Exhibits

Our Museum has three main sections:  

MacArthur the Man

Meet the General, from his birth on the American frontier, his daring exploits in World War I, to his arrival in Brisbane, through his inspiring leadership in that perilous time, and on to his greatest administrative achievement in leading the political and economic revival of  Japan after the war and his greatest military triumph at Inchon in the Korean War.
 
Highlight:  Visit the office from where the General directed the war in the Southwest Pacific

Learn more:  Online MacArthur in Brisbane

 

Brisbane Goes to War

Explore the exciting period from July 1942-August 1945.  See the effects of the war on the men, women and children of the city, civilians and military, when hundreds of thousands of American, Australian, Dutch and British servicemen put a huge strain on our transport systems, hotels, food production and entertainment facilities and when everyone had 'a bit' to do to win the war. 
Learn about:

  • The Army camps, the military airfields, the submarine base and other naval facilities around Brisbane
  • The reserved occupations, especially Queensland Rail, and their contribution to the war effort
  • Austerity and rationing
  • Internment of aliens
  • Code breaking and secret communications

Highlight: Watch a compilation of footage from the war years in which you can see a vanished Brisbane thronged with troops, and recognize a few iconic buildings and bridges that have survived.

Highlight:  The front page of every The Courier-Mail with the stories, as read by Brisbane people at the time, searchable by date and by topic

Learn more:  Online Brisbane goes to war

Australians and Americans – Brisbane Wartime Stories

Find out what started the brawl known as the "Battle" of Brisbane
Discover "the Green Hornet", Sigsaly, and the origins of digital voice encryption which enabled General MacArthur to confer with the Pentagon in complete security from enemy interceptions
Learn about the top secret work of the Code Breakers of the Central Bureau and the Allied Translation and Interpretation Section

Highlight: See the control column of the plane in which Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of Pearl Harbor, was  was shot down by Allied pilots. Code Breakers here and in Hawaii learned he’d be flying over Bougainville in April 1943 and Navy aviators were able to bring him down. The control column was recovered in the 1970s and given to the Museum in recognition of the work done here in Brisbane to intercept messages and crack the codes. The finders reported that the Admiral had been belted into his seat and thrown clear of the crash. One hand still grasped his Japanese sword.

Highlight: War Brides Hundreds of women married American servicemen and sailed off to start new lives in the United States. Some lived happily ever after, and some came back to Australia with their husbands.

Learn more:  Online MacArthur and the ANZUS Alliance