shipped to DOTI 59. Confidential publications were mailed to teh Underwater Defense Officer, Commander Service Force, SEVENTH Fleet. Printed forms required by the Royal Australian Navy Degaussing Officer for servicing U.S. vessels were turned over to that officer. Other surplus printed forms were mailed to the Degaussing Officer at Navy 3002. In the future, therefore U.S. vessels arriving in the port of Brisbane will contact the Royal Australian Navy for degaussing and magnetic compass services.

 

REFERENCES

War Diary - History of Commander Service Force, Seventh Fleet

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Lee Deighton and Dave Spethman for their assistance with this web page.

 

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This page first produced 5 May 2017

This page last updated 18 July 2017