OF THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY AT BRIBIE ISLAND

This is the story of the indicator loop station built during WW2 as part of the Royal Australian Navy's anti-submarine harbour defences of Moreton Bay. It is located on the beach at Woorim, Bribie Island, about 100 km north of Brisbane, Australia. It was called the RAN 4 Naval Station.


If you have any feedback please email me:

Dr Richard Walding
Research Fellow - School of Science
Griffith University
Brisbane, Australia
Email: waldingr49@yahoo.com.au

LINKS TO MY RELATED PAGES:


LOCATION MAP

 


The loop hut is at Woorim on Bribie Island (Queensland) - half-way up the eastern coast of Australia.

BRIBIE & MORETON BAY PAGES

Click here for more details of:

  • Overview of Naval anti-submarine fixed defences in Moreton Bay.
  • Layout and structure of buildings at RAN 4.
  • RAN 7 sister loop station at Comboyuro Point, Moreton Island.
  • RAN 9 loop and PE beam station at Myrtletown, Brisbane River.
  • Fort Skirmish, Woorim, Bribie Island.

    Anti-submarine Indicator Loops

    Indicator Loops are long lengths of armoured cable laid on the seafloor of harbors to detect enemy submarines. They were developed by the Royal Navy in the early 1900s and first trialled at the end of WW1. They were successfully deployed in WW2 in British ports and other Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Kenya, Ceylon, Penang, and in allied harbours (Iceland, Holland, Dardanelles). By 1942 the United States had adapted this technology for its own needs and a dozen United States Navy "loop receiving stations" were established along the eastern seaboard of mainland USA.

    This diagram shows the arrangement of the cables in the loop ("3-legged") and the tail cable connecting them to the shore station.

    BRIBIE AT A GLANCE

    Angular Pigface Carpobrotus glaucesens on Woorim Beach with Moreton Island in the background

    Beach Primrose Oenothera drummondii subsp. drummondii on the beach at Woorim

    Bribie Island is a low sand island about 100 sq km in area, located 100 km north-east of Brisbane within the Moreton Bay region. It is separated from the mainland by the narrow Pumicestone Passage, an important source of seafood for the Aboriginal people who formerly lived on the island. Bribie Island presently supports a population of 15000 people based around the three living areas of Bellara and Bongaree on the passage side; and Woorim on the ocean side. During the early stages of World War II coastal fortifications were built at the northern end of Bribie Island (Fort Bribie), and at Skirmish Point (Skirmish Battery) at the southern end near the seaside village of Woorim, as part of the system of defence of the port of Brisbane. Most of the fortifications were controlled by the Army, but the Royal Australian Navy also operated a system of defences near Fort Bribie and Skirmish Battery. The is the story of the naval defences: the indicator loop hut, the power huts, the cables and the men who worked there.


    THE LOOP CONTROL HUT
     

    The hut sits proudly on the beach at Woorim, Bribie Island, just at the end of North Street. It cost ₤1000 to build in 1942. It was constructed in concrete by men drafted from the Main Roads Department called the Civil Constructional Corps. Photo taken in March 2000.
    Richard Walding untangles some the the HDA tail cable outside RAN4

    From the rear, the windows and door can be seen. The window on the left is for the ratings' toilet; the windows on the right provide light to the artificer's workshop.
    the beautiful view of Moreton Island from the loop hut window. Cables ran from the hut directly across to the northern tip of Moreton Island (about the centre of the picture).

    Southern wall of the loop hut.
    Northern wall.

     

    Looking North from the hut roof, with Caloundra in the middle distance.
    Looking South along the beach from the loop hut. Note the cables exposed on the middle of the dune.

    Looking Southeast from the hut roof to Combouyuro Point, Moreton Island. The roof slab was 9" thick with a 3" slope from the centre to the front and back. It was reinforced with ½" steel rods at 5" centres and transverse ⅜" rods at 12" centres. The roof was waterproofed with ¾" compo rendering and covered with two layers of bituminous felt. The 12" high lip can be seen in the photo. It is 4" thick and has ten 3" x 1½" weepholes. Three of the four loop cables ran from the hut to Combouyuro Point. A fourth cable ran from the RAN7 loop control hut at Bulwer (just south of Comboyuro Point).
    Left-over cables are rusting away on the beach.

     

    Indicator Loop Room. Rotary Club restorer John Price is on the left and on the right is Ron Donald - author of Fort Bribie.
    The Harbour Defence Asdic (HDA) Room. In this room the ratings monitored the Asdic equipment at night when surface vessels could not be observed. During the day binoculars were sufficient. Headphones were worn to listen for changes in the 'ping' when contact with a ship was made. The sloping table was on the original plan but never installed; all there was in this room was a table and chair and the Asdic equipment. The sloping bench was added by the Rotary Club in 1997. The front (eastern) wall (on left) and the opposite (western)  wall were lined horizontally with 4" x 1" T&G VJ hardwood on 3" x 1½" splayed battens (see figure below) built into the concrete (these are still there).

     

     
    How the studs and lining were fixed.
    The rear wall of the HDA room shows where the equipment was located.
    Some of the loop tail and power cables in the ducts under the floor (two 7-core cables, a 4-core and a 2-core).

    On the rear wall of the loop room was the equipment. This included the High Frequency Motor Alternator (HFMA), the Tuning Panel, The Send/Receive Key, the Bearing Control Panel, Amplifier, Recorder and Headphones. There was also a telephone switchboard connected to Skirmish Battery and to the Officers' Wardroom (RAN 4). Note the ducts in the floor. For more details on how an HDA works, see the Harbour Defence Asdic (HDA) web page.
     


    The Binocular Room. Here officers could look out through the slit window to confirm if a crossing of the loops has occurred. You can see the beautiful blue ocean through the window. Sometimes called the Plotting Room but the Plotting Table was never installed.
    This is the platform used to see out the window. It was constructed in 1997 - the original was 4 ft x 4 ft and had been destroyed by vandals.
     
     
    The cable duct in the Binocular Room. Two 7-core cables, a 4-core and two 2-core cables.
    From the Wireless Telegraphy Room looking south across the central passageway into the Indicator Loop Room.
    The Officers' Toilet was destroyed by vandals. The plastic cistern and porcelain pedestal are recent additions.


     


    Receiver


    Transmitter
    Artificer's Workroom - looking south. The original plans allowed for benches to be built around the walls but it is not clear if this eventuated.
    An AWA Teleradio Type 3BZ (photos above) was used for communications mainly with Harbour Defence motor launches. It was about 2' x 1' x 1' and had two 6V batteries (6V for receiver, 12V for transmitter and operated at the harbour defence frequency of 2.99 MHz (2990kc). In daylight, it could transmit voice for about 650 km and Morse for 1000 km.

    LOCATION OF LOOPS


    Four indicator loops and three HDAs were laid were laid between Woorim and Comboyuro Point on Moreton Island - a distance of 16 km.



    CABLE TYPES
     

    SINGLE CORE LEAD LOADED CABLE - ADMIRALTY PATTERN 1989 (W. T. Henley's Telegraph Works Co. Ltd.)

    This is the cable that actually detected the crossings. This is the cable that actually detected the crossings in WW2. It was made principally by W.T. Henley's Telegraph Works Company at Holborn Viaduct, London or by Siemens, London.   A full description of the cable can be found on my Cablemakers webpage.

    "1989" Cable - the inner silvery circle is the lead windings. The outer shiny circle is the armour wires coated in lead. The “1989” cable consists of a single core of seven strands of tinned copper wire, rubber insulation, weighted with pure lead wire (#6). The whole is protected with a clockwise winding of 22 steel armour wires (#10), each about 1.9 mm diameter covered in pure lead 0.8 mm thick. It has a linear density in British imperial units of 6.09 tons per 2000 yard mile in air (6.8 lb per yard) or in metric units: 3.4 tonnes/km (3.4 kg/m). Final diameter (1.35") 33 mm.

    2 CORE CABLE (possibly ADM Patt. 841B)
     

    2 core, 7 strand, 0.029" cable as used in the HDA loops for sending out the signal. It was made by British cablemaker W T Henley (London) in 1940.
    Longitudinal section shows the two cores insulated with white centered black india-rubber wound in silk with jute beddings. This is wound with more silk and oiled jute insulation and 21 strand steel armour wire. A double layer of tarred hemp wound in opposite directions encloses the steel.


    3 CORE CABLE - ADMIRALTY PATTERN 5700
     

    The 3 core, 7 strand, 0.029" was used for 110 V DC power. It was made by British cable maker Hoopers in 1940.
    The 3 cores are insulated with 5 mm black rubber and printed with numerals 0, 1 and 2. Each is wrapped in cotton gauze and there is more cotton gauze around the three cores. Six strands of hemp beddings is used, followed by 12 strand armour and two layers of tarred jute braid (not shown in photo).

    4 CORE CABLE - ADMIRALTY PATTERN 7048 and 9610 (and Patt. 13139 & 13140)
     

    The ADM Patt. 9610 was a 4 core, 7 strand, 0.029" cable used for loop tails. It was made by Johnson & Philips (UK) in 1941. It has a diameter of 25 mm. 
    The longitudinal section shows the four central cores insulated with 5mm diameter rubber (3 are white, one black), surrounded by 18 mm diameter rubber bedding. Also visible is the 25 mm wide cotton gauze around the rubber; the central square white rubber core (not visible) and the 22 strand steel armour. This cable was supplied by Johnson & Philips. You can just make out the reversed name transferred on to the white rubber (see photo below for a better image).

    The Johnson and Phillips name is clearly visible on the cotton. Any attempt to move this fabric results in its destruction as it is made of single strands of cotton, not woven together.

    The ADM Patt. 7048 Edison Swan cable. This is also a 4 core, 7 strand made by Edison Swan Cables Ltd, Lydbrook, Gloucestershire in 1940.The details on the tape can still be seen quite clearly after all these years on the beach. This cable has 3 cores in white rubber and one in black rubber. The cente divider is black rubber, square in section.

    7 CORE CABLE - ADMIRALTY PATTERN 660
     

     
    7 core, 7 strand, 0.029" was used for 220 V DC power and for the HDA "Training" tails. It was made by Hoopers in 1941.
    Longitudinal section. The 7 cores were each insulated with india-rubber and wound in silk and separated by jute beddings. This was wrapped in more silk and tarred jute braid and protected by 15 steel armour wires (30 mm diameter) and two layers of tarred hemp braid wound in opposite directions. Similar to Admiralty Pattern 13135.

     
     

    Terminating lugs on a 2-core cable in the HDA Room.
    The same cable showing how the steel armour wires were layed back over "pudding rings" (Adm Patt 841B) on the ends.

     

     
    Close-up of a 7-core cable armour wire and braid.  A hot pitch and resin mixture was applied by the cablemaker (in England) over the armour wires and then two layers of braid were wound on in opposite directions. A waterproof protective coating was added to the outside.


     

    For more details on the cables and the cable makers go to the Cablemakers Webpage.



    POWER HUTS


    There were two identical concrete power huts located about 100 yards to the north and south of the loop hut. Each was about 18 ft x 14 ft and stood 10 ft high. Inside was a Mark 2V60 Ruston Vertical Diesel Oil Engine producing 16 HP at 1000 rpm. This drove two DC generators made by Braybon Bros (Sydney): one was 7 kW producing 220 V at 1000 rpm; and the other - 2 kW 110 V at 1600 rpm. The diesel engine cost ₤260 (On 6 April 1943, War Cabinet approved the purchase of 500 of these engines).
     

    The Northern Power Hut is covered in bush. The small rectangular slot on the front is for the exhaust vent. The windows were originally made of silky oak with florintine brass handles, stays, hinges and bolts. The glazing was 1/4" wired mill-rolled glass. Below the window is the emergency exit. This is the eastern wall which faces the beach.
    The same wall (eastern) as seen from inside. The cornices still show the original Brunswick Green paint.
     


     

    The interior western wall of the Northern Power Hut.
    The Southern Power Hut now stands in the middle of the picnic grounds at Woorim. Local volunteers keep it painted. The roof is covered with bituminous felt and all walls are 12" thick. Steel bars have been added to keep vandals out. This wall of the hut faces south east.

    CONSTRUCTION AND LAYING DETAILS, 1942-1943


    The Royal Australian Navy approved the construction of anti-submarine defences at Moreton Bay on 22nd June 1942. Under the code name Operation Robert and Arthur, the Navy was to lay four indicator loops on a line from Bribie Island - Skirmish Banks - Spitfire Banks - Salamanda Bank - Comboyuro Point (Moreton Island). This was Operation Robert. Operation Arthur consisted of four H.D.As (Harbour Defence Asdics) approximately two miles south of the loop system. The cable was to come from Sydney stores which were imported from London. Three were monitored from RAN4 and one from RAN7 (at Bulwer on Moreton Island). On 18th July 1942, cableship HMAS Bangalow left Sydney and laid Indicator Loops 1 and 4 from 1st to 7th August.

    Construction of the Loop/Power Huts and Accomodation were completed by 30th September for a cost of ₤1000 and ₤2100 respectively. Loop laying continued with No.3 being laid on October 8, its tail on October 13 and loop No. 2 on 24th October. The tails cables were connected to the Loop Hut on 16th November. Operation Arthur commenced in November with the HDA Dan Buoys being positioned on the 1st and some of the HDA tail cables being laid from the 2nd to the 5th. Problems were occurring with the centre leg of No. 1 loop and several attempts were made to repair it. They gave up on this and relaid a new centre leg on November 26th. On December 7th, 9th and 16th the signal (transmitting) cables for HDA-B, -A and -C were laid although HDA-B was recovered and relaid in a new position on the 17th.

    By the end of the laying process, the following had been installed out in the bay (in addition to the cables themselves): 3 HDA oscillators (Adm Patt 2053), 3 tripods (AP 5965), 3 slings (AP 5971), 8 Junction Boxes (AP 142), 8 Junction Boxes (Adm Patt 16518), 20 Cone Rings (AP 16519) & 20 Cone Rings (AP 16520).

    Type 135 HDA oscillator (Adm Patt 2053) and tripod (Adm Patt 5965) being lifted from the waters of Trincomalee Harbour, Ceylon, by the cable-layer HMS Bullfrog in 1945. This photo was supplied by Captain Walter J S Flett (RN), Findochty, Scotland who was an Ordinary Seaman aboard Bullfrog from late 1945 to early 1946. This is the only photo of the HDA dome known. Further details of HDAs are on the Harbour Defence Asdic (HDA) web page.

     
    CABLE LENGTHS
    The optimum loop length was about 4000 to 5000 yards (3500 - 4500 m). Each loop consisted of three legs space about 250 yards apart making a total width of 500 yards (450 m). The RAN4 loops were about 420 m wide.
     

    Loop No.

    Loop length
    (metres)

    ADM 1989
    Single Core
    Loop cable length (metres)

    ADM 7048
    4-core
    Tail cable length
    (metres)

    1

    4500

    14300

    12150

    2

    5300

    16700

    6950

    3

    4900

    15500

    2400

    4

    3240

    10550

    550

       

    57050
    (62400 yds)

    22050 m
    (24120 yds)

    Note: The Navy ordered 70,500 yards of ADM 1989 for the loop and 30,000 yards of ADM Pattern 7048 and Patt. 13139 for the loop tail.

    HDA No.


    2-core
    Transmitting cable length
    (metres)

    ADM 660
    7-core
    Training cable length (metres)

    A

    520

    520

    B

    10190

    10190

    C

    5370

    5370

     

    16080 m
    (17600 yds)

    16080 m
    (17600 yds)


    Note: HDA "A" was controlled from the RAN 7 control hut at Comboyuro Point, Moreton Island. The three HDAs supplied were the ones originally planned for Darwin and Port Moresby. The Navy supplied 10000 yds of training cable, 10000 yds of transmitting cable, 24000 yds of heavy duty training cable and 24000 yds of heavy duty transmitting cable.


    Click here for more details of layout and structure of buildings at RAN 4

    OFFICERS AND RATINGS WHO SERVED AT RAN4, 1942-1943

     

    Lt Syd Sharp - 1943

    The Navy approved the staffing of the Loop Station by five officers and 21 ratings. This was made up of 1 Lt Cdr as Extended Defence Officer (XDO), 4 Lt or Sub Lt, 1 Petty Officer (PO), 3 Leading Seamen, 16 Able Bodied (AB) or Ordinary Seamen (OS) and 1 Engine Room Artificer (EA). The names of the officers and ratings are as follows. Note: SD = Submarine Detector; HSD = Higher Submarine Detector. The people mentioned in the following table all served at RAN4 at one time or another.

    Rank

    First

    Surname

    Status (D = deceased)

    Service No.

    Lt

    Frederick Sydney

    Sharp

     

     

    Lt

    Laurence William 

    Harvey

    D 1962

     

    Lt

    Horace John Harold 

    Thompson

    D

     

    Lt

    Leslie Alderson

    Smith

    D - Jan 97

     

    Lt

    Joseph Michael Reddy 

    Duggan

     

     

    Lt

    Osmond Raymond 

    Jarvis

     

    S/Lt

    Albert Edward

    Dean

    D

     

    S/Lt

    Harry Vivian 

    Newman

    D

    H1301

    S/Lt

    Percival Ferdinand 

    Crabbe

    D

     

    S/Lt

    Thomas James Peter 

    O'Byrne

    D 1994

     

    S/Lt

     

    McDonagh

    D

     

    AB

    Kevin Alan 

    Arkinsall

     

    S/6762 

    AB

    Geoffrey Watt

    Batchelor

     

    S/4070 

    AB

    J

    Bell

     

     

    AB

    Victor Gordon 

    Bradley

     

    B3792 

    AB

    Kenneth George 

    Chisholm

     

    PM3152

    AB

    William Joseph

    Cooper

     

    S4802

    AB

    Frank Sherlaw 

    Cross

     

    B/2591 

    AB

    John Alick

    Craig

     

    PM4213

    WO

    Alfred William 

    Earle

     

    15394

    AB

    Victor Roy 

    English

    D

    B/3199 

    AB (HSD)

    Max Cornelius 

    Enright

    D

    S4960

    CPO

    George Richard 

    Grimmond

    D

    S1

    AB

    Douglas Weir 

    Haig

     

    20878 

    AB

    William Frederick 

    Hamilton

     

    B/2674 

    AB

    Alfred George 

    Hicks

     

    F/4669 

    AB (Cook)

    Arthur Edward

    Jackson

     

     

    AB

    Gordon Henry 

    MacDonald

     

    13734 

    AB

    Kenneth Gordon 

    MacDonald

     

    S/5412 

    OS

    William John 

    Marx

     

    PM8600 

    AB

     

    McDonnell

     

     

    AB

    Henry Alfred 

    McGee

     

    PA3309 

    AB

    Stanley Emmitt 

    O'Hara

    D

    20506

    AB

    Leslie Alfred 

    Passtoors

     

    S4782 

    AB

    David William 

    Phillip

     

    PM4208 

    AB

    Francis Robert 

    Ramsay (HSD)

    D

    S/4403 

    AB

    Basil Frederick 

    Roach (HSD)

    D

    PM4006 

    AB

    Robert Arthur 

    Schluter

    D

    B1621 

    AB

    Bruce Kennedy 

    Seymour

     

    S4549 

    AB

    Arthur Edward 

    Sheldon (HSD)

     

    S5977 

    LSeaman

    Walter Henderson 

    Smith

    D

    S6077

    AB

    Ronald Ernest

    Smith

     

    S5337

    PO

    Jack

    Standring

     

    S1206 

    AB

    Cedric

    Standring

     

    S4003 

    AB

    Maxwell Renton 

    Towell

     D 2003

    H/1236 

     

    Arthur 

    Waddell (RN)

     D

     

    AB

    Kenneth Alfred 

    Watson

     

    S2828

    AB

    Ray Victor 

    Young

     D

    R23545

    VALE LT SYD SHARP

    All Ship All Shore message sent by Chief of Navy, Australia, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN, 16 June 2016 

    With sadness I inform you of the death aged 99 on 9 June 2016 of retired Lieutenant Frederick Sydney Sharp, RANR.  On behalf of the Navy I extend condolences to his family and friends.

    Born in 1917 Sydney Sharp joined the RANVR in February 1939 under the Yachtsman Scheme and he remained active in the RANR for 40 years. Amongst his medals were two long service medals, the reserve decoration with two bars and the reserve force decoration.

    His war service was in Darwin, serving in HMAS Tolga, HMAS Terka, HMAS Bendigo and HMAS Vigilant.

    During the first Japanese air raid on Darwin, on 19 February 1942, he fired at a low flying Zero fighter with a .303 rifle. Subsequently one Zero crashed on Melville Island with clear evidence that its oil filter had been penetrated by a .303 bullet. It is quite possible that this Zero's destruction was the result of Sydney's marksmanship and courage earlier in the day.

    He was assigned on three occasions to the RAAF and USAF to act as a naval observer. Post WWII he was a participant in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, and was a keen yachtsman, sometimes with senior officers, including VAdm John Collins, as members of his crew.

    His funeral service will take place at Somerville Chapel, Allambe Gardens, Nerang, Gold Coast at 11:30 am Friday 17 June 2016.

    Information courtesy of Roger Cawthorn Captain RAN Rtd

     


    WARTIME PHOTOS


    The following photos were taken at RAN4 during WW2.

    Ron Smith and Frank Ramsay pumping water at the Moreton Island water tower (RAN7) - 1943

    The Army makes a delivery of fuel to RAN 4 - 1943.


     

    Refreshments at the well - RAN4, Christmas Day 1943. R to L: Ken Watson, Vic English, Ray Young, Frank Cross. Christmas Day 1943 on the beach at Woorim just outside the Loop Hut. (L to R): Frank Cross, Mrs Cross, Ray Young, "Tiger Lil"(?), Frank Ramsay, Muriel, Ken Watson, Vic English.


     

    Christmas Day 1943. (L to R): Ken Watson, Frank Ramsay, Ray Young on beach at Bribie Island (RAN No. 4) Ratings’ sleeping Quarters RAN 4 - 1943

     

     

    Bill Cooper and Muriel outside the Rating shower block - Christmas Day 1943. Cedric Standring is making his way up to the happy couple. The man in the swimming togs is a soldier from Skirmish Battery (about a mile south of RAN 4).

     
     
    Geoff Batchelor AB, December 1945 - just prior to his discharge.
    Geoff Batchelor AB, December 1945 (Sydney)
    Quartermaster Bill Cooper (right) with lanyard and 45 pistol attached aboard HMAS Ballarat shortly after leaving Bribie Island for the Philippines.

    LOOP HUT FLOOR PLAN


    The following floor plan was copied from the original blueprint used by the Civil Construction Corps in 1942.





    INDICATOR LOOP ROOM


    No photos exist of the loop room but the following gives an idea of the arrangement of integrators and recorders. It was taken at HMAS Rushcutter Anti-submarine School (Sydney) on 7 February 1946. The tails from the loop cables entered the hut and were connected to the Box Balancing (No. 2 on the photo below). This was connected to the Box Adjusting (No. 3) followed by the Integrator (inside No. 1). Light from the Integrator shone on to Photo Electric Cells (inside No. 1) whose signal was fed into the Amplifier (no. 5) and on to the Recorder (No. 4). The Recorder was driven by a motor (No. 6). Morse code signals picked up by the loop cables were amplified by the Loop Indicating Signal Apparatus (LISA) (No. 9) and were fed into the LISA Loudspeaker (No. 8) to be heard. Power for the equipment came from the Input Transformer Box (7).





    CLOSING DOWN


    As the threat from the Japanese subsided, War Cabinet decided to downgrade many of the Harbour Defences around Australia. One of the first to go was RAN 4.  It's closing reads like this:
     

  • Officer in Charge of RAN 4, Lt Syd Sharp, leaves in early February 1944.
  • On 1st July 1944, War Cabinet heard that an "attack against the Eastern Coast of Australia was unlikely" and directed the Naval Board to allow Moreton Bay to revert to a safe anchorage.
  • On 21st June 1944, the Naval Board ordered "remove indicator loops, HDAs, controlled minefield and obstruction in Rous Channel from Moreton Bay, but retain the indicator loop, submarine boom, the Type 135 HDA detector unit, PE beam in the Brisbane River; "All naval defences are to cease from 1200 hours on 3 August 1944"; - by order of the Naval Board.
  • 5 August 1944: all naval stores except indicator loop integrators were sent to the Naval Store (RAN 10) at Pinkenba, Brisbane. The integrators were collected by the C.O. of HMAS Bangalow and taken along with the cables and HDAs to Sydney Naval Stores, Spectacle Island.
  • The keys from RAN 4 were handed to remaining Skirmish Battery Officers on 26 September 1944. Keys from RAN 2, 3 & 7 (Moreton Island) were handed to Cowan Cowan Army Battery. All electrical fittings and wiring removed.
  • The Army (AMF) occupied the building on a temporary loan from the Navy. Used by 1st Australian Base Sub-Area as accommodation and training.
  • The AMF Unit marched out on Saturday 18th November 1944. Advised that a guard will be needed.
  • The AMF sent 1 NCO, 5 O/Rs to 2/106 Aust. Gen. Transport Company to guard RAN 4 until handing back to the Navy on 23 Nov 1944.
  • 22 November 1944 - RAN fully vacated and handed over to Dept. of Interior.
  • 20 January 1945 - Dept of Interior appointed a civilian caretaker. E. H. Decker surveyed buildings and prepared for auction.

    AUCTION RESULTS


    The Commonwealth Disposals Commission (113 Edward St., Brisbane) was responsible for overseeing the auction of all remaining equipment and buildings left at Bribie Island. They appointed auctioneers B. Frost and Co. of 366 Brunswick St., Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Advertisements were run in the Brisbane Telegraph  on May 19th, 26th, 30th, 31st and 1st June 1945 and Courier Mail on May 19, 26, 30 and June 1 & 2 under the heading "Important Sale by Public Auction - Bribie Island".  The auction was held on 2nd June 1945 at Bribie Island.

    A total of £747 was achieved, less auctioneers fee of £37, advertising £15, transport £2 and Stamp Duty 6 s, leaving the Government a nett amount of £693.  Purchasers included Ern Koppe (the Storeroom £15, the Ratings' Sleeping Hut £80, the Ratings' Mess, Kitchen, Laundry and Garage building £120, the Jeep Shed £10, a timber and iron hut £7, a 1000 gal tank and stand £2, a galvanised iron hut £2, and last but not least - the Indicator Loop Control Hut £82 purchasd by Ern Koppe).  Other major purchases were: Officers' Wardroom and Mess (H. Dalton £175), the Ratings' other Sleeping Hut (F. C. Hodel £80). The rest of the equipment (tanks, toilet cisterns, wash basins, urinals, sinks, stoves, toilet shed and other tanks) were sold to a variety of other bidders. The only items passed in were the Generator Huts which are still there. The original cost of all buildings and fittings (excluding the Indicator Loop equipment) was £9390 in 1942 (about $440 000 in 2002 dollars).


    CABLE RECOVERY


    In November 1945, the Navy attempted to recover the loop and HDA cables with mixed success. Of the 60600 yds of loop "leg" cable (Adm Patt 1989) laid, only 27900 yds (46%) was recovered. The rest is still out there. The cable was buried too deep in the mud and silt and was encrusted in barnacles so when recovery was attempted it kept breaking. On November 12, 1945, the Navy stressed to the cable recovers that it all has to come up in case more has to be laid in an emergency. By 23 rd November the instruction became "just leave it".  However, the tail cables came up much easier. 21200 yds of the 23800 yds of tail cable (Adm Patt 7048 and 13149) was recovered (90%), as well as 30800 yds (90%) of the 34600 yds of HDA cables (Adm Patt 13135 and 13138).


    POST-WAR HISTORY


    As mentioned above, the Loop Control Hut was sold for £82 to Brisbane butchers Bertha and Ern Koppe who were granted a special lease (164370) on June 1st 1948 to use it as a weekender until 31st May 1953. They installed three double bunks and turned the loop room, the HDA room and the binocular room into bedrooms. The Artificer's work room acquired a table and chairs to become the kitchen. A special lease (19030) was granted on 1 June 1953 to them for 10 years but on 15th December they quit and the lease was taken by Ray and Joan Craft who held it until 12th March 1958.

    During this time the Craft family stayed there on weekends and for longer holidays when possible. They brought a wood stove over from Albion (Brisbane) and installed this in the kitchen.  Joan's weekend consisted of "cook, cook, cook, clean, clean, clean and go home".  As she couldn't leave anything good there (risk theft and get dirty) she had to bring it all with her each trip. At this time there was only a sandy track from the hotel to the Loop Hut with two other families having leases on former defence buildings. One was the gun emplacement on the corner of Fourth Ave and North St; the other was the southern Generator Hut about 100 m south west of the Loop Hut. This was leased by Leanne and Viv Daddo who used to erect a awning off the side when visiting. 

    The Crafts paid £450 per year for the lease of the Loop Hut. On the 12th March 1958 Frank and Oral Olsen took over the lease. Another lease was granted to them and extended until 31st January 1969. Julia Pederson took this over on 25 May 1965 and on 1st April 1966 this was extended to 31st March 1986. It was so broken down by 1970 that the Caboolture Shire Council resumed it on 6th April 1970 under Special Lease 30011. They are the current trustees. Although the loop cables were recovered in 1944, the power cables running from the generator huts to the loop hut and to the quarters were not removed until mid-1955. Former US resident George Doss was awarded the contract to remove them and they were sold for scrap.


    RESTORATION

    In 1995, a project to restore the loop hut was begun by the Rotary Club, the Naval Association, the Returned Services League and the Caboolture Shire Council. A truckload of broken glass, garbage and sand was removed; the doors and windows were secured against vandals; the walls were scrubbed; the concrete was repaired and all walls were painted. Restoration of benches, toilets and walkways then began.

      John Cordwell (plumber) and John Price (former PMG linesman) inspect the badly corroded northeastern corner. The rear of the loop hut before restoration.

    Roy Pierce scrubbing the walls of the radio room. Roy is a former RAN radio mechanic was co-ordinator of the restoration project.

    Storm surge erosion: High tides are washing away sand from under the 12" thick slab of the main hut. Storm surge loads and erosion are likely to remain a severe threat as Moreton Island is too far away to provide much protection. The slab and walls are quite sound. Rebound hammer measurements by T.A.Taylor (waterproofing consultants) give high compressive strengths of 38MPa.
    Spalling: The concrete slit window hoods are spalling in places because of the closeness of the steel reinforcing to the surface and the extremely high chloride ion concentration (5.5 kg/cu.m) from the salt spray. Carbonate is present to a depth of 20mm due to the rain. The photo shows the southern hood for the HDA room. Repairs have not been successful and the steel reinforcing needs to be cut out.


    Waterproofing: the walls were waterproofed with a ¾" compo rendering consisting of a cement mix containing Nonporite Number 2 Paste made by Nonporite Pty Ltd, Melbourne. This formulation contains ammonia stearates which were designed to coat capillaries within the concrete matrix to reduce the permeability of the mix. This is still used as a waterproofing compound under the brand name of  Aftek No 2 Paste.

  • Air ducting: Fresh air was introduced through these galvanised steel ducts mounted on the ceiling. A fan inside the duct above the main door (bottom of left photo) blew air throughout the building.
     
    It terminated at the end of the passage(photo above). Salt air has badly corroded the ducting.
    Air vents: Air also came in through these vents. This one is mounted high up on the southern wall of the Artificer's Workshop. It is about 30 cm square. The flyscreen mesh is new to keep the birds out.



    Flagpole: The remains of the concrete
    flagpole base are still visible.
    It is about 50 cm in diameter.

     


    RECENT PHOTOS


    State MLA Carryn Sullivan discussing options for the preservation of the Loop Control Hut with National Parks Rangers - 28 January 2010. Present also was Dr Richard Walding.
    President of the Bribie Island Historical Society Barry Clark (on the left) with Carryn Sullivan and Rangers.
    The northern Power Hut today (January 2010)
    The carpark is where the assembly area for the RAN4 Naval Station was in 1943. Photo taken 28 January 2010.


    Inside the Northern Power Hut. The graffiti has become more colourful in the past few years. The green cornice paint is still there from 1943. Photo 28 January 2010.

    STORES FOR INDICATOR LOOP STATION, TYPE 801


    The following is a list of equipment supplied by the RAN for the Indicator Loop Station at Woorim.

    PERMANENT STORES

    Adm. Pattern

    Description

    No.

    2325

    Amplifier, A/S 6

    4

    2732

    Board, Distributing, A/S 11

    1

    2327

    Box, balancing

    3

    2324

    Box, galvanometer, adjusting

    4

    2747

    Driving unit, A/S 9

    1

    2333

    Galvanometer, A/S 1, 40 second period

    4

    2334

    Galvanometer, A/S 1, 20 second period

    4

    5946

    Integrator, A/S 91

    4

    -

    Box, wood, for galvanometers

    8

    2769

    Cover, left hand, for 2 galvanometers

    2

    2770

    Cover, right hand, for 2 galvanometers

    2

    -

    Engine, 'Ruston' vertical, oil, 15-16½ HP at 1000 RPM, Mark 2V60

    1

    -

    Generating set, DC, 2 kW, 110 volts at 1600 RPM

    1

    -

    Generating set, DC, 7kW, 220 volts at 1000 RPM

    1

    -

    Hut, generator, 18 ft x 12 ft

    2

    -

    Hut instrument, 32 ft x 33 ft

    1

    2753

    Lamp fitting for galvanometer

    4

    2788

    Scale for lamp fitting Pattern 2753

    4

    2754

    Mounting for 2 photo-electric cells

    4

    2330

    Recorder, thread, A/S 1

    4

    2899

    Switchboard, A/S 28

    1

    2758

    Table, galvanometer (not used at RAN 4)

    2

    2744

    Sockets for connector, cable, two way

    4

    2746

    Sockets with pinhole for cable, two way

    4

     

    SPARE PARTS

     

    2333

    Galvanometer, A/S 1, 40 second period

    1

    2334

    Galvanometer, A/S 1, 20 second period

    1

    -

    Box, wood, for galvanometers

    2

    2730

    Pointer, for Movement, Patt. 2729

    4

    2755

    Pillar galvanometer (Not used at RAN 4)

    2

    2788

    Scale for lamp fitting Pattern 2753

    2

     

    CONSUMABLE STORES

    Adm. Pattern

    Description

    (* means as required)

    No.

     

    Cable, electric:- armoured and insulated with india-rubber:-

     

    7048

    4 cores, 7/0.029 (miles)

    40

    9610

    4 cores, 7/0.029 (miles)

    0

    1989

    Lead sheathed, single core (miles)

    17

    2794

    Bobbin, thread filled

    50

    3077

    Cells, photo-electric, G.M.G.8

    8

    58

    Cells: inert

    4

    -

    Chart, 180 ft long

    100

    2731

    Leads, connecting, 2 way, set of 19 (sets)

    1

    -

    Lamp, incandescent, 6 volt, 12 watts, B.15d Cap, B.A.S. No. 1

    7

    7414

    Valves, wireless, N.R. 35

    4

    -

    Bearings for 9½" fans

    3

     

    Brushes, carbon, with spring:-

     

    9959

    for Driving Unit A/S 9

    24

     

    for 9½" fans

    12

    58

    Cells: inert

    12

    3077

    Cells, photo-electric, G.M.G.8

    8

    3394

    Cleaner for pointer, Patt. 2730

    2

    -

    Fuseholder, "Arctic", black moulded, heavy duty (Cat.No. 931)

    6

    -

    Lamp, incandescent, 6 volt, 12 watts, B.15d Cap, B.A.S. No. 1

    30

    2785

    Lens, plano-convex, 4 cm diameter x 3.7 cm focal length

    2

    3395

    Tweezers for Pointer, Patt. 2730

    2

    7414

    Valves, wireless, N.R. 35

    12

    ACCESSORIES

    Adm. Pattern

    Description

    No.

    418

    Boards, drawing 4 ft x 3 ft

    1

    487

    Ruler, parallel, 18 ins

    1

    4

    Watch, stop

    1

    398B

    Signal blocks, G.M. single, with M.C.1 sheaves

    3

    -

    Ensign, white, 3 breadths

    2

    1900A

    Binoculars, Barr & Stroud, Type C.F.40 (pair)

    1

    3041

    Lamp, spirit

    1

    2900

    Lamp, blow, 1 pint, inclined burner

    1

    C766

    Saw, hand, 26 ins

    1

    C774

    Saw, tenon, 14 ins

    1

    -

    Tool outfit for indicator loop unit

    1

    -

    Tool outfit for generating set, petrol electric

    2

    C516

    Vice, bench, saddle-tree makers, 3½ in jaw

    1

    3399

    Boxes, for tools or spare parts

    6

    1385

    Iron, soldering, electric, small

    1

    -

    Fan, electric, porthole type, 9½ in diameter:-

     
     

    exhaust

    2

     

    supply

    1

    -

    Regulators for fans

    3

    3076

    Testing set, portable, 30 volts (insulation and continuity) Megger

    1

    5526

    Voltmeters, portable, 5-25-250 volts

    1

    4723

    Fire extinguishers, "Pyrene", 1 quart

    2

    -

    Stoves, heating, oil

    1

    330

    Lanterns, hand, candle

    1

    714

    Chairs, folding

    2

    306

    Clocks, deck, 8" face, with second hand

    1

    670B

    Tape, measuring, metallic

    1

    -

    Bags, canvas

    32

    -

    Tarpaulin, 12 ft x 12 ft

    1

    -

    Tarpaulin, 8 ft x 8 ft

    1

    483

    Dividers, drawing, 6 in

    1

    184A

    Whistles, mouth

    2

    31

    Flags, hand, muslin, white 3 ft x 3 ft

    1

    33

    Flags, hand, muslin, dark blue 3 ft x 3 ft

    1

    019

    Flags, hand, semaphore, 18" x 18" (pair)

    1

    -

    Poles, tapered, 5ft 6in for flags, hand, Patts. 31 & 33

    2

    -

    Staves, parallel, 25ft 6in for hand semaphore flags Patt. 019

    2

    -

    Spirit level, 6 in (Buck & Hickman, No. 177)

    1

    54

    Torches, hand, cases for

    2

    55

    batteries, for

    3

    56

    bulbs, for

    3

    4725

    Brackets, for Pyrene extinguisher

    2

     

    Cans, oil:-

     

    25

    Pump, brass, 1 pint

    1

    2

    Cans, 1 gallon

    12

    4699

    Cans, empty, 2 gall

    1

    4712

    Drums, terne, 2 galls

    1

    4743

    Drums, galv., 5 galls

    15

     

    Cables, electric:-

     

    2824A

    Rubber sheathed and canvas reinforced, 2 core, 195/0.010, for flexible leads for lighting and power circuits (yards)

    25

    104A

    Taped or braided: single core, 1/0.064, for bell circuits (yards)

    50

    991A

    Braided, flexible cords: 2 core, 70/0.0076, for night sights (yards)

    25

    2285A

    Braided, flexible cords: 2 core, 14/0.0076, for light pendants (yards)

    60

     

    Paint, mixed, green, Brunswick (lbs)

    28

    7044/322A

    Log sheets: generator hut, outside

    200

    7044/322

    Log sheets: generator hut, inside

    400

    7044/321

    Log sheets, Instrument Hut, Front sheet

    12

    7044/321B

    Log sheets, Instrument Hut, Outside sheet

    300

    7044/321A

    Log sheets, Instrument Hut, Inside sheet

    600

    SPARE PARTS FOR GENERATING SET:
    2 of each of the following:
    Bearing, big end, complete
    Bearings, crankshaft
    Bearings for dynamo alternator
    Bolts, cylinder head
    Brushes, carbon, for D.C. supply
    Brushes, carbon for A.C. supply
    Bushes, small end
    Bushes, camshaft
    Cap. Valve
    Contact breaker, complete
    Couplings, flexible, between engine and dynamo
    Cotter valve,
    Cylinder
    Cylinder head, complete with valves and springs
    Guide, valve
    Lifters, tappet
    Magneto
    Pickup with H.T. lead, complete
    Pin, gudgeon, and pads
    Piston
    Plugs, sparking
    Ring, piston, compression
    Rocker and ball end
    Rods, push, complete with ball caps
    Scraper, ring
    Silencer, complete with exhaust piping
    Sockets, cylinder head
    Springs, valve
    Springs, governor
    Studs, cylinder head
    Valve, exhaust
    Valve, inlet