799TH MILITARY POLICE BATTALION
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 22 June 2007

 

The 799th Military Police Battalion was based in Brisbane during WW2.

MAY 1944 BRISBANE MILITARY TELEPHONE DIRECTORY

BASE SECTION 3

MILITARY POLICE:

799th M.P. Bn.
    Company "A" (Yeronga Park)
        Commanding Officer:
            Capt. Kane, E.J. JLX 348
    Company "B" (Yeronga Park)
        Commanding Officer:
            Capt. Bell, S.M. JLX 639

Sergeant Thomas L. Clark, was with the 799th Military Police Battalion when it was formed in 1942 out of mostly mid-western National Guard Units. He was a member of Company "C" of the 799th MP Bn. His company commander was Capt. Duncan, who was a WW1 veteran from the Illinois National Guard.

Sgt Thomas L. Clark told me via his son Steven Clark that there were 3 Military Police Battalions formed at the same time:-

799th MP Bn
800th MP Bn
801st MP Bn

The 800th and 801st eventually went to New Guinea where they suffered many casualties. Sgt. Clark spent time in Brisbane and Townsville with the 799th Military Police Battalion.

Sgt. Clark spent most of his time in Brisbane and was based at Camp Ascot. Sgt Clark believed that the 799th replaced the 828th or 838th in Brisbane. Can anyone confirm?

Sergeant Thomas L. Clark in Brisbane

When Sgt Clark was in Townsville there was a brothel at Stuart whose madam was living with a member of Co. "C" of the 799th. The MP's would often get a signal from the brothel that the madam had left fried chicken, pies etc. for the MP's in the kitchen. This brothel was a place very much protected by the Americans rather than a restricted place.

 

Small squad of MP's sent to Townsville under a Master Sgt. Bud Brush in 1944.
Corporal
Thomas L. Clark (at front) was in charge of the squad that day.

 

Corporal Thomas L. Clark beside a Jeep parked outside a Timber
Merchant building in Townsville. The name of the Company is
??n Hart & Co. Pty Ltd. Does anyone know where that building was?

 

Corporal Thomas L. Clark (on right) and fellow MP with an
Australian Military Policeman. Are they short or is he very tall?

 

Corporal Thomas L. Clark wearing an Aussie slouch
hat with an Aussie MP wearing Corporal Clark's cap.

Sgt Clark said the Stockade he remembers using was in Brisbane. This was most likely Camp La Fayette Prison Stockade at Eagle Farm Road at Eagle Farm.

Steve Clark told me in February 2007 that his Dad was not in any tough fighting like the MP units in New Guinea and that he still never talked about WW2 until only recently. Steve's only WWII recollections of growing up is that he never ate a lamb chop until after he left home. His father had eaten so much mutton during WW2 that he would not allow any type of lamb in the house. His father also had a pair of "Aussie shorts" he would sometimes wear when he wanted to relax around the house.

Most of the prisoners that Sgt Clark guarded in Australia were American soldiers who had gotten in trouble in Brisbane at nightclubs etc. When he was in Manilia he did guard Japanese soldiers, before they were sent to other prisons. These Japanese prisoners had committed all kinds of crimes as the islands were retaken. He also served as the night time duty officer of the day in Manila and his main problem there were Air Force pilots who would return to Manila for some time off and would get into trouble and had to be locked up during the duration of their time off. It was a duty he hated to do but one that was his main job while in that position.

Thomas Clark believes that the 799th MP's were part of all the war trials that went on following the war in Japan since they were attached to MacArthur's headquarters but that they finally ended up in Korea.

Thomas Clark always wanted to make a visit back to Australia.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Steve Clark for his assistance with this web page.

 

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Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 22 June 2007

This page last updated 05 April 2009