Marines & Melburnians
With preconceived ideas often gleaned from Hollywood movies, Australians were generally ill informed about the United States. And the Marines initially knew little about Australia and its way of life.
Marines and Melburnians eagerly learned about each others ‘real’ habits and customs. As the official 1st Marine Division history recorded, within a short time:
…the incidents of mild displeasure that resulted from the essential provincialism of both peoples were no longer noticed. The Americans were no longer shocked, for example, to discover that even young Australians wore false teeth. And Australian girls no longer startled our men by refusing to believe their teeth were real. One Marine, describing such an experience, said, “Finally this babe with me reached over and took hold of my teeth and tried to yank ‘em and I let her. She was sure surprised when nothing gave!”
The Old Breed, 1949