Battle to restore Northern Midlands World War II tankers

SITE: The underground tankers were built in 1942. Picture: Supplied
SITE: The underground tankers were built in 1942. Picture: Supplied

Two Northern Midlands community groups want to restore a group of World War II jet fuel tanks. 

The underground tanks are located one kilometre outside Ross and were built in 1942 to provide the Royal Australian Air Force easy access to fuel in case of a Japanese invasion.

The four tanks were sold by the federal government in 1947 after they were decommissioned. 

The tanks at Ross are four of many built in World War II, however no locals were involved in their construction.

“We’d like to add to it along the way and create a bit of a museum there,” wartime historian Bill Chugg said.

The site contains four underground tanks, however the Ross Heritage Group and the Campbell Town Resarch and History Group only intend to restore three.

One of the four was used as an offal dumping point for the slaughterhouses at Ross and Campbell Town during the 1960s.

“We hope to forget about that one tank that was used for offal and clean up the other three tankers,” Mr Chugg said.


The journey to restore the tanks and commemorate their use in World War II will begin on Saturday, April 21.

The two historical groups are running activities over that weekend to provide a better understanding of the area’s military history.

On Saturday, there will be a photography exhibition detailing the Northern Midlands’ involvement in World War II, while on Sunday organisers will take attendees to the site of the tanks. 

Mr Chugg said it was important to remember war veterans sooner than is usually the case.

“Why do we wait for 100 years to remember and commemorate war veterans?,” he said. 

“Everyone is dead by then.

“We want to do it sooner.”

The project requires more than $100,000 funding, according to Mr Chugg. 

While the owner of the property where the tanks are located is supportive of the project, he will not be bearing the brunt of the cost. 

Mr Chugg said the community groups will be seeking outside funding for the project.

For more information on the upcoming events, call Mr Chugg on 6381 1287.