Letter from Sylvia Stoltz - Australian Field Experimental Station
I have read your book and I can see that it did need to be written to give recognition to the work and experiences of RAAF armourers in the hazardous field of mustard gas during WW2.
is a pity that someone had not written this back in 1975 when the embargo of 30
years secrecy on CW warfare was lifted.
I must confess that in 1944 I had not heard the term 'armourers'. Although there were some RAAF boys in our Unit I did not know that they had been involved in CW situations already. Secrecy was so strictly observed that none of us knew anything about any colleague other than the work and situations which we shared.
The trials carried out by the Research Unit involved a lot of hard physical work in preparing sites in the rain forest at Innisfail - using machetes and axes to cut trails through thick undergrowth, stinging trees, vines and roots. The RAAF boys were assigned to this task. I remember one occasion when a senior officer was said to have remarked "the ods and sods will do that" so I can understand the armourers feeling that this was not what they had been trained for.
was particularly interested in the armourers' accounts of the spray tank spill
Thank you for including in your book the named photo of the C.W. R. & E.S. group at December 1943 and other photos which show that there were young service-women also involved in mustard gas in Australia.
think it is too late now for surviving personnel from secret units in WW2 to
receive any benefits or even recognition for their contribution to the
safeguarding of Allied troops on active service in the
Congratulations Geoff, for the tremendous amount of time and effort which you put into producing this book - especially the technical information regarding the gases and weapons used and their eventual destruction. The reproduction of the photos is of very high quality and I am pleased that you chose to include some of the Research Unit at Innisfail and Proserpine.
(ex AWAS member of C.W.R. & E.S.)
Innisfail and Proserpine
1943 - 1945
Sylvia can be contacted at email@example.com