Camp Darra

McEwan Park

Ammunition facility
Greater Brisbane

Archerfield Road, Inala 4077

In early 1942 Richlands became host to one of the largest U.S. Army Ordnance Depots in the South West Pacific. The Depot was constructed off Archerfield Rd, and to accommodate the personnel a camp was established in the vicinity of what is now known as McEwan Park.


Within the camp were four large wooden huts, fifty bell tents, a parade ground and an open air picture theatre. The Darra Ordnance Depot was manned predominately by units composed of African-American soldiers under the direction of white officers. There were several other U.S camps in the vicinity; these were Camp Freeman, Camp Columbia at Wacol, Camp Oxley and Redbank.

The Richlands residents were permitted to attend the open-air cinema held on Saturday nights in the camp. This not only helped with good relations between the Americans and locals but was also believed to boost morale in the soldiers. From the accounts of several Richlands residents relations between the Americans and locals were amicable. One of the main concerns expressed by locals during the war years was the harsh treatment given to the black soldiers by the white officers. Several accounts of excessive force and cruelty used by the officers on Camp Darra personnel exist. This treatment, coupled with the strict rules of segregation, contributed to a growing feeling of resentment within the African-American units. Occasional outbreaks of violence were quickly quelled by military police.


US Army Centre of military History website:

U.S. Army Ordnance Corps online.

Australia @ War

E. Daniel Potts and Annette Potts, Yanks Downunder 1941–1945: The American Impact on Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1985.

Kay Saunders, “Racial Conflict in Brisbane in WWII: The Imposition of Patterns of Segregation upon Black American Servicemen", Brisbane at War, Brisbane History Group Papers, No. 4, p 29-34.

Kay Saunders, War on the Homefront: State Intervention in Queensland, 1938-1948, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1993.

Vicki Mynott, World War Two Stories From Brisbane’s South West: Richlands, Darra, Wacol, Goodna and Oxley, Richlands, Inala and Suburbs History Group Inc, 2006.

BCC Heritage Unit files