Merredin, Australia

This is more and likely an area that not many know of or would even consider as concerned with WWII, but the World War II Sites in Merredin provide a fascinating insight into the role the Central Wheatbelt played in Australia’s preparation for World War II.

Military history enthusiasts will be captivated by the RAAF No 10 Store Depot which comprises of igloo shaped tin hangars.  They were originally built in 1943 to store American aircraft for the war. From the sky the hangars were camouflaged to look like a salt lake.

Take a drive to the High Frequency Direction Finding Installation, also known as the Radar Hut. It was built to give advance warning of an impending invasion.

Merredin

The country town of Merredin is a three hour drive northeast of Perth. A visit to the Australian General Army Hospital and the nearby Military Museum will complete your World War II tour of Merredin.

Australian General Army Hospital

Located off Benson Rd, The remains of the former field Hospital that was relocated to Merredin from Gaza Ridge, Palestine in 1942 can be viewed in native bushland adjacent to Merredin Peak. Extensive interpretation on site, but only the foundation of the hospital are visible.

Aviation Fuel Tanks

These tanks can be viewed from the car park of the BP Roadhouse on the Great Eastern Highway. Part of a home has been built on top of the aviation fuel tanks which sit partly above and partly below ground. The tanks held six million litres of fuel used at the Cunderdin Airfield.

RAAF WWII Supply Hangar, Merredin

RAAF No10 Stores Depot

Located on the Nungarin-Merredin Road / Railway Ave. These igloo shaped hangars were part of the RAAF No10 Stores Depot commenced in 1943. The Depot held bulk and technical stores, especially radar and radio spares. Sheets of tin placed on the ground helped camouflage the site as a salt lake. RAAF personnel lived in nearby houses with vegetable gardens and flowers beds rather than barracks, also as a camouflage technique. On Private property, can be viewed from the roadside.

HF/DF Installation

Located on the Merredin-Chandler road. In the paddock just past Hunts Dam is the High Frequency Direction Finding Installation, locally known as the Radar Hut. It’s role was to give advance warning of an impending invasion. It is believed to have been completed in February 1945. On Private property, can be viewed from the roadside.

Ammunition Dumps

Nokaning East Road (gravel road). Scattered rows of rounded concrete buildings set in the paddocks. The 46 concrete igloos were constructed to house a wide range of munitions. You can still make out the numbers on some doors. The area would have been guarded by personnel who lived in approximately 40 timber framed buildings hidden amongst the trees.  On Private property, can be viewed from the roadside.

At the Military Museum

Military Museum

This museum located on the Great Eastern Highway contains memorabilia from all major conflicts since World War 1 and is a great place from which to start your exploration of the Military history of the Wheatbelt.

Vietnam Veteran’s Reflection Pond Memorial

Located in Roy Little Park , Merredin this monument constructed by Wheatbelt Vietnam Veterans was dedicated on Long Tan Day, August 18th 2006, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Jackey D. Blosser – WV; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co. D/1/32/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir)

Glenn Crocker – Maize, KS; US Navy, WWII, pilot

James Dennis – Sussex, ENG; 28th Batt./Royal Essex Regiment/5th Army, WWII

Jack Garwood – Villages, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO

Edward Herbert – Boonton, PA; 11th Airborne Division

Max W. Lower – Lewiston, UT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, TSgt., 345/98/9th Air Force, KIA (Romania)

James McCauley – Tucson, AZ; USMC, WWII, pilot

Patrick Ryan – Brooklyn, NY; US Navy, WWII

Gerald Smith – Denver, CO; US Navy, WWII, PTO / US Army, Korea, 7th Infantry Division

Frederick Willman Jr. – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on November 21, 2019, in Current News, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 105 Comments.

  1. Thanks! I had no idea that Merredin had a military connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My wife and I intend doing a road-trip over to WA in the not too distant future so will make sure we see this. Thanks for the post GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well after all my 20 years traveling around Australia with the Army, I have learnt something new, yet I lived and worked in that area for many years in various military roles, definitely a site that was deemed important to the war efforts.
    Thanks for the education gp.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The camouflage techniques they used were quite interesting, GP, especially making the site look like a salt lake from the air.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My dad was stationed in Australia during WWII, so I’m wondering whether he would have seen any of the areas featured in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A bunch of documentaries I see and the Australian part it seems to be forgoten.
    By the way, why did you put that photo of me? (the one to my right to be exactly precise)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Have a great Turkey Day, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for educating us on these Australian WWII sites. Never knew!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was intrigued by the thought of those houses with gardens and flower beds as camouflage. Then, I got to the humor section, and laughed out loud at the vehicle that disappeared after being painted. For another take on camouflage, you might enjoy this. It’s the perfect song for deer season, but it might have worked for those Aussies, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for sharing, GP. ♥️

    Like

  12. Very interesting GP! Never thought there had been so many sites during the WWII. Otherwise one dont call them “WWII”. Thank you, and have a beautiful weekend! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I must confess: I was waiting for :M.L. to come and we would be able to tidy up our post for this week. It not happen as planned. We will be a day or so late, but nicely times with GP Fpx Best News for me because we have been Blog Buddies for quite a long time. Do you know How long, sir??.
    “When Push comes to shove,You will see the pin Sweater article asap. Sometimes things come unannounced and sometimes they do not come at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a great place to visit! So interesting! Thank you for sharing the photos!

    The missing Army vehicle (humor) made me snort-laugh! 😀
    One day a few years go, my hubby brought home a set of very nice, a little pricey, set of camo sheets, and a camo comforter, for our bed. I told him if I bought some camo PJ’s he might not be able to find me at night. He said he was sure he could find me…even with those conditions! HA! 😉 😛
    HUGS!!! 🙂
    PS…if my comment is deemed inappropriate you can delete it!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. More news from Australia. Thanks. Like the fact that they have preserved parts of that history in their country. Those igloo-shaped hangars with tin on the ground that looked like a salt lake from afar fascinated me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much of their participation in the war, along with New Zealand’s, was lost in records under the title of ‘Commonwealth nations’. So, when I discover something specific to them, I grab hold of it. I read “The Great Betrayal” by David Day years ago, and was that ever an eye-opener!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for sharing this piece of history

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The logistical aspects of war have always fascinated me more than the actual combat. As we know, in modern warfare, most times – though not always – success with the supply lines determines success on the front.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. How interesting! It’s always good to hear about these places beyond our own shores – right up my street!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I understand the Australians felt justifiably vulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is indeed an area that “not many know of or would even consider as concerned with WWII” but it might have been very different if the British had not invaded Vichy controlled Madagascar to put a stop to Japanese probings into the Indian Ocean. I particularly enjoyed the details of the camouflage techniques but, as we all know, the Japanese of the time were all extremely short sighted.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I was fascinated by the camouflage methods used to hide various elements of the base. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I learned quite a lot from this post. I didn’t know much about Australia’s role in WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. What a great place to tour.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A salute to you, GP, for bringing more history of the ANZAC contributions to winning the war to our attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are far more things the Australians did, but so much data is classified as “Commonwealth nations” grouping the Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians and even the South Africans, much of it goes unheard.

      Like

  26. Fascinating, GP. Have you seen this?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have read very little about Australia’s part in the WWII conflict but this is interesting post. I don’t think I’ll ever go to Australia but it’s nice to learn something about the place. I have a friend who moved there years ago. He is now retired and exploring the country from northeast, to southern and western Australia posting great photos on Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Have you been there yourself? It reads as if you have!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. You have to love the ingenious ways they camouflaged buildings throughout the war. When you have very little to work with, it would seem a near impossible task, but they figured out a way.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. How interesting, I don’t suppose I’ll ever get to Oz, but would love to see these places.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. One of our daughters is moving west in the New Year. Guess we need to start planning a trip. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Hi GP – you may have already read this, but one of my grandfathers liked an excellent book from 1942 called “C/O Postmaster” by Corporal Thomas R St George.
    it was pretty popular during the war, I think, and it is actually a great read even today. it’s a lighthearted account of an American soldier stationed in Australia, and he also did some pretty funny little cartoons. some of it is about what we would now call “culture shock” and it’s pretty funny. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, but anybody interested can get copies of it on eBay etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. There’s a heap of military history in Australia some of which I’ve only learnt about while travelling around the country. Western Australia, Darwin and the Northern Territory have so many stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We need to hear more of them. I had trouble researching some of Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s contributions, because in many military reports, they were simply classified as ‘Commonwealth nations’.

      Liked by 3 people

  34. How embarrassing. I have never heard of Merredin. Placing on my Must Do List now.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Thanks for featuring this, GP. It is unlikely that I will ever get to Australia to see it for myself, so it’s always interesting to see those ‘remote’ bases.

    Liked by 2 people

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