US ARMY DETENTION AND REHABILITATION CENTER AND STORES DEPOT
AT ROUND MOUNTAIN, SOUTH OF LARAVALE
IN BEAUDESERT SHIRE, QLD
DURING WW2

hline.gif (2424 bytes)

 

Location of Round Mountain Rehabilitation and Detention Center

 

The US Army established a Detention Centre and Rehabilitation Center and Stores Depot at Round Mountain, south of Laravale in Beaudesert Shire in south east Queensland during WW2. Round Mountain was once a quarry which provided ballast for the Brisbane to Kyogle section of the interstate railway line. Round Mountain is now apparently approximately half the size it used to be.

 


Photo:-  Herbert V. Wuestenberg via Philip Armour

Round Mountain Detention Centre

 


Photo:-  Herbert V. Wuestenberg via Philip Armour

Round Mountain Detention Centre

 


Photo:-  Herbert V. Wuestenberg via Philip Armour

Round Mountain Detention Centre

 

rm01.jpg (63859 bytes)
Photo: - Peter Dunn 2001

Round Mountain near Laravale

 

rm04.jpg (48030 bytes)
Photo: - Peter Dunn 2001

A closer view of Round Mountain near Laravale

 


Photo:-  Herbert V. Wuestenberg via Philip Armour

Round Mountain during WW2

 

Colonel Shoemaker from Portland, Oregon, USA was the Commanding Officer of the Round Mountain Detention and Rehabilitation Center from 9 August 1943 until early January 1945. Captain Edward N. Usnick took over as Commanding Officer after the departure of Colonel Shoemaker. Captain Usnick had been Executive Officer since the Center was activated in June 1943. Prior to the activation he had been the Utilities and Operations Officer. Captain Usnick would often provide prisoners to work on the local farms. On one occasion he sent 6 prisoners in a dodge truck to a farm, where they picked 50 to 80 acres of corn for the farmer.

The American officers from the Round Mountain Detention Centre would often visit Mrs. Louisa Todd's home at Laravale to buy cream and eggs. Todd's farm was about a mile away from Round Mountain. One day one of the guards bought a dozen eggs, broke the top of 9 of the eggs and swallowed them whole.

There were many large buildings at the Detention Centre. The majority of the buildings were located at the top of the hill. They even had their own dance floor in one of the buildings. The road into the Detention centre from the highway was often flooded at the Logan River crossing. The Americans built a bridge over the river. They drove small piles into the sand bed of the river and then dog spiked other piles onto these piles. The bridge was "toe-nailed" to the bed of the river. It was washed away by logs in a large flood in 1947.

 


Photo:-  Herbert V. Wuestenberg via Philip Armour

Bridge across the river

 

In December 2000 there were still many concrete foundations spread across a farm paddock across the road from Round Mountain. These would be the remains of the Round Mountain Detention Centre and Stores Depot.

 

rm02.jpg (41919 bytes)
Photo: - Peter Dunn 2001

Round Mountain on the left. The paddock on the right is littered with various concrete foundations.
An old brick chimney stands at the top of the hill on the right

 

Photographs taken by Herbert V. Wuestenberg and supplied to me by Philip Armour 

rm09.jpg (50635 bytes) NCO Club, Round Mountain
rm06.jpg (15866 bytes) Australian Marching Band visiting Round Mountain
rm07.jpg (31911 bytes) Carpenter's Shop
rm08.jpg (33081 bytes) Herb, John, Carl, Schulz, Floyd, and Bob
rm10.jpg (54616 bytes) 345th MP Escort Guard Company, Round Mountain 
rm11.jpg (30544 bytes) Wood pile firewood
rm13.jpg (41576 bytes) Watch Tower
rm14.jpg (33523 bytes) Rock pile where prisoners worked
rm15.jpg (20511 bytes) Entrance to Round Mountain Detention and Rehabilitation Center
rm18.jpg (46189 bytes) Overstreet and Duffy
rm19.jpg (22319 bytes) Herb Wuestenberg
rm20.jpg (39718 bytes) Herb
rm21.jpg (48844 bytes) John Muchoff and Herb
rm22.jpg (29627 bytes) Jurewicz and Herb
rm23.jpg (58018 bytes) Carl Klingbeil of Milwaulkee, Wis.
rm24.jpg (20486 bytes) Vernon Hunt from Wis. and Herb
rm26.jpg (47311 bytes) Richardson, Peterson, Frank Seborowski, and Herrick
rm27.jpg (25724 bytes) Unknown
rm28.jpg (36857 bytes) Unknown
rm29.jpg (20954 bytes) Police sign
rm30.jpg (21338 bytes) McInery, Overstreet and Herb at the Round Mountain Theater
rm31.jpg (17582 bytes) ?
rm32.jpg (38160 bytes) Oregon Avenue, Round Mountain
rm33.jpg (15151 bytes) Civic Hotel in Lismore
rm35.jpg (42680 bytes) Unknown person with a skull?
rm38.jpg (34247 bytes) Unknown person with a skull?
rm36.jpg (20359 bytes) Unknown
rm37.jpg (23719 bytes) ?

 

Frank Seborowski was one of the MP's at Round Mountain during WWII. He was 6 ft 2 ins tall and was a prize fighter for a short time before the war. Frank Seborowski loved Australia and in the 1950's he wanted to move his family, including three children to Australia. He was a skilled Tool and Die Maker. Frank was also a Stone Mason and he had the prisoners build the brick chimney which can be seen in one of the colour photos above. Frank also knew how to handle dynamite before the war, and he used it on Round Mountain, for the masonry work.

The Round Mountain Detention and Rehabilitation Center had a weekly Newsletter called the "Stone Age". A link to the 20 January 1945 edition is provided below.

 

Stone Age Volume II, 20 January 1945, Edition 3

 

Captain Edward Usnick was later in charge of moving the Detention and Rehabilitation Center to the Philippines.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Philip Armour, whose father-in-law, Herbert V. Wuestenberg, was an M.P. in the 345th Military Police Escort Guard Company at Round Mountain during WW2. He also worked as a company clerk at times. He later participated in the liberation of the Philippines before going to Australia. 

I'd like to thanks Mike Seborowski, son of MP Frank Seborowski for his assistance with this web page.

I'd like to thank Virginia Usnick, daughter of Major Edward Usnick, for her assistance with this web page and for providing me with a copy of the "Stone Age" Newsletter.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Australia Remembers 1945 - 1995, The Beaudesert Experience"
Stories written by Ailsa Rolley & Beaudesert Times

 

 

 

In Association with Amazon.com

Heaps of WW2
books available at
Amazon.com

                         "Australia @ War"
                         

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2006

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


"Australia @ War"
Available on a Data DVD

Peter Dunn's
explode.gif (15799 bytes) AUSTRALIA @ WAR explode.gif (15799 bytes)
WWW.OZATWAR.COM


Do you need a holiday!
Sun, surf, beautiful beaches and lots more!


  Genealogy Software
190 Mbytes of Genealogy Indexes & Programs

This page first produced 27 December 2000

This page last updated 04 May 2013