August 7, 2015
The End of World War II
Oroville Mercury Register
November 24, 1945
Lt. Comdr. King’s Ship, a few days after V-J Day, removed over 500 Allied prisoners from Japanese camps on Formosa. The gratitude and appreciation of these undernourished captives at being liberated- some after four years imprisonment- was the most satisfying experience of the war, he said. As an indication of the scarcity of food in prison, he added, one prisoner, in addition to a normal navy breakfast, ate 17 pieces of bread. Our sailors, with typical American generosity, dug down in their duffle bags for cigarettes, shaving brushes, mirrors and other precious items and gave them to the former prisoners. Lt. Comr. King expected to be discharged from the service after his vacation. (Stu- Lt. Commander King’s wife, Kathryn was a social editor at the Oroville Mercury more on Lt. Comdr. King and his heroics in The Battle of Leyte Gulf, soon.
Atomic Bomb Surrender Factor says Premier
San Francisco - UP - Premier Gen. Prince Uhiko Higashi-Kuni told his cabinet and members of the lower house of the Japanese diet Monday that it was the atomic bomb, and emperor’s “love of the people”, that made Japan surrender. The statement was made at the roundtable conference in the premier’s residence, Domel news agency said in a dispatch recorded by the FCC. Tomorrow Higashi-Kuni is one purpose for convening the diet on Sept. 4 was to “clarify frankly” the reasons for Japan’s capitulation. At the same time the Japanese press bluntly warned Tokyo’s people that the time has come to realize that they lost a fight for survival, and that they must repent their bullying ways.
(Stu- What an understatement.)
Every year, early in August there is a discussion on how terrible the Atom Bombs were that we dropped on Japan. They were terrible but the only other way to stop the War was the long planned invasion. Top secret for years, it was called Operation Downfall up to a million young Americans could have been killed or wounded. More lives lost on both sides than the bomb. Japan had plans to fight to the bitter end, on the beaches with men, women and children, in the air with thousands of Kamikazes. Many of those living in America today would not be here because their father’s and grandfather’s would have been killed in the invasion. I talked to a long time friend a while ago, Rudi, who moved here long ago. Rudi was a P.O.W. of the Japanese in the South Pacific. When I asked him what he thought about the bomb, he said, right out, “I would be dead if it hadn’t happened.” They had just finished digging many holes around their camp and the Japanese told him if the war hadn’t ended so quick they would be shot and in those holes. Early in the war he was in a long line and the Japanese went down the line and shot every other one, Rudi was to be one of those shot, but a Guard liked him and he was saved. Ten’s of thousand’s of P.O.W’s were probably saved by the quick end to the war after the atomic Bomb was dropped.
My memory of V.J. Day, Sept.2, 1945, our New Brighton Pennsylvania home sat on a street that was normally pretty quiet. For some reason it was now full of people, my family of 5 then Mom, Dad, Larry, Peggy and I were sitting on the front stoop (Porch to all you who haven’t lived on the East Coast.) I was soon to be 5 years old, October 4, 1945. People in the street were going crazy with Glee. Dad went in and got his 22 Match rifle and shot it up in the air; not yet five I worried about the bullet falling on someone, of course I didn’t really know what they meant when they kept yelling “The War’s over.” The end of the War meant so much to Million’s of Americans. Many had love one’s in P.O.W Camps. Sixteen Million Men and Women were serving all over the world, they would soon be home. Many were already heading for Japan for the Invasion, like our Friend, Doug Krause and my Barber Jim Townsend’s, father and others from Butte County. Can you imagine the worry of their relatives? What a relief for all of America. They are Coming Home. My Friend’s and Committee Members Nick Krpan came home as did Bob Morehouse who was on Iwo Jima when the War ended.
Under the Guidance of Sherry Morehouse, we had our first meeting to plan the P.O.W./M.I.A. Recognition Day Ceremony, which will be on Friday September 18, 2015. More to come.