Presented is a WWII souvenir pennant celebrating the U.S. Navy forces arriving in Australia. The navy blue field has a light blue headband with ties and is decorated with the red outline of Australia underneath the U.S. Great Seal. Below that sits a white anchor with the abbreviation, “U.S.N” and the words, “Souvenir of U.S.N in Australia.” At the very bottom towards the fly end, is a light blue kangaroo. Framed according to archival standards, this pennant symbolizes a collaborative agreement between the United States and Australia during the height of the Second World War in the Pacific Theater.
As the Second World War unfolded, many new groups of people met on a large scale for the first time. With the inaccessibility of world travel to most people, when American servicemen were stationed in Australia, it was likely the first time the two cultures truly interacted. Australia is a member of the British Commonwealth and during the war the country requested military aid from England. When it became clear that England would be unable to help defend her sister country, Australian Prime Minister John Curtin called on America to assist in protecting Australia from Japanese attack. Between 1942 and 1945 nearly one million U.S. troops passed through Australia while America helped defend the country’s borders and tried to recapture the Philippines.
Despite one famous servicemen brawl that grew to encompass multiple city streets, Australians and Americans got along well and celebrations were held in honor of the joint military efforts. Basing their perception of America off of Hollywood films, the young men in impressive uniforms who used words such as “ma’am” and “sir” solidified many of the stereotypes held by the Australian civilians. Souvenirs such as this pennant were produced for both soldiers and civilians to celebrate the countries’ joint efforts. This unique piece of WWII history is a testament to not only a large scale military operation in the Pacific Theater, but also the successful cooperation between two countries on opposite sides of the Earth.
Overall very good condition. The felt flag has some mild creases, but no loss or discoloration. The painted decorations are slightly cracked from age, but do not affect the overall appearance of the piece. This pennant has been attractively framed with UV-protective glass, according to archival standards.
Framed Dimensions: 14" H x 31" W x 2" D
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