The United States 153rd Station Hospital arrived in Southport from Port Moresby in early 1943, rotating field assignments with the 166th Station Hospital, and was based at The Southport School. The 153rd Station Hospital was initially established at Gatton, Queensland, in 1942 and holds the distinction of being the first operational United States Army hospital in Australia.
By 1944, the hospital at The Southport School had 650 beds offering a wide range of services. A nearby student residence called 'The Hill' (renamed 'The Lodge') was also utilised by the 153rd Station Hospital in this period as a nurses residence.
The hospital's location in relation to Southport and other 'R and R' hotspots such as Coolangatta made the posting a desirable one, with one medical officer describing the posting as "a dream", "a pleasure", and "a heavenly spot" while further describing the nearby beaches at Southport and Coolangatta as "unbelievable".
The video below contains rarely seen images of the military life of service men and women during the time that the 153rd Station Hospital was based at The Southport School. Raw footage contained in this video was supplied by The Southport School. Editing of that footage was undertaken by halfnineTM.
153rd Station Hospital video