NEGRO SOLDIER KILLS AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER
IN SYDNEY, NSW ON 13 APRIL 1944
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

 

On 13 April 1944, US negro soldier Corporal Lestor Neelon punched Australian soldier Private Wilfred Burns (N168824) of the 21st Employment Company in Sydney which led to his death in hospital on 16 April 1944.

Apparently Corporal Neelon lashed out at Private Burns after he was called "Son" by the Australian. Burns fell to the ground and fractured his skull. Burns and three other soldiers had been walking down Elizabeth Street in the direction of the railway. Near the corner of Albion and Elizabeth Streets, Corporal Neelon was standing in a hotel doorway. Burns said "Hello, Son" to him. Neelon stepped forward and king hit Burns in the face. He hit the ground and did not move. His mate John Foster offered to fight Neelon and as he shaped up he was hit on the right arm. A pain shot up his arm and blood spurted over him. He found his wrist had been gashed.

During cross examination by Lieutenant O'Connell, of the US Army, at the Sydney Quarter Sessions, John Foster said that at no time did Burns call Neelon a "Nigger Yank".

Negro Military Policeman, Raleigh Hughes, arrested Neelon. When Hughes asked why he had struck Burns, Neelon said "He is not going to call me son". Hughes confiscated a knife from Neelon and took him to Darlinghurst Police Station.

Coroner Williams from the 113th AGH said that Burns had died from a fractured skull.

 

REFERENCES

"Minor (Perth)", Saturday 27 May 1944

 

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This page first produced 10 January 2019

This page last updated 10 January 2019