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US Forces in Victoria 1942

Second World War (1939-45)
Army, Air Force, Navy

In March 1942, Australia was on its knees. The Japanese were swarming southward, Darwin had been bombed, and the vast majority of Australia’s best troops were overseas fighting the Germans. Fear of invasion was very real…

Then ships arrived at Port Melbourne bringing the first of hundreds of thousands of American troops to Victoria. It was a friendly invasion. They arrived like the cavalry in the old Hollywood western movies; 'Just in the nick of time'. The 'Yanks' came to train to fight the Japanese. They brought with them a boiling desire to 'avenge Pearl Harbour' but also new things like swing music, coca cola, nylon stockings, and a whole different version of the English language. They even brought their own serial killer. The 'G I’s' hated our food, were puzzled by our language and money, but loved our people.