25 July, 2012

25 July 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
25 July, 1945      0900
My dearest darling Wilma –

It is now two years and a day that I know you – and I’m sorry dear that on the 24th – I didn’t even get the opportunity to write and tell you how I feel. I was busy all day – had to go to Dijon with one of the officers to investigate a case. It was a long hot day and I was tired when the day was over. But not so tired that I couldn’t think hard and reminisce about the past.

The 24th two years ago came on a Saturday and I had come in from Edwards. I probably told you before the evening was over – that actually I was quite blue, discouraged and lonely before the evening started. I was – and for several reasons. But before it was time to say “Good night” I had had such a wonderful time and had felt quite gay. You’ve asked me about that ability to transform my moods. All I need is the proper stimulus – and darling – you were it. I didn’t say exactly when I would see you again – but on the way home I wondered why I hadn’t asked you about the next day. But I called you and saw you and had a swell time. And when I headed back to Camp Sunday evening – it was with a head full of thoughts of seeing you again and as often as I could. Because I knew, sweetheart – that I was going to like you tremendously – and heck, where can one put the dividing line between that and love?

My whole outlook on life had changed. I sometimes still wonder if you know or knew how complicated and involved it had been before I knew you, dear. Anyway – from that week-end on – I was racing against time and I realized it not long after. I can only say for both of us that we didn’t buck it and we saw each other as often as we possibly could have under the conditions that existed. And it turned out to be just enough to bring us together ultimately.

It’s two years, darling, and despite the dimming of an individual feature here or there – the overall picture is as clear as yesterday. The girl I loved in August, September, October and November of 1943 is the same girl I love today – only infinitely more lovable and dear to me. What matter if I can’t quite conjure a vision of how you look exactly! The fact is you are you, sweetheart, the same girl who has been so constant, patient and understanding – and the girl I’m coming back to – to marry and make happy, if I possibly can.

I didn’t write yesterday, dear, but I did think. And every thought was clear and satisfying. And I thanked God for allowing me to meet, know and love you and for saving you for me. And I’ll go on thanking Him – always. We’re going to have a lot to celebrate, darling, once we get started on life. We must never forget to commemorate the day I met you.

And I’ll stop now, sweetheart, and do a little Dispensary work. I hope all is well at home – Love to the folks – and remember, darling – you have and will always have

All my deepest and sincerest love –


about The Order to Drop the Atomic Bomb
on Japan

TO: General Carl Spaatz
FROM: General Thomas T. Handy

Here is the order given to General Carl Spaatz on 25 July 1945:
TO: General Carl Spaatz
    Commanding General
    United States Army Strategic Air Forces

1. The 509 Composite Group, 20th Air Force will deliver its first special bomb as soon as weather will permit visual bombing after about 3 August 1945 on one of the targets: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata and Nagasaki. To carry military and civilian scientific personnel from the War Department to observe and record the effects of the explosion of the bomb, additional aircraft will accompany the airplane carrying the bomb. The observing planes will stay several miles distant from the point of impact of the bomb.

2. Additional bombs will be delivered on the above targets as soon as made ready by the project staff. Further instructions will be issued concerning targets other than those listed above.

3. Discussion of any and all information concerning the use of the weapon against Japan is reserved to the Secretary of War and the President of the United States. No communiques on the subject or releases of information will be issued by Commanders in the field without specific prior authority. Any news stories will be sent to the War Department for specific clearance.

4. The foregoing directive is issued to you by direction and with the approval of the Secretary of War and of the Chief of Staff, USA. It is desired that you personally deliver one copy of this directive to General MacArthur and one copy to Admiral Nimitz for their information.


General, G.S.C.
Acting Chief of Staff

copy for General Groves

Truman wrote the following entry into his diary on 25 July 1945. It is typed below for easier reading.

Here is the diary entry typed out for easier reading, with the parts pertaining to the bomb highlighted in yellow:

We met at 11 A.M. today. That is Stalin, Churchill and the U.S. President. But I had a most important session with Lord Montbatton and General Marshall before that. We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.

Anyway we "think" we have found the way to cause a disintegration of the atom. An experiment in the New Mexico desert was startling - to put it mildly. Thirteen pounds of the explosive caused the complete disintegration of a steel tower 60 feet high, created a crater 6 feet deep and 1,200 feet in diameter, knocked over a steel tower 1/2 mile away and knocked men down 10,000 yards away. The explosion was visible for more than 200 miles and audible for 40 miles and more.

This weapon is to be used against Japan between now and August 10th. I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new.

He and I are in accord. The target will be a purely military one and we will issue a warning statement asking the Japs to surrender and save lives. I'm sure they will not do that, but we will have given them the chance. It is certainly a good thing for the world that Hitler's crowd or Stalin's did not discover this atomic bomb. It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful...

At 10:15 I had Gen. Marshall come in and discuss with me the tactical and political situation. He is a level headed man - so is Montbatton.

At the Conference Poland and the Bolshiviki land grant came up. Russia helped herself to a slice of Poland and gave Poland a nice slice of Germany taking also a good slice of West Prussia for herself. Poland has moved in up to the Oder and the west Vilseck, taking Stettin and Silesia as a fact accomplished. My position is that according to commitments made at Yalta by my predecessor Germany was to be divided into four occupation zones, one each for Britain, Russia and France an the U.S. If Russia chooses to allow Poland to occupy a part of her zone, I'm agreeable but title to territory cannot and will not be settled here. For the fourth time, I restated my position and explained that territorial sessions had to be made by treaty and ratified by the Senate.

We discussed reparations and movement of populations from East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy and elsewhere. Churchill said Maisky had so defined war booty as to include the German fleet and Merchant Marine. It was a bomb shell and sort of paralyzed the Ruskies, but it has a lot of merit.

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