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PTO & CBI reactions to V-E Day

US Army 77th Division hears the news on Okinawa

Victory in Europe was welcome news to Allied troops in the Pacific and the China-Burma-India theaters of war. They greeted it with thanksgiving but there was little celebration. As a London Times special correspondent in Burma wrote, “The war is over. Let us get on with the war.” Now that Europe would no longer be receiving the bulk of troops and materiel, officers and enlisted personnel in the war against Japan hoped they would be given more men and equipment quickly, in order to end their war sooner.

Meanwhile, fighting continued in New Guinea, the Philippines, Okinawa, the CBI and elsewhere. Kamikazes still made suicide dives to sink Allied ships. The lights may have gone on over Europe and America, but a funeral pall still darkened the Pacific and Asia.

SMITTY _ New Guinea 10/24/44

Smitty, my father, when asked how he had felt, merely shrugged. “I was happy for my fellow soldiers over there, but we had work to do, so we didn’t think about it very long.”

From The May 7, 1945 Edition of Stars and Stripes

OKINAWA, May 6 (ANS)—The reported death of Adolf Hitler and the word of surrender of the German armies in Italy was good news to soldiers, sailors and marines here but there was no celebrating.Most of the fighting men figured it wouldn’t mean a thing to them “until we can see some help coming and see a chance of ending the war out here.”

They termed Hitler’s death “good riddance” and said it was a good thing he went that way because there probably would have been lots of bickering around if we had taken him alive.”

Gen. Daniel I. Sultan

Gen. Dan I. Sultan, commander of the India-Burma Theater, on V-E Day, paid tribute to the fighting men who won the European war in a short statement to the troops of the India-Burma Theater broadcast over the American Army radio stations in the Theater. The text of Gen. Sultan’s statement:
“Today in Europe, German military might has been broken. After almost six years, organized hostilities have ceased. The great work of reconstruction of the shattered continent can now begin.
“We recognize the tremendous achievements of the Allied Armies in Europe who won this victory, for we too have been fighting. We know the cost of driving back a tenacious enemy – we know the necessity for close co-operation of all branches of our forces, the close union with our allies in the common cause. We know the heartbreaking conditions of combat under adverse weather and over difficult terrain – the back-breaking work of construction and supply in support of combat operations. So, as fighting men, we pay tribute to the fighting men in Europe.
“Their victory is in part our victory. We have done with less man and supplies, so that they might have more. Their victory brings our victory nearer. The men who broke the German ground defenses in the west, who destroyed her essential industries from the air, can now turn their attention to the war with Japan. The industrial strength of the United States, until now producing for the war both in Europe and in Asia, can turn its full productive force to the Far East.
“This is the day of Germany’s defeat and Europe’s liberation, but we must not forget that there is still a tough battle to be fought before the Japs are licked. Every one of us knows his part in that fight; and if every one of us will do his part to the utmost, Japan’s defeat and the liberation of Asia will come surely and swiftly.”

The Pacific War

 

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia greeted V-E Day with the question, “Since when has it been customary to celebrate victory halfway through a contest?” The war with Japan had been the great threat to Australia itself, and the country’s sons were still fighting and dying in that war. Accordingly, the mood was more somber than in Europe. On May 9, some 100,000 people attended a service at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

For the most part New Zealanders observed V-E Day on May 9, although there was some spontaneous dancing in the streets. Preparations had been underway for weeks, in part to keep celebrations from getting out of control. Events included speeches, thanksgiving services, and the singing of the national anthems of New Zealand, America and the Soviet Union. A People’s Victory March in Christchurch drew 25,000.

In the U.S., many communities attempted to subdue celebrations, wanting to give the occasion the solemnity they felt it deserved and reminding Americans that, as Truman said, “Our victory is only half over.” Across the country, however, joyous celebrations broke out. Thousands gathered in New York’s Times Square. New Orleans took on the appearance of Mardi Gras, with people dancing in the streets. Church bells rang out the glorious news in small towns and major cities.

In the Soviet Union, Stalin himself seemed less than enthusiastic. His deputy Nikita Khrushchev telephoned to congratulate the Soviet leader on his victory, and Stalin reportedly snapped at him, “Why are you bothering me? I am working.” The USSR’s official victory parade took place in a downpour over a month later, on June 24.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor –

‘Bring back rationing!’

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes –

Harold Bishop – Sacramento, CA; US Navy, WWII, submarine service

Christopher A. Celiz – Summerville, SC; US Army, Afghanistan (7th deployment), Sgt. 1st Class, KIA

Dallas ‘Chris’ Christenson – Pensecola, FL, US Air Force, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, MSgt. (Ret.)

John Hart – Keesville, NY; US Army / US Navy

Melvin Hilscher – Kulm, ND; US Army, WWII

James McLean – AUS; RA Air Force # 428761, WWII, Flight Sgt., 83rd Squadron

George Meyer – Bristol, CT; US Navy, WWII, Medical Corps

Ruskin Reddoch – Troy, AL; USMC, WWII, 1st Lt., Silver Star, Purple Heart

Elliot Seidman – Delray Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII, PTO, radioman

Maria Swafford – Boydton, VA; Civilian, US Map Service, D.C., WWII

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May 8 – V-E Day

The Queen Elizabeth returns troops to NYC

The Queen Elizabeth returns troops to NYC

On May 8, 1945, millions of people around the globe took to the streets to celebrate the World War II surrender of Germany on what came to be known as Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day. At 2:41 a.m. local time the previous day, representatives from the victorious Allied nations met with German officials in Reims, France, to sign the official surrender documents but, in accordance with an earlier agreement between leaders in the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom, the news of the end of hostilities on the continent was withheld for 24 hours and announced simultaneously on the 8th. In London, spotlights in the form of a “V” for victory were turned on over St. Paul’s Cathedral—although it took some time to get them working again after nearly six years of wartime blackouts. In the United States a newly sworn-in president got a very unusual birthday present. And in the Soviet Union, a powerful leader was already planning his next, post-war moves. Millions had been killed, rationing continued and there was still three months of deadly fighting ahead, but for a few hours, the world stopped to commemorate and celebrate. As we remember its 68th anniversary, here are some surprising facts you may not know about V-E Day.

V-E Day in NYC

V-E Day in NYC

Susan Hibbert, a British secretary stationed at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in Reims, France, began working on a series of documents and cables to world leaders informing them of the impending surrender. , didn’t finish until 20 hours later. Finally, at around 2:30 am May 7, Hibbert and other staffers crowded into a conference room to witness one of the most momentous events of the 20th century. Curiously, General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander and architect of the successful war strategy, didn’t attend the ceremony, and was instead represented by his chief of staff Walter Bedell Smith. He did, however, decide how the historic news would be relayed around the world. While many on his staff pressed for a strongly worded declaration of victory, “Ike” overruled them, instead crafting a far simpler message to announce the end of six deadly years of conflict: “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.”Joseph Stalin insisted on a second surrender ceremony.
When Soviet leader Joseph Stalin heard about the surrender ceremony in Reims, he was none too pleased. He declared that the U.S.S.R’s representative there, Ivan Susloparov, had not been authorized to sign the document and that the wording differed from a previous agreement Stalin had approved. Stalin, who ensured Soviet troops were the first to arrive in Berlin in an effort to secure control of the city before the Allies, also refused to accept a surrender signed on French soil, and declared the Reims document simply a preliminary surrender. Stalin’s remarks caused massive confusion; German radio announced that the Axis may have surrendered on the Western Front, but remained at war with the Soviets, and fighting continued throughout the day on May 8. Finally, just before midnight (in the early hours of the 9th, Moscow time), another hastily assembled ceremony got underway in Soviet-controlled Berlin.

Halifax, Canada - V-E Day 1945

Halifax, Canada, V-E Day

V-E Day sparked the deadly Halifax Riot. 
Unfortunately, not every V-E Day celebration ended peacefully. For six years tensions had been rising in the critical Canadian port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as thousands of sailors flooded the city, more than doubling its population. With housing, commodities and entertainment in short supply, prices were high and tempers were extremely short. On May 7, when word reached the city of the impending surrender, business leaders, fearing an influx of servicemen in search of a celebration, decided to close all liquor stores, restaurants and stores, while the city suspended local transportation. Despite these concerns, the nearby military base’s commander gave more than 10,000 sailors temporary leave to enjoy the end of the war downtown. Angered at what they considered gross mistreatment by city residents, and with little in the way of peaceful diversions, the men eventually began to riot, looting retail stores and liquor outlets and starting dozens of fires. The Halifax Riot continued into May 8, with another 9,000 sailors teeming into town. By the time order was restored and the looting had stopped late that afternoon, three servicemen were dead, 360 had been arrested and the city had suffered more than $5 million in damages—$62 million in today’s money.

 

Reims, France - site of German surrender 1945

                                                                             Reims, France – site of German surrender 1945

The location of the surrender was known as France’s city of kings. 

050506VEDay

by: John Fewings

Information courtesy of History.com

To view previous V-E Day posts – CLICK HERE and then HERE.

ve-day-70th-anniversary

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Political Cartoons ~ from back in the day ~

szyk6

by: Arthur Szyk (1894-1951)

There you are! Don't lose it again!

There you are! Don’t lose it again!

From: The Register, Idaho Falls, ID

From: The Register, Idaho Falls, ID

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Farewell Salutes – 

Arthur Barnett – Hibiscus Coast, NZ; NZ Army # 614348, WWII, 24th Battalion Infantry, Pvt.

Morton Cominsky – Richmond Hil, NY; US Navy, WWII

Once a soldier, always a soldier.

Once a soldier, always a soldier.

Sheila Ede – brn: Darlington, ENG/Alberta, CAN; British Air Force, WWII

Cary Jarvis – Norfolk, VA; US Army, WWII, ETO

Ralph Jeffers – Ocean Township, NJ; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Curtiss (Pearl Harbor)

Charles Keating – Paradise Valley, AZ; US Navy, Iraq, SEAL, KIA (despite Obama refusing to call this a combat death)

Tommy Kono – Sacramento, CA;  Tule Interment Camp, WWII/US Army, Korea, Olympic Gold medalist

Frank Livingston (110) – North LA; US Army, WWII, ETO

F. Haydn Williams – Oakland, CA; US Navy, WWII, Asst. Sec. of Defense

Peter Woznicki – Trumbull, CT; US Army, WWII, ETO, Bronze Star

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Read an Eyewitness Account of the German Surrender in World War II

HERE IS A SNEAK PEEK INTO A NEW BOOK OF EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS.

70th V-E Day

WWII US Army veteran Howard Harvey @ Washington DC ceremonies

WWII US Army veteran Howard Harvey @ Washington DC ceremonies

On May 8, 1945, millions of people around the globe took to the streets to celebrate the World War II surrender of Germany on what came to be known as Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day. At 2:41 a.m. local time the previous day, representatives from the victorious Allied nations met with German officials in Reims, France, to sign the official surrender documents but, in accordance with an earlier agreement between leaders in the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom, the news of the end of hostilities on the continent was withheld for 24 hours and announced simultaneously on the 8th. In London, spotlights in the form of a “V” for victory were turned on over St. Paul’s Cathedral—although it took some time to get them working again after nearly six years of wartime blackouts. In the United States a newly sworn-in president got a very unusual birthday present. And in the Soviet Union, a powerful leader was already planning his next, post-war moves. Millions had been killed, rationing continued and there was still three months of deadly fighting ahead, but for a few hours, the world stopped to commemorate and celebrate. As we remember its 68th anniversary, here are some surprising facts you may not know about V-E Day.

V-E Day

It took 20 hours to complete the surrender documents.
Following the suicide of Adolf Hitler on April 30 and the collapse of the Nazi Party, the end of the war in Europe was clearly in sight. Susan Hibbert, a British secretary stationed at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) in Reims, France, began working on a series of documents and cables to world leaders informing them of the impending surrender. On May 6, after the arrival of General Alfred Jodl, the chief of staff to new German President Karl Dönitz, in Reims, Hibbert and other staffers knew the end was imminent. That morning, she began typing the English version of the Act of Military Surrender and, thanks to repeated changes in wording from all parties, didn’t finish until 20 hours later. Finally, at around 2:30 am May 7, Hibbert and other staffers crowded into a conference room to witness one of the most momentous events of the 20th century. Curiously, General Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander and architect of the successful war strategy, didn’t attend the ceremony, and was instead represented by his chief of staff Walter Bedell Smith. He did, however, decide how the historic news would be relayed around the world. While many on his staff pressed for a strongly worded declaration of victory, “Ike” overruled them, instead crafting a far simpler message to announce the end of six deadly years of conflict: “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.”Joseph Stalin insisted on a second surrender ceremony.
As the fighting neared its end, the post-war political wrangling had already begun. When Soviet leader Joseph Stalin heard about the surrender ceremony in Reims, he was none too pleased. He declared that the U.S.S.R’s representative there, Ivan Susloparov, had not been authorized to sign the document and that the wording differed from a previous agreement Stalin had approved. Stalin, who ensured Soviet troops were the first to arrive in Berlin in an effort to secure control of the city before the Allies, also refused to accept a surrender signed on French soil, and declared the Reims document simply a preliminary surrender. Stalin’s remarks caused massive confusion; German radio announced that the Axis may have surrendered on the Western Front, but remained at war with the Soviets, and fighting continued throughout the day on May 8. Finally, just before midnight (in the early hours of the 9th, Moscow time), another hastily assembled ceremony got underway in Soviet-controlled Berlin. So, while much of the world would commemorate V-E Day on May 8, Victory Day in the Russia and its republics would be celebrated on May 9.

Halifax, Canada - V-E Day 1945

Halifax, Canada – V-E Day 1945

V-E Day sparked the deadly Halifax Riot.
Unfortunately, not every V-E Day celebration ended peacefully. For six years tensions had been rising in the critical Canadian port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as thousands of sailors flooded the city, more than doubling its population. With housing, commodities and entertainment in short supply, prices were high and tempers were extremely short. On May 7, when word reached the city of the impending surrender, business leaders, fearing an influx of servicemen in search of a celebration, decided to close all liquor stores, restaurants and stores, while the city suspended local transportation. Despite these concerns, the nearby military base’s commander gave more than 10,000 sailors temporary leave to enjoy the end of the war downtown. Angered at what they considered gross mistreatment by city residents, and with little in the way of peaceful diversions, the men eventually began to riot, looting retail stores and liquor outlets and starting dozens of fires. The Halifax Riot continued into May 8, with another 9,000 sailors teeming into town. By the time order was restored and the looting had stopped late that afternoon, three servicemen were dead, 360 had been arrested and the city had suffered more than $5 million in damages—$62 million in today’s money.

It made for a fine presidential birthday present.
On May 8, 1945, Harry Truman had been president for just 26 days—in fact, he had only moved into the White House the day before. Writing to his mother and sister, Truman informed them of the German surrender the day before (which he would announce to the country shortly after finishing the letter), and noted the day’s other, more personal, significance—it was his 61st birthday. When Truman met with reporters later that morning to discuss the surrender, he dedicated the victory to his predecessor Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died less than a month earlier, then quietly slipped away to celebrate both his birthday and V-E Day with friends and aides.

Reims, France - site of German surrender 1945

Reims, France – site of German surrender 1945

The location of the surrender was known as France’s city of kings.
The French city of Reims, like much of Europe, had suffered mightily in the early 20th century: Nearly 80 percent of the city had been destroyed during World War I and again during the second world war, when the Nazi-occupied city was heavily bombed by Allied planes. Located in the northeast part of the country, it is today probably best known for producing some of the best champagne in the world. But for hundreds of years, Reims played a crucial (if ceremonial) role in French history. Beginning in 496 with the baptism of Clovis, Rheims was where the coronation of 33 French kings were consecrated, all using anointing oil that according to legend, had been provided directly by God. During the Hundred Years War, Joan of Arc liberated the city and had Charles VII crowned king in the city’s cathedral. The tradition continued until 1825, when Charles X became the last king to be consecrated in Reims.

050506VEDay

by: John Fewings

Information courtesy of History.com

To view previous V-E Day posts – CLICK HERE and then HERE.

ve-day-70th-anniversary

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Political Cartoons ~ from back in the day ~

szyk6

by: Arthur Szyk (1894-1951)

 

There you are!  Don't lose it again!

There you are! Don’t lose it again!

Post-Register, Idaho Falls, ID

Post-Register, Idaho Falls, ID

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Farewell Salutes – 

David Baron – WPalm Beach, FL; US Navy, WWII

The Final Farewell

The Final Farewell

Anthony Dacquisto – Winnipeg, CAN; RC Army, WWII, ETO/Korea, Intelligence Corps

Riley Foster, Sr. – Stiglar, OK; US Navy, WWII

Dorothy Grant – Auckland, NZ; NZWAAC # 72475, WWII, nurse

John Kreiper Jr. – Washington, DC; US Army, WWII/ US Air Force, Major (Ret.)

Andrew Morrison – Palm Springs, FL; US Navy, Korea, USS Northhampton, Aerographer

J.W. Royals – Dover, TN; US Army, 408th/11th A/B Div.

Bill Schlossberg – W.Orange, NJ; US Army, WWII, ETO, Bronze Star

Jack Sonnenblick – Harrison, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 1st Lt., Combat Engineers

Fred Tucker – Karori, NZ; RNZ Air Force (Ret.)

 

Click on images to enlarge.

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V-E Day

painting of V-E Day celebration

painting of V-E Day celebration

V-E DAY WAS A VICTORY FOR MILLIONS AROUND THE GLOBE 

Celebration on Cross St., Whitehaven

Celebration on Cross St., Whitehaven

Wellington on V-E Day

Wellington on V-E Day

IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT COLOR YOUR FLAG IS – PLEASE SHOW YOUR THANKS AND SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO GAVE SO MUCH FOR YOU!

Smitty, with many thanks to Priorhouse.wordpress.com/

Smitty, with many thanks to Priorhouse.wordpress.com/

Smiles all around!

Smiles all around!

New York City on V-E Day, 1945

New York City on V-E Day, 1945

us-flag-and-soldier-1

The veterans and their stories.

The veterans and their stories.

IF YOU CARE TO SHARE A STORY, FEEL FREE TO DO SO AT ANY TIME BELOW IN THE COMMENTS.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

AND WEAR YOUR COLORS PROUDLY!

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ANOTHER SHOUT-OUT HERE TO THE OUTSTANDING VETERANS IN ARKANSAS!  I HAVE BEEN HEARING ABOUT YOUR VOLUNTEER WORK WITH THE VICTIMS OF THE TORNADOES.  IT PROVES YOUR SPIRIT AND CHARACTER BEYOND ANYTHING I CAN EXPRESS.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Maurice Albin – Northbrook, IL; US Army, WWIIVeterans_Day-thanks

Hollis Baker – Grand Rapids, MI & Palm Beach, FL; US Navy, Lt., WWII, PTO

Donald Goebel – Burien, WA; US Navy, WWII, cadet & pilot

Paul T. Gray – N.Palm Beach, FL; USMC, Cpl., Vietnam

Jordon Hillman – Chicago, IL; US Army Air Corps, Navigator, WWII, 8th AF unit

Alfred “Jim” Hudson – New Zealand; Royal Navy # C/SSX16068, WWII, ETO, African Star & The Italy Star

Joseph Lupo – Houston, TX; US Army, WWII

Joseph O’Hare – McLean, Va; USMC, WWII, PTO & US Army, Korea and Vietnam (30 year service)

James Robertson – Meadowbank, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 427110

Robert Scott, Jr. – Englewood, FL; US Army, WWII

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V-E Day

United-States-Flag-Code-Questions

V-E DAY WAS A VICTORY FOR MILLIONS

Times Square, NYC the night of V-E Day

Times Square, NYC the night of V-E Day

NO MATTER WHAT COLOR YOUR FLAG IS – SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE SACRIFICE THOSE MEN GAVE FOR YOU

us-flag-and-soldier-1

If any of you have a story you wish to tell, feel free to add it here and wear your colors proudly.

VEDAY1

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