WWII dog tags reunited with owners 70 years later
LIKE the Second World War soldiers who were once garrisoned in Rockhampton 70 years ago, Tim Hill is on a mission.
Tim, 46, is a carpenter during the week and on weekends he's out in the bush around Rockhampton with his mate Ian 'Hooky' McGregor scoping out old American Second World War camps that were abandoned in 1944.
Since his metal detector discovered a dog tag, named 'Stuart', three years ago out at Camp Caves, he has made it his mission to seek and return the tags found in the bush to their original owners or families.
"It's great being out in wilderness detecting but the researching and the joy of reuniting these items is what I like about it," Tim said.
"As soon as I found the first one, that set me off."
He had a lot of success searching Ancestry.com, online archives and military archives before teaming up with American researcher, retired Chief petty Officer Christina Carlton and the Angelo's Angels WWII Dog Tag Return Project.
Tim said the first tag to return was the hardest because the family thought he was a scam artist but since teaming up with Christina with her American accent, the process has been made easier.
So far, Tim and Hooky have found 25 different sets and they've had help from a member of the Queensland WWII Relic Hunters, Anthony Egretz, who donated seven dog tags to Tim's tag reuniting project.
"The response from the families is unreal, they can't believe we do this," he said.
"It's great when we just do it over the internet but doing in person another altogether, it's amazing.
"They are amazingly appreciative, they can't believe people could be bothered, firstly looking for them and secondly reuniting them with families. They love it and I love doing it."
As it stands, they have 12 tags remaining awaiting reuniting with families with some searches ongoing for years.
Between mid 1942 and early 1944 Rockhampton was home to two of the four full US Army Divisions (the 24th, 32nd, 41st Infantry divisions and the 1st Cavalry Division) which trained in Queensland during the Second World War.
Tim's appealing for to CQ residents for help reuniting the tags and also for residents to allow them to visit their private properties to search for more.
The camps were located in the current suburbs of Norman Gardens, Kawana, Parkhurst, Ironpot and Sandringham.
Please join their Facebook group to help: 'American WW2 dog tags via Australia and back home again'
Further information below sourced from: http://www.ozatwar.com/locations/camprockhampton.htm
Camp Rockhampton was home to the US 41st Infantry Division, part of the US I Corps, between July 1942 and early 1944.
Each area of Camp Rockhampton was lettered from A to V.
Area A - Hospital was located along Yaamba Road in the area of Risien Street, Standish Street, Brazil Street, Hatte Street, Potts Street and Richardson Road located across Yaamba Road from Lawrence Motors.
Area B - Hospital was located in the areas of Barrett Street, Atherton Street, Lambourne Street, Neish Court and straddling Richardson Road.
Area C - Medical Battalion was located in the area bounded by Farm Street, Scott Street, Yaamba Road and Richardson Road and covers Crane Avenue, Lutton Street, O'Donnell Street, Crick Street, McCauley Street, Beaney Street, Dawes Street and Harden Street.
Area D - Corps Company - was located in the area bounded by Farm Street, Yaamba Road and Carlton Street.
Area E - Recon. Company - was an area of land in the north west corner of the intersection of Farm Street and Yaamba Road.
Area F - was located further along Yaamba Road just north of Area E.
Area G - was located between between Area F and Area H and is roughly bounded by the railway line Boundary Road, Slade Street and Nuttall Street. It comprised 7 large storage sheds some of which still exist today at 401 Siding, Queensland Railways.
Area H - Was further along Yaamba Road past Area F just past Limestone Creek and covers the land between Yaamba Road, the Railway Line and includes Boundary Road, and Featherstone Street.
Area I - Was bounded by the railway line, McLaughlin Street and its northern boundary was William Palfrey Road. It included land used by St George's Orphanage.
Area J - was bounded roughly by the Rockhampton - Yeppoon Road, Skardon Court, Limestone Creek and crosses Boundary Road.
Area K - was located along the southern side of the Rockhampton - Yeppoon Road opposite Griegg Road near Limestone Creek.
Area L - I believe this may have been on land on the southern side of the Rockhampton - Yeppoon Road opposite Caporn Road.
Area M - Ran along the eastern side of the Rockhampton - Yeppoon Road in the vicinity of Ironpot.
Area N - Artillery Headquarters - Located along the southern side of Artillery Road.
Area O - Artillery Battalion - Located along the southern side of Artillery Road.
Area P - Artillery Battalion - Located along the southern side of Artillery Road.
Area Q - Artillery Battalion - was located on the eastern side of Zamia Hills Road near Artillery Road.
Area R - Artillery Battalion - Was located on the eastern side of Zamia Hills Road below area Q.
Area S - Engineering Battalion - Was located on the western side of Zamia Hills Road on the southern side of Artillery Road.
Area T - Mt. Hedlow Airfield - there were 5 hangars around this airfield.
Area U - Rockhampton Botanic Gardens
Area V - Rockhampton Show Grounds