About the book





Data CD–Book

Figure 1 - Tableland signpost

Fig. 001
CD-ROM Label image
Signpost - corner of Main and Vernon Streets outside the Atherton Post Office
(Image: Australian War Memorial - Negative #084955)
(Photo available for purchase from
This road sign is now in the Australian War Memorial Collection

Researched and Compiled by

Peter Nielsen


International Standard Book Number  (ISBN)  978 0 9752127 4 5  (Computer Disc)

© All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, copying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

 First published in 2014

 Publisher:  Nielsen Publishing
PO Box 459 Gordonvale, Queensland, Australia  4865

:           69 296 832 799

Copyright:  ©  Peter A Nielsen  2014

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication

Nielsen, Peter, 1937-

Diary of World War ll North Queensland (Update)

CD-ROM Book (computer disc)

Formatted: PDF

Second Edition

1,987 pp
1.       Australia. Royal Australian Navy – History - World War, 1939-1945.
2.       Australia. Army – History - World War, 1939-1945.
3.       Australia. Royal Australian Air Force – History - World War, 1939-1945.
4.       United States. Army Air Forces – Foreign Service – Queensland - World War, 1939-1945.
5.       Merchant Marine – Australia – History - World War, 1939-1945.
6.       World War, 1939-1945 – Campaigns – South West Pacific.
7.       Queensland – History - 1939-1945.


Dewey Number:  940.53943

Previous works by same author: -

Printed book – “Diary of World War ii   North Queensland” – (ISBN 0 646 13679 8) (Superseded)

                       Published 1993 by Nielsen Publishing - (Out of print.)

Printed book – “North Queensland at War (Day by Day)  Volume.1

                       “Naval and Merchant Shipping Movements 1939-1942):  (ISBN 0 9752127 0 2)

                       Published 2004 by Nielsen Publishing

Printed book – “North Queensland at War (Day by Day)  Volume.2

                       “Naval and Merchant Shipping Movements 1943): (ISBN 978 0 9752127 1 4)

                       Published 2007 by Nielsen Publishing

Digital Book – “Diary of World War ii   North Queensland (UPDATE)”  1st edition
                      Data CD-Rom: (ISBN 978 0 9725127 3 8)
                      Published 2011 by Nielsen Publishing




2nd Edition

CD case cover


CD-Book Case Cover (2nd Edition) © Nielsen Publishing - 2014


Australia War Memorial Images

Portrait depicting Sister Quinlan AANS by Arthur Murch AWM: ART30136
AAMWS hat AWM: REL30717.001
Army Officer's cap AWM: REL25202.001
Bugle AWM: REL32588
CCC badge AWM: REL/11262
General Macarthur AWM: 053278
Machine Gunner badge AWM: REL38256
Medal - 1938-45 Star AWM: REL32903.001
Medal - Pacific Star AWM: REL32903.002
Medal - War Medal AWM: REL32903.003
"M" & "Z" lapel badge AWM: REL33558
Naval Commander’s cap         AWM: REL33561
RAA 1 Armd Div colour patch AWM: REL38157
RAAF forage cap AWM: REL25311.004
RAAF AG Brevet AWM: REL25319.002
RAAF LAC badge AWM: REL/02982.007
RAAF Officer's cap badge AWM: REL31196
RAAF Pilot brevet                     AWM: REL29287
Red Cross VAD badge AWM: REL33293
RN/RAN White Ensign              AWM: REL14315
Slouch hat         AWM: REL/07652
Woven Red Cross badge AWM: REL36241
2/7 Armd Regt colour patch       AWM: REL28790
2/13 Bn colour patch  AWM: REL37355
2/32 Bn colour patch                              AWM: REL33727
31Bn collar badge (Tudor Crown) Army Brand
51Bn collar badge (Tudor Crown) Army Brand
Aust Army Corps of Signals collar badge                  (Tudor Crown) Army Brand
Aust Army Service Corps collar badge                      (Tudor Crown) Army Brand
RAA hat badge             (Tudor Crown) Army Brand
Rising Sun (ACMF) hat badge (Tudor Crown) Army Brand
RAN badge (Tudor Crown) RAN Brand
RAAF No.11 Sqn badge (Tudor Crown) RAAF Brand


DIARY OF WWII NORTH QUEENSLAND  (UPDATE)  CD-ROM – Book, (PDF), is a Mega-Update of a small printed book DIARY OF WWII NORTH QUEENSLAND  by the same author, published in 1993.
It is a compilation of every aspect of military presence in North Queensland from 1939 to 1946, (Land, Sea and Air), in an area from Mackay to Horn Island and west to Mount Isa; a collation of events and happenings in chronological order.

This includes locations of camp sites; airfields; training areas; military hospitals; special training or research experimental facilities; Anti‑Aircraft batteries; fortifications; gun emplacements; airstrips; air crashes; RDF/Radar stations; HF/DF stations; buildings that were requisitioned for Military use; those structures etc., that were built for the military by the AWC/CCC; and any remnants that remain today of any of the above.  Also mentioned are memorials that have since been dedicated to any of the above.

Commonwealth War Graves in the North Queensland region are included.
The location of the grave of each and every one of the 619 Australian Servicemen and Women, who died
, (on land), in the NQ area and were buried in either War and Civil Cemeteries in North Queensland, is recorded. Those lost offshore, (with no known grave), are mentioned throughout, and their names appear on War Memorials at Rookwood (Necropolis), Sydney or at Plymouth, (England).

It records precisely units, troops, squadrons, ships etc, which berthed/encamped/stationed/trained within North Queensland during those war years; The “who, what, when and where” of units of: -

Royal Australian Navy RAN
United States Navy USN
Merchant Navy MN
Second Australian Imperial Force AIF
Commonwealth Military Forces CMF
Royal Australian Air Force RAAF
United States Army Air Force USAAF
United States Army Forces in Australia USAFIA
United States Army Service of Supply USASOS

And to a lesser extent: -

Australian Army Nursing Service AANS
Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service WRANS
Australian Women’s Army Service AWAS
Women’s Australian Auxiliary Air Force WAAAF
Australian Army Women’s Medical Service AAWMS
Voluntary Aid Detachments VAD
Australian Women’s Land Army AWLA
Volunteer Air Observer Corps VAOC
Volunteer Defence Corps VDC
Civil Construction Corps CCC
Allied Works Council AWC

This document has been converted to PDF, which has a “Search” function and to make this huge document more ‘user friendly’ a colour scheme has been introduced at follows: -

Australian Army: e.g. 2/1 Australian Infantry Battalion OR 2/1 Aust Inf Bn Green
Royal Australian Air Force: e.g. No.26 Operational Base Unit OR No.26 OBU Blue
US Forces: e.g. USAAF 8th Fighter Squadron OR  8FS Yellow
Basic Unit data: Historical data Purple
Undesirable events: Enemy action, ship groundings or collisions, ship crew problems, aircraft accidents, crashes, deaths and all other accidents or mishaps. Brown
Attention getter: for important events or happenings. Pink
General information: Light Blue/Green
Shipping movements: Naval & Merchant Ships Shades of Grey

Research began in 1985 in the North Queensland region, and continued in the Far North Queensland region since 1990.
Any omissions are regretted, and I welcome any new data per  

90% of data in this document has been derived from Primary Sources of information:-

Australian Army units AWM War Diaries [AWM52 Series]
Royal Australian Air Force       RAAF Formations and Unit Records Unit [AWM64 Series]
  RAAF Unit History Sheets - Operations Record Books [A50]
  and Details of Operations [A51] National Archives of Australia A9186 Series
Royal Australian Navy Monthly Reports of Proceedings [AWM: 78 Series]
  National Archives of Australia (Vic) CRS/B1288
Merchant Shipping Lloyds Register of Shipping
  Shipping Movement Cards – RAN Naval History Section
  Australian Pilot – Vol.III

Other sources: -

RAAF Units of the Royal Australian Air Force – A Concise History” - RAAF
  Historical Section
RAAF & USAAF RAAF & USAAF Formation during WW2” - Dennis Whiley & Ian Jenkins
US Army

Base Two – The Bayonet of Australia” – United States Army

  United States Army in World War ll – Series – The War Department
  Engineers of the South West Pacific – Series – The War Department
USAAF WW2 Combat Squadrons of the USAAF - Edited by Maurer Maurer
Australian War Memorial    Australians in the War 1939-45 (Series 1 - Army)
Vol.IV The Japanese Thrust by Lionel Wigmore

South-West Pacific Area – First Year by Dudley McCarthy

Vol.VI The New Guinea Offensives by David Dexter

The Final Campaigns by Gavin Long

Australian War Memorial    Australians in the War 1939-45 (Series 2 - Navy)
Vol.l Royal Australian Navy, 1939-42 by G Hermon Gill
Vol.ll Royal Australian Navy, 1942-45 by G Hermon Gill
Australian War Memorial    Australians in the War 1939-45 (Series 2 - Air)

Royal Australian Air Force, 1939-42 by Douglas Gillison

Vol.ll Royal Australian Air Force, 1943-42 by George Odgers

Additionally, there are many instances throughout the document, where researchers are advised of recommended specialised further reading on the subject, e.g.: -
:       Further reading (NQ Airfields) -  Queensland Airfields WW2 - 50 Years on  by Roger Marks.

The following Index lists appear at the rear of this document: -

Aircraft mishaps Index.1
Australian Army units Index.2
Figures - list of Images Index.3
General (KEYWORD) Index Index.4
Place names: Gazetteer Index.5
RAAF units Index.6
Ship List Index.7
USAFIA units Index.8
War Dead List - Commonwealth war graves Index.9
Watercraft - (RAN, NAP, Aust Army, USAFIA and RAAF marine "Small Ships") Index.10

Researchers should be able to navigate their way through this document with the PDF search” facility, using, (as keywords), all entries, (in part or in full), throughout all these Indexes.
These Indexes can also be found on


All accidents which render an aircraft unairworthy appear throughout the text under the heading  Aircraft Mishap.   For a complete list of 340 Aircraft mishaps in North Queensland during WW2, please see Index.1 at rear of document.


Figures/Photos/Images/Maps/Plans etc. are identified throughout from Fig.001 thru Fig.578 
Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders of all material and images quoted in this document, and due recognition is furnished where known.
Australian War Memorial
images contained in this document are available for purchase from the Australian War Memorial.
The publisher will be happy to deal retrospectively with this matter if any copyright has inadvertently been breached.

There are numerous instances throughout the document where a researcher is directed to an image existing in a published works, e.g.: -

 NOTE:    Photograph: SS TAMBUA – See “CSR Shipping 1880-2003” – H J Hansen (Page.156).



Numerous Map References are used throughout the document, but are only of use to researchers with access to appropriate WW2 military maps, mainly AWM – 1:63360, (1 inch to 1 mile), Series of maps.

NOTE:  Maps referred to throughout this document: -
BF Bartle Frere No.0018 (Ex4809)
B          Biboorah No.51 Zone 7   327691
C Cairns No.1890
CD Cape Direction  
CT Charters Towers No.131 Zone 7
D Dimbulah No.56 Zone 7   161395
  ES Endeavour Strait  
  G Gordonvale

No.57 Zone 7 653336

  H Herberton No.61 Zone 7   304197
  I Innisfail No.69 Zone 7   118898
  JR Jardine River  
  M Mingela  
  MES Mt Elliot (Special) SVY/004/002
  MR Macalister Range No.47 Zone 7
  MG Mt Garnet No.67 Zone 7    077847
  MU Musgrave No.63 Zone 7    084411
  P Palmerston No.68 Zone 7    578883
  PRS Paluma Range (Special) SVY/004/005
  TGS Thornton Gap (Special) SVY/004/004
  TI Thursday Island  
  TS Townsville (Special) SVY/004/001


Ships and boats include Allied Warships, Merchant Ships, Australian Army Small Ships, US Army Small Ships, RAAF Marine Section and Naval Auxiliary Patrol.
With the first mentioning of a ‘new’ vessel throughout this document, a NOTE:” follows, annotating basic vessel details, (including “International Call Sign”, where known).

To further assist the researcher, many Merchant vessels
, after first mention, are prefixed by “class” rather than “propulsion”. e.g.: - Liberty Ship and Tanker.

Australian Navy small craftNAP, CPB, EV, GPV’s etc, e.g. NAP launch EMELIA
US Army Small Ships are identified by name and designation, e.g. MONGANA (S-27)

Australian Army Small Craft are identified by name and designation, e.g. JOYCE OAKES (AS.128)

RAAF Marine Section vessels are identified by designation and name, e.g. (015/12) LORRAINE

Beware that, of the 1,600 odd vessels mentioned throughout the text, there are numerous bearing the same, (or similar), name to another vessel. To name a few: -


Tanker ENA, RAAF ENA (015/56) and ENA (AV.2076)





For a full listing of all vessels, please see Index.7 at rear of this document.

All measurements in this document are British Imperial units.
For conversion to Metric, suggest


There are over 600 ‘numbered’ Convoys mentioned in this document.

Additionally, there were numerous passages of Merchant Ships through dangerous waters, which were provided with naval and/or air escort, but for which there appears not to have been a designated Convoy Identification.
It would be magnificent if a ship's manifest was available for each of the ships in these Convoys.


Designation of Shipping Convoys mentioned in this document: -

"GP" Sydney - Brisbane
"PG" Brisbane - Sydney
"LQ" Brisbane - Townsville
"QL.1 - 56" Townsville - Brisbane
"ST" Sydney - Townsville
"TS.12 - 34" Townsville - Sydney
"BT.1 - 61" Brisbane - Townsville
"BV" Townsville - Brisbane
"VB" Townsville - Brisbane
"TN.11 - 204" Townsville - New Guinea
"NT.1 - 74" New Guinea - Townsville
"FC.1 - 3,5,7,8,10" "Fall River" - Cairns
"FT.1 - 44" "Fall River" - Townsville
"TD.10 - 75" Thursday Island - Darwin
"DT.10 - 83" Darwin - Thursday Island
"DG" Thursday Island - Merauke
"GD" Merauke - Thursday Island
"MV.45 - 75" Milne Bay - Townsville
"VM" Townsville - Milne Bay
"ZK.1 - 4,9,10,12,15 & 16" US


The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance given to him over the past twenty nine years by staff at: -

Australian War Memorial Research Centre

National Archives of Australia, ACT, VIC, NSW and QLD

Queensland State Archives (NQ Branch in the earlier years)

National Library of Australia

Queensland State Library

Australian National Maritime Museum “Vaughan Evans” Library.

Locally, thanks go to: -

The Maritime Museum of Townsville

The Historical Society of Cairns

Cairns City Library


A Special thank you goes to the Naval Historical Section, Sea Power Centre, Canberra, in particular Senior Naval Historical Officer John Perryman and his predecessor Joe Straczek, and their erstwhile assistant Brett Mitchell.
The backbone of this document is the recording of ALL Merchant Shipping in North Queensland waters during the Second World War, (1939 to 1946). - Yes, 1946, someone had to bring our troops back home. 

A very special ‘thank you’ goes to long time friend, renowned Australian Military Historian, Graham McKenzie-Smith who devoted much of his valuable time in ‘proof reading’ the Australian Army aspect of this document. His knowledge of WW2 Australian Army is exhaustive and he has freely imparted sound advice.  

An extra special ‘thank you’ to ‘meolemate’, Tony Polling, a disambiguation expert, who for decades has been my eagle eye ‘proof reader’, has instilled in me the importance of ‘consistency’ in putting a document such as this together.



While on active service, Australian Army headquarters, formations, and units are required to keep a unit war diary recording their daily activities. Archival series AWM52 comprises the diaries of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Citizen Military Forces (CMF),

The infantry is the main fighting arm of the Army. The basic infantry formation is the battalion (comprising between 700-800 personnel).
The next highest command is the brigade which plans the operations of three battalions.
Units comprising the infantry in the Australian Army in the Second World War included machine gun battalions, pioneer units (that performed engineering functions), and garrison units guarding POW camps.  Infantry battalions of the Australian Army in the Second World War comprised units from both the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the Militia units. The former can be distinguished by the prefix ‘2/-‘ to their battalion number.
In addition, units at this level include those under the direct command of larger other Headquarter units.
 These can be relatively small units, as well as units that may undertake a special function, or been formed for a defined duration. Other such units do not necessarily fit into other arms or formations of the Army


NORTH QUEENSLAND AT WAR  Series was intended as a seven book set of Volumes:

Naval & Merchant Shipping (3 Volumes) – Shipping Specific,

Army (2 Volumes) – Ground Troops Specific

Air Forces (1 Volume) – Aviation Specific

Combined Index (1 Volume) - (with Photographs)

Time permitting, this will eventuate, but what this current document does, is that it ties all of the above together to give the overall picture of event in North Queensland on any given day.


For an overview of the “big picture”, this work is punctuated throughout with activities elsewhere in the South West Pacific Area during WW2. e.g.: -


22JUL42  Battle for Kokoda: - begins.
  Japanese forces began landing in the Gona-Buna area for an advance over the Owen Stanley Ranges to Port Moresby. 39 Australian Infantry Battalion was tasked with blocking this advance along the Kokoda Track.
NOTE:      Kokoda Track” is quite often referred to as “Kokoda Trail, however the author has adopted the name used in the Australian War Memorial official history; “Australia in the War of 1939-1945” Volume 5 (South-West Pacific Area – First Year) by Dudley McCarthy.


“DIARY OF WWII NORTH QUEENSLAND (UPDATE)” – Second Edition, though not yet entirely complete, is the nearest one will get to an official holistic record of wartime activities in North Queensland during the Second World War.
To give an idea of the enormity of this document, Townsville is mentioned 13,138 times, with Cairns a close second at 12,707 mentions.

Feedback is much welcomed.
With ongoing research, there has to be a Third Edition.

Peter Nielsen

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