275 WICKHAM STREET,
FORTITUDE VALLEY, BRISBANE, QLD
COMMANDEERED BY THE MILITARY DURING WW2

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visits since 27 October 2007

 

275 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane now occupied by Avis Rent A Car

The building located at 275 Wickham Street, opposite the Wickham Hotel and MacIntosh Motors was used as a radio transmission station during the war by the US Army. There were radio masts on the roof, and the radio equipment and operators were located underground in the basement of the building.

Bob Mackintosh the former truck rental manager at Avis, which now occupies the building, was shown the stenciled lettering on the walls leading down to the underground area. It said something like “Off Limits” etc. Apparently it was used by the US Army. Bob Mackintosh worked in that building on Wickham Street 30 years ago.

The ground floor of this building was used by a US Army motor pool.

Prior to the war the building had been a farmers’ market and the cold storage rooms were in the basement. The US personnel were apparently billeted in the Wickham Hotel which had its own air raid shelter, later converted to a freezer.

Bob Mackintosh told me the building had been refurbished a bit before Avis moved in around 1966, and traces of US Army occupation would have been painted over.

Bob did not go further down the stairs when the “handyman” person (Lloyd Pentecost) offered to show him around when he was putting some articles into storage there. Lloyd was in the Brisbane area during the war and spoke to Bob about this building a few times.

From across the road you can see a row of old ventilators on the roof of the building behind the false facade

After working in the Adjutant General --Colonel Albertson' s Office in the Publications section, in the McIntosh Motors building at 324 - 328 Wickham Street, Fortitide Valley, Hazel Walker was later promoted and moved across the road to 275 Wickham Street to work in Transportation - Supply for Major Morgan who was Chief of Transportation - Supply, which section was responsible for setting up air transportation for all sorts of materials and ammunitions to the troops up north in Australia and in New Guinea.

Hazel Walker thinks the Americans may have moved into this building either in very late 1943 or early 1944.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Hazel Walker and Bob Mackintosh for their assistance with this web page.

 

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This page first produced 27 October 2007

This page last updated 27 October 2007