Addresses

At 51 Sandmere Road, Pinkenba, Queensland 4008

Type of place

Defence site

Period

World War II 1939-1945

This is an image of the local heritage place known as RAN Station 9 (former)

Remains of former RAN Station 9 Pinkenba - South Bunker to the left and West Bunker to the right. Other ruins in foreground.

Remains of former RAN Station 9 Pinkenba - South Bunker to the left and West Bunker to the right. Other ruins in foreground

This is an image of the Observation window, South Bunker.

Observation window, South Bunker.

This is an image of the Observation window, West Bunker.

Observation window, West Bunker.

This is an image of the Remnants of RAN Station 9 (from south- west).

Remnants of RAN Station 9 (from south- west).

This is an image of the South Bunker from the southwest.

South Bunker from the southwest.

This is an image of the South Bunker interior, southeast room.

South Bunker interior, southeast room.

This is an image of the West Bunker from the east.

West Bunker from the east.

This is an image of the West Bunker from the north.

West Bunker from the north.

This is an image of the West Bunker interior, large room.

West Bunker interior, large room.

This is an image of the South Bunker, window to south.

South Bunker, window to south.

This is an image of the South Bunker from the north.

South Bunker from the north.

This is an image of the West Bunker from the south.

West Bunker from the south.

This is an image of Damage to corner of West Bunker.

Damage to corner of West Bunker.

RAN Station 9 (former)

RAN Station 9 (former) Download Citation (pdf, 539.24 KB)

Addresses

At 51 Sandmere Road, Pinkenba, Queensland 4008

Type of place

Defence site

Period

World War II 1939-1945

In early 1942, the site initially comprised a machine gun emplacement on the Brisbane River’s north bank built to cover the anti-submarine boom that stretched across the river to Fort Lytton. From February 1943, a submarine indicator loop was added to Pinkenba’s defences. In September 1943, a Photo-Electric Beam Receiver Station was added. The site was designated RAN Station No.9 in January 1944.

Also known as

Myrletown Boom Defence and Indicator Loop Control Centre

Lot plan

L474_M3321

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Construction

Roof;
Walls

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (B) Rarity; (C) Scientific; (D) Representative; (E) Aesthetic; (F) Technical; (H) Historical association

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

Also known as

Myrletown Boom Defence and Indicator Loop Control Centre

Lot plan

L474_M3321

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Construction

Roof;
Walls

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (B) Rarity; (C) Scientific; (D) Representative; (E) Aesthetic; (F) Technical; (H) Historical association

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

History

The concrete bunkers and other associated ruins in the Boggy Creek Parkland survive as remnants of RAN Station 9, a component of an Indicator Loop system forming a sea- ward defense for Moreton Bay and the Brisbane River mouth during the Second World War. This defence system was located in an arc from Caloundra to Bribie and Moreton Islands and across to Fort Lytton. The system consisted of a series of gun emplacements, command and battery observation posts and a submarine boom across the shipping channel at the mouth of the river.

During 1942 and 1943 Indicator Loops and Harbour Defence ASDICS (anti-submarine detecting systems) were laid 

across the entrance to Moreton Bay and the mouth of the Brisbane River. The loop was used to detect the presence of any submerged Japanese submarines entering the Brisbane River. If an indicator loop showed the presence of a vessel the two possibilities were “sub” or “non-sub”. If no surface ship was sighted usually a ship would be despatched to drop depth charges. It had to be an enemy submarine as friendly submarines always entered port surfaced. In parts of Moreton Bay, the loops were positioned beside controlled or ‘set’ minefields in which the mines were connected by electrical cable back to a mine control hut on shore and the mines could be detonated manually.

In February 1943 an Indicator Loop and a Photoelectric Beam were laid across the Brisbane River from Myrtletown (Pinkenba) to Fisherman’s Island. This loop across the mouth of the Brisbane River between RAN Station 9 Pinkenba and Fisherman’s Island was completed in March 1943 and commenced operation in January 1944. The Photoelectric Beam installation transmitted a light beam from Fisherman’s Island to RAN Station 9 Pinkenba and  was used to detect the presence of vessels entering the Brisbane River. If a submerged submarine was detected by RAN Station 9 Pinkenba a signal was transmitted to RAN Station 8 Lytton Boom Defence Facility to raise the boom cable.

The Indicator Loop in the Brisbane River was removed in June 1945. RAN Station 8 Fisherman’s Island was demolished during the development of the new Port of Brisbane facilities at Fisherman’s Island. Some remnants may remain. There was another RAN Shore Station – RAN Station 10 Controlled Mining Base also near Pinkenba, but its location is presently unknown.

Structures
The larger of the two remaining structures was the Control Building which accommodated the instrumentation and was where the loop cables terminated. The smaller building housed the generator. Concrete foundations between the two structures once supported the living and eating quarters for officers and ordinary ranks. The mess room area was located between the two living quarters. Two small toilet buildings flanked the living quarters.

Description

The surviving structures of the former RAN Station 9 Pinkenba stand to the southwest in an area of parkland at the end of Gannon Road bounded by Sandmere Road and Boggy Creek, Pinkenba. A rough dirt roadway continues in line with Gannon Road along the southwest edge of the park. The park contains two concrete bunkers and other ruined concrete structures and concrete slabs associated with the former RAN Station 9.

There is a scatter of trees and picnic furniture to the south- west edge of the park. A loose piece of concrete lies to the far northeast corner on adjacent lot of parkland.

The wreck of a ship lies submerged in the sand edge to Boggy Creek northeast of the east bunker.

Bunkers
The bunkers are single-storey rectangular concrete structures with flat concrete roofs concealed by the parapet edges formed by the perimeter walls. The structures were cast insitu and the walls and ceilings display an off-form finish.

South Bunker (Bunker A)

This is the larger structure and stands close to the park edge at Boggy Creek. The rectangular  plan  is  divided  into  even quarters with 3 enclosed rooms and an open entry courtyard. There are two door- ways (to the north and east) off the open courtyard. The door to the north opens into a fully enclosed room which connects to  the  room  in  the  northeast corner. This room has a single long narrow unglazed opening at eye height to the northeast corner. This narrow opening is sheltered by an external canti-levered tapered concrete awning. The room to the southeast corner has a discrete separate entrance directly onto the courtyard and no openings into the adjacent room. The floor level of this room is below the ground level and is reached by a small flight of concrete stairs. This room to the southeast corner has a large low un- glazed window opening to the east and another to the south. Many of the wall openings in the structure contain remnants of timber framing. A concrete slab and kerbing lie to the south and west of the structure.

West Bunker (Bunker B)

Standing to the northwest of the larger bunker, this structure consists of a large rectangular room and an adjacent smaller narrow rectangular room both opening onto a small en- closed rectangular entrance corridor with an external door to the south- west. The large room has long narrow unglazed openings at eye height to the northeast and southeast. Both openings have external cantilevered tapered concrete awnings. One opening contains the timber window frame (without glazing). Two rectangular concrete slabs lie northeast of west bunker. A tree is growing out of the south corner of the structure.

Other Structures

There are a number of ruins lying north of the bunkers including a rectangular perimeter of concrete surrounding a grassy mound, a rectangular concrete slab and two manholes on raised concrete plinths.

The  external  walls  of  the  bunkers  show  streaking  from water  shedding.  There  is  crumbling  of  concrete  to  the external corners of the bunkers with some exposed steel reinforcement. Water is accumulating in the southeast room of the east bunker. Glazing has been lost to all the window openings and most doors are lost. Mesh security screens have  been  fixed  to  the  openings.  The  structures  have suffered from vandalism and have been damaged by graffiti. The bunkers do not appear to contain any equipment or fixtures.

Though showing the effects of weathering and neglect, the bunkers along with the other associated concrete ruins are able to demonstrate the layout and operation of the Station.

The concrete bunkers and other associated ruins in the Boggy Creek Parkland survive as remnants of RAN Station 9, a component of an Indicator Loop system forming a sea- ward defense for Moreton Bay and the Brisbane River mouth during the Second World War. This defence system was located in an arc from Caloundra to Bribie and Moreton Islands and across to Fort Lytton. The system consisted of a series of gun emplacements, command and battery observation posts and a submarine boom across the shipping channel at the mouth of the river.

During 1942 and 1943 Indicator Loops and Harbour Defence ASDICS (anti-submarine detecting system) were laid across the entrance to Moreton Bay and the mouth of the Brisbane River. The loop was used to detect the presence of any submerged Japanese submarines entering the Brisbane River. If an indicator loop showed the presence of a vessel the two possibilities were “sub” or “non-sub”. If no surface ship was sighted usually a ship would be despatched to drop depth charges. It had to be an enemy submarine as friendly submarines always entered port surfaced. In parts of Moreton Bay, the loops were positioned beside controlled or ‘set’ minefields in which the mines were connected by electrical cable back to a mine control hut on shore and the mines could be detonated manually.

In February 1943 an Indicator Loop and a Photoelectric Beam were laid across the Brisbane River from Myrtletown (Pinkenba) to Fisherman’s Island. This loop across the mouth of the Brisbane River between RAN Station 9 Pinkenba and Fisherman’s Island was completed in March 1943 and commenced operation in January 1944. The Photoelectric Beam installation transmitted a light beam from Fisherman’s Island to RAN Station 9 Pinkenba and  was used to detect the presence of vessels entering the Brisbane River. If a submerged submarine was detected by RAN Station 9 Pinkenba a signal was transmitted to RAN Station 8 Lytton Boom Defence Facility to raise the boom cable.

The Indicator Loop in the Brisbane River was removed in June 1945. RAN Station 8 Fisherman’s Island was demolished during the development of the new Port of Brisbane facilities at Fisherman’s Island. Some remnants may remain. There was another RAN Shore Station – RAN Station 10 Controlled Mining Base also near Pinkenba, but its location is presently unknown.

Structures
The larger of the two remaining structures was the Control Building which accommodated the instrumentation and was where the loop cables terminated. The smaller building housed the generator. Concrete foundations between the two structures once supported the living and eating quarters for officers and ordinary ranks. The mess room area was located between the two living quarters. Two small toilet buildings flanked the living quarters.

Statement of significance

Relevant assessment criteria

This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:








References

  1. Brisbane City Council Heritage Unit History – RAN Station 9, Pinkenba

  2. Bribie Island Second World War Fortifications, Queensland Heri- tage Register Entry 601143

  3. McBride, Frank and Taylor, Helen, Brisbane Remembers: the Home Front 1939-1945, Brisbane City Council, Brisbane, 1995

  4. McBride, Frank and Helen Taylor. Brisbane 100 Stories. Brisbane: BCC. 1997


Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)

World War II 1939-1945
Defence site
At 51 Sandmere Road, Pinkenba, Queensland 4008
At 51 Sandmere Road, Pinkenba, Queensland 4008 L474_M3321
Historical, Rarity, Scientific, Representative, Aesthetic, Technical, Historical association