02 September, 2012

02 September 1945

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

What with General Court Martial Boards and trips to the country – I’m really neglecting you, dear – but I hope you excuse me. I wrote you last on Friday; today is Sunday. I sat on the Board all day and we didn’t get thru the case until 2130; boy I was pooped. It involved a bunch of French civilian witnesses, interpreters etc – and the combination is time consuming. Anyway, yesterday I decided to go to Gérardmer – where our camp is, to look it over. I left at 0800 and got back at 2100 and although I was tired, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it, dear. It’s as pretty a spot as any I’ve seen around, peaceful in a valley in the Vosges, and it used to be a summer resort town for Parisians. The Germans systematically destroyed all but a few homes and hotels in the center of the town. It was purely out of revenge – because Gérardmer was not fought for. The lake is very pretty and since the weather was suitable, I went in for a swim. It was swell. It was so good and relaxing – the whole change of atmosphere, I mean – that I’m going to try and go back again, today and stay overnight. It isn’t exactly a lively spot for a Labor Day week-end – but that doesn’t matter, sweetheart because the only lively celebrations I’m interested in concern only you. And by gum – we’re not going to miss a heluva lot more, I hope. Now take this Lake, for example, how swell it would have been to have had you around to do a little walking around with, to hold your hand, to love. Yes – it’s that kind of spot – or rather, it could be, with you.

That reminds me – the other day I received your letter of 22 August; I got it on the 28th. What thrilled me particularly, darling – was your mention of the full moon. I was actually able to think back to the same night and the same moon! It really made me feel close to you. Other times when either you or I has mentioned the moon – the time elapsed has been so long – that the thrill was missing. Just think when we can be side by side looking up to the same moon! Yes – it still does something to me, I mean a fine moon – and more and more I’m sure the war hasn’t changed me particularly. I know it hasn’t altered my love for you except to enrich it, dear, and that’s good, isn’t it?

Your comments about my return and being alone – etc – were interesting to me. I hate mob scenes, too, and would much prefer to have our first re-meeting all for ourselves. But I haven’t the slightest idea what the circumstances will be or where we’ll land or what. It was nice of Irv and Verna to offer to do what they did – I mean bringing you down to Devens, for example – but gosh, darling – how would my folks or yours feel about it? Unless I called, and everyone started out and you started out first. Well – right now – it’s uncertain. We’ll see – but in a crowd or not – it’s going to be very, very wonderful – sweetheart – for I love you so very much – and it has been so long ––.

All for now, darling – I’ve got a few things to take care of. Be well, hold on a bit longer – and love to the folks.
All my deepest love is yours –


about Japanese Surrender aboard the USS Missouri

On the morning of 2 September 1945, Allied and Japanese delegations met aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay for the formal signing of the Japanese surrender documents. (The USS Missouri was chosen because it was named after President Truman's home state.) After finishing an eloquent introductory statement, General MacArthur directed the representatives of Japan to sign the two instruments of surrender, one each for the Allied and Japanese governments. They were followed by representatives of the United States, China, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. World War II had formally ended, and President Truman declared 2 September to be the official VJ Day.

The following is a newsreel about the signing ceremony.

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