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RAN Torpedo Depot Pinkenba

Commonwealth Navy Order 336 of 1945:


A torpedo workshop has been established at Pinkenba, Brisbane.

2. This workshop is capable of carrying out routines on 21-in. Mark IX and 18-in. Mark XV torpedoes and paravanes and of dealing with minor repairs only.

3. The Officer-in-Charge, Pinkenba Torpedo Workshop, is authorized to communicate direct with Director of Ordnance, Torpedoes and Mines, and the Superintendent, R.A.N. Torpedo Factory, on supply and technical matters of a routine nature, subject to K.R.& A.I., Article 875 (2).

4. Communications should be addressed as follows:—

The Officer-in-Charge,
Pinkenba Torpedo Workshop,
c/o Naval Headquarters, Brisbane.

There are 3 drawings in the National Archives of Australia, prepared by the Department of the Interior in June 1943, depicting a proposed Compressor Building and Dispersed Torpedo Storage adjacent to a Torpedo Workshop building. The buildings were situated to the rear of the ACF and Shirleys Wharf, Pinkenba.

A letter from the Secretary, Department of Navy (2001/2/311 of 30 January 1945) to The Commander-in-Chief, British Pacific Fleet, states:

"I am directed by the Naval Board to refer to the subject of the supply of torpedoes from Torpedo Depots to submarine flotillas based in Australia.

2. The Torpedo Depots, Fremantle and Darwin, were established for the Admiralty. The Torpedo Depot Sydney is an R.A.N. establishment. A torpedo workshop has also been completed at Brisbane for the Admiralty. This workshop could be enlarged to function as a torpedo depot, in which case the services of a Torpedo Engineer Officer can be provided, but the skilled personnel would need to be obtained from overseas." (NAA MP 1049/5)

A US Navy submarine base was also located in Brisbane from April 1942 to March 1945. Its torpedo depot was located at the old Benedict Stone factory at Bowen Hills. (Chermside and District Historical Society Newsletter, Vol 9 No. 2, April - May 2006, pp.1-2)

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Robert Curran
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