Monthly Archives: July 2013

USA Home Front 1950’s

Arvin TV ad

Arvin TV ad

By the time WWII was over, the American people were exhausted. They had given their all between enduring the Great Depression and then depriving themselves even more for the war effort. They had had rationing and lost their men. They wanted to forget it all and as quickly as possible. They wanted their lives to change, to move forward and they went for these goals with both feet.

The military at home was being drastically reduced and there was ample talk of eliminating the Marine Corps entirely. Among those in favor of that budget-cut included such men as: Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower and Louis Johnson, Secretary of Defense. Johnson was responsible for the Corps being down to only 70,000 men, spread throughout the world.

John Wayne in Camels ad

John Wayne in Camels ad

When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the whole country, no matter where they were or what they were doing, remember hearing the news and were immediately aware that the country was at war. This was not so in 1950 when the North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel. As we enter the Korean War section, you will clearly notice the transformation on the home front. The lifestyle described in my guest posts for Greatest Generations drastically changes from the WWII era and partly accounts for why this became such a forgotten war.

Harriet Nelson for Hotpoint

Harriet Nelson for Hotpoint

The American public knew nothing of “police actions,” in fact, the term did not exist until the media coined the phrase. President Truman was capable of committing U.S. troops to a combat zone without a declaration of war by Congress – who knew? The idealism, enthusiasm and support from WWII was rapidly fading.

The civilians wanted communist aggression halted, but not at the cost of losing more troops; especially the longer it seemed to drag on – was it really worth the cost? There were very few protests against the war and some reason for that were the infamous McCarthy Senate investigations; many feared being put on “the list” of communist sympathizers. Joseph McCarthy’s accusations that the government contained “card-carrying” members proved unfounded, but his hearings continues, as did the newspaper headlines. The political atmosphere of the U.S. was poisoned and when General MacArthur was reined in – the situation deteriorated all the more.

Coffee pot that turns off automatically!

Coffee pot that turns off automatically!

In December 1950, Truman ordered that all statements made by government or military officials must be cleared by Washington first; the trust and support for the war dropped even farther. The polls showed 56% of all Americans felt the U.S. had made a mistake by getting involved. In the spring of 1951, the Truman administration became the most unpopular in American history (to that date). The president wanted a limited war, while MacArthur and many in Congress felt, “there is no substitute for victory.” A ‘win or get out attitude’ would begin the general’s dismissal and the polls read 60% for MacArthur and 29% for Truman.

International Harvester Refrigerator

International Harvester Refrigerator

America had changed. Salaries were up, unemployment was down to 2% and the public had money to spend. The American population was a mere 6% of the world, but they made about half of the manufactured products for the planet. Industry, without competition, booked in outrageous proportions. Detroit was rolling out both tanks and automobiles. Televisions hit the market in such quantities that 2/3 of all households owned at least one.

the latest in milk delivery

the latest in milk delivery

Despite nighttime news reports on the war, the public continued to get most of their updates in newspapers. The TV cameras, at the time, were still bulky and it was difficult to get them up to the front. But in the fall of ’52 and spring of ’53, the war headlines abated. (American lives were lost in large numbers in this time period in the small-scale engagements and the ferocious battle of Pork Chop Hill. These months were the stage of war depicted in the TV series M*A*S*H*.)

"Cookie-cutter" housing development, Levittown, PA

“Cookie-cutter” housing development, Levittown, PA

People went on vacations, traveled, went shopping without ration cards and the majority virtually went about their daily lives as if there was no war at all. Developments sprung up around the country of ‘cookie-cutter’ homes such as in East Meadow, Long Island and Levittown, PA. Couples picked out their new refrigerators and stoves. Children had backyards to play in with swing sets and no victory gardens taking up space. Women shopped for new clothes and kitchen items. Young men could even avoid the draft or postpone it with college deferments. Red Sox fans were torn between national pride and support of the team when Ted Williams was sent as a Marine pilot to Korea for 39 missions. But, he did return in time to finish out the 1953 season, batting over .400 in 37 games. After the 1930’s depression and 1940’s restrictions, Americans as a whole were enjoying the good life.

The latest in Harley-Davidson 'hogs'

The latest in Harley-Davidson ‘hogs’

This was a time of contradictions that the “boomers” were born into. A population explosion mixed with political upheaval, the birth of rock ‘n roll, convenience, a totally new lifestyle and a hidden war that would set a president for all those that followed.

1950 Sears ad

1950 Sears ad

I did not have information about countries outside the U.S., so I would love to hear what life was like around the world at this period in time. Thank you all – you’re great.

#########################################################################################

Current News –

A monument was erected for War Horse, SSgt. Reckless at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, at Quantico, Virginia.

SSgt. Reckless, USMC

SSgt. Reckless, USMC

“You picture a horse, but she was truly a Marine.” _______ Mike Mason, Korean War Veteran

Two remarkable stories about the Korean war horse who received medals for her service, including carrying ammunition to the front in 51 trips under fire – in one day alone.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/national_world&id=9187461

http://www.sgtreckless.com/Reckless/About_Reckless.html

##########################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

Eugene Wilkinson – Long Beach, CA; U.S. Navy (submarines), WWII, Silver Star, commander of nuclear sub “Nautilus”

Ponciano Tabac Ponce – Maui, Hawaii & L.A., CA; U.S. Army, Korean War

Clyde Shorey, Jr. – Washington D.C. & Cranberry Island, ME; U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

David Goldfinger – Bronx, NY & Laguna Woods, CA; U.S. Air Force, sergeant in WWII

Charles McCreight – Oledo, OH & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Army WWII

Joseph Bali – Gary, IN & Phoenix, AZ; U.S. Air Force, WWII

##########################################################################################

Advertisements

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day

korean-war-ends-3a217bbf554bf103

“…the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” _______ General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Armistice signing

Armistice signing

No single incident caused the catastrophic events that became WWII and the wars that sprang out of those six years also had their seeds dropped many decades before. Those of you that read my post “Setting the stage for war” at https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/setting-the-stage-for-war/ or have read the book, The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley, have an idea of which I speak. I could go back into history as far as Marco Polo, but I’ll spare you my rambling.

koreanwar02

Teddy Roosevelt declared, “Our future history will be more determined by our position on the Pacific facing China than our position on the Atlantic facing Europe.” He was eager to see American strength spread across Asia just as it had gone across the North American continent. He also stated, “I wish to see the United States as the dominant power on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.” Though he knew very little of the Orient or its culture, he favorite motto – “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” – would cause a ripple that would grow into the tidal wave of conflicts still felt today.

korean war memorial

I realize it is unusual to begin a section on Korea with the date that the war came to a close, but the calender of events is unavoidable.

##########################################################################################

A look at the “high-life” in the 1950’s ____

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

It may not look like much – but WE had fun!!

Click on images to enlarge.

########################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

Stephen Voss – Boca Raton, FL; U.S. Navy Medic, WWII, 6th Naval Beach Battalion, wounded on Omaha Easy Red II section of Normandy invasion. One year later, invasion of Okinawa.

Sylvia Yelverton – Fitchburg, MA & W.Palm Beach, FL; U.S. Air Force during Korean and Vietnam WarsSparkling-Flag-398x224

John Bretherton – Charleston, SC; U.S. Navy, WWII, on USS Jensen (Atlantic) and Hospital ship, USS Haven (Pacific)

Ernest Bates – Canton, OH; PA & Greenacres, FL; Sgt. U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII

Michael Diesel – Brooklyn, NY & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII

Samuel Grundfast – Boynton Beach, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII

Robert LaCasse – Millinocket & Skowhegan, ME; US Army, WWII

Ethel Moore – Kamloops, Can. & Los Angeles, CA; RC Army, nurse, WWII, chosen to represent Canada at the coronation of King George VI

Bernard Wallach – Bronx, NY & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII

############################################################################################

The Rising Sun – a poem

THE RISING SUN 

Dedicated to the elite troopers of the 11th Airborne Division and all the other gallant forces who fought in the Pacific during WWII

by: Peter S. Griffin

1943 Camp MacKall Yearbook

1943 Camp MacKall Yearbook

Out of the east, the horror would come,
The dreaded war beast of THE RISING SUN,
Sunday, December 7th of '41,
That day of infamy, the war had begun...

The Pacific Ocean was their nest,
Full of warships, carriers the best...
Tora, Tora, Tora!, was their call,
A sneak attack would signal our fall...

Torpedo bombers led the way,
Pearl Harbor was sleeping, resting that day...
Hickam Field was quiet as well,
Soldiers at ease, Tojo quite pleased...

Devastation was thorough and quick,
Japanese treachery had done the trick...
Our Pacific Fleet was left in ruins,
Sunken ships, in a burning lagoon...

Midway, Wake and Guam fell next,
America's forces were most perplexed...
General MacArthur left the Philippines,
Japanese forces, fulfilling their dreams...

British possessions in the Far East,
Were soon to suffer, similar defeat...
Soldiers of THE RISING SUN,
Had the Allies on the run...

Instilling terror everywhere,
Samurai Soldiers had nothing to fear...
Gobbling up islands as they progressed,
Japs reveling in, such easy conquests...

It wasn't long before we rallied,
Our Air Forces would better the tally...
Doolittle and his Bombers filled the air,
Soon Tokyo, would taste the fear...

Japanese Soldiers would fight to the death,
Suicide acceptable, if aided conquest...
The "Bushido Code"* called for this,
American power would grant them their wish...

Naval battles would turn the tide,
Coral Sea, Midway, many Japs were to die...
American Soldiers and Marines,
Were soon to silence, the Bonzai screams...
11th Airborne Division patch

11th Airborne Division patch

Our Merchant marines joined the foray,
"The Red Ball Express" saved many a day...
The Japanese were a bitter foe,
Jungle fighting was toe to toe...

Heavy fighting was the theme,
Island hopping was the scheme...
Coast watchers monitored our foe,
We'd attack as we'd grow...

Victories on Iwo Jima and Saipan,
Forced the Japs to alter their plans..
American flags, being raised everywhere,
Japanese losses, exploding in air...

MacArthur and Halsey gathered their might,
Taking Leyte in the dark of night...
Kamikazes struck from the air,
Jap desperation, reached a new tier...

MacArthur's promise was right on,
American troops stormed Luzon...
Paratroopers jumped on Corregidor,
Airborne soldiers opened the door...

The Bataan Death March, horrors begotten,
Japan's atrocities not forgotten...
The Los Baños Raid, liberation at dawn,
Paratroopers jumped, to right such a wrong...

B29's bombed the Isles of Japan,
Fire bomb raids were scorching their lands...
Jap industries burst into fire,
"Tokyo Rose" became known as a liar...

To invade the land of THE RISING SUN,
America would lose, too many sons...
On an August day, flew the 'Enola Gay,'
Atomic blasts would finish the task...

Anchored in Tokyo Bay,
"Missouri Guns" seemed to sway...
Leaders of THE RISING SUN,
Had to answer, for what they had done...
September 2nd of '45,
"V-J Day" had finally arrived...
THE RISING SUN was set by the best,
"The Sleeping Giant" put them to rest...


* Bushido means, the way of the warrior.

Yank magazine Sept. 1945 (notice the helmet stenciling)

Yank magazine Sept. 1945 (notice the helmet stenciling)

 

Peter Griffin is a Paratrooper with an outstanding combat record. His military decorations include the Viet Nam Service Medal w/ two bronze battle stars, the Silver Star, the Vietnamese Paratrooper Badge, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Recondo Patch, etc. More of his poems can be found on the web site Paratroopers of the 50’s http://home.hiwaay.net/~magro/poemsww2.html
####################################################################################

Farewell Salute –

Donald Meads – Elverson, PA & Jupiter, FL; USMC WWII PTO, pilot receiving 5 Battle Stars and the DFC

Robert Saunders – Boynton Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII

Margaret “Peggy” J. Brabham – Warm Sulphur Springs, GA & Leeds, Alabama; United States Intelligence Service, WWII

Edward Herman – Oceanside, Long Island NY & Hutchinson Island, FL; Army Air Corps Band, WWII

Larry Lockwood – Utica, NY & Lantana, FL; US Army, WWII

John B. Boy – Johnson City, TN & LaBelle, FL; US Navy, WWII, Captain of the USS C350 (subchaser), USS PC613 (patrolcraft) & USS Holton, DE _ 703 (destroyer escort)
#####################################################################################

11th Airborne Division and 187th Regiment

colors

As many of you know, this site is dedicated to my father Everett “Smitty” Smith, the 187th Regiment and the 11th Airborne Division as a whole. It is with this in mind that I am continuing the posts into the Korean War era and will then return to the very beginning of WWII, Pacific Theater.

1943 Camp MacKall Yearbook

1943 Camp MacKall Yearbook

The entire 11th A/B wrapped up their obligations in Japan for the occupation as of January 1949 with most of the 187th Regiment boarding the General Hersey for transport on 19 February. They docked in New Orleans, LA on 17 March and began heading to their new home at Camp Campbell, Kentucky. General Swing had remained their commander until January 1948 and in May 1949 they were under Brigadier General Lemel Mathewson and the 188th Regiment was deactivated. The 187th was reorganized and designated as the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, with Col. Harvey Jablonsky in command.

Letter from Gen. Swing to his men

Letter from Gen. Swing to his men

The flimsy gliders that they had developed and used in the war were sent to the museums at Forts Bragg and Bennington and the 11th A/B spent their fall of 1949 honing their airborne and physical fitness programs. In the spring of 1950, they returned to Camp MacKall, NC were Smitty and the division were first formed into a top unit and stunned the ‘brass’ with their outstanding performance in the famous Knollwood Maneuvers. I covered the Knollwood Maneuvers at https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/camp-mackall-the-knollwood-maneuvers/ . The new 11th then participated in Exercise Swarmer over that same terrain.

Division HQ's Officers

Division HQ’s Officers

1 August 1950, Col. Frank Bowen Jr. faced the his men of the 187th Regiment in Theater Number Three and announced that the troops were slated for movement overseas. On 27 August, they became the 187th Regimental Combat Team along with the 674th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion, A Company of the 127th Airborne Engineer Battalion, Battery A of the 88th Airborne Antiaircraft Battalion and units of MPs, quartermasters, parachute maintenance riggers and medics. 1 September they were separated from the 11th Airborne Division. The 187th RCT “Rakkasans” were being sent to Korea and we will follow them in future posts.

7 (800x587)

In December 1950, Major General Lyman Lemnitzer took command of the 11th A/B Division and were transferred to the 3rd Army to consolidate the airborne units. Between 1950 and 1956, the commanders would change six times as they became situated in Germany. They were deactivated 1 July 1958, but reactivated in February 1963 as the 11th Air Assault Division at Fort Benning, Georgia. On 30 June 1965, when they were once again deactivated; the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) was formed.

patches of the 11th A/B

patches of the 11th A/B

I wish to convey a special Thank You to Lt. General E.M. Flanagan, Jr. USA (Ret.). Not only as the author of The Angels:A History of the 11th Airborne Division and Rakkasans, but as the commander of the 11th A/B’s B Battery of the 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion and a columnist for Army Magazine. Being that Smitty’s records were lost in the St. Louis fire of 1973, his knowledge and memory were of great assistance to me.

Lt. General E.M. Flanagan, Jr.

Lt. General E.M. Flanagan, Jr.

I have had the honor of receiving two phone calls from the general, during my initial research, in which he thanked me for my letters to him. Both of those occasions will remain highlighted memories for me which I shall never forget.

Click on images to enlarge and read. Thank you.

#######################################################################################

Farewell Salute –

Joe Zack Thompson – Dallas & Humble, TX; U.S. Naval Air Corps, WWII

Dr. Douglas MacInnis – Wisconsin & Laguna Beach, CA; Surgical Army Captain, Korean War

Murray Michael Rothberg – Agoura Hills, CA; U.S. Army, WWII

Harry Daily McCament – Plano & Houston, TX; U.S. Navy, Korean War aboard the USS Randolph CVA-15

Salvatore Cintorino – Rochester, NY; U.S. Army, WWII ETO, Purple Heart

James Wallis – Dallas, TX; U.S. Navy, WWII

John B. Boy – Johnson City, TN & LaBelle, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII, captain of the USS C350 (subchaser), USS PC613 (patrolcraft) & the USS Holton, DE-703 (destroyer escort).

#######################################################################################

War Trials – WWII – part two

Hideki Tojo listening to interpreter during his trial

Hideki Tojo listening to interpreter during his trial

The major trials being held in Tokyo were presided by the U.S., Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, France, China and the Philippines and began in May 1946. General MacArthur, as supreme commander of the Allied powers, largely controlled the progress of the trials. They started with 25 defendants, but two passed away during the proceedings and another was evaluated as too mentally deficient to participate.

Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo was the most infamous face to symbolize Japanese aggression being that he was the Prime Minister at the time of Pearl Harbor. A 55-count indictment was drafted by the British prosecutor, Arthur Comyns-Carr. Every nation’s prosecutor signed the document listing: 36 counts of ‘crimes against peace’, 16 for murder and 3 counts for ‘other conventional war crimes and crimes against humanity’ for the major persons involved. These proceedings were held at the Japanese War Ministry Building and would last until November 1948. During this time, the prosecution called 400 witnesses and produced 800 affidavits.

Koki Hirota listening to the verdict and sentence

Koki Hirota listening to the verdict and sentence

Tojo took responsibility as premier for anything he or his country had done; others argued that they had operated in self-defense due to the ABCD power’s embargo and military assistance given to China. In Tokyo, all defendants were found guilty. The death sentence was given to: Hideki Tojo; Foreign Minister Koki Hirota; Generals Kenji Doihara, Seishiro Itagaki, Akiro Muto, Hyoturo Kimura and Iwane Matsui – these sentences were carried out three days later. Sixteen others received life in prison. Eight of the judges agreed on all of the sentences. Sir William Webb dissented, Delfin Jaramilla of P.I. thought they were too lenient, H. Bernard of France found fault with the proceedings, B.V.A. Roeling of the Netherlands voted to acquit Hirota and several others. A complete dissent came from Radhabinod Pal of India.

Tomaya Kawakita and his attorney

Tomaya Kawakita and his attorney

Another series of tribunals were held in Yokohama, Japan. These were for lower ranking officers, Shinto priests, medical personnel and farmers in association with the treatment of prisoners. One case involved the ship, Oryoko Maru, upon which 1,300 POWs died in 1944. The secret police, the Kempeitai, were brought to justice along with other spies. The trial of Tomaya Kawakita was moved from Yokohama to Los Angeles at his request being that he was born in the United States. This was a clear case of “be careful what you wish for” – the American court sentenced him to death.

The British prosecuted Japanese along the Malay Peninsula, in Borneo, New Britain, Rangoon and Singapore. In Malay, 35 Kempeitai (secret police) were tried and 29 went to the gallows. The most publicized trial involved those at the “River Kwai” for causing almost 600 deaths of the 2,000 POWs that built the Burma Siam railroad.

Siro Ishii on trial

Siro Ishii on trial

Australia listed 35 separate charges, including cannibalism and mutilation of a dead body. The most famous was Shiro Ishii of Unit 731 for subjecting prisoners to horrendous experiments. These were normally tried in cooperation with British and American officials. One trial held on New Guinea was for a Japanese officer who ate part of an Australian POW. The defense claimed starvation as a reason for his mental demise – he was hanged.

Rabaul - the gallows used

Rabaul – the gallows used

The largest trial of 503 Japanese was held by Australia for cruelty to prisoners on Amoina and 92 were convicted. In Rabaul, New Britain, 1,000 American and British POWs were forced to march 165 miles and only 183 made it the entire route. The Japanese commander executed the survivors. The officer had survived the war – but not the court.

The Netherlands tried an ugly case for Vice Admiral Michiaki Kamada who ordered 1,500 natives of Borneo murdered. Four others were executed for their participation in the awful treatment of 2,000 Dutch prisoners on Flores Island. Another case involved the treatment of 5,000 Indonesian laborers, 500 Allied POWs and 1,000 civilians.

China tried 800 defendants, whereby 500 were convicted and 149 sentenced to death.

The French held the least number of trials and dealt with them as ordinary crimes. Five Japanese were given the death penalty for the murder of American airmen in Indochina. The French were still holding their trials as late as November 1951.

As mentioned previously, the Russian “trials” were held as propaganda against the West. The charges would be dismissed, due to “arrested development.” ( suggesting that the Japanese were hindered in their development since they were not subject to Soviet culture and education.) The Soviets publicly made it clear that they were “on to” Japan and her American friend’s plot against them.

########################################################################################

Farewell Salute –

Charles Hines – Cypress, TX; Major General to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Dr. Gilbert Bahn – Moonpark,CA & Syracuse, NY; Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII Pacific Theater

Teresa Patterson – Costa Mesa, CA; U.S. State Dept., translator WWII

Robert Scott – Kobe, Japan & Los Angeles, CA; Sgt. USMC WWII; recalled for Korea, Purple Heart and Letter of Commendation Medal

Richard Burdick – Dallas, TX; U.S. Army WWII, 65th Infantry Div. ETO, 2 Bronze Stars

Lucius (Bud) Ohs – Batavia, NY; medic, U.S. Navy WWII

#########################################################################################

Resources: history.net; WWII magazine; Wikipedia; japanfocus.org; japantimes.co.ip; Time magazine

War Trials – WWII – part one

Gen. Yamshita at defense table

Gen. Yamshita at defense table

Just as the Japanese surrenders occurred in different places and on different dates, so were the trials. The regulations used differed and the criminal charges varied. Preparations for the war crimes started early in mid-1942 due to the heinous reports coming out of China during the Japanese invasion in 1937. The home front recollections of these proceedings might differ from the facts stated here because of the media slant at the time and sensationalism. Often, the stories were even inaccurate, such as in Time magazine, the writer ranted about Yamashita’s brutality during the Bataan Death March. The truth of the matter was – Yamashita was in Manchuria at the time. All in all, 5,600 Japanese were prosecuted during 2,200 trials. More than 4,400 men and women were convicted and about 1,000 were executed and approximately the same number of acquittals. Soviet trials are not included here as these were held merely as propaganda show pieces. The defendants mostly pleaded guilty, made a public apology and said something wonderful about communism and the “People’s Paradise” of Russia.

correspondents

correspondents

General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s case was the most famous of the American trials and was presided over by a military commission of 5 American general officers (none of which had any legal training) and held in the ballroom of the U.S. high commissioner’s residence. The charge was “responsibility for the death and murders tolerated – knowingly or not.” The general’s defense council, Col. Harry Clark, argued that no one would even suggest that the Commanding General of an American occupational force would become a criminal every time an American soldier committed a crime – but, Yamashita was just so accused.

Yamashita testifies

Yamashita testifies

MacArthur let it be known that Truman wanted the proceedings to be completed at the earliest possible date. It became obvious that the verdict was predetermined; even one correspondent at the scene reported, “In the opinion of probably every correspondent covering the trial, the military commission came into the courtroom the first day with the decision already in its collective pocket.” Many observers felt that Yamashita was not being accorded due process as MacArthur and the commission refused to provide copies of the transcript. Proof that the general had known of the atrocities was never given, but after closing arguments, it was announced that the verdict would be given in two days. Significantly, the guilty verdict was given on 7 December 1945. The general was hanged in Manila, Philippines on 23 February 1946 because the men he commanded had committed evil acts during the war.

Yamashita's military commission

Yamashita’s military commission

Yamashita hearing the verdict of guilty

Yamashita hearing the verdict of guilty

Hundreds of others were also prosecuted in the American trials, including Lt. General Matsaharu Homma, the man who actually did order the Bataan Death March and the bombing of the undefended “open city” of Manila. His headquarters had been 500 yards from the road the prisoners had marched and died on and he had admitted having driven down that road of blood many times. He was sentenced to hang.  His wife appealed to MacArthur to spare him – which he refused, but did execute Homma by the less disgraceful method of firing squad.

Gen. Homma with his lawyers

Gen. Homma with his lawyers

During these trials in the Philippines, 215 Japanese faced criminal charges and 20 were declared innocent and 92 were given the death sentence. In one case, Philippine President Manuel Roxas appealed to China’s Chiang Kai-shek to spare the life of one Japanese officer who had saved his life and that of several other Filipinos. The request was granted.

Manila Hotel Annex, Dec. 1945 during trials G. Mountz collection

Manila Hotel Annex, Dec. 1945 during trials
G. Mountz collection

American tribunals were held in Shanghai for those accused of executing American airmen under the “Enemy Airmen’s Act” due to the Doolittle raid on Japan in April 1942, when many prisoners were murdered as an act of revenge for that mission of bombing Japan early in the war.

Abe Koso under guard

Abe Koso under guard

The U.S. Navy tried the Japanese accused of crimes on the islands. Three were held on Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands and 44 were put on trial on Guam. These were closely held in conjunction with British, Australian and Indonesian officials. Abe Koso, became the naval commander at Kwajalein and ordered the beheading of nine Marine Raiders that were left behind after the Makin Raid. Koso defended his acts by claiming the Marines were U.S. spies. The tribunal rejected his claim and 19 June 1947, he was hanged.

There were 19 cases brought up for medical experiments at Truk. (Most people have only heard of these abominable acts from the Nazis.) Another was held for the slaughter of 98 Pan American airline employees on Wake Island in 1943. And ten others were sentenced to death; 18 were convicted of murdering civilians in the Palaus.

Courtroom gallery of spectators, Manila, P.I.

Courtroom gallery of spectators, Manila, P.I.

Click on images to enlarge.
######################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

Sherman Wagenseller – San Diego, CA; Petty Officer 3d Class, U.S. Navy, WWII

Dr. Sidney Franklin – Philadelphia, PA & Los Lunas, NM; U.S. Army Medical Corps, 3d Army, WWII ETO

Fred T. Epson – Chicago, Ill. & Boynton Bch., FL; Illinois National Guard, WWII, ferried aircraft for the military

Joseph Phillips Morton – Long Beach, CA; Eighth Army Air Corps, 44th Bomb Group, bombardier, WWII

Harold Westmoreland – Dallas, TX; U.S. Navy, Korea

Itsuo Zoriki – Los Angeles, CA; 442d Antitank Company, WWII

Herbert Shapiro – Old Bethpage, NY & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy, WWII

Jack Thomas – W. Palm Beach, FL; U.S. Merchant Marines, WWII

#####################################################################################

Resources: history.net; WWII magazine; Wikipedia; George Mountz Collection of photos at genealogycenter.ifo/military; dastardlybastards.com

#####################################################################################

AXIS – spies and saboteurs

Nazi saboteur trial

Nazi saboteur trial

If the Allied powers had their spies lurking around behind the front lines, you can be sure the enemy was doing the same. Once again, you will find that I have certainly missed some of them and I am counting on you out there to fill in the blanks.

Takeo Yoshikawa

Takeo Yoshikawa

Takeo Yoshikawa began his career in intelligence in 1937 and became an expert on the U.S. Navy. He even received a thank you letter from Adolph Hitler after he informed the Germans of a 17 troop transport convoy that left Freetown and was en route to England; many of these ships were destroyed. On Hawaii, under the name Tadashi Morimura, he rented private planes and observed the U.S. installations on the islands. He would then transmit this data to Tokyo in PURPLE code; the U.S. did intercept these messages – but deemed them unimportant. When he heard the code, “East wind, rain,” he destroyed all evidence of his guilt since this meant Pearl Harbor would be attacked. August 1942, he returned to Japan. When he opened a business in 1955, he found the Japanese people blamed him for the war with the U.S. and his wife needed to support him the remainder of his life.

Velvalee Dickinson

Velvalee Dickinson

Velvalee Dickinson, from Sacramento, Calif., became associated with many Japanese organizations through her husbands brokerage business and remained sympathetic. Velvalee opened a doll shop and sent coded messages through a complex system that included Argentina and New York. She was eventually caught and tried in January 1944, sentenced to ten years. She was released in 1951 and somehow disappeared in 1954.

dickinson_store

No. 62 Squadron, Feb. 1941

No. 62 Squadron, Feb. 1941

Patrick Heenan was a captain in the British Indian Army that spied for Japan during the Malayan Campaign. He was stationed at Alor Star in Kedah, Malaya in June 1941 where most of the RAF, Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force squadrons were based. When Japanese forces invaded on 8 December, their air raids were assisted by Heenan as he used a hidden radio and more codetransmitter. His treason cost No. 62 Squadron personnel and aircraft. He was arrested 10 December, court martialed and jailed in January 1942 in Singapore. When the enemy attacked that city, Heenan was shot in the back of his head and dumped in Keppel Harbour by his wardens.

The Black Dragons were a paramilitary group of Japan. Their agents operated during the Russo-Japanese war and then continued into WWII. They initially were directed to act against the Soviets, but were later expanded throughout Turkey, northern Africa, S.E. Asia and the U.S. Two American organizations influenced by the Dragons were the “Brotherhood of Liberty for the Black People of America” and “Nation of Islam.” On 27 March 1942, the FBI arrested a number of lack Dragons in San Joaquin, California.

FBI mug shots, March 1944, six of 33 in Duquesne spy ring

FBI mug shots, March 1944, six of 33 in Duquesne spy ring

The German U-boats that actually touched North American soil were setting agents on shore. The Duquesne spy ring is the largest espionage case in the U.S. to end up in convictions. The agents were sent to various sites to extract information and commit sabotage. One spy opened a restaurant, one worked at an airline and the others were at radio stations and messenger boys. The ring leader was Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a South African Boer who had worked for Germany in both wars. But, the U.S. had a double-agent within the group and on 29 June 1941, all 33 agents were arrested and sentenced to a total of 300 years in prison.

George Dasch spy ring, tean 1

George Dasch spy ring, tean 1

Operation Patorius was divided into 2 teams; one led by George John Dasch (aka – George Davis, a former resident of the U.S.) and landed 12 June 1942 off of U-boat 202 at East Hampton, Long Island. Their mission: to destroy power plants at Niagara Falls and 3 ALCOA factories. The second team landed at Ponte Vedra Beach, SE of Jacksonville, Florida. Their mission: to lay mines at the Pennsylvania Railroad at Newark, NJ and the water supply lines at St. Louis, Cincinnati and NYC. George Dasch turned himself into the FBI and the others were soon arrested due to his confession. Six of the agents were executed; 8 August, Dasch received a 30 year term, but was released and deported back to Germany in 1948. He did not receive a good welcome home and moved to Switzerland where he wrote the book, Eight Spies Against America.

Kerling, Team 2

Kerling, Team 2

Operation Elster landed at Hancock, Maine 30 November 1944 aboard U-boat 1230. Their mission: to learn what they could about the Manhattan Project and sabotage it, if possible. The FBI caught them in New York; one spent 10 years in prison and the other was released in 1960, operated a business in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and later retired to Florida.

14 May 1942, Marius Langbein landed near St. Martins, New Brunswick, Canada of U-boat 217 for Operation Grete (named for his wife). He never carried out his orders, but rather lived off of the funds given to him by the Germans and then surrendered in December 1944. Being that he never committed a crime – he was found not guilty.

Werner von Janowski

Werner von Janowski

U-518, in November 1942 sank two iron ore freighters and damaged another in Conception Bay, Newfoundland before setting agent, Werner von Janowski, ashore near New Carlisle, Quebec. Upon seeing the man act suspicious as he left a hotel, Earle Annett, followed the spy and 3 hours later, notified a constable. The officer continued the tail, struck up a conversation with the suspect and Janowski confessed his intentions.

German U-boat, U-537

German U-boat, U-537

22 October 1943, Professor Kurt Sommermeyer and his team debarked U-537 at Martin Bay, Labrador to set up an automatic weather station, “Weather Station Kurt” or as the enemy knew it – “Wetter-Funkgerät Land – 26.”

When U-867 attempted to replace the batteries 3 months later, it was sunk. Left undisturbed, it was discovered in the 1980’s and is now at the Canadian War Museum.

Click on photos to enlarge

#######################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

William Henry Kempner – Newark, DE; U.S. Navy submariner, Korean War

Robert Earl Boggs – Columbus, OH; Jupiter, FL; U.S. Navy Commander, retired carrier aviator

Gary Lee Tyler – Roxbury, NY & Palm Beach Gardens, FL; U.S. Army Fourth Army Band, Korea

Edward J.W. Stuart – Alton, ILL. & Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Navy in Korea, ships USS Palau-CVE722; USS Midway-CVB-41 and USS J.C. Owens-DD7756

Eve Metz – Worchester, Mass & Delray Beach, FL; U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant, nurse during WWII

John Reeves Oakman – Boca Raton, FL; U.S. Army WWII

Russell Link – Lake Worth, FL;USMC sergeant

Roosevelt Garner, Jr. – W. Palm Beach, FL; U.S. Navy WWII Pacific, electrician’s mate

Willoughby Ted Quin – Lake Worth, FL; U.S. Army WWII w/ a Silver Star; reenlisted U.S. Air Force for Korea and Vietnam

################################################################################################

Current News –

Born on the Fourth of July – WWII Veteran U.S. Navy, Frank Eaton, born on 4 July in Northville, Mich., received a plaque honoring his military service on his 90th birthday from the city of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Funny or Scary? – In Tampa, Fla., A homeless woman, Suzanne Jensen, not only sneaked into MacDill Air Force Base, by turning a garbage can upside down and scaling the fence, once and staying for days at a time, but four times!! She also stole a military I.D.

#################################################################################################

Personal Note –

Next week, gpcox is due for jury duty. Depending on that schedule, next week’s posts might be delayed. I always attempt to respond to each comment, but that also might be affected. I’ll do my best.

#################################################################################################

Guest Post – The Role of Sports: WWII – gpcox

This is the latest article I wrote for Judy over at Greatest Generation Lessons; let us know your opinions and/or ideas for future guest posts.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This month, gpcox  shares the role sports played during World War II in entertaining those left at home. Sports was a diversion from the everyday reports of how the war was progressing in the various fronts around the world.

The Role of Sports: WWII

By: gpcox https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

The movies and newsreels of WWII provided information and diversion for many at the home front, but none could provide the escape and release of stress for the civilian as much as sports.

South Florida maintained a carnival atmosphere with the Hialeah Race Track and West Flagler Kennel Club, which took in $100,000 nightly – just to prove my point.  And, somehow, travel restrictions did not deter the action at Miami’s Tropical Park.  Horse racing went on, despite the war, in every country.  All in all, racing boomed as the 68th running of the Kentucky Derby went off with 100,000 in the…

View original post 1,108 more words

ALLIED spies & saboteurs

Allen Dulles - OSS Intelligence I.D.

Allen Dulles – OSS Intelligence I.D.

There is no way for me to include all the information for every spy and/or saboteur of WWII for two reasons – there were far too many and because they did their job and stayed top-secret. An example of this would be the French Resistance and the BCRA, made up of British, French and Cajun-American volunteers. But some, due to the fact that they became famous or their work finally de-classified, I have included here as a matter of interest.

"High Pockets"

“High Pockets”

Claire Phillips, aka Dorothy Clara Fuentes, aka Claire Fuentes, aka Madame Tsubaki was also known as “High Pockets” and the “American Mata Hari.” She operated a nightclub in Manila and used he cunning ways to extract data from the Japanese officers that frequented her establishment. The agent then sent her intel directly to Gen. MacArthur or the U.S. Navy. Claire managed to deliver food and other necessary items to Allied POWs and had an underground of Filipino guerrilla to assist her. Mrs. Fuentes was eventually caught, put on trial and sentenced to die, but this verdict was never carried out. She was liberated on 10 February 1945 and returned to the U.S. The movie, I Was an American Spy was based on her life.

Richard Sakakida was inadvertently included in Gen. Yamashita’s army when he moved east and was assigned to Japanese intelligence on Luzon. He gained the trust of the Imperial Army in Manila and gave what data he discovered to the Filipino ROTC Group of guerrillas until they were captured. Sakakida then began forging release papers to get some of the members out of prison. He was never suspected, but later slipped away from his post and hid out in northern Luzon for months. Although he had received medals for his work from the government, his actual loyalty was brought into question in later years.

Arthur Komori

Arthur Komori

Army Chief Warrant Officer, Arthur Komori, was an agent as part of the Counter Intelligence Corps. He enlisted with Richard Sakakida in Hawaii at the start of the war. He allowed himself to be captured and placed in a Japanese interment camp in the Philippines until he was ordered to escape by Gen. Wainwright 16 April 1942.

Julia Child - OSS quarters in Kandy, Ceylon

Julia Child – OSS quarters in Kandy, Ceylon

Julia McWilliams Child would gain fame as a chef and t.v. personality, but she performed far different duties during WWII. When the war began, she wanted to join the WACS or Waves, but was rejected due to her height of 6’2″. Instead, Julia became part of the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) and as one of her projects, she helped to develop a shark repellent for downed pilots and crews. Later on, she supervised an OSS facility in China where she dealt with top-secret documents and in Ceylon. Her life as a WWII agent was documented in the book, A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS.

Marlene Dietrich, better known for her work as an actress, was German born. She joined the OSS where she entertained the troops and then secretly broadcast propaganda to the weary enemy soldiers. She received the Medal of Freedom for her operations.

Elizabeth McIntosh - on the job

Elizabeth McIntosh – on the job

Elizabeth McIntosh was a war correspondent that began working with the OSS directly after Pear Harbor. While stationed in India, she intercepted and rewrote Japanese postcards being sent home. She also found an Imperial Order that discussed surrender terms and many other documents.

The OSS did most of its work in Europe and in Detachment 101 of the Burma-India-China Theater, where they trained Chinese soldiers to fight the Japanese and supplied target information to Gen. Chennault, the creator of the famous ‘Flying Tigers’ besides their regular duties. Both MacArthur and Nimitz refused their service and used their own intelligence units, but much of the OSS data was relayed to them via Washington. Allen Dulles was station chief of the OSS (his I.D. card is pictured at the top of the post) and looked and dressed like a middle-aged college professor. A lawyer by trade, he worked for the State Department during WWI. He collected intelligence with a complex espionage network. Dulles recruited Mary Bancroft, daughter to the publisher of “The Wall Street Journal” to analyze German newspapers, but she quickly became an agent in the cloak-and-dagger fashion.

Hans Bernd Gisevius, code name “Dr. Bernhard,” was an agent of the Alwehr, the German secret service (SS). In 1939, he became part of Schwarze Kapelle (the Black Orchestra), the group formed to kill Hitler. He contacted Dulles in 1943 and Mary Bancroft became his contact.

One group, barely spoken of, was the SOA (or Z Special Unit, as it is known today), the Special Operations of Australia. Many were barely 18 years old when they were recruited and trained to infiltrate the Japanese lines. They were formed by a group of British covert executives operating in Malaya in mid-1943; even the Australian Army was unaware of this unit’s existence. Over the 3 remaining years of the war, over 1,000 men were taught parachuting, explosives and espionage on Fraser Island. After their training, most were dropped on Borneo and other islands in S.E. Asia; over 100 were killed in combat. They even carried the infamous cyanide tablets. They were honor-bound by the Secrecy Act for 30 years to never speak of their activities; even as the other WWII soldiers were celebrated on ANZAC Day. Twenty-one remaining SOA men held their first reunion in 2010 on the island where they were trained.

Wing Commander Forest "Tommy" Yeo-Thomas

Wing Commander Forest “Tommy” Yeo-Thomas

The British spy who went by the code names, “Seahorse” and “Shelley” was the actual agent that inspired Ian Fleming to write his 007 series of books. Wing Commander Forest Frederick “Tommy” Yeo-Thomas was known to the German Gestapo as “The White Rabbit” and operated out of Vichy, France. An excellent accounting of his story is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._F._E._Yeo-Thomas

The most unsuspecting man (in my opinion) to become a spy – was already dead. Early 1943, Allied forces, planning their invasion, needed to convince the enemy that their landing site was somewhere else. “Operation Mincemeat” originally came from Ian Fleming. A Welsh laborer, already deceased after ingesting rat poison, had his pockets filled with false papers and left where the Germans could find him. The operation proved very successful.

#######################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

Paul Adams – Nebraska & Greenville, S.C.; U.S. Army WWII, Tuskegee Airman, 332nd Fighter Group

Pauline V. Simsovic – Dayton, OH & W. Palm Bch., FL; First Lieutenant WACS, WWII London

Marvin J. Newberg – Bronx, NY & Boca Raton, FL; First Lieutenant U.S. Army Air Force, B-25 navigator in India

Frank Richard Stranahan – Toledo, OH & W. Palm Bch., FL; U.S. Army Air Force, pilot, WWII

Richard Neuber – Port St. Lucie, FL.;U.S. Navy, WWII

Walter Stankard, Jr. – Waltham, MA & Boynton Bch., FL; U.S. Navy, USS Enoree, Korean War

Army Spc. John L. Burgess of Sutton Bay, Michigan, missing since his helicopter was shot down in 1970, Vietnam, was finally brought home for burial. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in a single casket along with the partial remains of two members of his crew.

##########################################################################################

Please stop back and see the article I wrote for Judy over at http://greatestgenerationlessons.wordpress.com. Let us know what you think of it. I will later re-blog the guest post for your convenience. Thank you.

July 4th

vintage-double-american-flags-eagle1

1940’s CELEBRATION WRAPPED AROUND A 1776 WAR SONG

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!

HARK, hark the sound of war is heard,
And we must all attend;
Take up our arms and go with speed,
Our country to defend.

Our parent state has turned our foe,
Which fills our land with pain;
Her gallant ships, manned out for war,
Come thundering o’er the main.

fa-independence03

There’s Charleton, Howe and Clinton too,
And many thousand more,
May cross the sea, but all in vain,
Our rights we’ll ne’er give o’er.

Our pleasant homes they do invade,
Our property devour;
And all because we won’t submit
To their despotic power.

tumblr_lnr12vevLc1qbrdf3o1_500

Then let us go against our foe,
We’d better die than yield;
We and our sons are all undone,
If Britain wins the field.

Tories may dream of future joys,
But I am bold to say,
They’ll find themselves bound fast in chains,
If Britain wins the day.

jly4.1940s

Husbands must leave their loving wives,
And sprightly youths attend,
Leave their sweethearts and risk their lives,
Their country to defend.

May they be heroes in the field,
Have heroes’ fame in store;
We pray the Lord to be their shield,
Where thundering cannons roar.

002 (576x800)

#######################################################################################

happy_independence_day

Current news –

Several military bases, such as Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and Fort Bragg Army Base, have had their Fourth of July celebrations cancelled due the failure of Washington to follow up on the 2011 budget pact. The additional spending cuts meant $85 billion across-the-board cuts that began in March. The military took a major hit and this was felt to be one way to scale back.

#######################################################################################

Farewell Salute –

Gladys Povall Kennedy – Prescot, England & W. Palm Beach, FL; Corporal in the A.T.S. in the United Kingdom, WWII

Bruce Budd Brown – Kissimmee, FL; U.S. Army, Korean War, Commendation Ribbon w/ medal pendant for entertaining over 110,000 troops during the war.

Leo A. Corby – Hibbing, Minnesota; U.S. Army, WWII

Ralph F. DeVito – Tequesta, FL; U.S. Coast Guard, WWII

Dr. Robert Edward Grogan – Galesburg, Illinois & Jupiter, FL; Lieutentant, U.S. Navy, WWII Pacific aboard USS Auriga

########################################################################################