Chemical Warefare School
Chemical Warfare Service Training Centre
- Scientific facility
- Brisbane City
107 Windermere Road, Hamilton 4007
In response to orders, the Base 3 Section Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) officers in Brisbane initiated basic CWS training courses for US Army personnel. Initially, with the aid of the 42nd Chemical Laboratory Company, several courses on chemical warfare defence were conducted at the University of Queensland. This commenced a process that continued well into the war.
In July 1942 an officer arrived in Brisbane to establish a CWS school for all US personnel. The residence at 107 Windermere Rd was acquired as a school, and classes had begun there even before the school was officially approved in August as part of the Chemical Warfare Service Training Centre. Officers of the 62nd depot company and the 10th Chemical Maintenance Company assisted with course instruction. The school also co-operated with the Australian Anti-gas school in Toowoomba.
Thirty two-week courses were run in 1943 from which almost 1000 participants graduated. Four mobile instructional teams were also established to ensure US personnel in outlying camps, which included at various times the US Army 41st and 32nd Divisions, were able to receive some training. According to the Service history, 'these training teams demonstrated chemical warfare defensive and decontaminating equipment and tested procedures in which live toxic agents were used.'
Officers of the 42nd Chemical Laboratory Company and the 10th Chemical Maintenance Company resided close to the School in houses in Highclere Avenue, Clayfield. The 42nd used a residence at 90 Bonney Ave as HQ and as a laboratory. Enlisted quarters for the 42nd were at 119 Bonney Ave, 59 Bonney Ave, and the mess hall was on the corner of Bonney Ave and Victoria Rd. Enlisted personnel of the 62nd resided at 22 Gregory St, Clayfield.
B E. Kleber And D Birdsell, The Chemical Warfare Service: Chemicals In Combat, Center Of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1966.
G Plunkett, Chemical Warfare in Australia, Australian Military History Publications, Loftus, 2007
R Marks, Brisbane—WW2 v Now Vol 13, Houses of Bonney Avenue.