30 May, 2012

30 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
30 May, 1945      0820
Leipzig

Wilma, darling –

When I wrote yesterday that today makes 3 yrs. Away from Boston – if I did write that – I was wrong of course. I meant merely that it was the 3rd Memorial Day – and that’s long enough. Here at Battalion we’re going to have our own Memorial Services at 1600. I believe the whole Army is doing the same. It will be to honor and remember the boys of this battalion who were killed in action.

Yesterday I had a pleasant afternoon. We “found” some tennis racquets and balls and played some tennis! They have a beautiful Sport Club – private – near here and they keep their courts in excellent condition. I was pretty rusty – but so was the other fellow and I got a good work-out. Then we came back here and had a nice swim. Furthermore – we learned yesterday that there was a golf course not far from here – open to the Military. If we can get some golf balls – we’re all set. I might as well take up where I left off, darling. By the time I get back – I’ll be all set in several sports – and at home, as I’ve told you before, dear, I’m planning on taking up wrestling. Now – don’t be frightened!

I got 3 V-mails yesterday – one from Stan in Washington, and 2 from you – 17 and 21 May. The service has definitely picked up in this direction. I hope the reverse is true. A funny thing about your writing me your telephone number, darling, is that I was thinking about it one day – and for the life of me – I couldn’t think of the exchange. I finally had to look it up. I ought to be ashamed of myself. And I haven’t forgotten the Holyoke number – because I had that written down too.

Stan had little to say in his letter except that Bernie Covich had been down to visit him and was now on his way to Dutch Harbor. As I remember it, he had been on sick leave – wasn’t it, dear? Just what was the matter with him?

I don’t remember whether I’ve already told you – but I certainly laughed when I read about Mother A. worrying already about my coming home in July and not having any place for me. If that isn’t like my mother, I don’t know what is. Of course – I could always pitch my pup tent anywhere; I’m really pretty good at that – having had a fair amount of experience. But if your offer to stay at your house, darling, still holds, – well I hope I get home in July so that I can take advantage of it. But then people would talk – and you’d just have to marry me. Oh Boy !!

I did enjoy Bennet Serf’s “Try and Stop Me”. I read it some time ago – one of the boys who used to proof-read for a publishing house, had it sent to him. I never did quite finish it – we started to move swiftly then – but it certainly was packed with a lot of laughs.

Well darling – so many words already this morning and I didn’t tell you yet that I love you and you alone! I do, sweetheart – so very very much I can hardly wait to see you and tell you about it. These next weeks – maybe months – are going to be really tough waiting out, but heck, the war is over here, and I am coming back – and that’s so much more than I had to look forward to even a month ago. So hold tight, darling and we’ll soon be together. For now, so long and love to the folks.

Yours alone for always, dear –
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about Yamamoto Loses in Burma

The below maps show Burma in 1945 and Myanmar today.
As Burma's name was changed to Myanmar, so have city names changed.
[Click to enlarge]


From the WWII Database website comes this Battle of Rangoon Timeline:

2 Apr 1945  Louis Mountbatten announced that the planning for Operation Dracula against Rangoon, Burma was to be resumed, with a target execution date of 5 May 1945 at the latest.
11 Apr 1945  Anglo-Indian troops captured Pyabwe, Burma at dawn; 2,000 dead Japanese bodies were counted in the region after the fierce battle. To the southwest, mechanized Anglo-Indian troops reached the Taungdwingyi area.
14 Apr 1945 Anglo-Indian troops captured Taungdwingyi, Burma.
16 Apr 1945  Indian 5th Division captured Shwemyo, Burma during the day, while by nightfall the Anglo-Indian 4th Corps reached within 240 miles of Rangoon.
21 Apr 1945  Louis Mountbatten scheduled Operation Dracula against Rangoon, Burma for 2 May 1945. William Slim hastened his units overland toward Rangoon in an attempt to reach Rangoon before Dracula commenced.
22 Apr 1945 In Burma, Indian 7th Division attacked Yenangyaung while Indian 5th Division attacked Toungoo.
23 Apr 1945  The 150 officers and 3,000 men of the 1st Division of the Indian National Army, an anti-British resistance group aided by the Japanese, surrendered to the Allies at Pyu, Burma. Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Heitaro Kimura, despite having been given orders of defend Rangoon, Burma to the death, ignominiously abandoned the city without issuing any orders to the Burma Area army.
24 Apr 1945 Indian 5th Division captured Toungoo, Burma and advanced further to Penwegu.
26 Apr 1945  Indian 17th Division reached Daiku, Burma.
27 Apr 1945  The British East Indies Fleet sailed from Trincomalee, Ceylon to begin a series of strikes prior to the capture of Rangoon, Burma; this force of battleships, cruisers and destroyers would take it in turns to fuel and then screen the carriers hitting airfields, installations and coastal shipping in the Nicobars, the Andamans and along the Burma coast. Meanwhile, on land, Indian 17th Division was attacked by a Japanese suicide offensive north of Pegu; it was repulsed after the Japanese suffered 500 killed.
28 Apr 1945  Anglo-Indian troops captured Allanmyo, Burma. Elsewhere, Indian 17th Division reached the heavily-defended Pegu, where the Japanese built the final major stronghold north of Rangoon, which was 47 miles to the south.
29 Apr 1945 The two-prong assault by Indian 17th Division on Pegu, Burma was repulsed.
30 Apr 1945  Anglo-Indian forces gained a beachhead on the west bank of the Pegu River at Pegu, Burma.
1 May 1945  Indian 50th Parachute Regiment was dropped near Rangoon, Burma as the spearhead to Operation Dracula. Meanwhile, determined to preempt Operation Dracula in the conquest of Rangoon, William Slim carelessly attempted to enter the city himself by air; his aircraft was damaged by Japanese anti-aircraft fire and the American pilot, Captain Robert Fullerton, sustained injuries in his leg so severe that it had to be amputated later.
2 May 1945  In Burma, Indian 26th Division of the Anglo-Indian XV Corps made an amphibious landing near Rangoon, Burma. To the north, Indian 17th Division secured Pegu and advanced toward Rangoon; it would not beat Indian 26th Division in the race for Rangoon.
3 May 1945  Rangoon, Burma was captured by Indian 26th Division with little resistance. Fleeing Japanese were slaughtered not just by British and Commonwealth troops but by Burmese guerrillas and tribesmen who rose up against their former occupiers.
6 May 1945  In Burma, Anglo-Indian XV Corps linked up with IV Corps, which had been advancing down the Sittang River, and effectively cut off 20,000 sick, hungry and increasingly desperate Japanese from their bases in Indo-China.

30 May 1945
 

The remainder of General Seiei Yamamoto's troops in Burma was effectively wiped out.

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