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Photo #: USA C-2413, US Army Signal Corps

General Douglas Macarthur smoking his corncob pipe, probably at Manila, Philippine Islands, 2 August 1945.

New exhibition - Brisbane in wartime - at the Macarthur Museum, Brisbane.

The Macarthur Museum, Brisbane records the Brisbane wartime experience.

It is situated in the rooms used by General Douglas Macarthur as Commander in Chief of the allied forces in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). Major themes of the museum are:-

  • Brisbane people and the war
  • The war machine in Brisbane
  • General Douglas Macarthur and the military command in Brisbane
  • Interactions between Australians and Americans.

Stage two of the exhibition, sponsored by the Brisbane City Council, is now open to the public.

It focuses on the Brisbane wartime experience:-

  • the wartime experience of children
  • wartime entertainment
  • the role of the Queensland railways
  • the operations and impact on the city of the Navy, Army and Air Force.

This part of the exhibition deals with the arrival of the ‘real war’ on Australia’s doorstep in 1942. Children in Brisbane found their lives at home, at school and at play changing rapidly. They were subject to many new rules and restrictions. Life in a world at war could be frightening but it could also be exciting. The thousands of servicemen in the camps and bases around the city not only provided a mass audience for entertainment but gave the whole experience a new intensity, whether it was cutting-a-rug at the Trocadero or enjoying vaudeville at the Cremorne.

When Japan entered into World War II, Queensland Railways became vitally important in the defence of Australia. Hundreds of thousands of troops passed through Brisbane on the trains and this affected both railway employees and civilian travellers. Between 1942 and 1945 the overwhelming presence of the Army made Brisbane uniquely a city at war. Uniforms were everywhere. Residents of the city lived their daily lives among them and alongside the physical evidence of Fortress Brisbane. Day and night the Brisbane River was busy with naval shipping. At night children who lived close to the river could lie in bed and hear the submarines as they navigated the eleven miles from the river mouth to Capricorn Wharf. Archerfield, Eagle Farm and Amberley formed the centre of a network of airfields in and around the city and Wirraways, Tiger Moths, Kittyhawks, and Flying Fortresses were common sights in the Brisbane skies.

The MacArthur Museum Brisbane is located on:-

Level Eight, MacArthur Chambers
201 Edward Street
Queensland 4001

For further information contact Faye Schutt 0438 125 076.

Opening hours and admission:-

        Open to the public Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays (excluding public holidays and during the Xmas / New Year break) from 10.00am – 3.00pm.


MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Stage 1


MacArthur Museum Brisbane
The Official Web page



Official Opening 10:00 am, 6 March 2007


Photo: Peter Dunn 6 Mar 2007

Curator of the MacArthur Museum Brisbane, Faye Schutt and
Executive Officer of the MacArthur Museum Brisbane, Ian Willoughby


Photo: Peter Dunn 6 Mar 2007

Former Governor of Queensland, Major-General Peter Arnison, AC, AO, KStJ
and Executive Officer of the MacArthur Museum Brisbane, Ian Willoughby


Photo: Peter Dunn 6 Mar 2007

Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman


Photo: Peter Dunn 6 Mar 2007

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman cutting the official ribbon to open Stage 2 of the MacArthur Museum Brisbane


Photo: Peter Dunn 6 Mar 2007

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and retired Major Bill Bentson having a chat


Photo: Peter Dunn 6 Mar 2007

Keith Williams showing Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and Curator Faye Schutt
something on one of the new displays. During WW2 a young Keith
Williams used to deliver newspapers to the Americans in the AMP building.



I'd like to thank Faye Schutt for her assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products

I need your help


©  Peter Dunn 2015


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any information or photographs

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This page first produced 13 January 2007

This page last updated 25 January 2020