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The USASOS (United States Army Service of Supply) established the 118th General Hospital at Herne Bay in Sydney during WW2. Land was acquired from Mr. Jas Livingstone and others to build the new hospital. The area is now called Riverwood. The hospital was built by the Australian Government under the Reverse Lend-Lease arrangements. It was manned by doctors and nurses from the John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. They travelled to Sydney via Melbourne. 

The hospital site was designed to be used by five hospitals units with a total of 4,250 beds in 490 barracks-type buildings. It was often referred to as "Hernia Bay" during WW2. An original 100 year old farm-house was left standing amongst the hospital buildings because of its sentimental value to its owner.

Prior to the completion of the new hospital at Herne Bay, the 118th General Hospital used a section of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Hydro-Majestic Hotel at Medlow Bath from August 1942. They also occupied a portion of St Paul's College, University of Sydney, at Camperdown.

The 118th General Hospital moved to its new site at Herne Bay in May 1943. By November 1943 there were 1700 patients in the hospital.


Photo:- Monica Lynch Kickham

American Red Cross worker Monica Lynch Kickham
awaiting assignment at the 118th General Hospital


The 118th General Hospital moved to a forward area in October 1944. Much of the hospital was then occupied by a Royal Navy Hospital in January 1945 with the remainder occupied by Australian Army Hospitals. The 108 Casualty Clearing Station was one of the Australian Army units based at the hospital after the Americans left.

When the war was over the hospital became part of the Herne Bay Housing Settlement run by the NSW Housing Commission.

A story board was unveiled by Councillor Kayee Griffin, the Mayor of Canterbury at the site of the 118th General Hospital on 24 February 1996.

The RAAF had  their Stores Depot No 2 somewhere at Herne Bay. Was it on the site of the former US Army 118th General Hospital?



I'd like to thank Denise Cutajar for her assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 31 January 2006

This page last updated 03 September 2018