BISHOP JOHN A. GREGG AND CHAPLAIN
INSPECTION TOUR OF BLACK TROOPS IN AUSTRALIA IN 1943
In 1943, Bishop John Andrew Gregg, the leader of the African Methodist Church in the north central United States visited black troops fighting during WW2 as an envoy for President Roosevelt. This was the first part of a world tour visiting black troops. Chaplain DeVeaux was his military escort.
The purpose of Bishop Gregg's trip was to check on the morale of the soldiers, and to bring good tidings and news from home. Later on in 1943, he was invited to the European theatre, eventually travelling approximately 100,000 miles.
Bishop Gregg holding a koala bear with members of the 630th Ordnance Company on 21 July 1943 somewhere near Townsville, in north Queensland. Chaplain DeVeaux is on the right. Pvt. Sammy Hurt is in the middle.
Bishop Gregg and Chaplain DeVeaux arrived in Townsville at 7:55 p.m. on 20 July 1943. They had previously visited Sydney and Brisbane. They stayed at the Queen's Hotel on The Strand.
On 21 July 1943, they visited 6 nearby camps. 3 were Quartermaster Regiments, and 3 were Ordinance Regiments. They also visited a Pack company. At noon they had lunch at the Townsville Red Cross Center (North American Service Club) with Mr. Bond. They spoke with a white worker called Miss Frazier, who was from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Bishop Gregg indicated that the Townsville Red Cross Center (North American Service Club) was not as nice as the ones he had seen in Brisbane and Sydney. Apparently Mr. Bond advised that he was looking for a new location.
They later drove 30 miles to another camp. They returned to the Queen's Hotel at about 7pm. They left for New Guinea the next morning.
I'd like to thank Faith DeVeaux, granddaughter of Chaplain DeVeaux, for her assistance with this home page.
"Of Men and Of Arms," by Bishop John A. Gregg (pages 36-38)
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" WWII Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 16 January 2003
This page last updated 19 January 2020