LLOYD A. LEHRBAS "LARRY"
PRESS AIDE TO GENERAL DOUGLAS MacARTHUR
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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Lloyd Lehrbas (often called "Larry")  was initially a cameraman in China. Later on he became an Associated Press reporter covering the State and War Departments in Washington. During this role he got to know General Douglas MacArthur.

When General Douglas MacArthur arrived in Melbourne after his escape from the Philippines he noticed Press Officer Lloyd Lehrbas, in the crowd as he left Spencer Street Station. Lehrbas had covered Washington affairs for the Associated Press when MacArthur was Chief of Staff. The General waved to Lehrbas in the crowd and shouted:_

"Hello, Larry, you old rogue, what are you doing here? I'll see you later."

MacArthur then walked up to the microphone to pledge his resolve to the defense of Australia.

 

The following entry appears in General Douglas MacArthur's Office Diary:-

  Tuesday 24 March 1942

Lt. Col. Lloyd A. Lehrbas A.U.S. (0-900274) assigned Hq. USAFFE as of today.

 

MacArthur's Communiqués were initially written by Larry Lehrbas or one of the Press Officers. It was then sent to MacArthur, who would then rewrite them. He once read out one of his statements to Larry and the press officers and asked them:-

"What do you think?? Are these words too flamboyant? You know there are some people back in Washington who think I'm too theatrical."

 

Brisbane Military Telephone Directory December 1942

PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE
8th Floor Commercial Bank Building (next door to AMP Building, GHQ, SWPA)

Chief of Press Relations:
    Col. L.A. Diller

Executive Officer:
    Col. L. Lehrbas

Bill Bentson told me that the US Military also occupied the Commercial Bank building next door to GHQ, SWPA in the AMP building and rather than have to go down the lift and out on to the street and then back into the Bank building the Americans knocked at least one door between the two buildings. Click on the photo below to see at least one of these doors which appears to be at about the 7th Floor level. Presumably Colonels Diller and Lehrbas would have frequently pass through this door.

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The northern side of the AMP building

 

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This page first produced 21 December 2007

This page last updated 21 December 2007