ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation The streets of Brisbane's CBD were turned into a war zone for two nights 67 years ago today, resulting in the death of one Australian serviceman and scores of injuries.
The 'Battle of Brisbane' refers to the ray ban carbon fiber mass street brawls and riots between Australian and United States servicemen on November 26 and 27 in 1942. The usually friendly interaction, camaraderie and jocularity between the Australians and the Americans turned violent rayban sunglass price after a series of ray ban official discount store nasty incidents fuelled by alcohol, mistaken intentions, deep social divides and a toxic relationship between the high commands of the armies. Mr Macklin says since the American army had arrived in Australia (or invaded, as was the view among many Australian soldiers), differences in social attitudes had slowly been building towards a climax. "It started, basically, because the Americans were getting off with the pretty girls of Brisbane and the Australians were feeling very much left out of it," he said. "The Americans had the smart uniforms, they had all of the PX [Postal Exchange] materials, the nylon stockings and the turkeys and the ice cream that they could lavish upon their ladies and the Australians pretty much ray ban sunglasses aviator had nothing. "They had lumpy old uniforms and not very much money and they couldn't get the luxuries." First skirmishDrinking beer and walking towards the American Postal Exchange on the corners of Creek and Adelaide streets on the evening of November 26, US Private James Stein became friendly with three Australian soldiers, who had also been drinking. Supposedly, the first skirmish in the 'Battle of Brisbane' occurred when Private Stein was stopped and questioned by a US military policeman (MP) Private Anthony O'Sullivan. Taking umbrage at the apparently aggressive treatment of Private Stein by Private O'Sullivan, the Aussie soldiers stepped in and told Private O'Sullivan to back off. An argument ensued and the MP brandished his baton. A fight erupted and soon a number of Australian soldiers and civilians joined the fray. Private Stein retreated to the Postal Exchange but an unlucky Private O'Sullivan had to be dragged back. The Australian mantra of always looking out for your mates snowballed until hundreds of military personnel and civilians joined brawls. Brawls escalateSoon, around 100 Australian soldiers had crowded around the Postal Exchange and were pelting it with bottles, stones, sticks and even a parking sign. Barricades had been erected by the US servicemen and Queensland policemen to keep the Aussies out of the PX. By now, brawls and scuffles were erupting at random throughout the streets. By 8pm, it is said between 2,000 to 5,000 men were involved in the disturbances throughout the city's CBD. But Mr Macklin says that figure may be a bit too high. "We say between 2,000 and 4,000, because that's the figures that we were given, but I think that's probably a little bit high," he said. "If you think about that area, that intersection [where fights were] if you had 1,000 people in that intersection it would be very crowded indeed. Soldier killedIt was around this time that a shotgun was produced by Private Norbert Grant, an MP, outside the PX. In the fracas to remove the gun, it was fired three times.
Australian gunner in the 2/2 Anti Tank Regiment, Private Edward Webster was killed and several others were wounded. The violence had settled by 10pm with around a dozen serious injuries and hundreds of minor ones. "In Brisbane, you had the one bloke killed and at least eight other Australian servicemen wounded by the shotgun that was fired by the American, Norbert J Grant," Mr Macklin said.
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