VIPs

As Anzac Day draws nearer, it is interesting to think about what life was like in Cairns during the World War 11 during a time when the city was the base for thousands of Australian and American soldiers involved in the Pacific operations.

That brought the occasional celebrity or VIP to the city, often staying at the Hides Hotel.

Even the “Duke” took the trip down under to entertain the troops in January 1944. John Wayne was a big star in those days and is pictured here with a US Weather Squadron member at the Cairns Aerodrome.

Other VIP visitors includes America’s first lady at the time, Eleanor Roosevelt, Australian General Sir Thomas Blamey, and the Supreme Allied Commander of the Southwest Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur.

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Last updated: 16 June 2020