The Pacific: Australia Liberty
Last nights’ Episode 3 of The Pacific brought the Marines to Melbourne for Liberty and love, rejuvenation and retraining. With good reason, the Australians enthusiastically welcomed the Americans with open arms and open hearts, Marines, Sailors, all of them. Port Moresby had been bombed. The Australians had felt the beginning onslaught of the Japanese military machine. They fully understood what the Americans had done at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of the Solomons and Guadalcanal. In my interviews with the USS Nashville crew, to a man, they all cited Australia as their best liberty, by far. On one occasion, women’s “undies” were hanging from windows as the ship approached docking. Families took the crew into their homes and treated them like sons, often as their own sons were halfway around the world fighting Germans in North Africa. The Australians fought bravely with the American Navy during the Solomon Islands naval battles and throughout the war. Their famous “Coastwatchers” provided invaluable intelligence on Japanese naval and troop movements. All in all, it was as good as it gets between allies.