U.S. NAVY MOBILE HOSPITAL NO. 9 (MOB 9)
US NAVAL BASE HEADQUARTERS, NAVY 134
LATER KNOWN AS USN FLEET HOSPITAL 109
CAMP HILL, BRISBANE, QLD
DURING WW2

 

U.S. Mobile Hospital No. 9 (MOB 9) was constructed by the 84th Battalion and 55th Battalion of the Seabees in June 1943.  Some of the Mob 9 station personnel assisted the Seabees to construct the hospital. The 84th Battalion and 55th Battalion also built some additional barracks, a Mine Depot at Mount Coot-tha, and a Merchant Marine anti-aircraft training station at Wellington Point while they were based in Brisbane. 

US Navy Mobile Hospital No. 9 (MOB 9) was located near the Camp Hill Hotel on Old Cleveland Road in Brisbane. The Camp Hill Hotel was possibly known as the Belmont Hotel at that time. The area occupied was to the north of Old Cleveland Road and running to Stanley Rd and from Kennington Rd to the west of Arrol St, excluding the old timber Camp Hill hotel. It may also have been known to the Seabees as "Camp 9". The names of some of the other current streets where the Hospital was originally located are Errey Street and Aubrey Street.

Mobile 9 arrived in Brisbane with sufficient prefabricated metal buildings to set up 500 beds. This was later expanded to 1000 beds and then finally to 2600 beds. The maximum number of patients at the hospital was 2200 and the average was 1500 to 1900 patients at one period. 

Admissions for the first 10 months of 1944 were 8,411 patients, comprising 511 battle casualties, 1,024 non-battle casualties and diseases including malaria, dysentery and scrub Typhus. During this same period 3,961 patients were discharged to duty and 4,737 returned to the US. 

The hospital had two large x-ray machines. Staff comprised:-

22 medical officers
48 nurses
2 chaplains
3 supply officers
1 electrician
1 machinist
396 corpsmen
317 non-medical ratings
plus various small numbers of other occupations 

All the buildings were of prefabricated metal except a storehouse, the theatre/recreation building, the laundry, the sewage pump house and the power plant building. The building's construction was not suitable for the tropical climate and the interiors of the buildings became very warm in summer. There were operating theatres, wards, a Navy brig,  a PX canteen, a picture theatre, and a mental ward including approx 150 huts. 

All U.S. Navy Hospitals were renamed in 1944 with number designations being changed to start with "101" - thus Mob 9 at Camp Hill became USN Fleet Hospital 109 from June 1944. In June 1944 the use of the name Mobile Hospital was discontinued in favour of USN Fleet Hospital 109.

On 4th February 1945, about 40% of the buildings were shipped out to the Philippines by the US Navy cargo ship "Venus"  along with Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 544.

Some buildings remained on site after the war along with the footings of the others, plus the sealed roads. There are now no visible reminders of the presence of this large World War 2 US Navy Hospital. Arrol St., Errey St, Morven St, Ascham St, Aubrey St and Arrowsmith St appear to be in exactly the same position now as they were used for MOB 9. 

The 1944 Military Phone Book for Brisbane for 1944 shows Captain H.A. Bruckshaw as the Commanding Officer for US Navy Mobile Hospital No. 9 . The location is not shown but his Phone Nos were J7911 and J7917. There is no entry in the 1945 phone book or the 1943 book. 

David Morgan advised that there are no visible remnants of the camp left today. He did say that a neighbour he was talking to in late 2001 said that when he was digging his pool he dug up some concrete stumps etc.

David Morgan's home page on Mob 9

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I'd like to thank John Cotter and David Morgan for their assistance with this home page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 11 November 2001

This page last updated 03 September 2017