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General Douglas MacArthur, renowned for his leadership in significant military campaigns spanning World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, left an indelible mark on American military history. Graduating first in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, MacArthur embarked on a distinguished career characterised

It may be striking to contemplate Brisbane’s origins as a prison colony. The history we delve into pertains to Camp Columbia in Wacol, and there is a link back to the beginnings of the City. As its military facilities gradually disappeared, the vast terrain once utilised by Camp Columbia found

Lieutenant General Simon Hendrik Spoor was born on December 12, 1902, in the Netherlands, Spoor’s military career spanned several critical periods, from the war in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) to his contributions during World War II in Australia and his involvement with the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service (NEFIS). Spoor’s

For his extraordinary courage and perseverance, Kokkelink was knighted at Camp Columbia in Brisbane on April 12, 1945. His commendation highlighted his decisive actions, perseverance, and skill during the Japanese occupation, emphasising the “indescribable difficulties and hardships” he faced. Mauritz Christiaan Kokkelink, born on June 17, 1913, at the military

For the annual ANZAC Day Commemoration, the Camp Columbia Heritage Association is presenting a display at the Inala Library. The artefacts highlight the presence of Australian, Dutch and American personnel and families during and after WW2 in the Camp Columbia area (Pooh Corner, Wacol Bushland and other accessible council areas

We are proud to present to you a new addition to our activities; flyers about  Camp Columbia and our association (CCHA ). As we are invited to present at more organisations, we are keen to leave information with the delegates and invite them to subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter.

In late August 1942, a little-known bay at the eastern tip of New Guinea erupted into a fierce battle that would mark a turning point in the Pacific War. The remote Milne Bay became the stage for a decisive Allied victory, orchestrated from the unlikely command center of Brisbane, Australia,

Earlier this year, the Camp Columbia Historical Association (CCHA ) had the privilege of presenting itself to the Richlands, Inala, and Suburbs History Group. The Richlands, Inala, and Suburbs History Group is a not-for-profit community organization established in 1996 and incorporated in January 2000. Their mission is to promote the

The U.S. 7th Fleet holds a significant place in history, particularly during World War II. Established on March 15, 1943, in Brisbane, Australia, it was a crucial component of the Allied forces in the Pacific theater. Under the leadership of Admiral Arthur S. “Chips” Carpender, the fleet played a pivotal

The long Dutch relationship with Southeast Brisbane began during World War II, when in 1942 the Americans established Camp Columbia in Wacol, Brisbane to stop the Japanese advance in the Southwest Pacific. The camp became the staging ground for the American campaign, covering an area of 20 by 15 square kilometers, covering

Personal recollections Camp Columbia – Jean van Schilfgaarde The information below is the exact text of a letter from Jean van Schilfgaarde to Dr Jack Ford in 1992. Jack had contacted her for his research for his publication: Allies in bind: Australia and the Netherlands East Indies relations during World War Two. This

Photograph from the US National Archives: Original Caption: “While awaiting assignment after arriving in Australia, first Negro nurses to reach these shores try bicycle riding near their quarters in Camp Columbia, Wacol, Brisbane. Left to Right: 2nd Lt. Beulah Baldwin (Cleveland, Ohio), 2nd Lt. Alberta S. Smith (Kansas City, MO), and

Hans and (Luberta) Beppe Goote migrated from Indonesia to Australia in 1956 after Indonesia nationalised all Dutch assets. The Goote family worked on a Dutch-owned tea plantation in Indonesia. They had the following children: Henny, Meika, Josje, Hans (jnr) and Conny. That is oldest to youngest. Hans (snr), Beppe and

At Camp Columbia and the surrounding military facilities, two groups of women were employed. Firstly, there were the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), comprised initially of American women, later supplemented by Dutch recruits. The primary duties of the WACs encompassed a range of administrative, technical, and communication tasks, effectively freeing men

Several of the details below are coming from the books World War II stories from Brisbane’s South West and 150 Years Richlands, Inala & Neigbouring Suburbs in Brisbane’s South West both by Vicki Mynott. Receptively in 2006 and 2009 she published stories from locals who provided some of the information in this

Camp Columbia in Brisbane was set up by the Americans in 1942 as a staging camp for the liberation of the Southwest Pacific. When the Americans moved on to Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea in 1944, the Dutch took over Camp Columbia. It was used by the Netherlands East Indies

By 1946, most Dutch troops had left Camp Columbia. Ammunition and equipment were either dumped at sea or buried at some isolated spot. The quarry at Acacia Ridge was a convenient dump, and Willawong, also, received its share of disposals. Some army huts and buildings at Camp Columbia were left

The Proposed Industrial Garden City in Darra, initially presented at the Second Australian Town Planning Conference in Brisbane in 1918 by Dr. Thomas Arthur Price, the Mayor of Toowoomba, showcased a visionary urban development plan. Inspired by the Garden City Movement and citing the First Industrial Garden City in Letchworth

Coosje Ayal, also known as Costavina Aya Ayal, left an indelible mark as a formidable resistance fighter in Western New Guinea during World War II. Born on 15 April 1926, in the village of Titawaai on the island of Nusa Laut in the Moluccas, her early life took a significant

The South-West Pacific Area (SWPA) Advanced Land Headquarters was a military headquarters established in Brisbane, Australia in August 1942. The headquarters was led by Australian General Thomas Blamey, who was Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces (AMF) and also had the role of Commander, Allied Land Forces. The purpose of

MORE than 5000 Dutch soldiers will migrate to Australia soon after demobilization in Java. Their entry will be under a mutual agreement between the two countries, to be concluded soon. It is understood that the Australian Government stipulated in the agreement that the men should be single and under 30.

Ludolph Hendrik van Oyen was a distinguished Dutch military officer who played a vital role in the defence and rebuilding of Dutch forces during World War II. Early Military Career: Ludolph Hendrik van Oyen embarked on his military journey at the cadet school in Alkmaar in 1906. From 1906 to

From Camp Columbia in Brisbane to Camp G in Hollandia After the Battle of Hollandia (see below) General Douglas MacArthur moved his staging camp from Camp Columbia in Brisbane to Hollandia in Netherlands New Guinea (present-day Jayapura in West Papua). Already in In early 1944, MacArthur determined that the area

At the outbreak of WWII the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was largely deployed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. After the Japanese Navy’s attacks on the Allies in December 1941, the RAN redeployed its larger ships to home waters to protect the Australian mainland from Japanese attack, while several

Christiaan Philip Karel (Flip) Winckel (Batavia (Nederlands-Indië), April 16, 1919 – Wassenaar, September 18, 2009) was a Dutch “Engelandvaarder” (soldiers who escaped to England during World War II) and a jurist. When World War II broke out, he was studying at Leiden University. Winckel belonged to the Winckel family listed

Camp Columbia Heritage Association organised a successful event at the ANZAC Square & Memorial Galleries, Brisbane. Together with the Galleries CCHA hosted Dutch WWII historian Bas Kreuger. We had a full house with 60 delegates. Before the presentation Bas together with our special guests placed poppies under the plaque at

The monument commemorates the men and women of the Netherlands who joined in the defence of Australia from 1941 to 1945 during World War Two. On Friday 3 November 2017, the monument was rededicated at Memorial Corner in Roma Street Parkland.  It was relocated from its former location at Queen’s

Bernice Volz who, in the 1950s, lived in one of the huts in the former Camp Columbia – Camp Area No. 1 recalls that it was hut No. C1 that was allocated to her family when they arrived at the Wacol Migration Centre. More information on this hut and its

The construction of Camp Muckley was the second’ job done by the U.S. Army. in this Brisbane area, practically simultaneously with the first section of Camp Columbia. Designed as a 1, 000 man staging camp and included mess halls,14 man-barracks, bathhouses, latrines, and water-borne sewerage to septic tanks. Works performed

In the aftermath of the devastating Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, Rear Admiral Chester W. Nimitz swiftly rose to prominence. Appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt just ten days later, Nimitz became the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT). The symbolic change of command took place

Camp Freeman, part of the larger American WWII military Camp Columbia complex World War II, played a significant role in the context of racial segregation and the presence of African American troops. The camp’s history is closely tied to the broader dynamics of the time, as well as its physical

JIM GRINDLE’s home near Wacol Station was one. It became a Communications Centre for the United States Army, and the family moved in with the Grindles at Wolston House. WILLIAM DYNE purchased 100 acres on the southern side of Ipswich Road at Wacol and settled there with his wife and

Camp Cable was like Camp Columbia a similar large size military complex however, this one was situated in the bush, 50 kms south of Brisbane near Logan Village. The Camp and its units didn’t directly fall under the Southwest Pacific Area Command of General Douglas MacArthur, in charge of the

Sultan Muhammad Jabir Syah (4 March 1902 – 4 July 1975) was the 47th ruler of Ternate from 1929 to 1975 and the last Ternatan Sultan with executive powers. In 1944, during World War II, the Western Allies began liberating parts of eastern Netherlands East indies. They contacted Sultan Jabir,

Admiral William D. Leahy, often referred to as “Bill” Leahy, was a prominent figure in the United States Navy during World War II. He served as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) from 1937 to 1939 and later held the position of Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief

With several military hospitals in and around Camp Columbia looking after people wounded in the Pacific War Theatre, obviously a large number died. These soldiers were buried at the USAF Military Cemetery in Ipswich. In all 1206 of them were buried here. In 1947 the bodies were exhumed and brought

Pauleen Lillian Badke was born at Booval in Ipswich in 1925. Her father’s name was ‘Wilhelm’ but he was known to everyone as ‘Bill’ – her mother’s name was Lillian. She had one brother, Keith. Bill was well known in Ipswich and surrounds as a building contractor, and for his

Earlier this month, I had the honour of addressing the Richlands, Inala and Suburbs History Group at the Inala Library. I was tasked with introducing the Camp Columbia Heritage Association (CCHA) to the history group and sharing insights into the Australian, American, and Dutch history of Camp Columbia. Additionally, I

State Library of Queensland  – Audio cassette tapes containing interviews with migrant women at Wacol Migrant Camp. Christine (Christa) Braun, nee Klein Five cassette tapes, two typed interview logs, one document containing personal background, details and interview summaries, four black and white photographs. Christa is German. She migrated to Australia

Camp Seabee in Brisbane, Australia, also known as U.S. Naval Construction Battalion Detachment (NCBD) Brisbane, was an important facility during World War II. It was occupied by the U.S. Navy from March 23, 1943, to August 7, 1945, and served as a base for the Seabees, the United States Naval

In the immediate post-War World years, refugees from war-torn Europe were resettled in different places across Australia. By 1949, it is estimated that one-tenth of the American/Dutch/Australian Army’s Camp Columbia area became the Wacol East Displaced Persons Holding Camp. In the early 1950s the camp was developed to become the

During World War II, the Australian military commander in Brisbane was General Sir Thomas Albert Blamey. Blamey was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces in 1939 and held that position throughout the war. After leading the Australian Forces in Europe and the Middle East he came back

Our secretary Jorien van Beukering had organised with her history colleague from the National Trust Dr. Anna Temby to conduct a meeting at Wolston House. Camp Columbia bordered on this historic property when it was built in 1942. We recognise the property in our information on our website in relation

Willem Frans Boot. Born 26 November 1906, Zuid-Beijerland. Died: 18 Januari 1987, Den Haag. He joined the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1934. Even before the capitulation from Netherlands East Indies (NEI), staff of the Military Aviation Department of the KNIL(ML-KNIL) were sent to Australia. Most of the department of Captain

The American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command, or ABDACOM, was a short-lived, supreme command for all Allied forces in Southeast Asia, the area also included the supply port of Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Australia.  ABDA had been established  at Bandung, Java on 10 January 1942 and became operational following the declaration of war

Lieutenant General Richard Kerens Sutherland played a significant role during World War II, particularly as the Chief of Staff to General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Allied Commander in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA). In this article we concentrate on his time in Australia during the war. In early 1942, after

The United States 7th Fleet is responsible for operations in the Western Pacific Ocean. It was formed on March 15, 1943, in Brisbane, Australia, during World War II. The fleet was initially commanded by Vice Admiral Arthur S. Carpender, and it consisted of the cruisers USS Minneapolis and USS New

During World War II, Archerfield Airport in Brisbane, Australia played a crucial role as a major air base for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Serving as a strategic hub, it facilitated operations, logistics, and support for American air units in the Pacific theater. The USAAF’s Arrival Following the

Lieutenant Admiral Conrad Emil Lambert Helfrich was a Dutch naval officer who played a significant role in the defense of the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) during World War II. He was born in Soerabaja, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1886, and he joined the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1903.

Columbia, often referred to as Lady Columbia, is a powerful symbol and female national personification of the United States. Representing the ideals and aspirations of the nation, Columbia has played a significant role in American iconography and cultural imagery throughout history. The origins of Columbia can be traced back to

  Our Board member Bart Lommerse recently contacted Josep (Joe) Kalemba. Joe is an expert metal detector hobbyist and when they started talking, he showed Bart his finding of a sword he had unearthed at Camp Columbia. He had already figured out that it was Dutch however, he had no

Following the Japanese invasion and occupation of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) during World War II, many Dutch men, women, and children were interned in prisoner-of-war camps, known as internment camps or concentration camps. These camps were often harsh, with overcrowded conditions, limited food, and inadequate medical care. After

We now have seven koalas on site at Pooh Corner Bushland Reserve, six of which are rescued individuals which have been released here. This is the first photo of the first offspring – Lady Jane’s joey (a son), now out of the pouch!! Mother and baby looking fine. Looks promising

During World War II, Archerfield Airport, located in Brisbane, Australia, served as an important airfield for the Australian, American and Dutch forces. The presence of British air units at was limited, and they were not stationed there for the full duration of the war. The majority of British air units

Japanese militarism First, we examines Japanese militarism in the context of Japan’s recent history, focusing on its social and economic developments and the role of traditional thinking. After World War I, two distinct lines of development emerged: economic progress toward big capitalism and a national shift toward fascism as authoritarian

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

In August 1947, Australian military observers were stationed in the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Committee (UNGOC). Their purpose was to monitor the ceasefire between the Dutch and Indonesian forces during the Indonesian National Revolution. The number of Australian observers increased after

The following information includes segments from the publication “Pauleen a young woman’s wartime experience at an Officer Candidate School” The author is Noel W Wallis and it was published by the Richlands, Inala and Suburbs Group Inc. A copy of the publication was donated by the History Group to the Camp

The war in the Pacific during World War II began with Japan’s military expansion and aggressive actions in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Here’s a brief overview of the events leading to the war: Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific intensified, with Japan expanding

Dr. Stephen Simpson, born on July 29, 1793, in Wolston, Warwickshire, England, played a significant role in the early development of Queensland, Australia. He was appointed as the Commissioner for Crown Lands for the Moreton Bay District. In addition to his was a Doctor of Medicine, a Justice of the

The US Sixth Army was a field army of the United States Army that was established on January 20, 1943, during World War II. The Sixth Army was responsible for conducting military operations in the Pacific Theater of Operations, including the campaigns in New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. In

The Darra Ordnance Depot was situated on Archerfield Road.  The US 636th Ammunition Ordnance Company (black soldiers, white officers) was in charge of the weapons systems, vehicles and equipment and had to make sure that these were ready and available, and in perfect condition, at all times. They also managed

In the immediate post-War World years, refugees from war-torn Europe were resettled in different places across Australia. By 1949, it is estimated that one-tenth of the American/Dutch/Australian Army’s Camp Columbia area became the Wacol East Displaced Persons Holding Camp. In the early 1950s the camp was developed to become the

This is possible the last remaining hut of the military barracks at Camp Columbia Wacol Station Road At the time Ed make the picture above, the site was visited by the local kangaroos. One of them is also visible on that picture. Any further information is very welcome. See also:

The Camp Columbia Heritage Association would like to thank Centenary and District Environment Action Inc (CDEA) for including us in their new display at the Pooh Corner Bushland Reserve. CDEA has undertaken a refresh of the Pooh Corner information display with funding assistance from Brisbane City Council. The timeline poster,

In the immediate post-War World years, refugees from war-torn Europe were resettled in different places across Australia. By 1949, it is estimated that one-tenth of the American/Dutch/Australian Army’s Camp Columbia area was acquired by the Department of Immigration and became the Wacol East Dependant Holding Camp for Displaced Persons. This

These three maps show the Camp Columbia (CC) area as it currently is used. The maps are overlayed on the original WWII map that shows the military buildings and infrastructure of the WWII Camp. There are still some areas that have not been overbuilt and it clearly show that these

A large area in and around Wacol – which was nearly all bush land at that time – was selected as its major staging camp for the US Army in the South West Pacific. Here weapons, ammunition and equipment in transit were assembled or processed. A range of military facilities

Officer Candidate School During 1942/1943 the Americans established the Officer Candidate School (OCS), on the other side of the railway in Wacol, in the area known as Camp area 3.  They  provided training for nine different army branches and was of the most comprehensive schools of its kind in the

At the Yeronga Memorial Park in Brisbane the American WACS are also commemorated. There are plans underway to also add a plaque to the Commemoration Wall at the Memorial for the Dutch and KNIL women (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army). However, there were objections as this memorial is just for

On 12 April 2023, we presented ourselves at an event organised by the Royal Historic Society of Queensland. The RHSQ has become an official sponsor of our organisation. Below is a copy of the presentation. This is the PPt presentation Photos with thanks to Jorien van Beukering and Ed Parker

As mentioned in our introductory email to the contacts we had for the Dutchlink activities. We fully understand if you decide not to follow the developments of this project. In that case please unsubscribe. You can do this at the bottom of this email. We apologise to those who don’t

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