ACACIA RIDGE, BRISBANE, QLD
During World War 2 there was a large military camp at Acacia Ridge called Camp Muckley. It was located in the bush very near to Archerfield airfield across the road from the quarry in Mortimer Road.
Camp Muckley was named after Second Lieutenant Dwight S. Muckley, Jr., O-398662, who was killed in a bomber crash in the Archerfield area on 5 June 1942.
The approximate outline of Camp
Muckley is shown on the above
photograph. There was a large radio mast located immediately to the
west of Camp Muckley. It can be seen in the square "mown" area.
Plan of Camp Muckley
The men of the 39th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 317th Troop Carrier Group of the 5th Air Force initially lived at Camp Muckley, about one mile away from Archerfield airfield. The enlisted men lived in open barracks while the officers had partitioned quarters. They later moved to new barracks at Archerfield Airfield.
Photo: Allan Hodge via Noel Wallis
One of the buildings at Camp
Muckley after the war
with one of Allan Hodge's friends, Graham McKell in the foreground.
Photo: Allan Hodge via Noel Wallis
Full version of the above photograph.
The WW2 building that is located at the corner of Beaudesert Road and Mortimer Road, Acacia Ridge, which is part of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Primary School was not from Camp Muckley. It was made by joining together 3 buildings from Camp Archerfield which was located at the corner of Mortimer and Beatty Roads during WW2.
During the war Peter Freney went to school at Coopers Plains State School (later Acacia Ridge State School) which was situated near the Camp Muckley. He cannot recall entering the camp during the war although he would walk past the two main entrance gates on Mortimer Road on his way to and from school each day. Peter can remember being taken by his parents to see "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in the camp's outdoor picture theatre which was in an open field between Camp Muckley and Beatty Road. The picture theatre area can be seen as a white patch about half way down the western boundary of Camp Muckley.
After the war the camp became the home of many families needing accommodation. Many of them probably squatted in the buildings that were left in the bush. The children of those families greatly increased the population of the school. Many of Peter Freney's school friends lived there and he would visit them regularly. From 1945 onwards Peter used to take a shortcut to school through the camp.
There is a building in Sussex Road, Acacia Ridge owned by the Salvation Army, which I originally believed to be one of the buildings from the original Camp Muckley but Paul R. Watson OAM has confirmed that it was from Camp Archerfield located at the south east corner of Archerfield Airfield.
Photo: Noel Wallis Aug 2004
Ex Camp Archerfield building which is
Salvation Army building in Sussex Road, Acacia Ridge.
The 49th Service Squadron departed Camp Murphy in Victoria on 30 October 1942 and arrived at Camp Muckley on 3 November 1942. They left Camp Muckley on 30 November headed for Armstrong Paddock in Townsville.
The men of 194 Staging Post RAF had their barracks at the former USAAF camp at nearby Camp Muckley.
I received the following memories of Camp Muckley from Paul R. Watson OAM on 22 November 2021:-
I looked up your page on Camp Muckley, Archerfield. It brings back strong memories as I lived there with my family for some years before 1952.
Following the war, Camp Muckley had several of the old huts still scattered among the trees and accessible by a sandy track from Mortimer Road opposite the quarry. This main track later became Gregory Street which remains there today.
We lived in what was previously the barracks for US Army Air Force personnel. The huts had no internal linings, no walls except for head high partitions. They had a wood stove, only a couple of electric lights and a bare floor of timber boards. They had no ceilings and the roof was fibro cement I believe. They were freezing cold in winter and as hot as hell in summer. But they were much better than the tents that were scattered through the bush further away in those days.
In the early fifties, the Queensland Housing Commission administered these buildings as temporary accommodation for displaced and or destitute people. In 1953 the QHC were developing the areas close to and directly to the east of Camp Muckley. Tis was done by dozers and many teams of workmen using explosives to remove the huge trees and stumps. These explosions sometimes sent wood fragments onto our roof. As a small kid, I watched this work from the window of our hut. We were surrounded by many families, British, Dutch Russian and others. The huts had spartan facilities, while toilets and showers were in communal huts likewise. We gathered fallen branches from the bushland for our wood fire and heated water on the iron stove.
When I started school in 1952 I walked to school with all the kids who lived around us. Our school was on Beaudesert Rd bounded by Mortimer Road, Finlayson St and Foot St. It was called Coopers Plains State School in those days. It was later renamed Acacia Ridge State School. Decades later became a school for Indigenous children and it remains so today. The School called Acacia Ridge State School today, located to the west of the old Camp Muckley, was built in the sixties.
Regarding the Salvation Army hall in Sussex Street, I remember being there when the truck carried it there. As a child I went to Christmas celebrations in that old hut. I believe it was a hut removed from the RAAF Base at Archerfield and not from Camp Muckley, which was closed some years before. The south eastern corner of RAAF Station Archerfield had many such huts in those days, all of which were removed when the RAAF shifted to Amberley.
Can anyone help me with some more information on Camp Muckley?
I'd like to thank Paul R. Watson OAM, Peter Freney, Noel Wallis and Allan Hodge for their assistance with this home page.
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn OAM 2020
This page first produced 7 August 2000
This page last updated 04 April 2022