Still in Japan

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No matter where he is or what he’s doing, Smitty will be seen touring the sights. In Japan, he also did his best to absorb the culture that surrounded him.

One of many brochures Smitty brought home

One of many brochures Smitty brought home

Inside the above brochure, Smitty wrote, “Right after we left this place, it burnt down. This was really a million dollar joint! Wow! The girls here, by the way, are very nice. I like these people much better than the Filipinos.” (Just to remind the reader, and in all fairness, Smitty had lost his best friend to a Filipino Japanese sympathizer (makipilli) with a grenade booby-trap in his cot)

In October 1945, General Pierson was transferred back home. He was replaced by General Shorty Soule who had commanded the 188th regiment in both training and combat. He was later promoted to assistant division commander of the 38th Division and at this point he began to head the Miyagi Task Force.

Postcards from Japan

Postcards from Japan

Hereafter, the troopers began to return to the States as they collected their “points” and the replacements that were arriving were not jump qualified. Gen. Swing established yet another jump school, the fourth one in the history of the 11th Airborne. This one was established at the former Japanese Air Corps base near Yanome; about 15 miles from Sendai.

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Following through with his own requirements that all men in the division be both paratroopers and glidermen, Swing started a glider school in the summer of 1946 at Yamoto Air Base. [renamed Carolus Field, in honor of Cpl. Charles Carolus, killed in a glider crash near Manila 22 July 1945]

In Japan

In Japan

On the reverse side of the picture above, Smitty wrote, “a beauty of a flock of ducks were going by just as the jerk snapped the camera.”

The 187th Regiment, was by this time, now being called “Rakkasans” (umbrella men) by the Japanese, a name which stayed with them through four wars: WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Storm.

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A Farewell Salute – This obituary is about the European Theatre, but I felt it deserved to be shown…

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Click photos to enlarge.

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Resources: “The Angel” and “Rakkasans” by Gen. E.M. Flanagan; The Week magazine and Everett’s scrapbook

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 3, 2013, in SMITTY, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I think had he been successful in the assassination attempt,someone would have jumped to take hitlers place. It doesn’t matter who the leader is, It is the continuation of the evil that lives and still lives today, no matter how hard we try to erase or change it………….

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  2. Japan ranks up there in places I would like to visit . . . thanks for the tour of yesteryear.

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  3. It must have been interesting and rather strange to be sight seeing in the land of your former enemy.

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  4. As always, a fascinating post. And I learnt a lot of terms (e.g. ‘jump qualified’, ‘umbrella men’). Thank you.

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  5. Thanks for liking my Colourful Cairns post.

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  6. What a horrible life von Kleist and millions of others had. The entirety of WW II and all of the other wars is a nightmare and a blemish on the human race. Thank you for not letting us forget because we must never forget.

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  7. Had he been successful in assassinating Hitler, what a different history we would have.

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  8. I love the art on the cover of the “How to see Nikko” guide book. It manages to be reminiscent of its era without being confined to it.

    Superb post!

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