World War II transformed Australian-American relations. The strategic alliance between the two countries left a significant legacy in terms of foreign policy and regional security. The one million U.S. servicemen who passed through Australia influenced Australian culture and spread new ideas about music, food, language and daily behaviours. War also provided the opportunity for close personal friendships to develop between Australian civilians and American soldiers.
The 1st Marine Division adopted the traditional Australian folksong ‘Waltzing Matilda’ as their ‘battle hymn’ and continue to sing it at their annual reunions. Veteran Marines have always remembered Melbourne as ‘their second home’.