From the Archives, 1942: America’s day honoured

Capt. JA Villamoor, the Philippine Air Ace, laid a wreath depicting the Philippine flag as a mark of respect for the American and Filipino soldiers who fell in the Philippines.

First-Lieutenant Sanders, head nurse of the Johns Hopkins (USA) Nursing Unit in Australia, laid a wreath in the shape of a Red Cross and the United States Consul General, Mr. Ely Palmer, laid a wreath representing the Stars and Stripes on behalf of the American Citizens in Australia.

US units made an impressive picture participating in the Troop of the Flags. The troops and nurses were cheered as they marched on from the ceremony.

The United States Minister in Australia, Mr. Nelson T. Johnson, said at the groundbreaking ceremony for the United States Legation in Canberra on Saturday that the project expresses the United States government’s belief in its belief in the permanence of Australia’s prosperity as a great one Nation.

The Prime Minister, Mr Curtin, and the Home Secretary, Senator Collings, joined Mr Johnson to pour mortar on the stone. The hilltop legation site with one of the finest views in Canberra was swept by an extremely cold wind during the brief ceremony.

Mr. Curtin gave three cheers to the King and the President. These were given vigorously.

The Governor-General, Lord Gowrie, sent the following message to Mr Johnson: “My wife and I regret very much that we are unable to be with you on this important occasion. It is our hope that the building you are laying your foundation stone for today will not only add to the beauty and dignity of Australia’s capital, but also strengthen those bonds of friendship that bind the people of the United States and the Commonwealth together and become a visible and enduring one symbol of their common crusade for the cause of freedom and future world peace.”


American soldiers attended a gala outing organized by the New South Wales Rugby League in partnership with the American Society at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday afternoon. An attractive program had been put together and was greatly enjoyed by more than 40,000 visitors.

Action from a basketball match between US and Australian soldiers at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 4th July 1942. Recognition:Karl Wakeford

An air show in which American aviators wowed the crowd was the most spectacular event.

Sydney football fans got their first taste of American touch football and a premier basketball team in action. Keen interest was shown in these American games.

Later, Americans were most impressed by the speed and action in Rugby League Country vs. City.

A large congregation attended the celebration of American Sunday at St Matthew’s Church in Manly yesterday.

Mr.spender, MP, and Chaplain Major Elliot, from the US Army, read the lessons. The Mayor of Manly, Alderman Miller and Aldermen, and Mr AEEV Reid, MLA, were present.

Rev. AR Ebbs dedicated an American flag presented by Mrs. Backhouse in memory of her son, a soldier in the last war.

Commissioned by the Australian Natives Association. Mr. HR Redding, Secretary General, telegramed the United States Secretary, Mr. Nelson T. Johnson, on Independence Day with warm regards on behalf of the Association.

“There was a lot of interest in these American games.” The scoreboard shows the USA 2-0 up and “Mr Clancy Wanted at the Members Gate”. Recognition:Karl Wakeford

Viewers barracks players in the basketball game
(from the sun)
Part of the crowd cheerily barracked an Australian basketball player at the cricket ground.

“Send him away,” they shouted as the Australian crashed headfirst into an American player. The visitor had to be treated as an outpatient.


America, won, 20 goals to 12.

One-sixties, Australian rules style, jumped to capture the ball. The game amazingly alternated up and down the field, about the size of a tennis court.

The Americans had two outstanding players. Isanuk, a tall forward from Colorado, and McDaniels, an All-States player from Kentucky.

Playing with a schoolboy-sized football, which was easier to handle, US Navy and Army teams gave Sydney a first taste of touch football. One feature was the remarkably long passing game. After each move, the defending players would huddle to discuss the next move.

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