The 577th Ordnance Ammunition Company arrived in Brisbane on 13 June 1943 where they set up the Darra Ordnance Ammunition Depot (or Dump as they called it) in Brisbane.
They were responsible for the storage, maintenance, and distribution of ammunition and explosives in support of military operations. They played a vital role in ensuring the availability and proper handling of ammunition for various weapons systems, including small arms, artillery, and other military equipment.
They were often assigned to support infantry divisions, armoured units, or other combat formations. They worked closely with other logistical units in Camp Columbia to ensure a steady supply of ammunition to the front lines.
Specific activities of an ordnance ammunition company included the receipt and inspection of ammunition shipments, the storage and inventory management of stockpiles, the assembly and disassembly of ammunition, the maintenance and repair of weapons and ammunition containers, and the transportation and distribution of ammunition to units in need.
The State Library of Queensland (SLQ) holds an extensive file on this Company in their “MacArthur Era Trust Photographs and Records” file. Unfortunately the pdf has a few distorted scanned pages. But the full document is available in the SLQ. The file provides a detail history of the Company during their time in Brisbane.
The same file holds two maps in relation to Darra. One on the Ammunition Camp and one on the RAAF Camp.
The photos are also from this file and relate to the Darra Ammunition ‘Dump’ as the camp is called on the photos. Unfortunately there is no more information regarding these pictures. The workers at the Camp were all Black Americans and they had to live separate from White Americans. Most officers were White Americans. In Brisbane Black Americans were allowed to entertain in South Brisbane, but were not allowed to cross the river. That side of the river was for the exclusive use of White Americans.