Bayside Area – The Role in WWII with US Army

Capalaba was an important component in the US Army and allied victory in the Pacific in  World War Two. The Pacific war commenced with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 7 December 1941.

Brisbane was the center for US headquarters from mid-1942.  General MacArthur arrived in on 21 July 1942 shortly after having been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area. The United States army immediately set up radio communications.

Early in 1943 the army’s most important radio receiving and transmitting stations were operational at Capalaba and at Hemmant. Both were located strategically near Moreton Bay for optimum reception and transmission of communications to and from the allied forces. Radio infrastructure was heavily deployed, much of which remained in use after the war. Message handling is critical in wartime and importantly both sites worked to save thousands of lives through the movement of very large volumes of messages correctly and in a timely manner.

Very little was known about these top secret sites and the technology used at the time. An important historical record was pieced together by our own BDARS member Laurence J. Murray, VK4LO, with the assistance of a number of radio amateurs within the Society and elsewhere in Australia and overseas.  This report was based on interviews with people who worked at the sites after the war and who in some instances knew those who had worked for the Americans.

The account documents the records from various sources including Commonwealth Government Archives, and local, state and international arenas. The material includes a lot of technical data and facts that are not only important in a historical sense but lay the foundation for technical information for future generations. Please click this link to access the document Redlands Military Radio Heritage Investigation.

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