CHRONICLES OF THE GREEN AND DALY FAMILIES
from Redhill to Gympie

A tribute to Michael Christian Daly & Eileen Gertrude Green,to their descendants and to their ancestors and to the many cousins
     

Townsville Riots in World War II
The article below, extracted from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-10/historian-reveals-details-on-townsville-mutiny/3821906 on December 2015, forms part of the research into the life history of Michael Christian Daly (1917-1988) - see adjacent menu. He would recall his posting in 1942 to Townsville at the time of riots by the African-American soldiers. The rioters were marching on the city and his unit was lined up with their guns pointing towards them. Michael said he was in a moral quandry if he had been given the order to fire upon the rioters. He said that he had made up his mind to follow the order if it was given, but to fire above their heads. The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) has reported on the Townsville US Servicemen Riots. The incidents are also described at www.ozatwar.com/ozatwar/riotupperross.htm.


Secret documents lift lid on WWII mutiny by US troops in north Queensland
by Josh Bavas Updated 10 Feb 2012, 12:24pm

An Australian historian has uncovered hidden documents which reveal that African American troops used machine guns to attack their white officers in a siege on a US base in north Queensland in 1942.

Information about the Townsville mutiny has never been released to the public.

But the story began to come to light when James Cook University's Ray Holyoak first began researching why US congressman Lyndon B Johnson visited Townsville for three days back in 1942.

What he discovered was evidence detailing one of the biggest uprisings within the US military.

"For 70 years there's been a rumour in Townsville that there was a mutiny among African-American servicemen. In the last year and a half I've found the primary documentation evidence that that did occur in 1942," Mr Holyoak told AM. During World War II, Townsville was a crucial base for campaigns into the Pacific, including the Battle of the Coral Sea.

About 600 African-American troops were brought to the city to help build airfields.

Mr Holyoak says these troops, from the 96th Battalion, US Army Corps of Engineers, were stationed at a base on the city's western outskirts known as Kelso.

This was the site for a large-scale siege lasting eight hours, which was sparked by racial taunts and violence.

"After some serial abuse by two white US officers, there was several ringleaders and they decided to machine gun the tents of the white officers," Mr Holyoak said.

He has uncovered several documents hidden in the archives of the Queensland Police and Townsville Brigade detailing what happened that night.

According to the findings, the soldiers took to the machine guns and anti-aircraft weapons and fired into tents where their white counterparts were drinking.

More than 700 rounds were fired.

At least one person was killed and dozens severely injured, and Australian troops were called in to roadblock the rioters.

Mr Holyoak also discovered a report written by Robert Sherrod, a US journalist who was embedded with the troops.

It never made it to the press, but was handed to Lyndon B Johnson at a Townsville hotel and eventually filed away into the National Archives and Records Administration.

"I think at the time, it was certainly suppressed. Both the Australian and the US government would not have wanted the details of this coming out. The racial policies at the time really discluded [sic] people of colour," Mr Holyoak says.

Both the Australian Defence Department and the Australian War Memorial say it could take months to research the incident, and say they have no details readily available for public release.

But Townsville historian Dr Dorothy Gibson-Wilde says the findings validate 70-year-old rumours.

"Anytime it was raised, people usually sort of said, 'Oh you know, no that can't be true. Nobody's heard about that', and in fact it must have been kept pretty quiet from the rest of the town," she said.

Mr Holyoak will spend the next two years researching the sentences handed out to both the officers and the mutineers involved, and why the information has been kept secret for so long.

Copyright material is acknowledged and is used for research and study purposes to the extent permitted by law and may not distributed nor commercially exploited without written permission