Regarding Roger Pulvers’ Aug. 16 Counterpoint article, “Japanese attacks provoked a seismic ‘me-too’ shift Down Under“: Pulvers is correct that the U.S. Army under Gen. Douglas MacArthur did give second-class treatment to the Australian military under its command. That was not the case, however, with the U.S. Navy, with which Australian naval vessels served equally in battles such as the Coral Sea, Savo Island and Leyte Gulf. The Battle of the Coral Sea prevented the Japanese from taking Port Moresby and thereby moving more land-based bombers into range of Australia.
Pulvers states at the end of his column that the Australians have yet many more “awkward truths” and “rude awakenings” to experience. He neglected to mention one of these that happened with MacArthur during World War II. MacArthur wanted American black troops to serve in the southwest Pacific Theater. The Australian military and civilian leaders strenuously objected. MacArthur overruled them and ordered Australia to help support the employment of black troops. Perhaps Pulvers can confirm whether the Australians took advantage of this opportunity to confront any awkward truths about their own country and culture revealed by this episode.