Over 75 years on mystery surrounds the claim that there was mass death of black American soldiers in Mount Isa during the Second World War.
The claim is made in the book "Outback Corridor - World War II Lines of Communications across Australia from Adelaide and Mt. Isa to Darwin" written by Alan Smith.
According to the book it was a quote from Sister Eileen Richardson who recalls the Americans arrived in Mount Isa and took over Hilton Hall which was owned by Mount Isa Mines, which became the 17th Station Hospital.
"She (Sister Eileen) remembers a tragic incident where 73 Negro soldiers died after drinking a home brew which was made in disused cyanide drums, which were probably surplus from the mines," Mr Smith wrote in the book.
"The cyanide would have seeped into the inside seams of the drums. The 73 coffins were loaded on a train and sent to Townsville possibly to the US Military Cemetery in Townsville."
The claim is repeated in the website www.ozatwar.com which quotes from the book.
Local historian Bob Forsyth says the story had floated round for years and and while he could neither confirm nor disprove it, he was inclined to believe it.
"Eileen Richardson apparently did not actually see any of the dead or the coffins, however, her recollections of what she was told by her colleagues ring true," Mr Forsyth said.
"I believe cyanide is still used as one of the flotation agents in the lead concentrator."
There is no other record of this event though some historians believe it is not outside the bounds of possibility given the heavy censorship of the era.
More than 10,000 African-American troops were based in North Queensland during the war.
There were regular clashes between white US troops and Black soldiers who were stationed in places like Mount Isa as well as Brisbane, Ipswich, Torrens Creek and Ingham.
In 2012 researcher at James Cook University, Ray Holyoak, also uncovered the story of a mutiny by African-American troops stationed in Townsville in 1942.
He said the armed rebellion by 600 soldiers, brought to northern Australia to build airfields, was a product of the racism of the US army.
Mr Holyoak found documents in the Queensland Police and the Townsville Brigade, which confirmed a 1942 visit by Congressman (and later president) Lyndon Johnson to investigate the incident.
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