Did Australians give USN free drinks during WWII?

My dad has told me many stories about life in the “olden days”. One of them is that during and just after WWII the Australians were so grateful to the US for keeping Japan away that, they gave free drinks to all members of the US Navy that came to visit. This supposedly took place during and just after WWII. This sounds plausible but, dad has stretched the truth on more than one occasion. So did US sailors get free drinks?

I wouldn’t be surprised.

A friend who recently returned from Iraq said that he can walk into almost any bar in rural Minnesota (and also in many working class urban neighborhoods) and people will buy him drinks.

I would not find it at all surprising.

However, the sailors may not have quite understood the local customs. After you are shouted a drink in a bar in Australia, it’s understood that you will return the shout on a following round of drinks.

This is the custom among drinkers all over the world. It’s always happy hour somewhere.

It’s not uncommon for Canadian servicemen, or hell, even the RELATIVES of Canadian servicemen, to get free drinks in the Netherlands to this day. And it’s been 65 frickin’ years since we liberated the Netherlands. So, hell, why not?

A lot of Americans died in the Coral Sea. A few drinks is a reasonable thank you.

Battle of Brisbane, a low point in the alliance

Here’s an interesting article from Time, March 31, 1941

Full story from Time