Previous works

Diary of WW2 NQ

This small reference book compiled, in Diary format, is a chronology of events, (land, sea and air), during World War ll within an area of Mackay, north to Horn Island and west to Mount Isa.

The book includes some details of the RAAF and USAAF events in the area, also covers the RAN and USN plus Merchant shipping, outlines military movements and major events, concluding with a small collection of photographs at the back.

Click here to see a review of the 'Diary'.

Volumes 1 - 3 cover



Wartime Naval and Merchant Shipping Movements  (1939-1946)

Researched and compiled by Peter Nielsen


The Series, (Volumes 1, 2 & 3), is sequentially paginated, and integrates movements of all Allied Naval and Merchant shipping in North Queensland waters from 1939 to 1946.

Apart from the ‘home brand’, warships and merchant ships which sailed these Northern Australia waters, protected by the Great Barrier Reef, vessels hailed from  Britain, Canada, Denmark,  Dutch East Indies, France, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, New Guinea, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Panama,  Philippines, Union of South Africa and USA.

Small vessels of Australian Army watercraft, US Army Small Ships, RAAF Marine Section and small craft of the RAN and USN are included.

An updated Ship Index, listing some 1,600 vessels mentioned in Volumes 1 to 3, can be found on


NORTH QUEENSLAND AT WAR - Volume.1 (ISBN 0-9752127-0-2) is a compilation of “Shipping” in North Queensland waters in the years 1939-1942. It includes the arrival and departure dates of all vessels (large and small, military and merchant), that called at the ports of Mackay, Bowen, Townsville, Lucinda, Cairns, Port Douglas, Cooktown, Port Stewart, Portland Road and Thursday Island.

Apart from the daily movements of Merchant Ships on the Coastal and International trade, it includes the movements of allied warships, including those that took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea and the comings and goings of Allied Naval Task Force, which between “Coral Sea patrols”, took refuge within the Great Barrier Reef at Cid Harbour, Dunk Island, Challenger Bay and Stanley Island. The book further details the laying of mines at openings in the Great Barrier Reef and the commencement of Shipping Convoys to and from Darwin and New Guinea. 


Since the publication of Volume.1, on-going research revealed a host of ‘new’ vessels; so many in fact, that an Amendment was necessary. An Interim Amendment was made available on the web-site, and has been included as “Addendum” in Volume.2.


NORTH QUEENSLAND AT WAR - Volume.2  (ISBN 978-0-9752127-1-4) is a continuation of Volume.1. Shipping became a lot more intense during the year of 1943. Activities of HMAS AUSTRALIA and the Allied Naval Task Force continued. The number of Convoys escalated, especially to New Guinea with requirement for all but the very fast or the very slow vessels to be under Naval Escort. Entrances to the Great Barrier Reef continued to be mined by HMAS BUNGAREE. During this year, troops who trained on the Atherton Tablelands plus their supplies were transported to and from New Guinea. The movements of the “Z” Special Unit clandestine fishing boat, the KRAIT are also recorded.


NORTH QUEENSLAND AT WAR - Volume.3, (ISBN 978-0-9752127-2-1), will be a continuation of “Shipping” from 1944 through to 1946.