Category: World War II

The official surrender of Japan aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945

Sept1_1945Representatives of Japan stand aboard USS Missouri prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender.MissouriFlyover1
The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that formalized the surrender of the Empire of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Provisional Government of the French Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Dominion of New Zealand. The signing took place on the deck Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.
The date is sometimes known as Victory over Japan Day, although that designation more frequently refers to the date of Emperor Hirohito’s Gyokuon-hōsō (Imperial Rescript of Surrender), the radio broadcast announcement of the acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration at noon Japan Standard Time on August 15.Surrender_of_Japan_-_USS_Missouri

 

 

 

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The 70th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War.

This is the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

s212246From an article written by C. Peter Chen as seen in an internet search of Japan’s surrender:
“With the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki destroyed by atomic weapons, the will of the Japanese leadership was tested. Then came the news that the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, with troops crossing into northeastern China an hour later. These three reasons led to Emperor Showa’s decision to break the deadlock at his council which debated fruitlessly whether or not to respond to the Allies’ call for unconditional surrender. The Emperor said at the Imperial conference:

“Continuation of the war does not promise successful conclusion no matter from what angle the situation is considered. Therefore I have decided, without suggestions from anyone, to order the conclusion of the war, as I cannot endure the thought of having to kill tens, evens hundreds of thousands of my subjects, and moreover to have to be called the disturber of world peace. Moreover, it is extremely difficult for me to have to turn over to the Allied authorities officers and men upon whom I have depended all this time as though they were part of my own body. But I have decided to endure what is unendurable and to accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration.” Read more »

It is June 15th!

It is June 15th, 2015. It was 71 years ago on June 15th, 1944 that Admiral Turner, Commander of the Expeditionary Force of Operation Foreger ordered: “Land the Landing force.” The time was 0542. H-Hour (the time the 1st wave of amphibious vehicles was scheduled to hit the beaches) was 0830. The place was the island of Saipan.It was WWII.
Assault elements of the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions were carried in 34 LSTs (Landing Ship Tanks) to a place about 4000 yards from the shore of the island. That place would be “the line of departure.” 12 more LSTs carrying artillery were right behind the 34. Read more »

Military Historical Tours

I would like to tell you about the Military Historical Tours organization of Woodbridge, Virginia.
Who is Military Historical Tours? They make this statement:
“We are the finest, custom-designed tour program for Veterans, Family Members, Historians, Educators or Students.” Believe it folks, they are.

For 25 years they have followed the vision of providing opportunities to visit battlefields of past conflicts. Their belief is — by visiting and learning about past battles, we can more fully understand the events surrounding those battles and understand how they connect us to the history of our nation and the world.

They want to help you travel to Vietnam, and preview the struggle of fighting in a dense jungle environment.

They want to help you tour the hills of Korea and learn about battle in sub-zero weather, and visit the trenches of World War I or hike past the hedgerows of Normandy.

They want to help you see famous battlefields of World War II’s “Pacific Campaign” like [Guam, Peleliu, Iwo Jima]; develop your own historical tour package for your friends and family.

MHT was founded by Colonel Warren Wiedhahn, USMC (Ret) — a Korean and Vietnam War Veteran — from his vision of providing fellow Veterans, their Families and Friends, Historians, Educators and Students alike, the opportunity to re-visit the battlefields of the past. Read more »

KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE

USS MissouriKissFlagsKEEP THE SPIRIT OF 45 ALIVE IN 2015.
To do so is to preserve the legacy of the Greatest Generation, the men and women who served in WWII, including those on the home front. This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In 2010, Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 226, supporting a national day of remembrance. The day to remember is August 14th, 1945. “We want to recapture the spirit of that generation and give a reminder of the fact that people today share DNA with those who achieved so much in 1945. This is the last chance to celebrate this spirit while there are still surviving men and women of this generation;” said Warren C. Hegg, “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive’s” national supervisor.

Among the Spirit of ’45 Day activities are wreath-laying ceremonies, big-band swing dances, observances at professional sporting events, World War II aircraft flyovers, concerts, open houses at senior living communities, and “kiss-ins” to re-enact the famous victory kiss between a sailor and a nurse in New York City’s Times Square on Aug. 14,1945.

Jerry Yellin Fighter Pilot over Iwo JimaJerry Yellin vividly remembers Aug.14, 1945, the ¬ final day of World War II. While returning to Iwo Jima with fellow pilots after flying his P-51 Mustang on a strafing mission over Tokyo that day, Yellin said, “I found out that my wingman was killed.” Upon landing at Iwo Jima, he then learned that the war had ended just hours before, making his wingman, 1st Lt. Philip Schlamberg, one of the war’s ¬ final casualties.

Now, nearly 70 years later, Yellin wants the nation to remember Schlamberg and all those who sacrifi-ced so much to win the war. Yellin, an Air Force Association (AFA) member who turns 91 in February, has been travelling across the country as national spokesman for “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive.”
I was privileged to meet and interview Jerry Yellin on a trip to Guam and on to Iwo Jima with the “Military Historical Tours” of Woodbridge, Virginia in 2010. His story is featured in my book “Pain and Purpose in the Pacific.” Read more »

A WWII Happy New Year

In WWII one of the most highly decorated USAAF Fighter Groups was the 352nd Fighter Group. It was composed of three squadrons; the 328th, 486th, and 487th Fighter Squadrons. The Fighter Group was based in Bodney, England. However, due to the intensity of combat operations in and around Belgium, the Fighter Group moved to a remote airfield (with the designation of “Y-29”) near Asch, Belgium. That move took place in December 1944.

The intent was to support the Battle of the Bulge which was happening not far away from “Y-29,” but bad weather prevented them from providing a lot of help at the time. However, the German Luftwaffe wasn’t to be slowed down. It was preparing for a New Year’s Day party at the expense of the Americans. The operation was designated as “Operation Bodenplatte,” which meant “ground place,” or to put the heal of their boot and grind into the ground the USAAF.

At 9:15 in the morning of January 1st, 1945 as the German aircraft from Jagdgeschwader 11 commenced with Operation Bodenplatte, American fighters lifted off the airfield Y-29 and one of the most intense air battles of the war in the European Theater took place. Although of 17 airfields hit by the Germans in that operation which caused some damage, the battle over “Y-29” would end with 24 fighters of the Luftwaffe shot down. And what were the loses for the Americans? Despite a couple of American fighters showing battle damage, not one American pilot was lost. It was an American Happy New year!

The story can be found on Wikipedia, other internet sites, and You Tube. Read more »

Thoughts on December 6th, and 7th.

Before 10:00 a.m. on the morning of December 6th of this year 2014, I called a cowboy friend of mine who lives in Texas and wished him a happy birthday. He was born on Dec. 6th 1941, a day before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. So that this good man is not overwhelmed with a flood of phone calls, I’ll not mention his name. I do know that “Cowboy” is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran. That’s a conflict I had a part in – a very small part to be sure. But this is about the willingness to shed the blood, to experience the pain – for a greater purpose.

This thought reminded me of a quote that reads: “Only two forces have ever offered to die for you. 1. Jesus Christ, 2. The American G.I. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.” British Prime Minister Tony Blair was credited with saying that in a speech, but according to Snopes.com, he didn’t say that. It came from an unknown internet forwarder who penned it. Nonetheless, I appreciated what seemed to me that morning of December 6th to indicate somewhat of a parallel. This is not a religious blog per se’ but my thoughts of the time are explained in the paragraphs to follow.

At 6:00 p.m. of the same day December 6th 2014 I attended a dedication ceremony of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness at the Leslie Hale teaching ministry in Tarpon Springs, Florida. More on that in a minute or so. It was the eve of Pearl Harbor Day. Read more »

December 7th 1941.

On December the 7th, 1941, at 7:55 in the morning, the 1st of two waves of Japanese aircraft hit the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in and on the then U.S. territory of Hawaii. Airbases at Hickam, Wheeler, Kaneohe, the Navy Yard, and Ford Island were targeted. The aircraft to total at least 350 in number were launched from 6 aircraft carriers located just over 200 miles north of Pearl Harbor. They were part of three Japanese carrier divisions which included the 6 aircraft carriers plus 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 9 destroyers, and 7 tankers. In addition, 3 submarines supported the carrier divisions and the 350 or more Japanese aircraft (one report says there were 353 aircraft) that took their place in the raid. In the attack force were dive bombers, torpedo, or horizontal bombers, and fighters. The United States suffered 21 vessels sunk or damaged in the attack; and casualties to the numbers of 2,403 dead and 1,178 wounded.

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Pain and Purpose in the Pacific


Pain and Purpose in the Pacific book cover-1

Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: True Reports of War
Pain and Purpose in the Pacific offers a unique glimpse of Marines, Air Corps, Soldiers, and Sailors to include Coast Guard at war and the family and friends they leave behind. Bright bridges a historical look at World War II with vignettes of the realities of war, giving the reader a clear-eyed view of what it means to live and die in service of your country.

In Pain and Purpose in the Pacific: True Reports of War (published by Trafford Publishing), author Richard Carl Bright tells the stories of his uncle Carl Johnson, an American Marine who spent 30 months in the Pacific during WWII. As the United States Marine Corps fought costly campaigns in the Pacific, Carl saw bitter combat on the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.

In this moving work, Bright, who lived for seven years on Saipan, puts a human face on the tragedies of war, ushering readers into the darkest pits of destruction (the pain) and into the brightest views of hope and redemption (the purpose). Bright traces his Uncle Carl’s travels during World War II, from his homeland in Minnesota to the battle-torn islands of the Pacific, all the way to Japan. Bright, a veteran of Vietnam, colors his prose with his personal experiences and observations by traveling to many of the Pacific locations, including Iwo Jima, the Marianas Islands, Peleliu and the Philippines. He also personally interviewed Carl’s Platoon Sergeant, Arthur Wells, who fought at Carl’s side. Read more »

Revealing the Secret Turning Point of World War II

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA: WORLD WAR I/THE FRONTDuring World War II, the human race came agonizingly close to the edge of the abyss. Through the courage, sacrifice and perseverance of men and women of a special generation, the war was changed from what it was surely set to be – a victory for the dark forces of the Nazis – into a triumph that stands today as one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. What were the factors that made this great victory possible? Was it the bravery of these men and women? Was it the leadership of great men as Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill?, or was there more to it? Were there other unknown forces at work that may have been more responsible for this victory than any other?  Forces that most do not know of, and that may have played the most important role in defeating evil and swinging the fortunes of fate onto the side of good.

What may these forces be? … First, let us understand how the war was won. Read more »