What’s The Story Behind The World War 2 Ammunition Found Near Nundah Years Ago?

World War 2 Ammunition
18 Navigator Place, Hendra (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Did you know that around 20 years ago, some World War 2 ammunition was found buried near Nundah during the early site works for the Airport Drive Roundabout? Here’s a brief history of those ‘hidden weapons.’

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The pieces of World War 2 ammunition were dug up near the Airport Roundabout off-ramp, located at 18 Navigator Place, Hendra in 2003. Supervising engineer Jason Harley and his team discovered the expended rifle cartridges and mortar rounds packing rings.


The cartridges they found were .303 bullets, which were believed to be used during the Second World War. 

The WW2 ammo found at the site (Photo credit: Jason Harley/ozatwar.com)

Interestingly, the Small Arms Ammunition Factory in Rocklea, which operated from 1942 to 1945 is just a 30-minute drive away from the spot where the old weapons were discovered.

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At the time, the Australian government ran ammunition manufacturing plants, with nearly all of the production for domestic use by the military, the police forces, and government-appointed agents.

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Women bundling ammunition in a Commonwealth Small Arms Ammunition Factory, circa 1944 (Photo credit: Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial, ID Number 043969)

The one in Rocklea, also known as the Small Arms Ammunition Factory No. 5, manufactured .303 rifle ammunition, .380 Enfield and .455 Webley revolver ammunition, .45 ACP submachine gun ammunition, smoke shells for 2-inch mortars and machined 25-Pounder Q.F. gun shell casings.

During the 1940s, the nearby Eagle Farm housed military camps and served as training grounds for the Royal Australian Air Force. During the war, the site became part of the planned airports and fields nationwide, intended to provide a launching pad for the allied military forces back into Asia.

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When the Second World War ended, many unused or unwanted weapons and machinery were buried and scrapped. 

Published 30-March-2023