75th anniversary of the World War 2 black uprising that the American public never heard about

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tags: Black History, WWII



On May 22-23, 1942 an uprising occurred on Kelso Field in Townsville between US African-Americans of the 96th Engineers and their white commanders.

The first land battle of the Pacific War involving segregated troops of the US would not occur between two armies and their opposing ideologies, but between two races of the same democratic republic.

Initially over 1000 of the 96th were camped at Oonoonba and Fairfield.

Given the context of the Japanese advance and their attack on Darwin, Townsville was grateful for their presence.

These men attended Townsville’s dance halls, hotels and cinemas and mixed freely with the population, freedom unheard of in southern US states.

This “mixing’’ disturbed some white US troops who became determined it would end.





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