South Beach Battery

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South Beach.jpg
Standard 3.7 inch AA Gun

Brief History

Never formally known as South Beach Battery, the 22nd Anti Aircraft Battery was raised at Bachelor in the Northern Territory in April 1942 with 3 inch AA guns and manned sections at Batchelor, Coomalie and Finis River. In July they moved to Hughes airfield with a section at Strauss airfield. In December they traded their 6 x 3 inch guns for four 3.7 inch guns. Given that most of the unit were from WA and had been in the Northern Territory for 14 months they were moved to WA in February 1943. When they arrived in March, Battery HQ established themselves at South Beach with 420 HAA Gun Station at Scotsmans Hill and 423 HAA Gun Station at South Beach.

With Cockburn Sound being developed as a Naval base, 22nd Anti Aircraft Battery developed four new gun positions. They were 'A' HAA Gun Station (Garden Island North); 'B' HAA Gun Station (Garden Island South); 'C' HAA Gun Station (Hope Valley), and 'D' HAA Gun Station at (Lake Coogee). In July 1943 the unit underwent a re-organisation with its name changing to 22nd Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery (Static) with the South Beach, Hope Valley and Lake Coogee batteries. From early 1943 Volunteer Defence Corps (Home Guard) soldiers had been detached to be trained in AA work and eventually formed shadow units with a cadre of AMF (Militia) staff. From mid 1944 there was a start to forming AA units at Rockingham and Kwinana from the equipment of the Lake Coogee battery, but they were never fully manned or operational.

In November 1944 work began on three new 5.25 inch AA/CA gun sites at South Beach and the unit was restructured as 803rd Anti Aircraft/Coast Artillery Battery. However, when hostilities ceased in August 1945 they were not yet complete.

Unit Personnel


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