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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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Handling additional Pacific Surrenders

 

Okinawa surrender

In the Ryukyus Islands, things were far more simple than on the Missouri. The senior officer in the Sakishima Gunto, Lt. General Gon Nomi, Toshiro, whose headquarters was on Miyako Shima, had been given authority to conclude a peace treaty for all Army and Navy forces in the Sakishima Gunto, Daito Islands and the islands in the Okinawa Gunto not already under American control. The official papers were signed on 7 September 1945, with General Stillwell presiding.

Gen. Hata at the Soviet surrender table.

General Shunroku Hata and his Army had taken only three weeks in April-May of 1944 to rout 300,000 Chinese soldiers in Honan to secure the Peking-Hankow railroad. He then moved south and then west to meet up with the Japanese forces in French Indochina. The 14th Air Force and the Chinese Air Force could not stop the offensive and by the end of May, General Marshall and the Joint Chiefs of Staff basically wrote off the Chinese Theater. Yet in the end, Gen. Hata signs the surrender.

Lord Louis Mountbatten with MacArthur

12 September, Lord Mountbatten accepted the surrender of all enemy forces in Southeast Asia in Singapore. Once again, the Union Jack was flying over Government House. But, due to Britain’s overstretched resources, Japanese soldiers were used to maintain law and order in the region. Europe’s colonialism was severely damaged and in 1947, Britain granted independence to India and Pakistan.

17 August, American parachutists landed near Nanking on the Wse-hsien interment camp. The Japanese were forced to protect the troopers from the unrest (actually chaos) erupting in the area between Communist and Nationalist armies. On 9 September, General Ho Chin accepted the Japanese surrender of China (except Manchuria, Formosa [now Taiwan] and Indochina north of the 16th parallel in the name of Chiang Kai. Mao’s forces stayed away even though Allied officials were present. By not being at Central Military Academy in Whampoa, he was in violation of the Potsdam accords and went on to accept his own regional surrenders.

Lt. Gen. Masao Baba at Borneo surrender

The British had been slow in retaking Hong Kong and revolts broke out. The POWs were not receiving food and the Chinese population caused riots in the streets. The British civil servants eventually took over while the Japanese kept the order. 16 September, the official surrender took place, but not until November were all Japanese troops in the New Territories relieved, disarmed and repatriated.

After a meeting in Rangoon, Mountbatten arranged for the Allied forces to enter Siam and Indochina. Thirteen days later, he flew his 7th Indian Division to Bangkok to move onward to Saigon. They were to assist the French in securing the southern half of Vietnam again as a French colony. The Americans felt that the French had already bled the country dry over the past century and so here – the start of the Vietnam War that would last until 1974.

Thailand had survived by playing both sides while attempting to appear neutral. Japanese General Hamada, responsible for heinous POW atrocities, committed seppuku.

Indonesia was grateful to the Japanese for throwing out the Dutch and declared their independence. Although British and Dutch troops made attempts to return them to colonization, they resisted. The Americans moved in with orders to disarm the Japanese and then leave. It would take four years of fighting before the Hague would recognize Indonesia as a sovereign country.

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

 

Burma disliked the Japanese, but they had given them a taste of independence from the British. They took no part in the surrender proceedings. After the Japanese were shipped home and fighting resumed with the British, the independent nation nation was established 4 January 1948.

India had acquired their own army under the Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere, but not independence. After the war, the British tried in vain to hold the country, but hostility forced them to grant India their freedom in 1947. The transition was overseen by Governor General Mountbatten.

Korea – September 1945 – being relieved of all weapons

In Korea, the Japanese were ordered to sweep Inchon harbor of mines before the American fleet arrived. The Japanese, here again, were needed to maintain order until Koreans could be trained to contain the mobs. Korea had actually been ignored as far as surrender and removal of the Japanese. The U.S. had gone there to disarm the enemy. The end result of the incompetent handling of Korea during and after WWII attributed to the Korean War.

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Military Humor – 

Best Before end of the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Robert M. Abbott – Arvada, CO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ Co/11th Airborne Division,

‘Japan Surrender’ by: Howard Brodie

Patrick Blanchard Jr. – Minot, ND; US Army, Operation Iraq & Afghanistan, B Co/2/506/101st Airborne Division

Armada “Joe” Cafazzo – Hartford, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Louis J. Demotsis – Talladega, AL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-17 belly gunner

George “Bob” Gamble – Liberty Lake, WA; US Navy, end of WWII, PTO, bringing troops home

Richard E. Johanson Sr. – Orofino, ID; US Navy, WWII, LST USS Oceanus

Gladys Le Breton (102) – St. Louis Plantation, LA; Civilian, WWII, submarine watch, Gulf of Mexico

Bill Moffett – Shawnee, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

Edward Puzio – Binghamton, NY US Army Air Corps, WWII, B-17 pilot

Vernon Sommerer – Jefferson City, MO; US Army, Japanese War Trials, MP

May-Blossom Wilkinson (101) – Wahiawa, HI; Women’s Army Volunteer Corps, Army Transport

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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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MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎄

 

TO ALL THOSE THAT BELIEVE IN FREEDOM AND PEACE: MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 

FROM:  PACIFIC PARATROOPER!!

 

PLEASE!  REMEMBER ALL THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR US IN THE PAST…

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THOSE THAT FIGHT FOR US TODAY…

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AND FOR THOSE SPECIAL PEOPLE WHO WAIT PATIENTLY AT HOME…

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TO ALL THOSE WHO DO NOT CELEBRATE THIS HOLIDAY … I WISH YOU THE WARMTH AND PEACEFUL CONTENTMENT THAT IS REPRESENTED BY THIS SEASON !!!

Peace to ALL. Embrace the love.

 

 

Military Christmas Humor – 

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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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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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