WWII Military facilities in South West Brisbane

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 chapter that I have – with her permission – weaved into a more general overview.

During WWII, a large range of military facilities were established between Archerfield Airport and Camp Columbia most of them were managed from the headquarters on the top of the hill. Other sites were managed by the Australian Defence Force.The CCHA project concentrate on the the last remaining heritage infrastructure in the Pooh Corner Bush Reserve as this was part of the former HQ area. However, it is interesting to see that WWII military facilities were scattered through an area where now tens of thousands of Brisbanites live and work, most of them unware of the rich WWII history of their suburbs.

Military facilities around Wacol 1942-1945

Map NoFacilityNotes
1Wacol Railway sidingDispatched ordnance to the war zone
2Camp Columbia, WacolUS staging camp for 5000 men
3Motor PoolFor Camp Columbia
4Darra StationDeclared ‘black’ to separate warring black and white US soldiers
5Officer Candidate SchoolUS training centre for officers in the SW Pacific
6Emergency Landing GroundB1 type (over 800 m); RAAF controlled
7Small Arms Renovation PlantRepaired small arms for reuse
8Camp DarraOrdnance workers camp for 200 men
9Darra Ordnance DepotSupplied the US army in the Southwest Pacific
10Archerfield HouseCentre for civilian guards of Ordnance Depot
11Camp FreemanQuartermasters camp with 1000 men
12Chemical Camp200 men in Blunder Road
13Searchlight StationOn private land in Brookbent Road
14Charcoal Pits, PallaraMade alternative fuel for vehicles
Neighbouring Military Facilities
15Archerfield AerodromeAustralian, US, British, Dutch training field
16Camp MuckleyUS military camp
17RAN/RAAF StoresAmmunition depot (now in Greenbank MTA)
18Redbank Army CampMajor Queensland Army Camp – up to 2500 men
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