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WW2 Darwin?

WW2 Darwin?

Posted: 14 Jan 2013 9:42PM GMT
Classification: Query
I was looking at some of my father's old photos taken while he was in Australia 1943-1944. He was part of the US 380th Bomb Group that arrived in Darwin in May 1943 and later moved on to New Guinea and the Philippines. Most of them were pictures of the jungle bases and bombers he serviced, but some pics were taken while on leave.

There was no mention of location or notes of any kind on the back of any of the pictures. Perhaps he didn't think to do it - or maybe military censors encouraged him not to do so since they were to be mailed back home to his parents.

The leave photos shows him in a park or memorial site close to some large body of water (large pond, lake, etc.) that had a walk bridge several feet up over the water. Another shows him standing next to a large (4' tall x 8' long) memorial marker inscribed "their name liveth for evermore".

I think he did spend some time in Sydney, but I'm wondering if these pictures were taken in Darwin?

any help will be much appreciated - thanks, Don

Re: WW2 Darwin?

Posted: 15 Jan 2013 10:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Don,
My father was in the AIF during WW2 and was stationed in Darwin when it was bombed in 1942. I've seen pictures of Darwin during the war and my recognise if your pictures look like Darwin. (defect(at)lizzy.com.au) replace (at) with @
I remember dad saying that some of the troops were based at Howard Springs and further down at Adelaide River among other bases. I know that there was a lot of animosity between the Australian and American troops. The Americans were treated better by not only their own military chiefs but also the Australian military chiefs. The Americans were given the better bases closer to facilities and provided with better food and equipment. My dad often talked about the Aussie raids on American bases, including at one time bringing back a refrigerator full of food from a US base. The Australian’s basic diet was bully-beef. There was a general consensus that the Americans thought that they were responsible for any and all victories. Any Australian victories were reported back to the US as American and Allied victories, even when the Americans had nothing to do with the victory. That attitude was particularly resented by the fact that America didn’t enter the war until after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941. The Aussies had been in it from the start, fighting the war in Europe, hence the shortage of Aussie troops in Australia when the Pascific war began. The Americans that were in the war before December 1941 had gone to the UK to enlist in their military forces.
Brisbane in Queensland was another place that had many US troops. My dad often talked about 'The Battle of Brisbane' which was two nights of rioting between United States military personnel on one side and Australian servicemen and civilians on the other side, in Brisbane on 26–27 November, 1942. My dad was on the end of a fire hose trying to seperate the 2 sides. You can read about that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Brisbane

Re: WW2 Darwin?

Posted: 16 Jan 2013 9:37PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for the reply.
I've had others confirm that the location was the War Graves Memorial in Darwin.

Re: WW2 Darwin?

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 6:13AM GMT
Classification: Query
Actually, it wasn't Darwin, but Adelaide.
Some people sent me current pictures of Adelaide at the Torrens river with the river bridge and church in the background.

Dad was stationed at Fenton Field - why he wound up in Adelaide on leave, I guess I'll never know

Thanks to all that helped,
Don

Re: WW2 Darwin?

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 6:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Don,
In Australia it is possiblie to purchase a copy of WW2 service records. WW1 are free online. Are you able to get copies of service records in the US. If so it should tell you when and where your father was posted. Not sure, but this may be the site you go to: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/
Cheers,
Diane
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