3 Advanced Ordnance Depot (3 AOD)

1 Australian Ammunition Depot (1AAD) - New South Wales

Ammunition facility

Army Avenue, Wallangarra 4383

Currently known as the Northern Logistic Group - Wallangarra (NLG-W), this defence site has been in existence since January 1942, when it was known as the 3 Advanced Ordnance Depot (3 AOD). Due to the proximity of intersate rail links with respective terminuses and the isolation of the area for defence, the Wallangarra site was in fact one of two site on either side of the Queensland and New South Wales border that dealt with ammunition, ordnance and troop training and movements.


The 3 AOD was built at Wallangarra, a state border crossing by the Queensland Main Roads Commission and completed by March 1944. Due the different guage rail lines within Qld and NSW, all supplies, equipment, personnel and vehicles had to be unloaded and reloaded to continue the journey north or south.

During the war, thousands of troops and tonnes of resources passed through Wallangarra. The staff at the depot and rail head were advised no earlier than two hours prior to the arrival of a train, due to the secrecy and significance of the site.

Built in conjunction with the Tenterfield Shire Council, the NSW site was the 1 Australian Ammunition Depot (1AAD), situated south-east of the 3 AOD in a heavily wooded area. Trees were maintained for protection against aerial reconnaissance. Five semi-underground ammunition shelters were initially constructed and later ten timber structures and seventy Williams huts were erected.

At the 3AOD site, the rail line was extended and transhipment facilities developed to assist with the transferr of ordnance. To facilitate the smooth running of the site, the 2 Advanced Ordnance Vehicle Park was established with a wide variety of vehicles. It was run by the 2/1 Base AEME Workshop. In addition, there was a AWAS camp, an Employment Company utilising Japanese and German POWs, and a Garrison Battalion for security.

At peak periods in 1944, anywhere up to up to 28 trains from NSW, and up to 30 trains from Qld, arrived at Wallangarra each day. The amount of Ammunition equated to about 9000 ton per day. It was unloaded by hand, by the 'Employment Company', and moved by the two Sections of 'Horse Transport' (horse and wagon) from the Jennings Railway Siding to the Ammunition Depot. 1 Australian Army Troops were trained and supported within the Wallangarra Support Area from 1943 to 1945. The Unit had its own Power generating plant, and its own water supply.

Contributions of further information or images would be appreciated, contact us at heritage@des.qld.gov.au.


Australian War Memorial

State Library of Queensland

National Archives of Australia - Series, J56, J1018, J3024, BP378/1, J2774

Dunn, P., Australia @ War