AFRICAN-AMERICAN SOLDIERS
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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On 29 March 1942, General Douglas MacArthur announced his support for the Australian Governments proposal that no more African-American soldiers be sent to Australia during World War 2. The proposal also suggested that those units that were already in Australia should be sent to New Caledonia or India. General Douglas MacArthur said:-

"I will do everything possible to prevent friction or resentment on the part of the Australian government and people at the presence of American colored troops ... Their policy of exclusion against everyone except the white race known locally as the 'White Australia' plan is universally supported here".

This support by MacArthur meant that African-American units that were serving in New Guinea or the islands were not able to be sent back to Australia on R & R, as was the case with the white soldiers.

Most African-American units had white officers in command. These officers were usually not liked by their troops and friction was easily generated.

29th Quartermaster Regiment

48th Quartermaster Truck Regiment

73 Negroes dead in Mount Isa after drinking a brew made in disused cyanide drums

91st Engineers General Service Regiment 92nd Quartermaster Company 96th Battalion, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Coloured) General Service Regiment
100 Negroes of the 96th Battalion involved in a fight in Townsville 106 Japanese Marines intercepted at Cromarty, in north Queensland by American Negro soldiers from Woodstock. Two Negroes were wounded and a number of Japanese Marines were killed 577th Ordnance Ammunition Company
578th Ordnance Ammunition Company 580th Ordnance Ammunition Company 623rd Ordnance Ammunition Company
630th Ordnance Company 636th Ammunition Ordnance Company 870th Engineer Aviation Battalion (coloured)
5203rd Quartermaster Truck Battalion Bomb and ammunition dump in Beneke's paddock, Chermside, Brisbane, near the corner of Webster Road and Rode Road guarded by U.S. Negro soldiers Negro servicemen riot at Upper Ross, Townsville
North American Service Club in Townsville Doctor Carver Club
U.S. Army Canteen for Negroes, Grey St., opposite South Brisbane Railway Station, Brisbane, QLD
Bishop John A. Gregg & Chaplain DeVeaux inspection tour of black troops in Australia in 1943

Disturbance at a Dance in the Ingham Town Hall in November 1942

Red Cross Worker raped in Townsville in January 1944 Negroes buried at the US Military Cemetery located at Belgian Gardens, Townsville, QLD during WW2

Negro Camp next to the laboratory at the Experimental Station at Oonoonba, Townsville

Negro prisoners from a military camp near the Indooroopilly Railway Station carried out cleaning and repair work at St. Joseph's College, Nudgee Junior, Indooroopilly, Brisbane

Negro soldiers worked at the Darra Ordnance Ammunition Depot in Brisbane

Negro amateur heavyweight
boxer Al Hoosman in
Australia during WW2
"Big Al" went on to become a movie star
Booker T Washington Club
Club for Negroes
Sydney, NSW
 

 

 

 

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This page first produced 9 December 2001

This page last updated 04 May 2013