30 September, 2012

30 September 1945

Note: The last letter was 18 September 1945.
The remainder of entries are paperwork and mementos.

(Commissioned Officers, Army Nurses, Warrant Officers, Contract Surgeons)
[Click to enlarge]

World War II Pay Grades
Greg's Pay as a Captain was a Base of $200
plus 5% for Longevity and 10% for Foreign Service = $230 per month.
No extra pay for being a doctor...

21 September, 2012

21 September 1945

Note: The last letter was 18 September 1945.
The remainder of entries are paperwork and mementos.

This telegram speaks for itself. Imagine how Greg felt sending it...
and how Wilma felt receiving it.

And more paperwork before the flight home!
Vermin and Disease Free!

Again, only one firearm going home

Again, only two items "captured from the enemy"

20 September, 2012

20 September 1945

Note: The last letter was 18 September 1945.
The remainder of entries are paperwork and mementos.

Seine Section, Central Registration Bureau
Showing Stay at the American Red Cross Independence Club
Hotel de Crillon, 10 Place de la Concorde, Paris, France
from at least 20 September to 23 September 1945
(The pass was only good for 72 hours... Was there a later Pass?

Hotel de Crillon on VE Day, 8 May 1945 (above)
and today (below)

For items that would travel by ship
Dated 20 September 1945
Signed as received at Fort Devens on 10 October 1945

Fort Devens Post Headquarters in 1945 (above)
and an aerial view of the former Fort today (below)

The Fort was closed in the mid-1990s.
It was sold for $575,000 in June of 2012 to become a movie production studio.

19 September, 2012

19 September 1945

Note: The last letter was 18 September 1945.
The remainder of entries are paperwork and mementos.

Greg received his "Green Project" (return home) orders on 19 September 1945, and therefore did not mention these orders in his last letter, on 18 September. Even if he had had an inkling, no doubt he wouldn't write it until he was sure. He knew that writing a letter on the 19th made no sense since he would probably be home - or at least would have sent a telegram - before the letter would arrive. In any case, there probably were no words for the joy, excitement and anticipation he felt on that day. Here are those long-awaited orders...

(Translated, below)

Here's the same thing, with abbreviations translated...

1.  CAPTAIN [GREG], Medical Detachment, 438th AAA AW Bn (M) will proceed on or about 20 September 1945 to Paris, France, reporting upon arrival to Transportation Officer, Seine Section, for move by Green Project Debarkation for move to reception station nearest his home for further instruction and disposition. Captain [GREG is released from further assignment and duty in this theater. Effective Date of Change on Morning Report: 4 October 1945

2. Travel by military or naval aircraft, Army or Navy transportation, Commercial Steamship, belligerent vessel, aircraft and/or rail transportation is directed. The provisions of AR 35-4820 19 April 1945, will apply to the Officer named above while traveling outside this theater.

3. The baggage allowance of 65 pounds is authorized while traveling by air. All other authorization excesses and personal baggage will be packed, marked with owner's name, rank, Army Service Number, arm of service and specific address in the U.S. where baggage is to be forwarded and turned over to the Effects Quartermaster for shipment by water to the U.S. Request for the shipment of baggage to the U.S. will be made in accordance with European Theater of Operations Standard Operating Procedure #45, "Baggage", 1 July 1945. The Officer named above will be equipped as presented in Circular 99, Headquarters European Theater of Operations USA, 18 July 1945.

4. Information concerning War Department, Army or personal activities of a military nature, will not be discussed by means of newspapers, magazines, books, lectures, radio, or any other method without prior clearance through the War Department, Bureau of Public Relations or the appropriate Publication Requirement Officer of Army installations.

5. Correspondents and publishers will be notified to discontinue mailing letters and publications until they receive notification of new address. The appropriate War Department Adjunct General Office Form will be used for the above purpose.

6. Transcontinental Travel Directed is Necessary Troop Carrier Squadron 60-114, 500 T 431-02, 03, 04, 07, 08, 212/60425.

7. Attention is invited to letter, Headquarters European Theater of Operations USA, 20 July 45, File AG 311.4, M-GB, relative to clearance through customs on leaving and entering the U.S.

8. Mess gear, canteen, and canteen cup will accompany Officer.




18 September, 2012

18 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
18 September, 1945
Wilma darling –

What do you think? Yup – you’ve guessed it – I love you more than anyone else in the world, and I just don’t want you to forget that. The moon’s getting bigger again – and it may still be big enough when you get this letter for you to look up at it too and realize that a few thousand miles away – I’m wishing on it – and the wishes concern you and me. I think we’ll spend a lot of time together – looking at full moons, darling.

Boy – I got a bunch of letters this morning: two from you – 10th September the latest, one from Dad A, one from Eleanor who liked my recent picture very much (and heck, dear – you said it was bleary, blurry and pretty good!) and two letters from Lawrence. Not bad, not bad – and enough to perk up my morale about 40%. That’s a lot – these days, dear. One of your letters was written when you were meeting Gus Bergson – and you seemed to be having a good time. I’m glad. I had forgotten just who she was – but she recalled the connection when she mentioned Joe Auerbach, Sid Papp and Henry Gesme. I knew them all. Phil Bergson sounds awfully familiar but I can’t seem to place him. Your description of Gus makes her sound swell and I’m sure I’ll like her. How is it – you’re friendly with her – oh yes – I almost forgot – thru Red Cross.

Your other letter tried to cheer me up. You had received a couple from me in which I sounded bored. I’m sorry, darling. I do try to hide it. But I am all right – and your reasoning is good. The fact is I certainly ought to be home in ’45. With any sort of break – it ought to be sooner; I’ll be home to stay and out of uniform not long after. A couple of months ago – I’d never allow myself to even think in such terms. So we do have a lot to be thankful for. It means we can really get started in Salem much sooner than I had hoped for. I’m not worrying one bit about us; I’m sure we’ll find we love each other in person as well as thru our letters – and I think I can make you happy. And as for single or double beds – hell – it won’t make any difference at all to me, sweetheart. Don’t forget – I still have my rubber mattress – although it does have a patch in it over a hole made by a bullet from a Carbine. I guess I can tell you about it now. It was fairly close. I had been lying on it one night and one of the boys picked up my rifle. I sort of turned – to adjust my radio – and off went the carbine – right through the mattress and out into the wall. It would have shattered one of my ankles, had I not turned toward the radio. This was back during the Belgian Bulge.

Before I forget it – if you see that hero from the 635th Q.M. Laundry Co – ask him how rough he found it up front. That’s what gets us mad – these boys who never even heard the sound of our own long distance (15 miles) artillery going off – let alone anything else – telling about other outfits not being up front. Oh yes – they got battle stars for the Battle of the Rhine – for example – by being back here in Nancy and Rheims. As you say – Phooey!! It’s too bad they don’t save some of that stuff for us. They know darn well – they wouldn’t get very far. Hell – I’m mad!

Well – I’ll change my mood darling, before I close and go out to eat. Can I tell you one more time that I love you dearly? Surely I can – and do. And what’s more – I always will, dear.

All for now – and love to the folks.
All my everlasting love is yours –


about Home Sweet Home

From TIME magazine, Volume XLVI, Number 12, published this week in September 1945, comes this article:
Summer had faded into the season which Western Indians called The-Moon-When-Deer-Rub-Their-Horns; September's hot days and moonless nights held the first, smoky promise of fall. Across the continent the people of the U.S. looked at a land at peace after the years of war.

Soldiers who had cheered Manhattan's towers when their ships docked now strained their eyes for the half-forgotten tree or turn of road which would mean the real end of their long journey home. War workers bound back to farms and small towns, millions who had been city-bound by gasoline rationing looked out again at the U.S. scene they best remembered—a two-lane highway seen through the windshield of a four-door sedan.

The wartime years had left their mark. Weeds grew around once immaculate service stations, in many a gravel drive and rural schoolyard. Vermont's neglected pastures were overrun with purple bergamot, and Louisiana's bayous with orchid-like water hyacinth. Fireweed grew on steep acres of newly logged land in the Western foothills. But in its broad sweep, in color and loom of hill, the land was unchanged.

The Hills of Home.
The fields between New England's stone walls were still lush and green. The salt smell of the sea still blew in from every coast. Highways still boasted their gaudy billboards; they ran past barns painted with baking powder ads and signposts cluttered with the weathered, cardboard portraits of political candidates. In the South the cotton was waist high. Beneath the northern border the wheat lands were bright with yellow stubble. The Western ranges with their white-faced cattle were sere again with the late summer heat. Sidetracked freight cars still bore the familiar slogans on their red sides: The Route of Phoebe Snow, The Katy, The Southern Serves the South. Leaves were turning yellow in the high valleys of the Rocky Mountains. In the Southwest, mirages still sprang up along the roads and the horizon bloomed with the dust of distant plowing.

But the feel of home and peace was more than this. In the cattle country it was the excitement of rodeo time: the smell of corrals, the sight of a squealing bronco making his first, lurching jump in dusty sunlight. To many an American it was the lovely, casual look of a yellow fly line falling out on running water and the first, heart-stirring tug of a hooked trout. There would be hunting soon and with it would come the cold feel and oily click of a rifle's cocking lever, the look of a deer slung across the car's radiator, the sight of ducks in mist or pheasant starting like an explosion of color from brown grass, the distant belling of a Bluetick hound.

There were other, less dramatic joys—a visit to a county fair, a meal in a roadside restaurant, an idle ride aboard a yawl or cabin cruiser or outboard-powered rowboat.

The Important Things.
For six long years the news had come from overseas. In war-jammed cities the important things of existence had been steel shavings coiling from a machine tool, the glare of a welding torch, the sound of riveting gun and typewriter, the brain fag and weariness of overwork. But now the U.S. experienced the quiet clarity of eye and mind which comes after a long fever.

The color and perfume of flowers was real again—Maine's goldenrod, Wisconsin's black-eyed Susan, New Mexico's Indian paintbrush. Suddenly there was nothing outlandish in the thud of a punted football, the rhythm of a dance band, the bright expensive look of department-store windows, and the solid, un-shattered buildings. Across the land last week it was hot, and once more the U.S. people could listen with contentment to that most peaceful of all evening music—the tinkling of the lawn sprinklers, turning drowsily in the darkness.

17 September, 2012

17 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
17 September, 1945
Nancy      1630

My dearest darling Wilma –

This will be a shortie – but I do want to wish you and your folks – a happy and healthy New Year and I hope I’m going to be around soon to help you make it happy. I prayed for us today, sweetheart, and spent a good part of the day in the Synagogue. Services were very good and the Chaplain gave an excellent sermon. Last nite I went to Kol Nidre services, too, and I enjoyed that too. I’m not much of a Jew, I suppose, but when I do go to Synagogue I really enjoy it and I always feel definitely uplifted spiritually.

The weather has been Spring-like today and it hasn’t helped make this infernal waiting any easier. The only consolation lies in the fact that the quotas seem to be going out very regularly now. And the latest in our outfit is that 5 more officers leave Friday next, i.e. the 21st of September – and that cleans up all officers down to 94. That’s really something, dear, because I’m only 12 points away right now. Gee this place is going to be like a morgue when this next batch goes. They include some of the original 438’ers and I hate to see them go. It’s a shame the Army has to rip outfits apart – the way they’re doing it to this one. There ought to have been some plan to move an outfit, en masse, back to the States for demobilization. It means that each of us goes out alone – or with one other. The only other officer with 82 is Jim Copleston – a swell fellow, by the way – but he lives in New York – and the latest dope is that they separate you right here at the repple depples before you sail – that is – New Yorkers sail for Dix, for example, while I would sail for Standish or Devens. That’s not official – but it’s what we’ve been hearing. Fundamentally, darling, I don’t give a damn. I merely want to get on board a boat headed for the U.S.A. and home and everything I left behind. It seems slow, of course, but it’s coming closer and closer – and boy how I love that thought!

And boy how I love you and everything you mean to me! I’m so sure that everything is going to work out all right, sweetheart, and that we’re going to be happily married et al. I know I love you and that you love me; we’ve waited for each other with sincerity and hope and we just can’t miss. Darn it – I grow so impatient when I write like that. I want to be with you, hold you and kiss you and really feel you’re mine. Again – I can only say soon.

And that’s all for now, darling. I’ve got lots to do right now. Hope to hear from you in the morning. Meanwhile – be well and send my love to the folks –

All my dearest and sincerest love,


about What's in a Word

From TIME magazine, Volume XLVI, Number 12, published on 17 September 1945 come these articles:

"RUSSIA: Eh, Tovarish?"

What should you call people who live in Russia? The New York Herald Tribune last week found that the answer was a little complicated. A "Trib man" went to see Secretary Pavel I. Fedosimov of the Soviet Consulate, and asked: Should his people be called Russians? Not collectively, said Mr. Fedosimov, for they include 149 other nationalities.

Pavel I. Fedosimov
(Later determined to be a spy)

What about Reds? No good for civilians, said Mr. Fedosimov. That applies only to members of the Red Army and the Red Navy — or to pretty girls who are called "reds" when they are apple-cheeked. Comrade, tovarish? Perfectly all right for friends or acquaintances, explained Mr. Fedosimov, but no good for strangers. Then you say grazhdanin (citizen). Soviets, perhaps? No good. That means council.

Mr. Fedosimov thought the best collective phrase was "Soviet peoples." Then he confessed sadly that the Soviet peoples have the same trouble — and persist in calling themselves Russians, even though they know it's wrong. As wrong, he added, as for the citizens of the U.S. to call themselves Americans.

FOREIGN NEWS: Cutlery Please"

By Japanese account, the two-handed swords of their fighting men are sharp enough to cut through cherry blossoms floating toward the earth. On less poetic occasions, they have been known to cut through three bodies in a single sweep. Last week the Japs set out in their own manner to make the world forget the practical uses of their snickersnee.

In a new "interpretation of weapons" under the surrender terms, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that swords, Japan's holiest symbols of power, were no longer to be regarded as weapons. Henceforth, said the Ministry hopefully, they would be "objects of ancient art and cutlery."

Douglas MacArthur paid no noticeable attention. He announced that the 700-year-old blade once sported by General Tomoyuki Yamashita was being sent out to West Point. Annapolis will get the sword once carried by Vice Admiral Denshichi Okochi.

Yamashita's Sword
on Display at West Point

16 September, 2012

16 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
16 September, 1945
Nancy      1100

My dearest sweetheart –

I’m kind of blue today – why I don’t know particularly except that I love you and as yet I can’t have you. The weekend has been terribly dull, probably by contrast. The French are celebrating the first anniversary of their liberation and they’ve had parades, speeches, dances etc. It makes me morbid to see everyone else having a good time while I go on merely marking time.

Today marks the completion of 22 months of overseas duty for me and you know as well as I that that is a real chunk of time. How much longer can it be? If they keep going at this rate – it shouldn’t be long, sweetheart. We’re down to 96 points on the officers and 80 on the enlisted men, and a new quota has been coming in every day or two. If they just keep it up – everything will be fine.

Well – I didn’t mean to complain, darling, but it is getting more and more difficult to take. I’m so anxious to get home to you – I just don’t know how to put it into words. Enough of it now – at any rate. I read with interest your reaction to the “Song of Bernadette”. First of all I was surprised you had just seen it. It must have hit Boston a long time ago. I saw it about a year ago in a little town we were in just South of Paris; it was the town where the Rothschild estate was – I remember it quite well. It was excellently done – but wasn’t received too well by the troops. We were driving along fast those days, everyone was keyed up, and what we needed was a fast moving musical comedy. The picture was very slow. Other than that – I enjoyed it immensely, although I can’t say I reacted to the Catholic theme quite the way you did.

Say – good news, darling – some one just came in and showed me the latest Stars and Stripes. There’s an item in it about doctors and dentists. There’s a new critical score out for actual release and the score is 80. Hell I had 82 and enough with the old score; now I have 90 and more than enough. It means this, sweetheart, that when I actually get back – I don’t have to sweat out a reassignment somewhere; I can count on being discharged. What a sweet word! Gosh – that news was just what I needed to perk me up from this low level I’m in. Hold tight, darling. I’ll be home before you know it and then I’ll show you how much I love you. You won’t have to read it; you’ll hear it, dear – over and over again.

Gee – they’ve moved the clocks back an hour as of 0300 Sunday a.m. and I don’t know if the mess is going by the old or new time. I’d better go see or I’ll miss out on our Sunday chicken. Sweetheart – it’s getting close and I can’t help but admit I’m getting keyed. It’s going to be a wonderful experience and I’m ready for it.

So long for now, dear, love to the folks – and

All my deepest love

P.S. Tonite is Yom Kippur and I’m going to services in the a.m., of course.


about Six Days on a Raft

World War II came to a conclusion on August 14, 1945, eight days after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. The USS YMS 472 was one vessel whose job was not complete at war's end. They were assigned to Okinawa Island with orders to sweep the area and destroy active mines. The men were already having thoughts of home, family and togetherness. The weight of the war had, finally, been lifted off of their shoulders. However, not a single one of them suspected they would soon be introduced to a new type of enemy. On 16 September 1945, thirty-three days after the war, a category 3 typhoon named "Ida" would catch the thirty-one man crew of the YMS 472 off guard and send the ship to the bottom of the ocean. Bill Harrison was one of 10 men who made it onto a life raft.

On 25 February 2010, Bill Harrison told his story to the Fullerton Sunrise Rotary in Fullerton, California. Here is a photo from the Rotary's Newsletter about the event, followed by a review of Mr. Harrison's presentation.
Mr. Bill Harrison, a member of the Greatest Generation shared his real life story of being marooned in the South Pacific for 6 days in 1945, when the mine sweeper he served on ran into a Category 3 Typhoon. Able to flee the ship and make his way on to a life raft, he and 9 of his mates found themselves adrift in the South Pacific for 6 days without food or water.

With sharks circling the raft, Mr. Harrison recounted the long six days he and his friends spent on the raft. He described the incredible thirst that he had experienced and how his will power was able to overcome the temptation to drink the salt water that surrounded him. Mr. Harrison described the hallucinations that he and his friends experienced and how one of his mates had imagined seeing a taxi at sea and proceeded to leave the raft screaming for the taxi only to be devoured by the sharks that circled the raft.

With an island with a mountain in the horizon, Mr. Harrison recalled a Bible Scripture that his mother taught. “If you have the faith of a grain of an mustard seed, God will remove the mountain.” It was at that point that he realized that he should pray to God thanking God for being saved, rather than to pray to God asking to be saved. He convinced the rest of his friends also to thank God for saving them. About an hour later they saw 3 search planes on the horizon, the last of which had made a 90 degree turn. It had spotted them and eventually rescued them.

With help they felt was Heaven sent, four of the nine men survived.
Harrison published the complete story in a book title "Six Men on a Raft," published in paperback in February 2007 by Authorhouse, ISBN 1425983693, ISBN-13: 978142598368. It is also available from iTunes.

15 September, 2012

15 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
15 September, 1945      10450

Dearest darling fiancĂ©e –

I was supposed to have a court today but for one reason or another it was called off at the last minute – and so here I am, dear. Gee – before I forget it – a letter of yours the other day mentioned some clipping or other from the Traveler - and you never enclosed it in the letter. What was it, dear?

Two letters from you came the first thing this morning – both stimulating, too. One in particular caused me to do a lot of thinking. You brought up the subject which you say we’ve avoided and which I mentioned in my letter of 28 August – namely the question of whether or not we’ll “click” once we’re together again. I don’t actually remember in what connection I brought it up, but if it has been avoided in the past, it hasn’t been with any intent on my part. I’ve just answered, darling, that there’s no question that we were meant for each other. Oh, I’m fully aware that we may seem strange to one another at first – although that isn’t necessary because as I sit here and write to you – it’s just as if I were talking with you, and your letters have been just as communicative to me. I feel that it will be the most natural thing in the world for me to tell you I love you, to kiss you and make love to you, to visit our friends, to get the feel of Boston and suburbs in my blood again – and to discuss with you the plans for our marriage. Even people who were married before they were separated by war – are sweating out their reactions after a two year stretch of not seeing each other – so certainly we’re entitled to a bit of speculation without qualms that it might be a wavering of emotions on the part of either one of us. That’s a touch of circumlocution, dear, but you understand what I mean I’m sure. Frankly and honestly I’m not doubtful or worried about it at all. I just want to get back; from there on I know it’s in the bag.

You mention that you’re a little stale after about 2 years of inactivity – and I can certainly understand that. Some fun and entertainment might do you a little good at that – I think your trip to Montreal gave you a little taste of what you’ve missed all this time. It’s most natural, too. But I can’t see it as a test – because you’ve been tested. Furthermore – you couldn’t really compare me with another fellow – because you hardly can remember – except in your mind’s eye – what it was like to go out with me.

But for entertainment’s sake, darling, it’s probably a good idea – only please don’t get to like anyone too much.

Well – to change the subject only slightly – I love you, darling – and you know that, I guess. Believe me – these months since VE day have been tough on me, too. But hell, it can’t be long now. I still have no specific date for myself except that troops are really moving out by the thousands. I’ll make a boat too, some day – Just hold on a bit longer, darling. I’ll love you hard and long once I get back – for I’ll love no one else and I never have loved anyone else as I love you.

So long, dear – Love to the folks –

All my sincerest love and devotion


The three Certificates above, dated 15 September 1945, all have the same language.
They were all signed by Raymond W. Hoag, Major - CAC of the 438th AAA Aw Bn.

1.  I certify that I have personally examined the items of captured enemy military equipment in the possession of "Greg", Capt MC; that the trophy value of each item exceeds any training, service or salvage value; that they do not include any explosives; and that the possession thereof is in conformity with the regulations of the Theater Commander.

2.  I further certify that the item referred to was captured from the enemy by the above man.

3.  The items referred to are:

1 camera, Luminar
field glasses, Zeiss, 7x marine
1 pistol, Browning Automatic, .32 caliber


about The Florida Hurricane of 1945

At this time in World War II, the U.S. had many military manufacturing sites around the country and many more military bases than it has today in some areas. It was on this day, 15 September 1945, that a powerful hurricane struck the greater Miami area. It was a "Cape Verde" hurricane, having originated off the coast of Africa and moved thousands of miles west becoming a major hurricane (Category 3) as it roared through the Turks and Caicos, and then the southern Bahamas. Still strengthening it reach Category (CAT) 4 intensity before reaching south Miami coastline; winds were estimated to be near 140 mph. Many thought this one would move south of Miami, others thought it might have died over the Bahamas along its long path.

By the morning of September 15th winds were howling, along the south Florida coast waves were rising above 10 feet (high for an area that rarely sees waves above 5 feet), and rain clouds were moving onshore with increasing severity. Miami residents began to realize the hurricane had not died and was rapidly approaching. People raced to take cover from the approaching beast. The eye moved across Homestead in the early afternoon, and turned towards the NW, then north, moving by Miami from the southeast in the late afternoon, depending what location you were, and then made a sharp turn up the spine of the Florida peninsula. By the time it moved by Jacksonville about 24 hours later, it had weakened to a strong tropical storm.

But the damage had already been done to south Florida, the eyewall of the hurricane moved across south Miami blowing roofs off of structures, blowing away power lines, downing trees both small and large and producing one of the largest "storm surges" recorded in south Florida. Depending on where you were water rose 10-15 feet above normal astronomical tide levels, flooding coastal areas, destroying docks and piers and severely eroding the beaches. Collins Avenue in Miami when under water! Coastal businesses filled with water and sand. Boats were tossed like toys onshore from deeper water and lay on dry land listing after the water receded.

But it was the wind that was horrendous in this CAT 4 hurricane. One location hard hit by some of the strongest winds measured a peak 2-minute wind of 170 mph with gusts estimated to be near 195 mph for a few seconds! Many areas had sustained winds above 100 mph with higher gusts.

Unnamed Florida Hurricane, 15 September 1945

Those deadly and destructive winds carved a path of destruction that included the U.S. Naval Air Station at Richmond Heights. Huge hangers built to house military aircraft and blimps were blasted by the high winds. The huge hangers caught the extreme winds like floating kites and the result was catastrophic. Hanger roofs blew away, and hangers fell to pieces in the high winds. Airplane fuel was ignited by the hanger collapses and fires raged across the air station in winds that today would have been considered CAT 5! The result was total destruction of 25 blimps, 183 military planes, 153 civilian planes, and 150 automobiles which workers routinely parked in the hangers.

Those that had parked outside found the paint blasted off the upwind sides of their cars by the tremendous winds. More than 200 people were injured in the racing flames that blew out not long after destroying the air field. After the event engineers examined metal doors that had bend under the force of the extreme winds and calculated that winds had to have been at least 160 mph!

At Homestead Air Reserve Base, three years to the day of the base's founding, enlisted housing facilities, the nurses' dormitory and the base exchange were all destroyed. The roof was ripped off what would later be Building 741, also known as the "Big Hangar." The base laundry and fire station were both declared total losses. The few remaining aircraft were tossed about like leaves.

Homestead Air Reserve Hangar after the hurricane.

Here is the path of that unnamed hurricane, colored according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The scale starts with Tropical Depression and Tropical Storm and ends with CAT 5.

Path of Storm

Here is a map of all hurricanes with effects on Florida from 1900-1949, using the same Saffir-Simpson color scale.

14 September, 2012

14 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
14 September, 1945      1400
My dearest sweetheart –

Well as of tomorrow we lose an officer down to the point score of 97 and with more to come. You know, dear, they may get down to the 80’s pretty soon. Everything is still on the basis of the old score of VE day. I still have 20 men left in the medical detachment, but I may lose 2 more any day. It doesn’t seem now as if we’ll get home as a unit; they seem to be breaking us up piecemeal, instead, and that’s too bad. Gee we’re losing officers now that we were together with for 38 months and they’re drifting off one by one.

Last nite was quiet. I continued to straighten out my room a bit. Some of the fellows went to see a French production of the Desert Song – and I’m glad I didn’t go. It stank. I stayed here, listened to the radio and finished reading “Wild in the River”. It was fairly good, but I’ve read better by Louis Bromfield.

I’m now in my room and I’ve just finished re-reading a letter from you I received this morning. It was written the first day you arrived in Montreal. So the RCAF tried to pick you up, did they? They’re a pretty smooth bunch and rather nice. When we came over on the Aquitania there were 600 of them with us – fresh out of their equivalent of O.C.S. We all got along fine. I was also glad to read you got along well with your French. If I stay here much longer, I’ll get to speak it quite well. I’m likely to come out with all sorts of expressions, dear, like – “Hallo babee” – for example. Now don’t get me wrong, darling!

I also had a letter from Dad A – the first one since the Sunday you and the folks spent at Nantasket. He said that Mother A and he had a very pleasant day the day you and the folks came down. And of course he wanted to know when I was coming home.

Here in Nancy there’s quite a bit of excitement in preparation for a big day tomorrow. General Patton is here to become an honorary citizen of Nancy. He is credited – or his 3rd Army is – with the liberation of the City. There’s to be a parade, speeches and all that. He’ll probably eat it up too. I don’t think I’ll be able to see it because I have court – starting at 1000 and lasting all day.

Every nite now – some one wants to celebrate the going-away of another officer. I’m almost ready to quit, dear, because the routine is quite a pace – with someone leaving every other day or so. All the celebrating I want to do is with you, sweetheart; that’s all I think about, dream about, talk about. And what a celebration that will be! Talk about loving you! Darling – beware! I love you so, dear – if you only knew. And it’s almost within reach; the wars are over, troops are sailing every day, somewhere or other I’m on the list. Ohh –– boyy –––

All for now, dear. Sit tight. Love to the folks – and

All my deepest love,


about The Burma-Siam Railway
and the Japanese "Hospitals"

From Military History at Suite 101 comes this excerpt from an article written by Scott Hayden titled, "The Death Railway."
The Burma–Siam Railway, or the Death Railway as it was known because of the atrocious working conditions and massive death toll, was a construction project designed to supply Japanese troops in Burma. When Allied submarine attacks made the sea passage too risky, the Japanese needed an alternative method to shuttle their materials to Burma to support the planned invasion of India. The solution was a 415 kilometer track that would link the existing Bangkok–Singapore line in the south to the Moulmein–Ye railway in Burma.

Japanese engineers calculated it would take at least five years to complete the railway, but it was built in less than two. Mechanized equipment was scarce so the Japanese used the next best thing at their disposal — a large and expendable workforce. In 1942, POWs in Singapore's Changi prison were divided into large groups and transported to Burma and Siam (Thailand).

In Burma, the railway started at Thanbyuzayat and ended at Nong Pladuk in Thailand. There were dozens of POW camps between those two points and prisoners worked from opposite ends of the line towards the center at the Three Pagodas Pass.

These men, from 8th Division, were captured before landing and sent directly to Changi Prison.
The 4th from the right is Robert Hosking, whose granddaughter identified this photo.
The following article was written by Rohan D. Rivett who had just returned from Siam (now Thailand), where he had been a prisoner of war for three and a half years. It was published in The Argus, Melbourne, Australia on 14 September 1945. Mr. Rivett had reported for The Argus before becoming a prisoner.

When Allied prisoners were first moved to Burma and Siam to work on the railway we were assured that there was no need to take much in our medical panniers, as we would be plentifully supplied with all medical requisites and our sick cared for in modern hospitals. This statement was widely publicized in the Japanese Press throughout Asia.

Here is the story of how the Nippon authorities fulfilled their promises.

The first hospital in Burma was established at POW headquarters for the Burma groups at Thanbyuzayat, and was placed close to the railway junction among supply sheds, dumps, and Japanese troop camps without any distinguishing mark being permitted. Inevitably it was bombed out. On June 12 and 15, 1943, Liberator aircraft bombed and machine-gunned the hospital area, causing casualties of nearly 100, of whom over 50 were then killed or died subsequently. The Japanese reaction was amusement.

Until a new group of hospital huts was built in January, 1943, all Burma sick were housed in filthy, verminous coolie huts, dilapidated and leaky. One of the worst of these was the dysentery hut, a veritable charnel house, where scores of men died in a few weeks, being denied even a pint of water to wash in.

From the very beginning, according to the computations of Sergeant Bev Brown, pharmacist, from Launceston, Tasmania, this base hospital did not receive even 2% of its requirements from the Japanese. The only thing adequately supplied was quinine, and as the Japanese controlled most of the world supply this was hardly surprising. Instruments, sterilizing, washing, and cooking gear were not provided at all, but had to be improvised from old tins, petrol drums, and wide bamboos. Bandages and dressings were so scarce that at some of the up-country camps, where the need rose to a thousand bandages a week, the Japanese issue was six a month - this for two or three thousand prisoners, most of whom had tropical ulcers.

From the first, even at the base hospital, which was well off compared with the so-called "hospital huts" up-jungle, no base for making antiseptics and dressings was provided. We were entirely dependent on supplies of axle grease smuggled in from the Japanese workshops by men working there, who risked barbarous punishment to aid their sick comrades.

As the months wore on and the rains came, the inadequate diet and the long hours of heavy work sapped the resistance of the majority in all camps, and more and more succumbed to the scourges of malaria, cerebral, ST and BT, amoebic and bacillary dysentery, beri beri, pellagra, chronic diarrhea, and cardiac trouble. Finally, in May, 1943, cholera descended on several camps.

All along the 415 kilometers of projected track the condition of both the sick and fit steadily worsened through the rainy season of 1943. Our Medical Officers (MOs) struggled heroically, but often vainly, owing to their lack of nearly all their chief essentials. Increasing malnutrition carried off; hundreds monthly who on a normal diet would easily have recovered from their ailments. A leading Melbourne surgeon said to me that 90% of our dead would be alive today if we had had British "Tommy's" rations along the line.

At the 55 kilometer camp, which became the main hospital in Burma after Thanbyuzayat was bombed out, utter dearth of everything produced amazing improvisations by a band of devoted MOs and orderlies, assisted by convalescent officers. Colonel Albert Coates, of Melbourne, carried out 150 major amputations with a common meat saw, duly returned to the butcher's shop to carve the daily meat ration, whenever there was any.

Lacking all anesthetics, a clever Dutch chemist named Boxthall extracted novacaine from the dentist's cocaine supply, and this provided a local anesthetic for half an hour. No general anesthetic was ever obtainable despite the most passionate pleas to the Japanese. Toes and fingers, rotted by tropical ulcers, were snapped off with a pair of ordinary scissors without any anesthetic whatever.

The same chemist made a brilliant contribution by extracting emmatine, the only counter to amoebic dysentery from the ipecacuana plant, and thus saved many lives. Cattle entrails provided the gut for sutures. Bamboo provided crutches, washing mugs, trays, tubes, and a dozen other vital necessities. "Beds" for the worst cases were constructed with rice bags of bamboo frames. Bandages and dressings were improvised from all rags, scraps of clothing, the bottoms of mosquito nets, and old clothes. Tin cans and other junk provided bowls and containers.

At one time in this hospital, out of 2,400 very sick men, over 1,000 had serious ulcers, some of which laid bare the leg bone from knee to ankle. According to the handbook of tropical diseases in the camp, the tropical ulcer is "found chiefly among slave gangs working on starvation diet in disease-ridden jungles and marshes." Salt was often the only thing available to dress these hideous sores, and pus-soaked bandages had to be used and reused for months on end. The general prevalence of diarrhea and dysentery immensely complicated the problem of keeping even a semblance of cleanliness, and inevitably the stench in every hut was overpowering. The hospital could be "smelt" 200 yards outside the camp area.

With typical courage, many Australian other ranks risked imprisonment and terrible beatings to get out of camp and buy meat from the natives on the "black market" with money provided by officers or from the sale of irreplaceable clothing or precious personal possessions.

Working tirelessly from dawn until long after dark, the MOs and orderlies under Colonel Coates never slackened in the face of discouragements and lacks before which Hippocrates himself might well have quailed...

Yet, despite such work, when this camp was closed up after six months there were 500 graves in the adjacent cemetery, while in a near by camp, where F and H force personnel were "hospitalized," it is believed that there were nearly 2,000 graves. Many of these deaths occurred during the hideous rail journeys of the sick from the working camps, such journeys often occupying up to seven days, although the distance was seldom more than 60 miles.

Two factors contributed enormously to prevent a still higher death rate. Officers contributed all but 20 rupees of their monthly pay to the sick by the end of 1943, and the operators of the secret radios up and down the line kept the hospitals supplied with news, the effect of which on morale was incalculable. Nowhere in the world was the advance of Montgomery across the Western Desert, the turning of the tide in Russia, the bombing of Berlin, and the gradual progress in the Pacific watched with deeper interest or more passionate anxiety than among the thousands lying prostrate in the filthy hospital huts of the Japanese jungle camps.

Conditions for most prisoners in Burma and Siam improved considerably in 1944 when the Japanese realized that the war was going against them. Finally, in May of that year we got our first issue of Red Cross medical supplies. Thanks to these, and to the establishment of a somewhat better base hospital at Nankom Paton, in Siam, not far from Bangkok, the general death rate was relatively low through the last l8 months of captivity.

But those of us who have survived can never forget the 15,000 Allied officers and men lying dead along the railway, or the way in which, despite our utmost efforts, their captors allowed them to die.

Here is an interview of a Death Railway Survivor. His earlier war history ends at about 14:55 minutes in, when the Death Railway part of his story begins.

13 September, 2012

13 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
13 September, 1945      2000

Dearest darling Wilma –

I almost didn’t get a chance to write you today and I would have been angry had I not. For I enjoy so much, dearest, reminding you that I love you, want you and miss you – and if I miss telling you that for even a day, well – the more fool I.

In the first place, darling, I had court today. That would have been enough to tie me up. In the second place, we had to move again. Yup – it’s hard to believe – but it’s true. As if we haven’t moved enough already – at this stage of the game we had to do it all over again. I tell you, dear, better not let me buy a house in a hurry or get settled too firmly in any one apartment; I’m sure that after 6 or 8 weeks I’ll insist – out of habit – on moving across the street, or two blocks down – or something. I honestly can’t imagine having all my clothes laid out neatly in one place and leaving them there. This time again, it was out of our control. In an attempt to return all private homes to their owners, all officers have been moved downtown into hotels. As a matter of fact we’re much better off now. For one thing, we’re centrally located and within walking distance of the movies, Red Cross and Kaserne; secondly, we have individual rooms, a large double bed – fresh sheets and regular hotel service. Well – what with court and all – I was really busy. I’ve just finished getting my room set, had a bath and here I am – just a bit tired – but never too tired to write to you.

And boy – I got mail today – one letter from Canada and two from Newton – 4 and 5 September and I found them very interesting and warm. I’m so glad you could think so sincerely of me amidst all the hubbub, glamour and excitement of Montreal. As we used to say, it must have been some shindig. I knew the family was connected with Seagram’s and Schenley’s; seems to me that Irv Fine’s cousin Ray married one branch of the family living in Boston – and their house, too, was by no means petite. At any rate, darling, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and I hope the folks did, too. It makes me so mad though to think that others can hold you in their arms and dance with you – while I’m still here, kicking my heels and and just wondering what sort of sensation holding you in my arms is like, anyway. It’s such a long time, sweetheart. But when I do get you in my arms again – it will be for always, dear, and you won’t have to close your eyes and dream of me. I’ll be there and you’ll know it. What will it really be like to sit beside you, drink to your health and mine, look at you, hold you, feel the rush of blood thru my body – your presence being a much greater effect than anything alcohol could do – what will it be like? It will be wonderful, dear – and the reality of it will be something to cherish and thrive upon.

Gosh, sweetheart, I can’t be specific tonite. I wish I could say when – how I was getting home. I will get home and it can’t be too far away. And when I do get home – I swear I’ll make up for all the lost time. Believe me, dear.

And now, darling, goodnite until tomorrow. Love to the folks – and remember

I’m yours alone for always –


about Some Words from Big Timber
regarding the News about some German Commanders

The Crazy Mountains just beyond Big Timber, Montana

Big Timber is the county seat of Sweet Grass County, Montana, United States. The population was 1,650 at the 2000 census. The city has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 sq km), of which, 0.9 square miles (2.3 sq km) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 sq km) of it (3.09%) is water.

Here are a few articles published in The Big Timber Pioneer, Vol. 55, No. 48, Big Timber, Sweet Grass County, Montana, on Thursday, 13 September 1945. The newspaper image was put online by SmallTownPapers, Inc. (Website © 2012)
"Quisling Sentenced to Face Firing Squad for Betrayal"
Vidkum Quisling
18 July 1887 - 24 October 1945

OSLO, Norway, September 10 – Vidkum Quisling was convicted Monday of betraying his country to the Germans and sentenced to die before a firing squad.

The 59-year-old former puppet ruler, whose name has become a synonym for traitor the world over, stood impassive in the courtroom as Presiding Judge Erik Solem read the verdict, which was broadcast to the people of Norway. Quisling's jaw muscles tightened and his pallid face reddened. He did not speak until the judge informed him that while the treason conviction could not be appealed, he could ask the supreme court to reduce the sentence.

“Is it your intention to do this?” the judge asked.

“Yes,” replied Quisling who ruled Norway for Adolf Hitler from Sept. 25, 1940, until his cabinet resigned in the general German collapse last spring.

Solem – a member of the supreme court which would hear Quisling's mercy plea – read in measured, deliberate tones a lengthy statement in which the panel of three judges and four laymen gave their reasons for the unanimous verdict. “The defendant,” he concluded, “is sentenced to death for his crimes against military and civilian laws and crimes against the provisional laws.”

Unless delayed by a clemency move, the sentence probably will be carried out in three weeks. Quisling also was ordered to pay about 1,050,000 krones (about $200,000) court costs. The panel did not state how the money would be paid, but presumably his costly medieval paintings and other property will be confiscated.

The beetle-browed former puppet premier leaned on a table and stared, glassy-eyed, across the courtroom as Solem recited the people's indictment against him. Solem said testimony during the three-week trial proved that Quisling and Hitler decided together to declare the Norwegian government illegal on invasion day, so that Quisling could take control. He said, still speaking calmly and without apparent emotion, that Quisling plotted the invasion with Nazi military leaders, and that he tried to order Norway's forces to cease firing, in an attempt to hand over the country without a struggle.
Here is a short Newsreel about the verdict:

In the same paper was this article with the title:
“'Butcher of Warsaw' Captured in Japan”
Josef Albert Meisinger
14 September 1899 – 7 March 1947

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 7 – Bob Brumby said in a Mutual broadcast from Tokyo that the “Butcher of Warsaw” hulking Joseph Albert Meisinger, has been captured by five Americans who traveled 62 miles into unoccupied Japan on a tip that the Nazi was living among 100 German militarists in refuge.

The five Yanks journeyed to a hotel in the Japanese interior, ate lunch with two Germans and learned that Meisinger was living in a room below, said Brumby. He quoted Captains Adolph Gesler of Philadelphia and Theodore Holwitz of Milwaukee as saying that the Americans, whose names were not given, were warned that Meisinger was heavily armed and dangerous.

After lunch, the broadcast related, the Americans sent a note to Meisinger asking him to surrender. They told him they would take him to American authorities and suggested it would be better for him to surrender to Americans than to Russians. In a short time Meisinger appeared. He told the United States soldiers that he never would have allowed himself to be taken by the Russians and that he would have killed himself first.

Meisinger was accused of slaying 100,000 Jews in Warsaw between 1939 and 1941, when he went to Japan.

Here is one more article, this one with the title:
“Goering Reported in Excellent Health”
Hermann Goering
12 January 1893 - 15 October 1946

LONDON, Sept. 7 – Hermann Goering, who was taking 40 drug tablets a day when United States forces captured him last May, has been cured completely of his drug habit and is in perfect health for his forthcoming trial at Nurenberg as a war criminal, it was revealed Friday.

Thomas Blake, press aide to Justice Robert S. Jackson, American army was crimes prosecutor, said army physicians and psychiatrists pronounced Goering cured last week. They said when he was captured he had a suitcase containing 24,000 tablets of a morphine substitute, and physicians reduced the dosage gradually over a period of weeks.

12 September, 2012

12 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
12 September, 1945

Wilma, darling –

It’s about two years ago that you were back at Holyoke and were coming weekends or on the holidays and I was seeing you each and every opportunity I could. I hardly knew you then and I left not long afterwards. And that will never cease to be a source of wonder for me – that I knew you so little before I left and yet feel so much a part of you now. Our letters to each other really served to bring us together and hold us together. No doubt there’s a lot about each other that we don’t know – but I know enough of your qualities already to know why I love you and to realize that my love is strong and sincere. I do love you in a way I never realized was possible and it’s very very satisfying, darling.

Gee – I’ve just been trying to get Frank Morse on the phone. I spoke to a Captain instead who told me Frank had just gone to bed – after having played poker all night. It’s now 0930. I didn’t disturb him and I’ll call tomorrow. But I did find out that the hospital is no longer operational, that they move out of Chalms on the 20th of this month and have a so-called readiness date for overseas movement on 8 October. Dammit – everybody seems to be moving out except us. Of course – Frank won’t be able to be discharged. According to the latest – Majors must have 100 points – and Frank hasn’t got that. Captains need 85 – so I’m safe with 90. One thing – when I do get home – I ought to be discharged shortly afterwards. I never had a specialist’s rating and they can’t possibly find me essential now. We are now down to 100 in officer’s points and we expect to lose several very soon – but no one knows for sure.

No mail yesterday and another dull, rainy day. I spent part of it reading Louis Bromfield’s “Wild is the River” – quite interesting, but not as well written as some others of his – although I haven’t yet finished it. In the evening – I went along to a U.S.O. show – something I do rarely. Although I miss an occasionally good show – on the whole, I miss some terrible ones, and in case you don’t know, sweetheart – there is absolutely nothing in this world as terrible as a bad U.S. O. show. The one last night was good. It lasted only an hour, but was fast and clever. We had a coke and donuts at the Red Cross and then back to quarters. I read in bed until 2315 – another habit I hadn’t exercised for along time. There’s nothing much on the docket for today except to wait for mail. I may go to a French movie tonite – but I’m not sure. I am sure of one thing though – it won’t make any difference what I do once I get home – as long as I’m with you, dear. The thought alone is wonderful but I just have to continue to be patient – just a little while longer I hope.

Have to stop now, sweetheart. Hope to hear from you today. Love to the folks – and all my sincerest love and devotion is yours, dear –


about German Reparations to the Allies

The Guardian (UK) published an article called "Making Germany Pay" on 12 September 1945. Here is that article.
The United Nations are busy making out a bill to present to Germany for payment on account of reparations. Reparations may be put into two main categories - namely, those in kind and those in currency. After the last war reparations were fixed in terms of currency - that is to say, a certain sum of money was agreed upon as the amount Germany had to pay over a period of years.

This method of exacting compensation worked only for so long as other countries were prepared to lend money to Germany. It broke down for reasons which were as much concerned with the amount of the indemnity as with the methods of paying it. But ever since the idea of reparations in currency has been rather discredited. The Germans themselves, in their treatment of occupied countries during the war, have not been deterred by the so-called transfer difficulties with which their propaganda made much play after 1918.

There was a sweet simplicity about their solution. They took such assets - machinery and the people to work it - as they required from occupied countries and shipped them back to Germany. This is a method which is now in great favour among certain of the United Nations, but clearly if it is applied to the removal of capital assets it ensures that in the long run no other reparations can be paid.

The various United Nations approach the problem from different points of view according to the nature of their own economies. An interesting account of how the problem of reparations appears in a different guise to the Russians, the Americans, and ourselves is contained in the latest numbers of the Bulletin of "the Oxford Institute of Statistics".

The author, Mr. F. A. Barchardt points out that the production of goods and services by the paying country is a problem akin to the one which all countries had to face during the war. It consists essentially in producing a given quantity of goods and services which were not available for the current consumption of the population, but were expended in the war effort. After the war, in the guise of reparations, these goods and services - the consumption of the items being obviously changed - have to be transferred abroad. It is this problem of transfer, whether it be in kind or in currency, which is the crux of the matter.

Reparations as "Dumping"
If the receiving country is in a state of full employment the Government can sell the goods and use the proceeds for the public benefit - for example, the reduction of taxes or the provision of better social services. However, if the receiving country has resources which are unemployed then the reparations will be resented as being a substitute for goods which might be produced at home and thus create employment. The point made in the bulletin is that a country like Soviet Russia, which has a fully planned economy, may "easily plan t o order those goods and services on reparation account which fit in with the over-all plan of the economy ... The opposite would seem to be true for the United States."

If the American economy tends to become under-employed not only will export surpluses be regarded as an essential prop to domestic employment but also "reparation goods imported into the country will be felt as annoying competition by the industries having unemployed capacities and lead to agitation for protection again 'reparation dumping'".

The position of Britain is somewhat in between the other two. There is a greater likelihood of over-employment here than there is in the United States, while the degree of national planning, though likely to increase, will be less than that of Russia. It is nevertheless hard to imagine the sort of things which Britain can receive from Germany without certain sections of industry in this country regarding such receipts as a threat to themselves.

The difficulties in the way of designing a uniform economic policy in their treatment of Germany which will suit the three great Powers are obvious. But if present tendencies persist so that the capital equipment of Germany is reduced to a very low level the future chances of extracting reparations in kind or in currency are exceedingly remote.

11 September, 2012

11 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
11 September, 1945
My dearest sweetheart –

This month is slipping by very rapidly and not a heluva lot has happened yet. We lose one more officer tomorrow morning. He has 101 points – by virtue of one-each per papoose – male, and he’s a happy man. We decided to make him happier last nite – and on the spur of the moment, we had a binge. We hadn’t had one in some time – and it’s a long long time since we had one like the one last nite. The only reason the chandeliers didn’t come down is because we don’t have chandeliers. When the girls who came in to clean – saw the living room this a.m. – I think they felt like quitting.

I don’t really believe any of us really drank so much, dear. But there’s no use denying that everyone is keyed up – under more tension than usual – and a little alcohol merely serves as an outlet. At least that’s my interpretation for some of the wildness.

With officers down to 101 leaving – we’re really going to feel the pressure any day now. We have one officer with 100, two with 99, two with 98, one with 97, one 96, and 4 with 95. If all those go in the next two weeks or so – I’ll soon end up as battalion commander, if I don’t watch out. I sure wish I could be writing you that I was leaving any day. But it’ll come, sure as shooting.

Well, again no mail from you – but the whole battalion is short on mail, so I can’t blame it on Montreal. I’m anxious to hear more about that. Do you realize that I left you last way up in the styx of Rutland, Vt.?

Say – who does that kind Hellfont think he is, anyway – or have I already registered my indignation in another letter? He is persistent – and unfair, too, considering the fact that I’m not around; it’s not very soldierly of him – to say the least, darling – but I’m so glad your principles haven’t changed. It’s certainly comforting.

Boy that was a piece of gossip in re Dr. Alperte and his wife and newborn. If the story being passed around is not true – then it’s a nasty piece of business. On the other hand, if it is true – it’s not very nice either. I can’t understand why – if they did get into trouble like that – they didn’t marry earlier. Dr. Freedman is a pretty well-known pediatrician in town and I can imagine how things hummed.

Gosh, darling, it’s already 1000 and I have to speak to the battalion at 1015 – so I’d better take off. But not before I remind you yet again that you’re the dearest thing in the world to me, sweetheart, and that I love you with all the sincerity of which I am capable. Always remember that, dear. And now, so long and love to the folks.

All my everlasting love, darling


about Harry Stimson's Memorandum to Truman
about Letting the Soviet Union in on Atomic Bomb Secrets

"The only deadly sin I know is cynicism."
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson (21 September 1867 – 20 October 1950) was an American statesman, who served as Secretary of War, Governor-General of the Philippines, and Secretary of State. He was a conservative Republican, and a leading lawyer in New York City. He is best known as the civilian Secretary of War during World War II, chosen for his aggressive stance against Nazi Germany, with responsibility for the Army and Air Force. He managed the drafting and training of 12 million soldiers and airmen, the purchase and transportation to battlefields of 30% of the nation's industrial output, and the building and decision to use the atomic bomb. He communicated his thoughts on the political aspects of the U.S. keeping the secrets of the bomb from the Soviet Union after V-J Day in the following letter and memorandum.

Memorandum on the Effects of Atomic Bomb
From: Henry Stimson, Secretary of War
To: Harry S Truman, President of the United States of America
Date: 11 September 1945

Mr. Stimson, who did not enjoy a good relationship with President Harry S. Truman, retired from office on his 78thbirthday, 21 September 1945, just 10 days after dating this Letter and Memorandum. Click here to read the above-letter along with the entire Memorandum. Here are some excerpts from the Memorandum:
... To put the matter concisely, I consider the problem of our satisfactory relations with Russia as not merely connected with but as virtually dominated by the problem of the atomic bomb. Except for the problem of the control of the bomb, those relations, while vitally important, might not be immediately pressing. The establishment of relations of mutual confidence between her and us could afford to wait the slow progress of time. But with the discovery of the bomb they became immediately emergent. Those relations may be perhaps irretrievably embittered by the way in which we approach the solution of the bomb with Russia. For if we fail to approach them now and merely continue to negotiate with them, having this weapon rather ostentatiously on our hip, their suspicions and their distrust of our purposes and motives will increase. It will inspire them to greater efforts in an all-out effort to solve the problem. If the solution is achieved in that spirit, it is much less likely that we will ever get the kind of covenant we may desperately need in the future. This risk, is, I believe, greater than the other, inasmuch as our objective must be to get the best kind of international bargain we can - one that has some chance of being kept and saving civilization not for five or for twenty years, but forever.

The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.

If the atomic bomb were merely another though more devastating military weapon to be assimilated into our pattern of international relations, it would be one thing. We could then follow the old custom of secrecy and nationalistic military superiority relying on international caution to prescribe the future use of the weapon as we did with gas. But I think the bomb instead constitutes merely a first step in a new control by man over the forces of nature too revolutionary and dangerous tofit into the old concepts. I think it really caps the climax of the age between man's growing technical power for destructiveness and his psychological power of self-control and group control-his moral power. If so, our method of approach to the Russians is a question of the most vital importance in the evolution of human progress.

... My idea of an approach to the Soviets would be a direct proposal after discussion with the British that we would be prepared in effect to enter an arrangement with the Russians, the general purpose of which would be to control and limit the use of the atomic bomb as an instrument of war and so far as possible to direct and encourage the development of atomic power for peaceful and humanitarian purposes. Such an approach might more specifically lead to the proposal that we would stop work on the further improvement in, or manufacture of, the bomb as a military weapon, provided the Russians and the British would agree to do likewise. It might also provide that we would be willing to impound what bombs we now have in the United States provided the Russians and the British would agree with us that in no event will they or we use a bomb as an instrument of war unless all three Governments agree to that use. We might also consider including in the arrangement a covenant with the U.K. and the Soviets providing for the exchange of benefits of future development whereby atomic energy may be applied on a mutually satisfactory basis for commercial or humanitarian purposes.

... I emphasize perhaps beyond all other considerations the importance of taking this action with Russia as a proposal of the United States - backed by Great Britain but peculiarly the proposal of the United States. Action of any international group of nations, including many small nations who have not demonstrated their potential power or responsibility in this war would not, in my opinion, be taken seriously by the Soviets. The loose debates which would surround such proposal, if put before a conference of nations, would provoke but scant favor from the Soviets. As I say, I think this is the most important point in the program.