And here's what happened next...
44 years later, in 1989, this picture was taken of their children. From left to right are Robert ("Buck"), Leslie, Susan ("Susie") and Richard ("Dick").
|Instructions from Finance for Separation Paperwork|
|One hour of Counseling after three plus years...|
|Greg (red arrow) learns his final separation will be Christmas Day, 25 December 1945|
when he revert to inactive status... just 2 months and 15 days away.
Until then, he is "on leave" in Salem.
|Telegram Received at 5:16 pm, just four hours before the train was due to arrive.|
|Entrance to Washington National Airport, 1945|
|Greg did not have much to turn in:|
1 Canvas field bag with strap, 1 Can of Meat (complete) and 1 Canteen (complete)
All are remarked as "FWT", or, Unserviceable due to fair wear and tear.
|Greg's Pay as a Captain was a Base of $200|
plus 5% for Longevity and 10% for Foreign Service = $230 per month.
No extra pay for being a doctor...
|Vermin and Disease Free!|
|Again, only one firearm going home|
|Again, only two items "captured from the enemy"|
|Showing Stay at the American Red Cross Independence Club|
Hotel de Crillon, 10 Place de la Concorde, Paris, France
from at least 20 September to 23 September 1945
(The pass was only good for 72 hours... Was there a later Pass?
|Hotel de Crillon on VE Day, 8 May 1945 (above)|
and today (below)
|Dated 20 September 1945|
Signed as received at Fort Devens on 10 October 1945
|Fort Devens Post Headquarters in 1945 (above)|
and an aerial view of the former Fort today (below)
|The Fort was closed in the mid-1990s.|
It was sold for $575,000 in June of 2012 to become a movie production studio.
Summer had faded into the season which Western Indians called The-Moon-When-Deer-Rub-Their-Horns; September's hot days and moonless nights held the first, smoky promise of fall. Across the continent the people of the U.S. looked at a land at peace after the years of war.
Soldiers who had cheered Manhattan's towers when their ships docked now strained their eyes for the half-forgotten tree or turn of road which would mean the real end of their long journey home. War workers bound back to farms and small towns, millions who had been city-bound by gasoline rationing looked out again at the U.S. scene they best remembered—a two-lane highway seen through the windshield of a four-door sedan.
The wartime years had left their mark. Weeds grew around once immaculate service stations, in many a gravel drive and rural schoolyard. Vermont's neglected pastures were overrun with purple bergamot, and Louisiana's bayous with orchid-like water hyacinth. Fireweed grew on steep acres of newly logged land in the Western foothills. But in its broad sweep, in color and loom of hill, the land was unchanged.
The Hills of Home.
The fields between New England's stone walls were still lush and green. The salt smell of the sea still blew in from every coast. Highways still boasted their gaudy billboards; they ran past barns painted with baking powder ads and signposts cluttered with the weathered, cardboard portraits of political candidates. In the South the cotton was waist high. Beneath the northern border the wheat lands were bright with yellow stubble. The Western ranges with their white-faced cattle were sere again with the late summer heat. Sidetracked freight cars still bore the familiar slogans on their red sides: The Route of Phoebe Snow, The Katy, The Southern Serves the South. Leaves were turning yellow in the high valleys of the Rocky Mountains. In the Southwest, mirages still sprang up along the roads and the horizon bloomed with the dust of distant plowing.
But the feel of home and peace was more than this. In the cattle country it was the excitement of rodeo time: the smell of corrals, the sight of a squealing bronco making his first, lurching jump in dusty sunlight. To many an American it was the lovely, casual look of a yellow fly line falling out on running water and the first, heart-stirring tug of a hooked trout. There would be hunting soon and with it would come the cold feel and oily click of a rifle's cocking lever, the look of a deer slung across the car's radiator, the sight of ducks in mist or pheasant starting like an explosion of color from brown grass, the distant belling of a Bluetick hound.
There were other, less dramatic joys—a visit to a county fair, a meal in a roadside restaurant, an idle ride aboard a yawl or cabin cruiser or outboard-powered rowboat.
The Important Things.
For six long years the news had come from overseas. In war-jammed cities the important things of existence had been steel shavings coiling from a machine tool, the glare of a welding torch, the sound of riveting gun and typewriter, the brain fag and weariness of overwork. But now the U.S. experienced the quiet clarity of eye and mind which comes after a long fever.
The color and perfume of flowers was real again—Maine's goldenrod, Wisconsin's black-eyed Susan, New Mexico's Indian paintbrush. Suddenly there was nothing outlandish in the thud of a punted football, the rhythm of a dance band, the bright expensive look of department-store windows, and the solid, un-shattered buildings. Across the land last week it was hot, and once more the U.S. people could listen with contentment to that most peaceful of all evening music—the tinkling of the lawn sprinklers, turning drowsily in the darkness.
"RUSSIA: Eh, Tovarish?"
What should you call people who live in Russia? The New York Herald Tribune last week found that the answer was a little complicated. A "Trib man" went to see Secretary Pavel I. Fedosimov of the Soviet Consulate, and asked: Should his people be called Russians? Not collectively, said Mr. Fedosimov, for they include 149 other nationalities.
Pavel I. Fedosimov
(Later determined to be a spy)
What about Reds? No good for civilians, said Mr. Fedosimov. That applies only to members of the Red Army and the Red Navy — or to pretty girls who are called "reds" when they are apple-cheeked. Comrade, tovarish? Perfectly all right for friends or acquaintances, explained Mr. Fedosimov, but no good for strangers. Then you say grazhdanin (citizen). Soviets, perhaps? No good. That means council.
Mr. Fedosimov thought the best collective phrase was "Soviet peoples." Then he confessed sadly that the Soviet peoples have the same trouble — and persist in calling themselves Russians, even though they know it's wrong. As wrong, he added, as for the citizens of the U.S. to call themselves Americans.
FOREIGN NEWS: Cutlery Please"
By Japanese account, the two-handed swords of their fighting men are sharp enough to cut through cherry blossoms floating toward the earth. On less poetic occasions, they have been known to cut through three bodies in a single sweep. Last week the Japs set out in their own manner to make the world forget the practical uses of their snickersnee.
In a new "interpretation of weapons" under the surrender terms, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that swords, Japan's holiest symbols of power, were no longer to be regarded as weapons. Henceforth, said the Ministry hopefully, they would be "objects of ancient art and cutlery."
Douglas MacArthur paid no noticeable attention. He announced that the 700-year-old blade once sported by General Tomoyuki Yamashita was being sent out to West Point. Annapolis will get the sword once carried by Vice Admiral Denshichi Okochi.
on Display at West Point
Mr. Bill Harrison, a member of the Greatest Generation shared his real life story of being marooned in the South Pacific for 6 days in 1945, when the mine sweeper he served on ran into a Category 3 Typhoon. Able to flee the ship and make his way on to a life raft, he and 9 of his mates found themselves adrift in the South Pacific for 6 days without food or water.Harrison published the complete story in a book title "Six Men on a Raft," published in paperback in February 2007 by Authorhouse, ISBN 1425983693, ISBN-13: 978142598368. It is also available from iTunes.
With sharks circling the raft, Mr. Harrison recounted the long six days he and his friends spent on the raft. He described the incredible thirst that he had experienced and how his will power was able to overcome the temptation to drink the salt water that surrounded him. Mr. Harrison described the hallucinations that he and his friends experienced and how one of his mates had imagined seeing a taxi at sea and proceeded to leave the raft screaming for the taxi only to be devoured by the sharks that circled the raft.
With an island with a mountain in the horizon, Mr. Harrison recalled a Bible Scripture that his mother taught. “If you have the faith of a grain of an mustard seed, God will remove the mountain.” It was at that point that he realized that he should pray to God thanking God for being saved, rather than to pray to God asking to be saved. He convinced the rest of his friends also to thank God for saving them. About an hour later they saw 3 search planes on the horizon, the last of which had made a 90 degree turn. It had spotted them and eventually rescued them.
With help they felt was Heaven sent, four of the nine men survived.
|Unnamed Florida Hurricane, 15 September 1945|
|Homestead Air Reserve Hangar after the hurricane.|
|Path of Storm|
The Burma–Siam Railway, or the Death Railway as it was known because of the atrocious working conditions and massive death toll, was a construction project designed to supply Japanese troops in Burma. When Allied submarine attacks made the sea passage too risky, the Japanese needed an alternative method to shuttle their materials to Burma to support the planned invasion of India. The solution was a 415 kilometer track that would link the existing Bangkok–Singapore line in the south to the Moulmein–Ye railway in Burma.
Japanese engineers calculated it would take at least five years to complete the railway, but it was built in less than two. Mechanized equipment was scarce so the Japanese used the next best thing at their disposal — a large and expendable workforce. In 1942, POWs in Singapore's Changi prison were divided into large groups and transported to Burma and Siam (Thailand).
In Burma, the railway started at Thanbyuzayat and ended at Nong Pladuk in Thailand. There were dozens of POW camps between those two points and prisoners worked from opposite ends of the line towards the center at the Three Pagodas Pass.
|These men, from 8th Division, were captured before landing and sent directly to Changi Prison.|
The 4th from the right is Robert Hosking, whose granddaughter identified this photo.
When Allied prisoners were first moved to Burma and Siam to work on the railway we were assured that there was no need to take much in our medical panniers, as we would be plentifully supplied with all medical requisites and our sick cared for in modern hospitals. This statement was widely publicized in the Japanese Press throughout Asia.
Here is the story of how the Nippon authorities fulfilled their promises.
The first hospital in Burma was established at POW headquarters for the Burma groups at Thanbyuzayat, and was placed close to the railway junction among supply sheds, dumps, and Japanese troop camps without any distinguishing mark being permitted. Inevitably it was bombed out. On June 12 and 15, 1943, Liberator aircraft bombed and machine-gunned the hospital area, causing casualties of nearly 100, of whom over 50 were then killed or died subsequently. The Japanese reaction was amusement.
Until a new group of hospital huts was built in January, 1943, all Burma sick were housed in filthy, verminous coolie huts, dilapidated and leaky. One of the worst of these was the dysentery hut, a veritable charnel house, where scores of men died in a few weeks, being denied even a pint of water to wash in.
From the very beginning, according to the computations of Sergeant Bev Brown, pharmacist, from Launceston, Tasmania, this base hospital did not receive even 2% of its requirements from the Japanese. The only thing adequately supplied was quinine, and as the Japanese controlled most of the world supply this was hardly surprising. Instruments, sterilizing, washing, and cooking gear were not provided at all, but had to be improvised from old tins, petrol drums, and wide bamboos. Bandages and dressings were so scarce that at some of the up-country camps, where the need rose to a thousand bandages a week, the Japanese issue was six a month - this for two or three thousand prisoners, most of whom had tropical ulcers.
From the first, even at the base hospital, which was well off compared with the so-called "hospital huts" up-jungle, no base for making antiseptics and dressings was provided. We were entirely dependent on supplies of axle grease smuggled in from the Japanese workshops by men working there, who risked barbarous punishment to aid their sick comrades.
CHOLERA BREAKS OUT
As the months wore on and the rains came, the inadequate diet and the long hours of heavy work sapped the resistance of the majority in all camps, and more and more succumbed to the scourges of malaria, cerebral, ST and BT, amoebic and bacillary dysentery, beri beri, pellagra, chronic diarrhea, and cardiac trouble. Finally, in May, 1943, cholera descended on several camps.
All along the 415 kilometers of projected track the condition of both the sick and fit steadily worsened through the rainy season of 1943. Our Medical Officers (MOs) struggled heroically, but often vainly, owing to their lack of nearly all their chief essentials. Increasing malnutrition carried off; hundreds monthly who on a normal diet would easily have recovered from their ailments. A leading Melbourne surgeon said to me that 90% of our dead would be alive today if we had had British "Tommy's" rations along the line.
At the 55 kilometer camp, which became the main hospital in Burma after Thanbyuzayat was bombed out, utter dearth of everything produced amazing improvisations by a band of devoted MOs and orderlies, assisted by convalescent officers. Colonel Albert Coates, of Melbourne, carried out 150 major amputations with a common meat saw, duly returned to the butcher's shop to carve the daily meat ration, whenever there was any.
Lacking all anesthetics, a clever Dutch chemist named Boxthall extracted novacaine from the dentist's cocaine supply, and this provided a local anesthetic for half an hour. No general anesthetic was ever obtainable despite the most passionate pleas to the Japanese. Toes and fingers, rotted by tropical ulcers, were snapped off with a pair of ordinary scissors without any anesthetic whatever.
SAVED MANY LIVES
The same chemist made a brilliant contribution by extracting emmatine, the only counter to amoebic dysentery from the ipecacuana plant, and thus saved many lives. Cattle entrails provided the gut for sutures. Bamboo provided crutches, washing mugs, trays, tubes, and a dozen other vital necessities. "Beds" for the worst cases were constructed with rice bags of bamboo frames. Bandages and dressings were improvised from all rags, scraps of clothing, the bottoms of mosquito nets, and old clothes. Tin cans and other junk provided bowls and containers.
At one time in this hospital, out of 2,400 very sick men, over 1,000 had serious ulcers, some of which laid bare the leg bone from knee to ankle. According to the handbook of tropical diseases in the camp, the tropical ulcer is "found chiefly among slave gangs working on starvation diet in disease-ridden jungles and marshes." Salt was often the only thing available to dress these hideous sores, and pus-soaked bandages had to be used and reused for months on end. The general prevalence of diarrhea and dysentery immensely complicated the problem of keeping even a semblance of cleanliness, and inevitably the stench in every hut was overpowering. The hospital could be "smelt" 200 yards outside the camp area.
"BLACK MARKET" MEAT
With typical courage, many Australian other ranks risked imprisonment and terrible beatings to get out of camp and buy meat from the natives on the "black market" with money provided by officers or from the sale of irreplaceable clothing or precious personal possessions.
Working tirelessly from dawn until long after dark, the MOs and orderlies under Colonel Coates never slackened in the face of discouragements and lacks before which Hippocrates himself might well have quailed...
HIDEOUS RAIL JOURNEYS
Yet, despite such work, when this camp was closed up after six months there were 500 graves in the adjacent cemetery, while in a near by camp, where F and H force personnel were "hospitalized," it is believed that there were nearly 2,000 graves. Many of these deaths occurred during the hideous rail journeys of the sick from the working camps, such journeys often occupying up to seven days, although the distance was seldom more than 60 miles.
Two factors contributed enormously to prevent a still higher death rate. Officers contributed all but 20 rupees of their monthly pay to the sick by the end of 1943, and the operators of the secret radios up and down the line kept the hospitals supplied with news, the effect of which on morale was incalculable. Nowhere in the world was the advance of Montgomery across the Western Desert, the turning of the tide in Russia, the bombing of Berlin, and the gradual progress in the Pacific watched with deeper interest or more passionate anxiety than among the thousands lying prostrate in the filthy hospital huts of the Japanese jungle camps.
Conditions for most prisoners in Burma and Siam improved considerably in 1944 when the Japanese realized that the war was going against them. Finally, in May of that year we got our first issue of Red Cross medical supplies. Thanks to these, and to the establishment of a somewhat better base hospital at Nankom Paton, in Siam, not far from Bangkok, the general death rate was relatively low through the last l8 months of captivity.
But those of us who have survived can never forget the 15,000 Allied officers and men lying dead along the railway, or the way in which, despite our utmost efforts, their captors allowed them to die.
Here is an interview of a Death Railway Survivor. His earlier war history ends at about 14:55 minutes in, when the Death Railway part of his story begins.
|The Crazy Mountains just beyond Big Timber, Montana|
Here is a short Newsreel about the verdict:"Quisling Sentenced to Face Firing Squad for Betrayal"
18 July 1887 - 24 October 1945
OSLO, Norway, September 10 – Vidkum Quisling was convicted Monday of betraying his country to the Germans and sentenced to die before a firing squad.
The 59-year-old former puppet ruler, whose name has become a synonym for traitor the world over, stood impassive in the courtroom as Presiding Judge Erik Solem read the verdict, which was broadcast to the people of Norway. Quisling's jaw muscles tightened and his pallid face reddened. He did not speak until the judge informed him that while the treason conviction could not be appealed, he could ask the supreme court to reduce the sentence.
“Is it your intention to do this?” the judge asked.
“Yes,” replied Quisling who ruled Norway for Adolf Hitler from Sept. 25, 1940, until his cabinet resigned in the general German collapse last spring.
Solem – a member of the supreme court which would hear Quisling's mercy plea – read in measured, deliberate tones a lengthy statement in which the panel of three judges and four laymen gave their reasons for the unanimous verdict. “The defendant,” he concluded, “is sentenced to death for his crimes against military and civilian laws and crimes against the provisional laws.”
Unless delayed by a clemency move, the sentence probably will be carried out in three weeks. Quisling also was ordered to pay about 1,050,000 krones (about $200,000) court costs. The panel did not state how the money would be paid, but presumably his costly medieval paintings and other property will be confiscated.
The beetle-browed former puppet premier leaned on a table and stared, glassy-eyed, across the courtroom as Solem recited the people's indictment against him. Solem said testimony during the three-week trial proved that Quisling and Hitler decided together to declare the Norwegian government illegal on invasion day, so that Quisling could take control. He said, still speaking calmly and without apparent emotion, that Quisling plotted the invasion with Nazi military leaders, and that he tried to order Norway's forces to cease firing, in an attempt to hand over the country without a struggle.
“'Butcher of Warsaw' Captured in Japan”
Josef Albert Meisinger
14 September 1899 – 7 March 1947
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 7 – Bob Brumby said in a Mutual broadcast from Tokyo that the “Butcher of Warsaw” hulking Joseph Albert Meisinger, has been captured by five Americans who traveled 62 miles into unoccupied Japan on a tip that the Nazi was living among 100 German militarists in refuge.
The five Yanks journeyed to a hotel in the Japanese interior, ate lunch with two Germans and learned that Meisinger was living in a room below, said Brumby. He quoted Captains Adolph Gesler of Philadelphia and Theodore Holwitz of Milwaukee as saying that the Americans, whose names were not given, were warned that Meisinger was heavily armed and dangerous.
After lunch, the broadcast related, the Americans sent a note to Meisinger asking him to surrender. They told him they would take him to American authorities and suggested it would be better for him to surrender to Americans than to Russians. In a short time Meisinger appeared. He told the United States soldiers that he never would have allowed himself to be taken by the Russians and that he would have killed himself first.
Meisinger was accused of slaying 100,000 Jews in Warsaw between 1939 and 1941, when he went to Japan.
“Goering Reported in Excellent Health”
12 January 1893 - 15 October 1946
LONDON, Sept. 7 – Hermann Goering, who was taking 40 drug tablets a day when United States forces captured him last May, has been cured completely of his drug habit and is in perfect health for his forthcoming trial at Nurenberg as a war criminal, it was revealed Friday.
Thomas Blake, press aide to Justice Robert S. Jackson, American army was crimes prosecutor, said army physicians and psychiatrists pronounced Goering cured last week. They said when he was captured he had a suitcase containing 24,000 tablets of a morphine substitute, and physicians reduced the dosage gradually over a period of weeks.