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Title: An American party - 1942
Name: Smith, Tom
My Story: The camp was approaching its conclusion and some of the rules were relaxed. A concert had been arranged in the American section to which all the Australians next door had been invited. Times were limited to 2000 hours to 2300 hours. It was the custom in America for a complete band to enlist in a unit, and it would be the central point of their entertainment, as well as doing normal duties. The particular professional band of this unit was named "The Premiers". From the very first tune - "In the Mood" - they set the pattern for the evening. It was their signature time, and was, of course, one of the top tunes in the war era. Tom cannot recall how many times the tune was played that evening but he still continues to sing it fifty years later. There was only a small ration of drinks (Australian) available, but it was better than nothing. About 2200 hours there was a continuous noise as truck after truck arrived. Word was quickly relayed that the first lot of American amenities had eventually arrived. It couldn't have come at a better time. As the "goodies" were unloaded, canned beer, candy, cigarettes were distributed around in large quantities. American beer is sweet, but it was a popular beverage that evening. "In the Mood" had taken on a new lease of life, and celebrations had reached a new pitch. It had to be the best night the Unit had enjoyed up until this time - and incidentally for the remainder of their time in the Territory. Naturally the 2300 hours deadline became a non event, and it was about 0300 hours next day that everybody retired - tired but happy. Two days later the Unit was transferred overseas. Our Intelligence Unit noted that their transport had encountered problems, and only a small section of their unit survived. It was sad news because many friendships had been made in that short period of time.
Appears in Collections:Territory Times Gone By

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