During World War II, Townsville was a crucial base for campaigns into the
Pacific, including the Battle of the Coral Sea.
About 600 African-American troops were brought to the city to help build airfields.
Mr Holyoak says these troops, from the 96th Battalion, US Army Corps of Engineers, were stationed at a base on the city's western outskirts known as Kelso.
This was the site for a large-scale siege lasting eight hours, which was sparked by racial taunts and violence.
"After some serial abuse by two white US officers, there was several ringleaders and they decided to machine gun the tents of the white officers," Mr Holyoak said.
Forcing the Blacks to work unsafe was common at that time.
How does building airfields during war time, and forcing blacks to do unsafe work compute? I don't see the connection between the two.
Building the airfields was their assigned duties. They decided to fire machine guns into the tents instead of taking their complaint up the line.
No....no way to justify it.