19 August, 2012

19 August 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
19 August, 1945
Nancy

Dearest darling Wilma –

I was pretty lonesome last night, dear, and I just couldn’t shake the feeling. We had somewhat of a party but somehow I couldn’t quite enter into the spirit of the thing. I know why, too. Another one of our officers is leaving for home, today, on the point basis. He has 116. I just felt kind of envious although by no means do I begrudge him his good fortune. He’s a pretty nice guy – Fred Ellis – and he lives in South Portland, Maine. We’ll be able to visit him; he has a cute wife and a little girl 3 or 4.

This is a drab Sunday morning, typically Fall-ish. I remember your once telling me you don’t like the Fall. I do – when it’s bright and cool and crisp outside. It’s anything but that here. There won’t be much doing today but I guess I’ll just sit around and relax. This morning the French are having a rather elaborate parade in Stanislaus Place. A famous French Esquadrille that fought in Africa, Germany, and with the Russians for a time – is being decorated by a French General and the Place is really be-decked with flags. The French really love this stuff and there’ll probably be a big mob downtown this morning. I may take a picture or two if I’m through here in time. [See pictures posted on 01 August 1945.] It’s now 0920 and the boys are still drifting in; it makes me mad. Most of the complaints are insignificant but they just love to come in on Sunday morning, because they have little else to do.

Say I forgot to mention your reaction to Austen Lake’s article about MC’s, rotation – etc. No doubt a good deal that he had to say was true – but the mere fact that he said it – detracts from the whole story. I used to think he was pretty good – but he’s bungled a good many stories and the most recent one concerning that “poor, mistreated” G.I. from Worcester was a lulu. Lake pops off too soon without knowing the facts and he went to bat for the soldier. But the G.I. went on and made a sucker of everyone who helped – showing that the Army, in fact, did know what it was doing. What he wrote about doctors is true enough – but writing about it in a newspaper column isn’t going to help one bit; it only serves to aggravate those at home. The damage has been done, darling, and there’s not a thing to do about it. Excuse me for popping off on Lake – but I felt like popping off on someone and I just happened to think of him – poor guy. And that reminds me – what in hell happened to our Braves and Red Sox? The latter were right up there for awhile and then they collapsed. It’s most discouraging – particularly when my MAC officer happens to come from Detroit! You see, dear, how difficult life can be?

But you could really make my life a lot easier, sweetheart, by being with me – or should I be with you? Yup – I guess that will be more practical at that. Gosh dear – you’ll have to listen to all the gripes I’ve built up in 3 years. I hope you can take it; but once they’re out of my system – I’ll be completely normal – I promise – and I’ll be able to devote myself entirely to loving you and being the husband you want me to be. Because I do love you more than anything else in the world, darling, and promising that to you is going to be very very easy for me.

All for now, dear – be well, love to the folks – and

All my sincerest love
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

about the August Revolution

Ho Chi Minh in 1946

The aspiration for national independence had long burned deep in the heart of every Vietnamese through many generations. They had experienced their share of ups and downs under the millennium-long rule of northern feudalism and the century-long rule of western colonialism. On the web site called BookRags, the following research article about the August Revolution was written by Richard B. Verrone:
In Vietnamese history, the August Revolution was the proclamation of a sovereign Vietnamese government in August 1945. The Japanese occupied Vietnam during World War II and allowed the French, who were the colonial power in Indochina (present-day Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), to continue to administer the region. In May 1941, at Pac Bo in northern Vietnam, the Vietnamese Communists, led by Ho Chi Minh (1890–1969), formed a national front organization, the League for Independence of Vietnam, to fight against both the French and the Japanese. The League, better known by its Vietnamese abbreviated name, the Viet Minh, sought to enlist any Vietnamese citizen who would fight for national liberation from the French and Japanese.

When Japan surrendered at the end of World War II in the wake of Allied victory, Ho stepped in on 16 August 1945 and proclaimed himself president of the provisional government of a "free Vietnam." The Allies had other plans: they had agreed that Britain would occupy the southern part of Vietnam and the Nationalist Chinese would occupy the northern portion of the country. Before the Chinese troops arrived, the Viet Minh marched in and seized power in Hanoi on 19 August 1945. The emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai (1913–1997), complied with Ho's demands and abdicated and left for exile in France. On 24 August in Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City), Tran Van Giau declared insurrection underway in the south. On 27 August Ho convened his first cabinet meeting in Hanoi, at which it was agreed that 2 September would be set as National Independence Day. On that day Ho publicly announced the formation of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) with its capitol at Hanoi.

In subsequent negotiations with the French, who were allowed to reoccupy Vietnam, Ho agreed to the return of 25,000 French colonial troops in the north for a five-year period rather than face occupation by the Nationalist Chinese. Ho placated his disgruntled comrades with reassurances that colonialism was dying and that the French would have a difficult time reestablishing permanent rule, and reminded them that the Chinese had occupied Vietnam in the past for over a thousand years and were the greater threat. The DRV and the French soon clashed over administrative and military issues after the French returned to Vietnam, resulting in the eruption of the First Indochinese War.

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