27 August, 2012

27 August 1945


438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
27 August, 1945
Good Morning, darling!

I love you, dear – and this morning, with bananas and cream! Just to clarify that a bit – we had bananas at breakfast – the first in about two years. And you know, sweetheart, they tasted about the same as they used to.

Well – it was almost like old times last night. I got into bed at 2230 and fell promptly asleep. But – the phone rang at 0030, 0200 and 0400. I was mad – although I can remember when I wouldn’t mind the call – as long as I didn’t have to go out. I didn’t have to last night.

Today, I’ve got to do a lot of inspecting of kitchens – etc. I tell you, darling, I’m just going to inspect you all the time. Oh Boy!! All for now, dear. Love to the family and

All my deepest and sincerest love


about Shifting Military Manpower

From TIME magazine, Volume XLVI, Number 9 published on 27 August 1945 (cover shown above) comes this article called "Peace Shock" in the section on National Affairs.
Off the Canal Zone the voice on the bullhorn of the transport General Harry Taylor blared: "Now hear this! Watch the shadow of the ship." Then the Taylor's skipper, Captain Leonard B. Jaudon, added: "As it turns toward New York."

More than 3,000 soldiers let out a cheer that shook the ship from bow to stern. They had been diverted from the Pacific.

The soldiers on the Taylor and about 20 other transports bound from Europe to the Pacific were almost unique in their joy. For both Army & Navy redeployment had become an uneasy nightmare. Among the 7,000,000 soldiers and sailors straining to get home, many were unhappy, angry, disgruntled.

Sailors . . .
Navy men griped because their point-discharge system, announced last week, allowed no credit for combat or overseas service. The system: one-half point for each year of age, another half point for each month of service, ten points for a dependent (but none for additional dependents). Points required for discharge: enlisted men 44, officers 49, enlisted women 29, women officers 35. About 307,000 became eligible for dis charge; 20,000 more could get out who had won certain awards (Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Legion of Merit, Silver Star, D.F.C.).

Marines' discharge was set at 85 points on the Army system.

. . . and Soldiers Too.
Soldiers of the 86th ("Blackhawk") Infantry Division, waiting at Pittsburg, Calif., to be redeployed to the Pacific after 28 days of combat in Europe, sent telegrams to editors: "The Regular Army wishes to send additional divisions rather than individuals so that they can keep control over large organizations . . . for the retention of their temporary wartime high ranks. . . ." The battle-seasoned 95th Infantry Division, reassembling for Pacific deployment at Camp Shelby, Miss., sent petitions to newspapers and Congressmen: "Why should we serve on two fronts when there are many who never served on one?"

The Slow Wheels.
The War Department said the 86th had already been screened twice, the 95th once, to avoid sending highpoint men overseas. The Navy Department's stock answer to protests was that its policy was being "clarified," that 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 men would be discharged within 18 months.

Peace had hit the services like another Pearl Harbor. But, as War Secretary Stimson pointed out, there were "2,250,000 trained Japanese soldiers in the home islands alone, and an equal number" in other Pacific and Asiatic territory. The U.S. must disarm these men, and ships that nose into Japanese islands must be combat-loaded.

Regardless of current snafu and individual injustices, it was possible last week to see the shadow of the postwar Army & Navy:
  • European forces, now 2,780,000 strong, will shrink to 400,000. How many men will be required to police the Japanese islands, nobody knew; some guessed 1,500,000.
  • The Army planned to discharge 5,000,000 men within a year. The Navy process would probably be slower, but the 327,000 currently eligible will be out within four months and separation centers eventually will handle 16,000 a day.
  • The Navy will ask for a postwar complement of 50,000 officers, 500,000 men, plus 100,000 Marines. Meantime, the Navy works frantically on plans to berth its excess ships somewhere. No size can yet be correctly guessed for the Army, but it was announced last week that draftees who want to re-enlist after furloughs will be allowed to retain their ratings, given bonuses up to $150.
  • WAC and WAVE recruiting had stopped, but WAC enlistments were still being accepted.
  • President Truman announced that the draft would continue, but only for men under 26, and at a rate of 50,000 a month instead of 80,000.

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