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Victory for the U.S.A. | Poem for the 11th Airborne

Yank magazine Sept. 1945 (notice the helmet stenciling)

On the cover of the 14 September 1945 issue of Yank magazine,(Vol. 4 No. 13) is S/Sgt. William Carlisle of Chalmers, Indiana

This poem was written by: Pvt. Bronnell York, Battery D, 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 11th A/B; even if you are not a poetry enthusiast, it is worth reading.

“Victory For the U.S.A.”

We’re the boys of the 457,
Earning our major pay,
Fighting Japs and jungle life,
For three sixty cents a day.

Back home we’re soon forgotten,
By girls and friends we knew,
Here in the South Seas Islands,
Ten thousand miles from you.

All night the rains keep falling,
It’s more than we can stand,
“NO” folks, we’re not convicts,
We’re defenders of our land.

We’re the boys of many,
Holding the upper hand,
Hitting the silk and hoping,
We’re living when we land.

We’re having it pretty tough now,
You can believe what I say,
Some day we hope to live again,
Back home in the USA.

Victory’s in the making,
Our future will be serene,

We’ve got the Navy backing us,
Along with the fighting Marines.

We’re in this all together,
Fellas like you and me,
We’ll be a united people,
And our Country will be free.

There’s no two ways about it,
We’ll either do or die,
For our Country with dictation,
Is not for you or I.

When the war is over,
And we have finished what they began,
We’ll raise Old Glory high above,
The Empire of Japan.

So, to all you 4F jokers,
Who thinks there’s something you missed,
Don’t let the draft board get you,
And for God’s sake don’t enlist.

It might be a long time yet,
Then it might be any day,
When smiling faces see the Golden Gate,
And sail in Frisco Bay.

When this conflict’s over,
The boys can proudly say,
We had to fight for what was ours,
Victory for the U.S.A.

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“Down from Heaven come the 11”

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Koji of http://p47koji.wordpress.com notified me that he found a William and Norma Carlisle in Chalmers, IN.

I sent a note to inquire about the photo.  I received this reply from his widow:

Hello! So nice of you to write, Bob would have been pleased. The picture on the cover of the Yank magazine is William Robert Carlisle, my husband. I’m sure he could have told you stories of the 11th Airborne.  I’m Mrs. Norma Carlisle, Bob’s wife. I’m sorry to tell you that Bob passed away on Dec. 12 – 1997. I miss him! Hope you and yours are enjoying the Golden Years! God Bless, Norma

I was so disappointed to discover that we had lost yet another trooper’s tales of the era and a little taken back to see that he passed on what would have been my own father’s 83rd birthday.

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Military Humor – 

paratrooper humor

Air Mail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Lola (Hamrick) Adams – Clay, WV; US Army WAC, Signal Corps

Respect
Courtesy of Dan Antion

Franklin H. Bennett – Glendive, MT; US Army, WWII, PTO, Cpl., 54th Signal Maintenance Co., POW, DWC (Cabanatuan Camp, Common Grave 312)

Albert Burdge – Adrena, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Panama

Alton Christie – Jasper, FL; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co B/1/21/24th Infantry Division, KIA (Osan, SK)

James Eason – Bellingham, WA; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Norman E. Grizzle – Ducktown, TN; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, 82nd Airborne Division

Joyce McIntosh (105) – St. Anne de Bellevue, CAN; RC Army, cook

Joan Richards – Poss-Essex, ENG; British Women’s Corps, WWII

Ruhl J. Russell (104) – Shadyside, OH; US Army, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Colonel (Ret.)

Calvin L. Walker – New Haven, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Kwajalein Is. air traffic comptroller

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Holdouts and Additional Surrenders

Australian Gen. Sir Thomas Blamey accepts surrender on Morotai Island, Dutch East Indies

The logical demands of the surrender were formidable. So many different ceremonies took place across Asia and the entire Pacific. Here we will some that preceded peacefully and others that refused the peace. In actuality, the state of war between the U.S. and Japan did not officially end until the Treaty of San Francisco took effect 28 April, 1952.

USS Segundo SS-398 located this Japanese sub 1-401 and negotiated with the crew being that their captain had committed suicide

One mass surrender did occur at Noemfoor in September 1944 when 265 Japanese enlisted men, angry at their superiors for stealing their food for their own use. And, in August 1945, another starving Japanese military unit surrendered to a lieutenant in New Guinea. On 1 December 1945, Captain Oba and 46 members of his unit were the last Japanese on Guam to surrender.

In 1946, on Lubang Island, Philippines, intense fighting developed on 22 February when American and Filipino troops met 30 Japanese soldiers. Eight of the Allied troops were killed. Then in April, 41 members of a Japanese garrison came out of the jungle, unaware that the war was over.

Australian 6th Div. MGen. Robertson and interpreter explain terms of surrender to Adm. Sata aboard ML-805 (patrol boat) in Kairiru Strait

At the end of March 1947, a band of Japanese led by Ei Yamaguchi of 33 men renewed the fighting on Peleliu Island. There were only 150 Marines stationed on the island by that time and reinforcements were called in to assist. A Japanese Admiral also went to convince the troops that the war was indeed over. The holdouts came out of the jungle in two different groups in late April. Yamaguchi returned to his old tunnel in 1994 and Eric Mailander and Col. Joe Alexander interviewed him. To see the interview go to – http://www.pacificwrecks.com/people/visitors/mailander/

Ei Yamaguchi re-entering his old tunnel

In that same month, on Palawan Island, 7 Japanese troops armed with a mortar launcher emerged from the jungle and surrendered. On 27 October 1947, the last Japanese soldier surrendered carrying a water bottle, a broken Australian bayonet and a Japanese entrenching tool.

Not until late 1948, did 200 well organized troops give themselves up on Mindinoa, P.I. And, in China, 10-20,000 well equipped Japanese troops who were trapped in the mountains of Manchuria between the warring Nationalist and Communist forces, finally found a chance to surrender.  In 1949, there was one report of two men living in the shadow of American troops finally turning themselves in.

Japanese weapons collected on Cebu, P.I.

One unusual story – On 3 January 1945, a B-29 Superfortress from the 498th Bomb Group, 875th Squadron, crashed while returning from a bombing mission. On 30 June 1951, men were sent to the area to try and recover the bodies of the plane’s crew. What they encountered were 30 Japanese who did not believe the war was over. They had had a Korean woman with them, but after she spotted an American vessel sailing by and was rescued, the information was received and interest in the “Robinson Crusoes of Anatahan Island” developed.

Kaida Tatsuichi, 4th Tank Regiment & Shoji Minoru on HMAS Moresby at Timor

Teruo Nakamura was the last known holdout of WWII when he emerged from the jungle retreat that housed him in Indonesia, December 1974. There were rumors of men claiming to be holdouts later on, but none that were officially confirmed.

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Military Humor – 

“IT SAYS,’I AM AN AMERICAN WITH 94 POINTS AND IF I’M LOST IN ENEMY TERRITORY, PLEASE GET ME HOME'”

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Farewell Salutes –

Mary Amonette (102) – Roslyn, NY; Civilian, Grumman fighter plane construction / WAF WASPS, pilot

Juan M. Borjon – Tucson, AZ; 11th Airborne Division

Douglas Cummings – Euless, TX; US Army, Vietnam, 82nd Airborne Division

Daniel De Anda – USA; US Army, Korea, Cpl., Co G/2/23/2/8th Army, KWC (POW Camp # 5, NK)

James J. Deeds – USA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., B-24 pilot, 345 BS/98 BG/9th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

David M. Findlay – Kitchner, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETO, Scots Fusiliers

Thomas F. Gaffney – Honolulu, HI; US Army, Korea, Vietnam & Lebanon, Capt. (Ret. 24 y.), 101st Airborne Commander, Bronze Star, 3-Silver Stars

Mabel Hlebakoa (103) – Petaluma, CA; Civilian, WWII, Hamilton Air Force Base

Melvin B. Meyer – Pattonville, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., 569BS/390BG/13BW/8th Air Force, B-17G bombardier, KIA (Leipzig, GER)

George J. Reuter – USA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., B-24 navigator, 328BS/93BG/8th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

Mark P. Wilson – Elizabethton, TN; US Army, WWII, ETO, Pfc., Co A/1/112/28th Infantry Division, KIA (Kommerscheidt, GER)

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SURRENDER

11th Airborne Honor Guard

The above photo shows the 11th Airborne Reconnaissance Battalion Honor Guard as they presented arms to the Allied and Japanese delegations upon their arrival to the USS Missouri, 2 September 1945.

General Douglas MacArthur, despite the irate fuming of the Soviets, was to be the Supreme Commander in Japan for the Occupation and rebuilding of the country. No occupational zone was given to the Russians regardless of their protests. The Soviets were insisting that they were to receive the Kuriles and Hokkaido in Northern Honshu as their ‘spoils of war.’ Stalin sent an emissary with these plans to MacArthur, who in reply threatened to sent the messenger back to Moscow rather than allow him to remain in his observer status. Stalin also sent a telegram to Truman with the same demands. At first, the president felt he would just ignore the irrational request, but then decided to just send a negative reply. The Soviet plan for the takeover was in effect until 23 August, when the Russian leader realized that Admiral Nimitz controlled the Japanese waters and he would be risking an armed conflict.

Instrument of Surrender

At 0700 hours on Sunday morning, 2 September, guests to the Japanese surrender ceremony began arriving as destroyers pulled up to the USS Missouri and unloaded their passengers, military officers and correspondents from around the globe. At 0805 hours, Admiral Nimitz climbed on board and MacArthur at 0843. Finally, the Japanese delegation went up the starboard gangway at 0855. Foreign Minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, using a cane and in agony because of a poorly fitted artificial leg, and General Umezu were followed by nine representatives, three each from the Army, Navy and Foreign Office. They paused, awaiting directions, each wearing a Shiran Kao (nonchalant face). The proceedings began at precisely 0908 hours with men draped from the decks and 450 aircraft from Task Force 38 roaring above in the overcast skies.

An invocation was read by the ship’s chaplain with the entire company standing at attention and a recording of the “Star-Spangled Banner” played through the speakers. Kase, the Foreign Minister’s secretary, felt his throat constrict upon seeing the number of small painted Rising Suns on the bulkhead. Each miniature flag represented a Japanese plan or submarine destroyed. Admiral Tomioka wondered why the Americans were showing no signs of contempt for them, but also, anger seared through him at the sight of the Soviet presence. The eyes of General Percival and Colonel Ichizi Sugita (interpreter) locked as they both remembered an earlier surrender and their painful memory at the Ford factory in Singapore.

MacArthur making history.

Generals Wainwright and Percival stood with MacArthur as he began to speak, “We are gathered here to conclude a solemn agreement whereby Peace may be restored…” (There was a brief interruption by an inebriated delegate [thankfully NOT American] who began making faces at the Japanese.)

When the general had finished and the U.S. and Japan had signed the documents, as if on cue, the sun broke through the clouds. The next to sign was China, Britain, Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand. MacArthur announced, “These proceedings are closed.” He then leaned over to Admiral Halsey and asked, “Bill, where the hell are those planes?” As if the pilots could hear the general’s irritation – 400 B-29s and 1,500 aircraft carrier planes appeared out of the north and roared toward the mists of Mount Fujiyama.

MacArthur then went over to another microphone to broadcast back to the United States, “Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended…” Japan’s delegates, now no longer considered the enemy, were saluted as they left the quarterdeck.

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Historical note – Almost a century before these proceedings, Commodore Perry had opened the West’s door to Japan. In commemoration of this, Admiral Halsey arranged for the actual Stars & Stripes, flown by Perry’s flagship in 1853, to be flown out to Japan for the ceremonies.

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Note of Interest – Truman was very pleased that the “USS Missouri” was chosen for the momentous occasion. It was one of the four largest battleships in the world, it was named after his home state and christened by his daughter, Margaret. (I find it hard to believe that this was just a coincidence.)

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Humorous note – On 1 September, the “Missouri’s” gunnery officer, Commander Bird, held a dress rehearsal for the ceremonies with 300 of the ship’s sailors. Everything went well until the band began to play the “Admiral’s March.” The stocky chief boatswain’s mate nicknamed, Two-Gut,” froze in his steps and scratched his head saying, “I’ll be damned! Me, an admiral!”

When the real Admiral Nimitz came aboard, he nearly went unnoticed. In desperation, Commander Bird shouted, “Attention, all hands!” Everyone on the ship became so silent that you could hear the waves lapping at the ship’s hull.

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SHOUT OUT !!!

Please take a look at a current 11th Airborne story that Rosalinda Morgan was kind enough to post.  It just happened to have occurred very close to where I live…

https://rosalindarmorgan.com/2023/01/04/an-11th-airborne-division-association-angels-new-years-miracle/

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Denis Neil Boak (100) – Northcote, NZ; RNZ Air Force, # 436452,  WWII

Anthony Di Petta – USA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Ordnanceman 1st Class, USS Enterprise, Torpedo Squadron 20, KIA (Malakai, Palau Is.)

Thomas F. Green – Ramona, CA; US Army, Vietnam, Pfc., 68 Aviation Co/52 Aviation Batt./17th Aviation Group, door gunner on Chinook helicopter “Warrior 143”, KIA (Nha Trang, SV)

Loretta Hanson (100) – Detroit, MI; US Woman’s Marine Corps, WWII

Tessie Kindos – Asbury Park, NJ; Civilian, WWII, Brooklyn Army Terminal

Harold Kretzer – Odin, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, TSgt., 66BS/$$BG/8th Air Force, B-24 gunner-engineer, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

George Lewis – Cleveland County, OK; US Army, WWII, ETO

Hershey Miyamura – Gallup, NM; US Army, WWII, 100th Infantry Batt.  /  Korea, POW, Medal of Honor  (Author dis a post on Mr. Miyamura a while back.  If you care to read more of his story… https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/intermission-stories-5/

David J. Riley – Juda, WI; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Seaman 2nd Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor, HI)

Harry Wickham – Floral City, FL; US Merchant Marines, WWII, Ensign, radio operator

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Smitty & the 11th Airborne in Japan

Smitty’s, Broad Channel, NY

Just as General Douglas MacArthur said to Gen. Robert Eichelberger that it was a long road to Tokyo, so it was for Smitty. Yes, the stretch from Broad Channel to Camp MacKall and finally Atsugi Airfield was a long and arduous road, but here, the 11th Airborne Division arrives in Japan to begin the Occupation and to help start the rebuilding of a country.

With the initial arrival of the division, rarely was a female between the ages of 8 and 70 seen on the streets. The Japanese had heard their government’s propaganda for years as to the American looting and raping, so they were understandably afraid of the conquering troops. But many were confused about the peaceful attitude of the soldiers and a member of the 511th regiment was stopped one day by a Japanese officer, he asked, “Why don’t you rape, loot and burn? We would.” The trooper answered that Americans just don’t do that.

11th A/B guarding the New Grand Hotel

With the New Grand Hotel surrounded by troopers, the manager and his staff bowed to Gen. MacArthur and his party and directed them to their suites. Tired and hungry from their long flight, the Americans went to the dining room and were served steak dinners. Gen. Whitney remembered wanting to take MacArthur’s plate to make certain it hadn’t been poisoned. When he told the general his concern and intentions, MacArthur laughed and said, “No one can live forever.”

The hotel would become his headquarters and later that evening, MacArthur told his staff, “Boys, this is the greatest adventure in military history. Here we sit in the enemy’s country with only a handful of troops, looking down the throats of 19 fully armed divisions and 70 million fanatics. One false move and the Alamo would look like a Sunday school picnic.” (The fact that nothing happened, I believe, said quite a bit about Japanese integrity.)

Atsugi Airfield, Japan 1945

The division Command Post was moved from the Atsugi Airfield to the Sun Oil Compound in Yokohama. This compound had about 15 American-style homes complete with furniture, dishes, silver and linens. The senior staff officers were not so fortunate. They were put up in warehouses on the docks, often without heat.

Smitty @ Sun Oil

On the reverse side of this photo, Smitty wrote: “A picture of the General’s gang taken in the living room at Yokohama. Reading left to right – baker, first cook, Mess Sergeant, me headwaiter and on the floor, second cook. Those glasses you can see were always full. You can’t beat this Japanese beer.”

Smitty (2nd from left) and rest of the crew

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In the Philippines, the Japanese emissary General Kawabe, finished their surrender talks. Kawabe’s aide, Second Lt. Sada Otake, introduced himself to a Nisei G.I. standing guard outside. The guard, in response, said his name was Takamura. Otake said he had married a Nisei by the same name and did he had a sister named Etsuyo? The guard nodded and Otake said, “I’m her husband. Look me up in Japan.” And the brothers-in-law shook hands. (Small world or fate?)

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Tokyo Rose – on the air

On 1 September, newsmen Harry Brundige and Clark Lee, with the help of a Japanese newsman, located Tokyo Rose with her husband in their hotel, the Imperial. Brundige offered her $2,000 for an exclusive interview for “Cosmopolitan” magazine. She agreed and together they typed out 17 pages of notes. The editor of the magazine was so astounded that Brundige had made a deal with a traitor that he rejected the story. The notes were handed over to Lee, who wrote his own version of the story for the International News Service.

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

John F. Aranyosi – Hammond, LA; US Army, WWII & Korea, Sgt. (Ret. 22 y.)

J.D. Bishop – Anniston, AL; US Army, WWII, PTO, Purple Heart

Final Mission

Try A. Charles (103) – DeLeon, LA; US Merchant Marines, WWII, ETO, radioman/medic

Lionel J. Desilets (100) – Paradise Hill, CAN; RC Army, WWII

William H. Flowers (100) – Cambridge, MD; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-25 flight instructor

Guy J. George – Barre, VT; US Army, WWII, CBI

William F. Gusie – IL; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Fire Controlman 3rd Class, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor, HI)

Vernon Hermann – Seward, NE; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Pharmacist’s Mate / Korea, Observer Corps

Marvin Krauss – Redding, CT; US Navy, WWII, Corpsman

Richard M. Marshall – Gilbert, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

A.N. Perry – Surfside, FL; US Coast Guard, WWII, PTO, LST radioman

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11th Airborne Division and the end of WWII / part2

Gen. Swing’s flag atop an Atsugi hanger

General Swing, Commander of the 11th A/B, brought with him on the plane a large American flag and a banner painted, “CP 11th Airborne Division” to be fastened onto the roof of airplane hangar. He was dressed in battle fatigues and “11th A/B” was stenciled on his helmet. He carried a .38 pistol and a bandoleer of .38 caliber shells draped across his chest. (As ready for combat in Japan as he was on Leyte and Luzon.) A Japanese officer approached him as he departed the plane. The officer saluted and introduced himself as Lieut-General Arisuye, the officer in control of the Atsugi sector. He then asked the general what his current orders would be and Gen. Swing lost no time in telling him.

American POWs had been left unguarded at their prisons just days before. Two hours after Gen. Swing’s arrival, two POWs walked into the CP. (command post). They had taken a train from the prison to Tokyo. No Japanese soldiers or civilians approached them along the way.

Generals Swing & Eichelberger w/ Japanese surrender detail

Later that day, Colonel Yamamoto presented himself as the chief liaison officer; both he and his aide were still wearing their swords. Gen. Swing ordered them to remove their weapons. Yamamoto arrogantly protested and insisted on explaining that the sword was his symbol of authority. Swing repeated his order, but with a more firm and commanding tone of voice and the two Japanese men complied immediately.

Yokohama

The 11th A/B then proceeded on to Yokohama where the Allied Headquarters was to be established. The fifth largest city of Japan was now little more than a shantytown after the persistent Allied bombings. In fact, most of the towns and cities resembled the crumbled remains seen in Europe. Yokohama and Tokyo would become sites for the Allied Military Tribunal trials for the Japanese war criminals, similar to those held in Nuremberg for the Germans.

The original Toonerville Trolley

The trucks waiting for the men at Atsugi airfield to be used as transportation between Tokyo and Yokohama mostly ran on charcoal and wood. Only a few vehicles still operated on gasoline. They were consistently breaking down and the fire engine that led General MacArthur’s motorcade was said to look like a Toonerville Trolley.

Below, the photograph from the New York “Daily News” show the 11th A/B in front of the New Grand Hotel and on the right, one of the many vehicles that constantly broke down. The date written on the picture is the issue  my grandmother cut them from the paper, not the dates the pictures were taken.

General Swing wanted to view his newly arriving troops farther down the runway from where he was, when he spotted a Japanese general exiting his car. Seconds later, ‘Jumpin’ Joe’ hopped into the backseat. The interpreter translated from the driver to Swing that the limo was reserved for the Chief of Staff of the Imperial Army. Swing roared in returned, “Goddamn it, we won the war. Drive me down the strip.” Once in front of his troops, Swing exited the car and the Japanese captain said, “Well sir, Generals are alike in all armies.”

Gen. Douglas MacArthur landing at Atsugi Airfield

The 11th Airborne band set up for the arrival of General Douglas MacArthur at 1400 hours. When the general’s plane the ‘Bataan’ landed, the five-star general paused at the door wearing his pleated khakis, his shirt unbuttoned at the neck and the garrison hat with the gold encrusted visor crown. (In other words – his typical attire). There were no ribbons clipped to his shirt, but the customary corncob pipe hung from his lips at an angle. He then descended, shook hands with Gen. Eichelberger and quietly said, “Bob, from Melbourne to Tokyo is a long way, but this seems to be the end of the road.  This is the payoff.”

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Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Curtis Becker – Warsaw, IL; US Army, Vietnam, F Co/41/101st Airborne Division, Bronze Star

August Dindia – Portland, OR; US Navy, WWII, PTO, LST navigator/signalman

Thomas W. Goodyear – Mount Holly Springs, PA, US Army Air Corps, WWII

George “Johnny” Johnson (101) – Lincolnshire, ENG; RAF, WWII, ETO, 617 Squadron (Last surviving “Dam Buster”), MBE

Clay Lair (100) – Harrison, AK; US Navy, WWII

Joseph E. Lescant – Cambridge, MA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Pvt. # 11024358, 16 BS/27 BG, POW, KWC (Cabanatuan Camp, Luzon)

John F. Matousek – Centennial, CO; US Army, WWII, ETO, 508th MP Battalion

Arthur L. Pierce – Malden, MA, US Army, WWII, PTO, Pfc. # 11007114, 803 Engineering Battalion, POW, KWC (Cabanatuan Camp, Luzon)

Theodore F. Scarborough – Brooklyn, MS; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 2nd Lt. # 0-734985, B-24 bombardier, 345 BS/98BG/9th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

Dale D. Thompson – Cherry County, NE; US Army, Korea, Pfc. # 17277010, Heavy Mortar Co./32/7th Infantry Division, KIA (Chosin Reservoir, NK)

Stanley Young – Mena, AR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

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SHOUT OUT !!!

 

I have a very early doctor appointment, so it may take me some time to get back to each of you.  

Please be patient with me.

 

 

 

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11th Airborne and the end of WWII / part one

Jeeps on Okinawa

Okinawa, as one of the islands being “beefed-up” with supplies, men and materiel, quickly became significantly congested; it is only 877 square miles, but soon they would be minus the 11th Airborne Division.  MacArthur had decided the 11th would be the first to land in Japan, with the 187th Regiment leading off.

General Swing was not certain how the enemy would take to him and the 187th regiment landing in Japan as the first conquerors in 2000 years, so the men were ordered to be combat ready. Besides staying in shape, they spent many an hour listing to numerous lectures on the Japanese culture.

15 August, Washington D.C. received Japan’s acceptance of the terms of surrender. Similar to the Western Electric advertisement pictured, phones and telegraphs buzzed around the world with the news that WWII was over, but reactions varied. Among the men on Okinawa, there was jubilation mixed in with ‘let’s wait and see.”

In Japan, most felt relieved, but others committed suicide to fulfill their duty.  Russian troops continued to push into Manchuria to get as far into the area as possible before the Allies could stop them.

Troops in Europe were elated to hear that they were no longer being transferred to the Pacific and South America began to see the arrival of Nazi escapees and the United States went wild with gratitude.

Gen. Joseph May Swing
(on the reverse side of this photo, Smitty wrote, “My General.”)

During the initial meeting, the Japanese were instructed to have 400 trucks and 100 sedans at Atsugi Airfield in readiness to receive the 11th Airborne. This caused much concern with the dignitaries. Atsugi had been a training base for kamikaze pilots and many of them were refusing to surrender. There were also 300,000 well-trained troops on the Kanto Plain of Tokyo, so MacArthur moved the landing for the 11th A/B to the 28th of August; five days later than originally planned.

There was much discussion as to whether or not the 11th Airborne would fly into Japan or parachute down. Troopers tried jumping from the B-24s on the island, but it proved to be an awkward plane for that purpose. To carry the men to Japan and then return was impossible for the C-46, therefore C-54s were brought in from around the world and crammed onto the island.

11th Airborne Recon Battalion Honor Guard, USS Missouri 9/2/45

GHQ ordered General Swing to form an honor guard company for General MacArthur. Captain Glen Carter of the 187th regiment became the company commander. Every man was required to be 5′ 11″ or taller.

18-20 August, the Soviet army overran the Kwantung Army in central Manchuria, taking three cities in three days. They continued south in the quickest campaign of Soviet history, killing 80,000 Japanese.

28 August was to be the intended date for U.S. arrival in Japan, but two typhoons put a snafu on the trooper’s strategies. My father recalled, during their prolonged stay on the island, meeting some of the 509th Bomber Group. They did not wish to be known in Japan as those that dropped the A-bomb.  What they had witnessed through their goggles seemed to be a nightmare straight out of “Buck Rogers. The airmen requested an 11th A/B patch to sew over their own before entering Japan.  Smitty said he gave away a lot of patches;  he felt they were just men who carried out their orders.

Asugi Airfield, 1945

The Emperor was wary of any fanatical emotions that might still be lingering within the kamikaze pilots. Therefore, he sent his brother, Prince Takamatsu, with a team to dismantle the propellers from their planes to prevent any “heroics” from occurring before MacArthur’s plane, the Bataan, was scheduled to land. The previously all-powerful Japanese Army had had such control over the country for so long that these precautions had to be fulfilled to ensure a peaceful occupation. This was all carried out while the Emperor still believed he would be executed as a war criminal.

28 August 1945, Japanese officers signed the surrender documents in Rangoon to finalize Japan’s defeat in Burma. On islands throughout the Pacific, enemy troops surrendered in droves to American and British authorities in the following days. Most of the men were malnourished and ill.

THE JAPANESE SURRENDER IN BURMA, 1945 (SE 4821) Brigadier E F E Armstrong of British 12th Army staff signs the surrender document at Rangoon on behalf of the Allies. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208318

30 August, due to the latest typhoon, the first plane carrying the 11th A/B does not leave Okinawa until this date. Colonel John Lackey lifted off Kadena Airfield at 0100 hours with General Swing on board. The 187th regiment, upon arriving at Atsugi Airfield (just outside Tokyo), after their seven hour flight, immediately surrounded the area and the Emperor’s Summer Palace to form a perimeter. The 3d battalion of the 188th regiment, the honor guard and the band showed up to prepare for MacArthur’s arrival.

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Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Leo W. Arsenault – Exeter, NH; US Army, Vietnam, CSgt., Major (Ret. 22 y.), Bronze Star

Ray E. Ball – Newnan, GA; Korea & Vietnam, LTC (Ret. 23 Y.)

Claire Behlings – Milwaukee, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 33rd Infantry & 11th Airborne Division

John M. Carroll – NY, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, TSgt.,328 BS/93BG/9th Air Force, B-24 radio operator, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

Wayne L. Dyer – Hobart, OK; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 2nd Lt., B-17 navigator, 390BG/8th Air Force, KIA ( Leipzig, GER )

Joseph H. Gunnoe – Charleston, WV; US Army, WWII, ETO, Cpl., G Co/112/28th Infantry Division, KIA (Vossenack, GER)

Reynaldo Nerio Sr. – San Marcos, TX; US Army Air Corps, 82nd Airborne Division

Evelyn Orzel – Chicago, IL; Civilian, WWII, ammo production

William Scott – Passaic, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 2nd Lt. # 0-796608, B-24 navigator, 68BS/44BG/8th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM)

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Japan’s Underwater Aircraft Carrier I-400 series conclusion

Watch the surrender of a I-400 class Supersubmarine.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto called for the construction of 18 of the massive submarines carrying a total of 36 attack planes. The name of the special submarine class was abbreviated to Sen-toku.

The attack planes had to be designed from scratch. The need for speed, range and a decent sized bomb payload required tradeoffs. The wings had to be foldable to fit inside the tube, or hangar, atop the submarine. The design work, testing, and building of the plane was outsourced to the Aichi Aircraft Company.

The I-400 program did have its detractors in the heavily bureaucratic Imperial Japanese Navy.  After the defeat at Midway in early June 1942, Japan became more focused on defending the homeland and far less on possible attacks on the U.S. mainland using the large submarines. The death of Yamamoto in mid-April 1943, played further into the hands of conservative Japanese commanders. Cutbacks were ordered in the number of submarines to be built.  .

The first test flight of the Aichi attack plane occurred on November 8, 1943. The plane, called Seiran or “storm from a clear sky,” reportedly handled fairly well as the world’s first sub-borne attack bomber. The Japanese began compiling limited available information on the heavily fortified Panama Canal. Their analysis showed that destroying the gate opening onto Gatun Lake would create a massive outpouring of water, destroying the other gates in its path while rushing toward the Caribbean Sea.

After weeks of planning, the Japanese came up with a strategy to attack the Gatun locks at dawn when the gates were closed and presumably the defenses were lax. The planners had nearly a full year to formulate the attack for early 1945. But there were problems ahead because none of the submarines were complete and the planes were not yet in the production stage.

The Japanese labored on, and by the end of 1944 the I-400 and the smaller I-13 were completed and turned over to the Navy. In early January 1945, the I-401 was commissioned  and the I-14, the last of the underwater aircraft carriers, was put into service by mid-March 1945.

As an important aside, it should be noted that while preparations for the attack on the Panama Canal went forward, Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, vice-chief of the Naval General Staff, floated another idea for the use of the Sen-toku submarines. He suggested arming the Seiran planes with biological weapons to be unleashed against a populated area on the West Coast of the United States.

Dr. Shiro Ishii, Japan’s top virus expert and head of the Army’s notorious 731 unit in Manchuria, was consulted. He recommended that the planes drop plague-inflected fleas, something he had tested with success in China.  On the United States with San Francisco, Los Angeles, or San Diego he suggested as targets. The plan was discarded in late March by the head of the Army’s general staff who called it  “unpardonable on humanitarian grounds.”

In effect, the Japanese Army, which had led the development of biological weapons and had tested them on Chinese and American captives, nixed the idea of using the weapons late in the war on American civilians, perhaps in the belief that the war was already lost.

I-400 class submarine located off Oahu.

The subs were later scuttled.

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Upcoming –   For those in the U.S. and around the world, reading here – Happy Thanksgiving!! 2022

Thanksgiving from: Pacific Paratrooper | Pacific Paratrooper (wordpress.com)

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Military Humor – 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Walter Alesi – Salem, OH; USMC, WWII,PTO, 5/4th Marines

Norma Bidner (101) – Gibson City, IL; Civilian, WWII, Chanute Air Force Base

Take a moment to honor them.

Robert Black – Boise, ID; US Navy, Chaplain, the Gray Shepard Award, USS Racine

Raymond Cattell (101) – Birmingham, ENG; Royal Navy, WWII, HMS Glasgow & HMS King George V

Benge Elliot – Lamesa, TX; US Army, medical

Levin Ferrin (100) – Phoenix, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 82nd Airborne Division

Willis Holton – Jacksonville, FL; US Air Force, Korea

Francis P. Martin – Scranton, PA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Pfc. # 33457416, Co D/1/157/45th Infantry Division, KIA (Reipertswiller, FRA)

Walter Nies – Eureka, SD; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, SSgt. # 37307545, Tail gunner, 96 BS/2 BG/15th Air Force, POW, KWC (Stalag Luft 6, GER)

James Rotunno – Brooklyn, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, SSgt. # 32204944, Co K/3/157/ 45th Infantry Division, KIA (Reipertswiller, FRA)

Robert A. Wright – Whitesville, KY; US Army, Korea, Pfc. # 15381551, Co C/1/19/24th Infantry Division, KIA (Taejon, SK)

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Japan’s Underwater Aircraft Carrier / part-one

I-400 Series Super-submarine

Lieutenant Commander Stephen L. Johnson had a problem on his hands; a very large problem. His Balao-class submarine, the Segundo, had just picked up a large radar contact on the surface about 100 miles off Honshu, one of Japan’s home islands, heading south toward Tokyo.  World War II in the Pacific had just ended, and the ensuing cease fire was in its 14th day. The official peace documents would not be signed for several more days.

As Johnson closed on the other vessel, he realized it was a gigantic submarine, so large in fact that it first looked like a surface ship in the darkness. The Americans had nothing that size, so he realized that it had to be a Japanese submarine.

This was the first command for the lanky 29-year-old commander. He and his crew faced the largest and perhaps the most advanced submarine in the world. The Japanese I-401 was longer than a football field and had a surface displacement of 5,233 tons, more than three times the Segundo’s displacement. More troubling though was the sub’s bristling weaponry that included a 5.5-inch gun on her aft deck, three triple-barreled 25mm antiaircraft guns, a single 25mm gun mounted on the bridge, and eight large torpedo tubes in her bow.

During a brief ceremony aboard one of the aircraft carrier submarines, the Japanese naval ensign is lowered and replaced by the Stars and Stripes as the vessel is turned over to the control of the U.S. Navy after Japan’s surrender

The large sub displayed the mandatory black surrender flag, but when the Segundo edged forward, the Japanese vessel moved rapidly into the night. The movement and the continuing display of the Rising Sun flag caused concern.  Johnson’s vessel pursued the craft that eventually slowed down as dawn approached. He brought his bow torpedo tubes to bear on the craft as the two vessels settled into a Mexican standoff.

Johnson and his crew had received permission by now to sink the reluctant Japanese vessel if necessary, but he realized he had a career-boosting and perhaps a technologically promising prize in his sights. Much depended on this untried American submarine captain and his wily opponent in the seas off Japan.

Supersub I-400 series

Little did Johnson know that the Japanese submarine was a part of the I-400 squadron, basically underwater aircraft carriers, and that the I-401 carried Commander Tatsunosuke Ariizumi, developer of the top-secret subs initially designed to strike the U.S. homeland in a series of surprise attacks. Ariizumi was considered the “father of the I-400 series” and a loyal follower of the emperor with years of experience in the Japanese Navy, so surrender was a disgrace he could not endure.

Johnson also had to contend with Lt. Cmdr. Nobukiyo Nambu, skipper of the I-401, who traced his combat experience back to Pearl Harbor. He now commanded the world’s largest submarine designed to carry three state-of-the-art attack planes in a specially built hanger located atop the vessel. These secret Aichi M6A1 planes were initially designed for “a second Pearl Harbor” or another surprise attack, possibly even against New York City or Washington, D.C. The I-400 series submarines were themselves full of technological surprises.  They were capable of traveling around the world one and a half times without refueling, had a top surface speed of 19 knots (or nearly 22 miles per hour), and could remain on patrol for four months, twice as long as the Segundo.

Neither Nambu nor Commander Ariizumi readily accepted the emperor’s surrender statement when it was broadcast on August 15. The subsequent communiqués from Tokyo were exceptionally confusing, especially Order 114, which confirmed that peace had been declared – but that all submarines were to “execute predetermined missions and attack the enemy if discovered.”

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

It was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of Japan’s Combined Fleet and developer of the Pearl Harbor attack, who called for the construction of the I-400 series some three weeks after Pearl Harbor.  Once Japan was committed to war, he believed that submarine aircraft carriers dropping bombs “like rain” over major U.S. cities would surely cause the American people to “lose their will to fight.” A second surprise attack with even more to come would prove psychologically devastating to the Americans.

To be continued…

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Military Humor-

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Farewell Salutes – 

William K. Beers – Lewistown, PA; US Army, Vietnam, 101st Airborne & 17th Artillery

George E. Bernard (100) – Burlington, VT; US Navy, WWII, ETO, Seaman 2nd Class, LCT Rocket # 373

Charlotte Clark – Laconia, NH; Civilian, WWII, Scott & Williams Aircraft parts

Milton Cronk (100) – Iowa City, IA; USMC, WWII, PTO, Marines Raiders, Purple Heart

Frank Daniels – Watertown, MA; US Navy, WWII, PTO, gunner, Seaman 1st Class

R. James Giguere – St. Paul, MN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 “Miss Lace” bull turret gunner

William C. Jones (100) – Fort Smith, AR; US Navy, WWII

Ruth (Lias) Lowery (100) – Akron, OH; Civilian, WWII, B-17 production

Johnnie Mullenix – Unionville, MO; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Richard Shaug – Cambria, CA; US Army, Korea, HQ Co/187th RCT

Twila Wellsfry – Chico, CA; Civilian, WWII, bookkeeper, Mares Island shipyard

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General Yamashita, conclusion

General Yamashita – click to enlarge

One of the most monumental surrenders in the Pacific War was General Tomoyuki Yamashita. He had joined the Japanese Army in 1906 and fought the Germans in China in 1914, graduated Staff College in 1916 and began a military attaché in Switzerland as an expert on Germany, where he was to meet Tojo Hideki.

Tojo soon became very envious of the success and advancements Yamashita was achieving. This was especially true after the campaign in Malaya and bluffing the British into surrendering to his inferior forces in Singapore. Tojo used his influence to have Yamashita transferred to Manchuria before he could even announce his win to the Emperor. The general was sent to the Philippine Islands in 1944. A man who believed in the Samurai traditions and was highly devoted to the Emperor.

Many times, my friend Mustang Koji has given me information on this war, his site,  http://p47koji.wordpress.com and he supplied much of the data included here in today’s post. A visit to Koji’s website will give you stories about having relatives on both sides of the Pacific too.  Very interesting!

The initial contact with Gen. Yamashita

30 August – negotiations with the general were drawing to a close, but he remained in his mountain headquarters sending word with thanks to the American Commanders for their “sincere efforts and concerns,” and his regrets that he was unable to contact his forces in Cagayan Valley, Balete Pass and the Clark Field areas.

Small groups were beginning to turn themselves in and Major General Yuguchi, of the 103d Division in the Cagayan Valley had already agreed to the surrender terms, but was awaiting word from Yamashita. The 37th Infantry Division was expecting 3,000 to surrender on 2 September. Throughout the Philippine Islands, capitulations were being delivered from Japanese officers.

correspondents at the trials.

Some Japanese soldiers refused to believe that the Emperor had aired a demand for peace and skirmishes were reported on various islands. No American troops were listed as casualties. Those killed during that action with unfriendly combatants were Japanese, Filipino, Korean.  General Yamashita arrived for his surrender and behaved as a gentleman officer would, then was led away to Baguio City for confinement, surrender and trial.

Gen. Yamashita testifying.

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.

Translator, Masaksu Hamamoto,.

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.

The American Military Court in Manila sentenced Gen. Yamashita on 7 December 1945 and he was hanged on 23 February 1946.

The above is a modern photo of the Home Economics building of the Kiangan Central School where General Yamashita was first contacted. Later, he was sent to Baguio City for the formal surrender.
Photo is credited to, Dr. Walter Johnson

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From:  GP    To:  ALL WHO DARE TO ENTER

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Military Humor –

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Farewell Salutes – 

Raymond J. Border – W. Lafayette, OH; US Navy, Iraq & Afghanistan, Chief Petty Officer, SeaBee, Bronze Star, KIA (Yahya Khel, AFG)

Loy E. Boyd – Wesley, AR; US Army, WWII, Signal Corps

“You Are Not Forgotten”

Ash Carter – Philadelphia, PA; US Government, Former Defense Secretary

Floyd F. Clifford – Douglass, KS; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Seaman 2nd Class # 3423274, USS Oklahoma, KIA (Pearl Harbor, HI)

David N. Defibaugh – Duncansville, PA; US Army, Korea, Cpl. # 13308573, C Co/3rd Combat Engineers/24th Infantry Division, KIA (Taejon, SK)

Robert Garza – Eagle Pass, TX; US Army, Vietnam, 173rd Airborne Brigade, Purple Heart

Zelwood A. Gravlin – New Britain, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, Sgt. # 31125292, gunner, 343 BS/98 BG/9th Air Force, KIA (Ploiesti, ROM), DFC

Howard G. Malcolm – Jefferson County, IL; US Army, Korea, Sgt. # 16307893, Speed Radio Operator, HQ Co/9/2nd Infantry Division, POW, KWC (Chosin, NK)

David Norcross – Shreveport, LA; USMC, Korea, Cpl., Charlie Company/1st Marine Division, wounded 3 times, one of the Chosin Few

Gregory Schall – Buffalo, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII

William T. Wall – Marion, NC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co G/187/11th Airborne Division

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General Yamashita (part one) from: Gen. Eichelberger

Gen. Eichelberger

From:  “Our Jungle Road to Tokyo” by General Robert Eichleberger

Although negotiations with Yamashita for surrender were completed after 8th Army had relinquished control of Luzon, the story should be told here.  It must be remembered that Japanese forces at this period had little or no communication with the homeland.

On 7 August – the day of the fall of the first atomic bomb – an America pilot was forced to abandon his disabled plane and parachute behind the Japanese lines in northern Luzon.  He was picked up by an enemy patrol the next morning and taken after 5 days of forced marches to Gen. Yamashita’s headquarters, then SW of Kiangan.

Gen. Yamashita

There he was subjected to vigorous and prolonged interrogation.  He was threatened with physical violence when he steadfastly refused to answer questions.

On 16 Aug – the attitude of the Japanese interrogators abruptly changed.  The pilot received medical treatment for his parachute-jump injuries and was extended many small courtesies.  The next day the American was guided toward American lines; when the Japanese soldiers had gone as far as they dared, they gave the flier a letter, written by Yamashita himself, which explained the circumstances of the pilot’s capture and commended him for his military spirit and devotion to duty.

On 24 August – the same pilot flew an L-5 liaison plane over the area in which he had been held and dropped a message of thanks to Gen. Yamashita, along with 2 signal panels.  The message, written by Gen. Gill of the 32nd Division, suggested that if Yamashita were in the mood for surrender negotiations he should display the 2 panels as evidence of his willingness to parley.

The following morning another pilot found the panels staked out according to instructions; also on the ground were many cheering, hand-waving Japanese soldiers, who beckoned the plane to land.  Instead, a second message was dropped.  It suggested that Yamashita send an envoy to the American lines to received detailed instructions for his surrender.

Late in the afternoon of 26 August, a Japanese captain, carrying Yamashita’s answer, entered the American lines under a flag of truce.  The letter, which was written in English, was as follows:

Gen. Yamashita

GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY IN THE PHILIPPINES

August 25, 1945

TO: GENERAL W.H. GILL, COMMANDING GENERAL KIANGAN-BOYOMBONG AREA, UNITED STATES ARMY IN THE PHILIPPINES

  1. I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication addressed to me, dropped by your airplane on Aug. 24th as well as your papers dropped on Aug. 25th in response to our ground signals.
  2. I am taking this opportunity to convey to you that order from Imperial Headquarters pertaining to cessation of hostilities was duly received by me on Aug. 20th and that I have immediately issued orders to cease hostilities to all units under my command insofar as communications were possible.

I also wish to add this point the expression of my heartfelt gratitude to you, full cognizant of the sincere efforts and deep concern you have continuously shown with reference to cessation of hostilities as evidenced by various steps and measures you have taken in this connection.

To date however, I have failed to receive order from Imperial Headquarters authorizing me to enter into direct negotiations here in the Philippines with the United States Army…, but I am of the fond belief that upon receipt of this order, negotiations can be immediately entered into.  Presenting my compliments and thanking you for your courteous letter, I remain, yours respectively,

/s/Tomoyuki Yamashita, General, Imperial Japanese Army, Highest Commander of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines

circa 1956: The samurai sword of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, ‘the Tiger of Malaya’, commander of the Japanese troops in the Philippines during World War II. It rests on the Philippine Surrender Document, signed at Baguio, Luzon on September 3rd, 1945. (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

This message was the first in a series exchanged between Yamashita and Gen. Gill.  The exquisite courtesy of the exchanges probably has for the average reader something of the quality of ‘Through the Looking-Glass’.

To be continued…….

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Military Humor – 

Private Wilbur

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Frank Bever (101) – Lagro, IN; US Army, WWII, ETO, TSgt., 95th Infantry Division, Purple Heart

Walter G. Bonrer – Oconomowoc, WI; US Army, Korea, Co. F/187th RCT

A Tribute to them ALL

Lucille (Whitehead) Clark – USA; US Navy WAVES, WWII

Jesse “Jay” Durham Jr. – Fort Payne, AL; US Navy, WWII, USS Cleveland

Raymond Femc – Forest City, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Co. E/187/11th Airborne Division

Jay Karpin Hicksville, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 & B-24 navigator

Robert J. Lovelace – No. Roanoke, VA; US Army, WWII, Sgt. Major (Ret. 34 y.)

Dominic Rossetto – Red Lodge, MT; US Army, 101st Airborne Division

Wilbur “Curly” Siebold – Huntington, IN; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 gunner, POW

John B. Thomas – Wayne County, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt. # 0-659415, 34 BS/98 BG/ 9th Air Force, KIA (Ploiest, ROM)

Keith W. Tipsword – Moccasin, IL; US Navy, WWII, PTO, Machinist Mate 1st Cl. # 3369382, USS West Virginia, KIA (Pearl Harbor, HI)

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