21 August, 2012

21 August 1945


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

My dearest darling Wilma –

And early this morning, too, I love you more than anyone and anything. A good start then for another day, dear. I received two letters from you yesterday, 12 and 13th August – not bad. The big news seemed to be the wedding in Canada. I don’t blame you for sounding keen about it – it sounds like a swell all around trip and I sure hope you make it. From here I can’t see why not.

Glad you found the 7th Corps booklet interesting. Don’t remember why I didn’t mention Gen. Rose. I should have. Did you know he was Jewish – one of the few on an active front and in command of an armored div? His father was a Rabbi in Denver. One of our batteries, by the way, made the sweep with the task force which helped close the Rose Pocket.

All for now, sweetheart, except that I want to tell you again that I love you and only you! Love to the family.
All my sincerest love,


about the End of Lend-Lease

Roosevelt Signs Lend-Lease Act

The Lend-Lease Act, an act of Congress passed during World War II authorizing the President to “sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, lend, or otherwise dispose of . . . any defense article” to any country whose defense was deemed vital to the defense of the United States. The act was approved on March 11, 1941, while the United States was still officially neutral. The program ended 21 August 1945, a few days after the surrender of Japan. Lend-lease aid totaled $50,205,230,000, of which $31,392,361,000 went to Great Britain and other members of the British Commonwealth, $11,297,883,000 to the Soviet Union, and $3,233,859,000 to France.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the program in order to make the United States “the arsenal of democracy” at a time when Great Britain was fighting the Axis Powers alone. Opponents denounced the proposal as “an act of war.” Those supporting the President insisted that the best way to defend America was to give aid to its friends.

Aid was rushed to Great Britain, and was soon granted to China, which had been at war with Japan for several years. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union in June, 1941, the USSR began receiving vast quantities of aid, especially in the form of badly needed transportation equipment. Altogether 44 countries were made eligible for lend-lease aid, but only 38 nations requested it. An amendment to the original act permitted aid to be granted in the form of services as well as supplies.

Agreements regulating the program were signed with the various countries. Many of the countries in return provided supplies and services to the United States. This “reverse lend-lease” amounted to $7,345,747,000, mostly from the British Commonwealth countries.

President Roosevelt created the Office of Lend-Lease Administration in 1941. Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., was the administrator. In 1943, the office was consolidated into the Foreign Economic Administration headed by Leo T. Crowley.

After the war most countries agreed to make repayments, amounting usually to a few cents on the dollar. After years of negotiations, the Soviet Union agreed in 1972 to repay $722,000,000, but only if granted most-favored-nation trade status by the United States. Congress refused, finding this demand unacceptable, and the Soviet Union canceled the agreement.In 1948 Great Britain agreed to repay $615,000,000 in 50 annual installments. The British Treasury at the time Lend Lease was terminated was virtually empty. The British economy was in shambles. Large areas of London and other cities were in ruin. Britain wanted an American recovery grant. Eventually a long-term loan was negotiated – the Anglo-American Loan. America provided very generous terms – 2 percent interest with repayment over a 60-year period.

Here is the White House Release dated 21 August 1945:
The President has directed the Foreign Economic Administrator to take steps immediately to discontinue all lend-lease operations and to notify foreign governments receiving lend-lease of this action.

The President also directs that all outstanding contracts for lend-lease be canceled, except where Allied governments are willing to agree to take them over, or where it is in the interest of the United States to complete them.

The Foreign Economic Administrator furthermore is instructed to negotiate with Allied governments for possible procurement by them of lend-lease inventories now in stockpile and in process of delivery.

If the military needs lend-lease supplies for the movement of troops or for occupation purposes, the military will be responsible for procurement.

It is estimated that uncompleted contracts for non-munitions and finished goods in this country not yet transferred to lend-lease countries amount to about $2 billion and that lend lease supplies in stockpile abroad amount to between $1 and $1-1/2 billion.

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