New Year’s Day 1942

Carl Mydans, "Life" mag. photographer

Carl Mydans, “Life” mag. photographer

While the people of Japan celebrated New Year’s Day in their usual fashion, debts were paid, people thronged to the Meiji Shrine to throw coins at midnight and for good luck, red daruma dolls were purchased, all this was topped off with the news of military success against the Allies.  But all this gaiety did not please the military.  They were aware of just how arduous the war was going to be and strict discipline must be maintained.  General Muto said:  “The first step is to replace Shigenori Togo as Foreign Minister.” [similar to the US Secretary of State] –  (Togo had been opposed to the military aggression.  He had to go.)

Japanese visiting Yasukuni Jinja during the New Year's period.

Japanese visiting Yasukuni Jinja during the New Year’s period.

The Japanese in the Philippine Islands celebrated differently.  They closed in on Manila from two directions.  The southern troops were slowed about 40 miles out due to the amount of bridges that had been dynamited, but they were receiving very little opposition.  General Homma, only 17 miles away, halted his troops to prepare themselves in tight and clean formations to parade into the city.  MGeneral Koichi Abe, in the north, led his 48th Division into Manila in front of sullen Filipinos.

Luzon trenches; taken by: Carl Mydans

Luzon trenches; taken by: Carl Mydans

Carl Mydans, a photographer for Life magazine, and his wife Shelley, watched the influx of Japanese from their Bayview Hotel window as the invaders looted warehouses and homes.  They saw 3 companies of soldiers and sailors form ragged lines on the lawn of High Commissioner Francis Sayre’s residence.  Three cannons boomed as the American flag lowered and a sailor stepped on it.  He then put the Rising Sun in its place on the pole.  A band played the Japanese national anthem, Kimigayo.

Route to Manila

Route to Manila

The Emperor’s reign will last
For a thousand and then 8 thousand generations
Until pebbles become mighty rocks
Covered in moss.

A cable arrived from Carl’s employer: “ANOTHER FIRST-PERSON EYEWITNESS STORY BUT THIS WEEK WE PREFER AMERICANS ON THE OFFENSIVE.”  Mrs. Mydans sent the reply: “BITTERLY REGRET YOUR REQUEST UNAVAILABLE HERE.”

Click on images to enlarge.

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Political Humor – seuss-4

Dr_Seuss_World_War_II_Political_Cartoon_5

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Farewell Salutes – 

William Anderson – Warwick, RI; US Navy, Korea

Ingeborg Buonomo – Lecanto, FL; WAC, WWWIIroseglitterdivider_thumb

Norman Helfrich – Rabbit Lake, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETO

Jery Kaas – Anthem, AZ; US Navy, WWII, USS Carolina

Lee Patrick – Niles, IN; US Navy, WWII, USS Cacapon

Brian Henry Senn – Auckland, NZ; RNZ Air Force # G83335, Flight Lt.

Tommy Shaw – Huntsville, AL; US Air Force, Korea, control tower operator

John Swett – Chicago, IL; US Army, WWII, ETO, POW

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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 October 3, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 88 Comments.

  1. Glad you liked some of my poetry! Love your blog – I was born in Sept. ’42. Served during Vietnam from ’63 to ’67 (SSG – E-6) but the Army didn’t send me to the combat zone. Went to Eritrea with the Army Security Agency. Regards.

    Like

    • Vietnam was a vile place I fail to have adjectives to describe. Thank you for your service – every job was vital to getting anyone home back then and 4 years (IMO) in any job in that country was TOO long! Hope we’ll see you back here again soon.

      Like

  2. A war correspondent is one hell of a job, one which I secretly hoped for in my Vietnam days.
    I think David Parer was the best modern day war correspondent we have known.
    I saw many a war correspondent sending dispatches to Reuter from the top bar of the Continental hotel in Saigon.

    Mrs. Mydans response in the last few lines, sums the situation at the time completely “BITTERLY REGRET YOUR REQUEST UNAVAILABLE HERE.”
    Ian

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, very interesting. My father served in the Philippines in WWII and really didn’t tell us much about it. The history is always fascinating.

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  4. Carl Mydans, a legend. Thank you for these wonderful posts! I am seriously busy, so I come once a week to catch up.

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  5. Those are enlightening telegrams – do you know what happened to the photographer and his wife – did they survive?

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    • A Gray asked the same question…(I am running low on time)…please read my answer to him, it would really help me out. Thank you for being here, Carol, sorry for the inconvenience.

      Like

  6. I would like to ask for your offline help on something related to blogging and don’t know how to contact you directly, please advise.

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    • I’m afraid I don’t accept private emails, Mrs P. – with all that is going on in my In-box (I’m not the only one using it), things would become even more complicated. I do moderate my comments – what some people do is state what they wish to tell/ask me and also add that they wish me to delete the comment after I read it. No one else is able to see that comment besides you and I and once I trash it – it’s gone for good. You and I have been friends for quite awhile now, I hope you understand.

      Like

  7. Do you know if there is additional information available regarding father’s that were soldiers in WWII and the Korean War in addition to that which is already on some of the main genealogy sites? I would like to gain more knowledge about what my dad did, where he might have been etc…

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    • NARA handles the archives and records. You can request records on line and they will send you official papers to fill out, because they need a signature. Give them as much info as you can. If you know his unit, look up an association affiliated with them, check with a book store on line and use his unit as the keyword, every nook and cranny needs to be looked into to find even the simplest detail sometimes. Don’t be disappointed if the gov’t takes awhile – you ARE dealing with the gov’t!! 😆 Best of luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. One tends to forget that there are nonmilitary (i.e. photographers, etc.) serving with the military documenting and recording for posterity. Thanks for sharing. That cartoon, “War Monuments #1 John E. Hindsight” should have today’s admin on it….just read about another shoulda woulda coulda today… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the like. (Was it the “1936” that got you?) Your own blog is a treasure. And if you served in WWII, you must be even older than I am! Congratulations! And keep blogging! 🙂

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    • Thanks for coming back here, Nina. No, I did not serve in WWII, my father, Smitty did as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division – if you haven’t taken a peek in the archives to meet him, you will in the future. Stick around, we have a great group here, professional, educated, humorous – just plan good people all the way around!

      Like

  10. Another excellent post. I loved the cartoon about hindsight. I also learnt a valuable lesson for my own life. I was just thinking how appalling the Japanese had been during the war, when I went and read some of Yoshiko’s haiku. How much a nation can change! (Thank goodness)

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    • Well, we do have to remember that the civilians on the mainland had no idea of the military’s plan for expansion. They had already been at war and suffering hardships for years – WWII in the Pacific only made that worse. When the Emperor said it was over __ it WAS over! Very glad you liked the post and hope I continue to create good ones for you and the other readers, John.

      Like

  11. BITTERLY REGRET YOUR REQUEST UNAVAILABLE HERE. Wow… talk about an appropriate answer !

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  12. Wow, what a reply from Mrs. Mydans! If you are curious as to what the Yasukuni Shrine looked like in 2012 with my son and I: https://www.flickr.com/gp/p47koji/uDRzk3

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    • Great photo of the shrine and you two!! I check out the other pictures too! Good job!

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      • Gail, please delete but I wanted to thank you so much for looking at that photo of my son and I…and for leaving a note. I don’t believe you realize but your email address becomes visible. Although my link to the photo is private for you bloggers, any of your good readers may be able to see your address… So to protect your privacy, I will be deleting it on flickr… 🙂

        Like

        • Thanks, Koji – I didn’t realize that, so I appreciate you taking care of it. I wasn’t about to see that photo without commenting – thanks for sharing.

          Like

  13. Many if us forget that lots of the pictures we see through news reports or in books, or taken by these guys and they are, in many cases, unknown. It’s good to see an acknowledgement of their efforts.

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  14. Love those cartoons too!

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  15. I think 90,000 US captured, 3,000 survived.

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  16. I’d like you to explain your statement in a comment : ” The actions of the Japanese on the mainland and those deployed are like night and day .” Do you mean the Japanese mainland ? I’ve always been intrigued by the Japanese culture , ie. so brutal in WWII combat but so docile and charming to the occupation troops later .

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    • The savagery the Japanese troops exhibited while deployed – they would never think of doing on the mainland. Many came home embarrassed and humiliated when word got out about their actions, but then again, they never expected to come home at all. The mainland is home and is revered – other countries are beneath you and therefore fair game.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you to like my poetry. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

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  18. That is chilling, GP. Stepping on our flag. As is their devotion to duty (on the Japanese mainland).

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    • Later on, we’re not exactly reverent with their flag either – so are the events of war. The actions of the Japanese on the mainland and those deployed is like night and day, Jacqui, thanks for coming by.

      Like

  19. I didn’t know about Togo, either. Great post and now I want to know more!

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  20. There is all something interesting on this site. Always fresh, always intriguing.

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  21. Tell us more of Carl Mydans and how he and his wife left the Philippines.

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    • Shelley Mydan was also on the staff of “Life”. The Mydans were captured and interred for about 1 year in Manila, then sent to Shanghai, China. They were lucky and were released in December 1943 in a prisoner exchange. Carl went to the ETO and then back to the Philippines to cover MacArthur’s return; he took that famous picture, plus the signing of Japan’s surrender on the USS Missouri. He covered the Korean War and died 16 August 2004. Shelley wrote the book “Open City” and 2 novels. She was not allowed back in the P.I. for MacA’s return, but sent to Guam. She died 2002.
      I love your interest.

      Like

  22. The Suess cartoons were interesting because one forgets he did political cartoons as well as the more familiar children’s books.

    Like

    • I tried to teach adults right from wrong, especially over the interment of Japanese-Americans. I don’t know how successful he was, but since he later switched to the children – I suppose we can guess. 😉

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  23. Sad reply to the editor’s request. Mainstream media not clued into reality…hmm

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  24. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    My father would have been 9 years old; what a time it was. I love the cartoons; it’s a great look back. As always the pictures are awesome.

    Like

  25. Isnt hindsight supposed to be the most accurate science 😀

    Like

  26. Pierre Lagacé

    General Muto said: “The first step is to replace Tojo as Prime Minister.” (Tojo had been opposed to the military aggression. He had to go.)

    !!!

    I did not know that.

    Like

  27. Interesting to view the war from the other perspective. I am sure there are many accounts like this, just not many passed around to the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And that’s one of the advantages of our new-fangled technology of today – we can see most everything if we look hard enough! Thanks, Mrs P. always a pleasure.

      Like

  28. The war monument cartoon is very true, Easy to criticize with Hindsight.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The onset of horrors. Photojournalists carry firearms that time?

    Like

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