At around 2330hrs on the night of Saturday 20th March 1943, a fight broke out in Donegall Street, Belfast. The tussle in the street resulted in the alleged stabbing of three civilian men from the city.
Reports suggest the locals became involved in a fight with some black GIs serving in the United States Army. One of the American soldiers later admitted brandishing a knife, and received punishment from military authorities. The scene of the attack was outside the ABC Café at 187 Donegall Street, Belfast.
The victims received treatment in Mater Hospital, Crumlin Road, Belfast. In September 1943, Judge Black at Belfast Recorder’s Court awarded each of the three men compensation.
John Robertson, aged 25 years old was a plumber’s mate from 17 Walbeck Street, Belfast. He received £25, having sustained a stab wound to the chest. Richard McCullough, aged 25 years old was a painter from 22 Dawson Street, Belfast. He received £100, having sustained a stab wound to the abdomen. The third man received £40 compensation, having also picked up stab wounds to the abdomen. He was John Cooke, a blacksmith’s helper from Brussels Street East, Belfast.