Australian-American Memorial

Location of Australian-American Memorial

Newstead Park
Newstead QLD 4006

Located near the northeast tip of Newstead Park at the mouth of Breakfast Creek, the memorial consists of a 10.7m high Helidon sandstone pillar, with an American Eagle mounted at the top.

A plaque attached to the west side of the pillar records the erection of the memorial, while a plaque on a marble plinth at the base of the same side was added for the Australian bicentenary in 1988.

A plaque mounted on a marble plinth at the base of the east side of the memorial was added in 1995 to commemorate 50 years since the end of the War in the Pacific.

There are two flagpoles to the west.

Inscription

Main plaque, west side of pillar:

THEY PASSED THIS WAY

THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED
BY THE PEOPLE OF QUEENSLAND
IN GRATEFUL MEMORY
OF THE CONTRIBUTION
MADE BY THE PEOPLE
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
TO THE DEFENCE OF AUSTRALIA
DURING THE 1939-45 WAR LONG MAY IT STAND
AS A SYMBOL OF UNITY
OF ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLES
IN THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM

Plaque at base of west side of memorial:

AUSTRALIA 1788-1988

THIS PLAQUE COMMEMORATES
200 YEARS OF AUSTRALIAN
AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP,IN PEACE AND IN WAR.
MAY THE NEXT 200 YEARS
BRING ONLY PEACE.

Plaque at base of east side of memorial:

AUSTRALIA REMEMBERS
1945-1995

IN THE FIFTIETH YEAR
OF VICTORY
IN THE PACIFIC
THIS PLAQUE IS DEDICATED TO
THE AUSTRALIAN & AMERICAN
SERVICE MEN & WOMEN
WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES
SO THAT WE MAY ENJOY PEACE

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

Conflicts commemorated
Second World War, 1939–1945
Memorial type
Column/obelisk/pillar
Commemorative services held

Each year the Battle of the Coral Sea is commemorated at the memorial by representatives of the governments and militaries of Australia, the United States and Japan.

Additional information

From 1942 to 1945 Newstead House was occupied by the Photographic Detachment of the 832nd Signal Service Company of the Signal Section of the United States Amy Services of Supply (USASOS).

On 22 December 1947, 30,000 people watched a State funeral procession held in Brisbane for an unknown US soldier, who was transported on a gun carriage from the US Mausoleum No.4 at Redbank to King George Square in Brisbane.

The soldier had been chosen to represent a total of 1871 US service personnel who were being repatriated to the US from cemeteries in Ipswich (1406 souls*, site now Manson Park), and Rookwood in Sydney (465 souls). Their steel caskets were carried to the Newstead wharf, and were loaded onto the American ship USAT Goucher Victory.

At this time calls were made for a memorial to commemorate America’s WWII assistance to Australia, and the presence of the Americans in Brisbane.

The Australian-American Memorial at Newstead Park was erected by the Australian-American Association, which had started public fundraising in March 1950, and construction in May 1951.

The memorial, which cost £2000, was unveiled in a ceremony on 3 May 1952, by the Queensland Governor, Sir John Lavarack, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea (fought 4-8 May 1942).

The Eagle was sculpted by Tom Farrell, of PJ Lowther and Son.

The memorial was the first American war memorial in Australia, predating a similar, larger memorial dedicated in Canberra by Queen Elizabeth II in February 1954.

On 28 April 1954, Admiral William ‘Bull’ Halsey visited the Newstead memorial for a service in commemoration of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

*Numbers given for the Ipswich burials/exhumations vary by source and include: 1260 (plaque at Manson Park); 1397 (Queensland Times, 20 December 1947); and 1406 (‘USAF Military Cemetery Ipswich’) Some remains were temporarily moved to the Ipswich cemetery from elsewhere, prior to their final trip home to the US.

Recorded by
Dr Daniel Morgan
Date recorded
19 February 2018