Okinawa

From the 87th Naval Construction Battalion’s Cruise Book

THE BATAAN, emblazoned with the five impressive stars of a General of the Army, stops at Yontan Airfield late in August to refuel and be checked over. This was General MacArthur’s private plane and excited considerable interest. Having thoroughly snubbed the Jap surrender mission in Manila, the General was en route to Tokyo for the official surrender on 2 September, His visit to Okinawa was a rigid military secret, but Merlin Monroe, SCIc, happened to be there with these results.

The Bataan, decorated with Marshal’s impressive five-star star, stopped at Yomitani Airfield in late August for refueling and maintenance.

HAIL, THE CHIEF! While waiting for mechanics to apply final touches, General MacArthur discusses Jap surrender with Lt. Gen. Richardson, boss of Middle Pacific Command. This was MacArthur’s first and only visit to Okinawa.

Salute to the Commander! While waiting for the final maintenance mechanic, MacArthur told the general about the Japan’s surrender with Lieutenant General Richardson, a senior officer in the Central Pacific Command. This was MacArthur’s first and only visit to Okinawa.

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Resource: 87th Naval Construction Battalion Cruisebook (1943-1945)

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Military Humor –

Click on image to enlarge and read caption.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Betty Brandenburg – Cambridge, ENG; RW Air Force, WWII, ET

Courtesy of Dan Antion

Bessie (Elwood) Carter – Beatrice, NE; US Navy WAVE, WWII

Glenn Fritts – Butter, MI; US Army, WWII

Roy C. Harms – Grafton, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., 329BS/93BG/8th Air Force, B-24 pilot, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

Gerald Heggy – Girard, IL; US Navy, Korea, USS Hornet

James L. Miller – USA; US Army, Korea, Pfc., K Co/3/24/25th Division, KIA (Sangju, SK)

Ralph E. Richardson – Columbia, SC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, TSgt., 329BS/93BG/8th Air Force, B-24 radio operator, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

William A. Simon – USA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Pfc., Co G/2/109/28th Infantry Division, KIA (Hürtgen, GER)

Michael Uhrin – Metuchen, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, SSgt., 369BS/306BG/40CW/8th Air Force, B-17F radio operator, KIA (Hessen, GER)

Donald L. Worden – West Branch, NY; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

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About GP

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

Posted on December 20, 2022, in First-hand Accounts, Post WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 88 Comments.

  1. Sorry for the delay, GP! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and a great beginning of the New Year! I wish you a blessed and successful 2023! The photos are interesting again. They really had very simple equipment in the past. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • No problem, Michael. I know you have a number of blogs you watch on a daily basis.
      To think that simply equipment was top of the line back then, eh?

      Like

  2. Merry Christmas GP and to all friends

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Best wishes go for the year ahead and prayerfully no more usa involved wars!🤔

    Like

  4. Thank you for your efforts at educating us all on the Pacific War, GP! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and bright and beautiful new year ahead.

    I am happy to see this year come to a close. I finished cardiac rehab this month, and have come out of it the best I could hope for. There is some mild damage to the left ventricle, but not enough to slow me down. I just have to be careful from here on.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your like of my post on Matthew 23: you are very kind.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ❄🧊⛄🌿🎄🕯🤍🕊🎁🎉🥂✨

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow! What an amazing part of history. Thank you so much for sharing! My grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Blessings of the Season to You and Yours GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a man he was! And what you shared is so interesting, GP. Thank you.
    All year round, my love, thoughts, best wishes, and prayers are directed at our men and women who are serving in the military. But, especially at this time of year when many cannot be home with their families. ❤️
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 3 people

  10. That was really interesting, thank you. General MacArthur was a really tall man, wasn’t he? I think he would give General de Gaulle, the Free French leader a good run for his money!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Interesting! Liked your addition of how the plane got its name and why. You have certainly done your research.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. He was a complicated man. I’ve read several books about him, but I still don’t feel like I understand him.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I got a kick out of the Seabees humor. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  14. He loved the publicity, but gave that back by inspiring so many troops.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Almost always a lot of excitement over a general’s doings. When I met General George Patton IV at Fort Knox in 1972, however, there was no hooplah at all. He just walked up to our vehicle and thanked us for supporting his unit. I was amazed at how down-to-earth he was.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Lulu: “Our Dada says at first glance he misread that sign as ‘Batman’, which, I mean, would also be cool, I guess, but probably not what a General of the Army would put on his airplane …”

    Liked by 3 people

  17. He might have outranked them, but he couldn’t hold a candle to the likes of Generals Swing and Slim Jim Gavin.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Okinawa always gets my attention, even as my son is finally home. Interesting MacArthur made only one visit to the island.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Was the plane named for the same Bataan associated with that terrible ‘death march’? It seems as though that would have been a bit of an in-your-face insult to the Japanese, would it not?

    Liked by 3 people

    • The plane was named for that very sorrow-filled peninsular of Luzon. It was then there that FDR insisted that Mac get out and go to Australia to back up, regroup and get on with defeating the Japanese. Mac thought the world of the Filipinos and hated leaving his troops, but he had been ordered by the President. Naming the aircraft after that area was to show the Filipino people, he had not forgotten them and he would return to free them.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Most people thought he abandoned the troops when in reality, he was ordered to go to Australia by FDR. That was a cloak and danger escape to Mindanao, then to Australia. The aircraft was named for Bataan. Filipinos love Mac! Matt’s brother was in Okinawa for the mop-up, but I don’t remember him mentioning about MacArthur being there. It might be before his tour there.

        Liked by 2 people

  20. Didn’t go in for quiet anonymity, did he?
    Just like Montgomery.
    I too wonder about the cameraman just happening to be there…

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Love the toons, GP. Wonder if the first one was Guadalcanal. MacArthur certainly didn’t lack confidence and it caught up with him. I think it was Marshall who may have said that Eisenhower spent several years learning dramatics under MacArthur when he served as his aide.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. I like that the photographer just happened to be there

    Liked by 4 people

  23. My father was in Okinawa, but never talked about his experience there

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Hello sir, I am also a paratrooper. I belong to Pakistan Special Force.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. I imagine MacArthur’s pit stop was quite a memorable event to anyone in Okinowa that day.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. The photo in which I saw that man with his leg has lifted the jeep. Is it true

    Liked by 2 people

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