Chemical Warfare Training Area
- Scientific facility
(end of) Broadmount Rail Line, Thompsons Point 4702
Between mid 1942 and early 1944 Rockhampton was home to two of the four full US Army Divisions (the 24th, 32nd and 41st Infantry divisions, and the 1st Cavalry Division) which trained in Queensland during World War II. The 41st Division, a National Guard unit, was sent to Rockhampton in July 1942, where it was accommodated in Camp Rockhampton.
The US I (1st) Corps Headquarters, under Major General Robert L. Eichelberger, arrived in Rockhampton in August. At this time I Corps included the 41st Division and the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division (also a National Guard unit), which had arrived in Adelaide in May 1942. However, the 32nd did not go to Rockhampton, instead camping south of Brisbane at Camp Cable from July 1942.
The third division to join I Corps, and the second US division sent to Rockhampton, was the 24th Infantry Division, which arrived in Rockhampton in September 1943. The main units of the 24th Division were accommodated at Camp Caves.
Another small camp for American troops was located at Thompson’s Point, on land acquired in December 1942. This site, located east of Thompsons Point Road, between Broadmount Road and the north bank of the Fitzroy River, included 3 kitchens, 4 bath houses, 10 latrines, a 10,000 gallon water tank and a pump house, all constructed by the Public Works Department.
To the east of Camp Thompson’s Point, and apparently associated with it, was a Chemical Warfare Training Area (Gas) of 659 acres at Broadmount, located at the end of the former Broadmount Railway. This land was acquired in October 1943, was used by I Corps, and was vacated in February 1944.
McCarthy, D. 1959. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 1 - Army. “Volume V - South-West Pacific Area - First Year: Kokoda to Wau."
Dexter, D. 1961. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 1 - Army. “Volume VI - The New Guinea Offensives."
Charlton, P. 1991. South Queensland WWII 1941–45, Boolarong, Brisbane.
National Archives of Australia, various items, control symbols MAP 44, MAP 45, and MAP 129.
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41st Infantry Division (United States), Wikipedia.
Division History, 41st Infantry Division
24th Infantry Division (United States), Wikipedia.
Division history, 24th Infantry Division
32nd Infantry Division (United States), Wikipedia.