In 1943, during World War II, four diesel-electric industrial shunting type locomotives were imported from the General Electric Company, Erie, U.S.A. by the Department of Supply under Lend-Lease conditions for use at the munitions factory, Dunheved. It seems that only one unit was used at this facility. Being of the hood type, with a central cab, they could work in either direction without turning. Two 190 h.p. V8 Caterpillar diesel engines provided power for four traction motors.
In 1945, the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited became interested in the possible dieselisation in the Australian Iron and Steel works at Port Kembla and one unit was loaned to the company in April. Whilst it proved too light for the tasks of hauling ingots and ladles, it did lead to the commencement of dieselisation five years later.
At the end of that war, they were put into use by the New South Wales Government Railways as coaching shunters at Sydney’s Central station and the Eveleigh Carriage Workshops. They were given road numbers 7920 to 7923, these being the numbers allocated by U.S. authorities. . In April 1948, the Commonwealth Government took 7921 and 7922 for use at Woomera Rocket Range and 7920 and 7923 were purchased by the N.S.W.G.R. in September that year.
In 1950, the two held by the Commonwealth Government were acquired by Commonwealth Railways and used as coaching shunters at Port Augusta and Port Pirie.
Following the retirement of the Commonwealth Railways units, 7921 has found its way back to New South Wales rails and is now part of the collection at the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum. 7922 is with the National Railway Museum at Port Dock, Adelaide.
The two N.S.W.G.R. units were sold to the British Phosphate Commission on 31 October 1974 for use on Christmas Island. This railway closed in 1987. Both are now preserved.