This memorial was erected by the Australian-American Association and inaugurated on 3 May 1952 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Its distinctive 'eagle' motif predates the Australian-American Memorial in Canberra but both were funded by a public subscription. Each year a commemoration ceremony is held on the anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea which occurred in May 1942. Messages are sent by the Prime Minister of Australia and the President of the United States, and the event is attended by the Governor of Queensland and representatives of the governments and military of Australia, the United States, and Japan. Queensland and Brisbane in particular had a large number of US service personnel present during the War. General MacArthur's headquarters were located in Queen Street, and the US 7th Fleet was raised in Brisbane. The site for the memorial was chosen because it was adjacent to wharves where the remains of over 1,000 American war dead were repatriated on 22 December 1947. An estimated 30,000 people paid their respects to the cortege of one serviceman which traveled from the city centre to Newstead.