United States Navy Enlisted Men’s Rest Camp No 5
Pat Fagan Park
Pat Fagan Park, Marine Parade, Coolangatta 4225
During World War II Brisbane was utilised as a base by the United States Navy (USN). To provide for the recreation needs of USN personnel (6,153 men and women in Brisbane in September 1944), rest camps for Enlisted Men were provided at Redcliffe, Toowoomba and Coolangatta, and for Officers at Surfer’s Paradise.
The Coolangatta Rest Area included five rest camps for Enlisted Men, and two hotels specifically for submariners. Camp No. 1 was located at Kirra Beach, along the foreshore north of Musgrave Street, in today’s Roughton Park. Huts, ablutions and latrines, a kitchen/mess and an Officer’s quarters and sick bay were located between the intersection with Winston Street and Lord Street, as well as down the east side of Lord Street.
Camp No. 2 was at Kirra Hill, while Camp No. 3 was on Marine Parade at Coolangatta Beach. Camp No. 4 was located at Greenmount, and Camp No. 5 was at Greenmount Hill. The latter camp was located in today’s Pat Fagan Park, to the north of Marine Parade. Camp No. 5 included five huts divided into 10 single cabins, a mess and recreation room, ablutions and latrines.
The two hotels used for USN submariners were McDonald’s Hotel Grande (corner of Griffith Street and Dixon Street Coolangatta), and the Pacifique Hotel in Tweed heads.
National Australian Archives LS720, Coolangatta- US Navy Men’s Rest Camp Site No. 1 Kirra Sea Front, Parish of Tallebudgera, County of Ward, 1943.
National Australian Archives Folder C Folio 100, Cooloongatta US Naval Rest Camp - Water Supply and Drainage - Site Plan [1/C/443] 1945
OZ at War website - “Base Facilities, US Naval Activities Southwest Pacific Area, in Brisbane and nearby areas, Queensland, Australia during WW2".