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Camp Luna Park

Cloudland Entertainment Venue

  • Military camp
  • Brisbane City

Boyd Street, Bowen Hills 4006

In late 1942 the amusement area known as Luna Park in Bowen Hills was hired by the US Army as a camp for members of its Signal Corps and guard detachments. Various detachments were quartered there during the war, making particular use of the large Cloudland ballroom as barracks. Mr. D.H. McInnes remained the wartime trustee of the amusement park.

History

In mid-1942 16 officers and men of the US 837th Signal Service Detachment arrived in Melbourne where the unit was augmented and integrated with Australian personnel. Following the movement of Macarthur's headquarters, the detachment arrived in Brisbane in September 1942. The 837th was deactivated in May 1943, becoming the Special Intelligence Service (SIS), a combined command under US and Australian officers commanded by Colonel Harold Doud. Later that year, command fell to Colonel A. Sinkov. While the headquarters and some accommodation for the SIS was in Henry St, Ascot, the expanding unit saw a number of personnel quartered at Luna Park. The US troops were unimpressed, describing their quarters as "a magnificent, jerry-built, unsuccessful Coney Island."

Other units known to have been quartered at Camp Luna Park included the 832d Signal Photographic Detachment, and GHQ guard detachment. After the US forces left 'Cloudland' was occupied 1st Australian Chief Engineers (1st CE) Camp, officers for that unit being billeted in the nearby residence 'Montpelier'.

Source/comments

Special Intelligence Service in the Far East 1942–1946: an historical and pictorial record, SIS Record Association, 1946.

Roger Marks, Brisbane—WW2 v Now: Vol 2, Cloudland & Cintra, Brisbane, 2005

NA digital camp layout image 3279358 in Series BP378, Item I-L (46–66)

Last updated
30 June 2014