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dschneck

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  1. Sunday, September 2, 1945 Between December 7, 1941, and September 2, 1945, the Unites States sent 16,353,639 soldiers (men and women, of all services) to war. Of those, 407,316 were killed or listed as missing. Another 671,846 were wounded. Between 1939 and September 2, 1945, the British Empire and Commonwealth sent 17,843,000 soldiers (men and women, of all services) to war and lost 580,407, with another 475,000 wounded. Combined, Germany and Japan sent 26.6 million troops to war. They lost nearly 7,655,000, with almost 6,130,000 wounded. Worldwide, total deaths (military and civilian) are estimated at around 70 million, with another 15 million dead from war related disease and famine. Overall, deaths as a result of the Second World War are estimated to have been over three percent of the world population. Above all else, this was the price of freedom.
  2. Sunday, September 2, 1945 Central Pacific Area US Navy Task Force 33, commanded by Rear Admiral John Hall, lands army forces at Yokohama. The Japanese surrender the Palau Islands, in a ceremony on board the destroyer escort USS Amick (DE-168). The Japanese surrender Truk Atoll, in ceremony on board the heavy cruiser USS Portland (CA-33). The Japanese surrender Pagan Island, in the northern Marianas, on board the destroyer USS Rhind (DD-404). The Japanese surrender Rota, in the Marianas, in ceremony on board the destroyer escort USS Heyliger (DE-510). The Japanese surrender documents are signed on board the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63), at anchor in Tokyo Bay, surrounded by 280 other Allied warships. The surrender ceremony aboard the USS Missouri is carefully planned, however, as time nears, it is realized that the antique British mahogany table, brought aboard the Missouri for the surrender, is too small for the two large documents that have to be signed. In desperation, an ordinary table from the crew’s mess is drafted as a replacement. It is covered by a green coffee-stained tablecloth from a wardroom. The ceremony lasts twenty three minutes and is broadcast throughout the world. At 9:04 a.m., the surrender documents are first signed by the Japanese foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, “By Command and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government.” At 9:06 a.m., General Yoshijirō Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the document, “By Command and on behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters.” At 9:08 a.m., US General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, the Commander in the Southwest Pacific and Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, accepts the surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers and signs in his capacity as Supreme Commander. After MacArthur's signature, representatives from other Allied nations sign on behalf of each of the Allied Powers: · Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, for the United States, at 9:12 a.m. · General Hsu Yung-chang, for China, at 9:13 a.m. · Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, for the United Kingdom, at 9:14 a.m. · Lieutenant General Kuzma Derevyanko, for the Soviet Union, 9:16 a.m. · General Sir Thomas Blamey, for Australia, at 9:17 a.m. · Colonel Lawrence Moore Cosgrave, for Canada, at 9:18 a.m. · Général de Corps d'Armée Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, for France, at 9:20 a.m. · Lieutenant Admiral C. E. L. Helfrich, for the Netherlands, at 9:21 a.m. · Air Vice-Marshal Leonard M. Isitt, for New Zealand, at 9:22 a.m. After the two surrender documents are signed, the table is returned to the mess and is being set for lunch until the ship’s captain and others realized its historic significance and removed it for posterity. Throughout the entire 23 minute ceremony, a thick cover of low dark clouds shade Tokyo Bay. As the Japanese delegation begins to disembark, heading down the gangway to their waiting launch, the clouds suddenly open and the sun shines through. It is reported, that at that moment, MacArthur tells Nimitz, “Send them now.” Nimitz repeats the order to another officer, and a few minutes later, over 2,000 Allied planes begin flying over Tokyo. No one knows exactly how long the fly-over takes, but by some accounts, many aircraft circle back and make multiple passes. Now, for the first time since the German remilitarization of the Rhineland, on March 7, 1936, and the Japanese invasion of China, on July 7, 1937, the world is at peace.
  3. Saturday, September 1, 1945 Southwest Pacific Area The 13th Air Force moves the 371st and 372nd Bomb Squadrons (Heavy), of the 307th Bomb Group (Heavy), with B-24s, from Morotai Island to Luzon. Central Pacific Area Two civilian internment camps are located in the Tokyo area. Internees are evacuated on the hospital ship USS Benevolence (AH-13).
  4. Friday, August 31, 1945 European Theater The VIII Fighter Command sends a detachment of the 369th and 423rd Bomb Squadrons (Heavy), of the 306th Bomb Group (Heavy), with B-17s, from England to operate from France, to photo-map Europe and Africa. Mediterranean Theater Colonel Elmer Rogers, Jr., assumes command of the 15th Air Force, until it's inactivation on September 15. Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign The 12th Air Force is inactivated in Italy. Southwest Pacific Area The Liberty ship SS Joseph Carrigan is damaged by a mine in Brunei Bay, Borneo. Central Pacific Area Rear Admiral Francis Whiting accepts the surrender of Marcus Island, on board the destroyer USS Bagley (DD-386). Company L, of the 4th Marine’s 3rd Battalion, land at Tateyama Naval Base, Honshu, on the northeastern shore of Sagami Bay, and accept its surrender. They will reconnoiter the beach approaches and cover the landing of the US Army's 112th Cavalry. The Japanese submarine I-401 surrenders to the submarine USS Segundo (SS-398) at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. Japanese merchant vessels sunk/damaged during August, 1945, without the exact dates include: · The refrigerated cargo ship Banshu Maru, by an unknown cause, or location. · The cargo ship Eito Maru, by aircraft, off Murozu. · The cargo ship No.1 Taikai Maru, by aircraft, without a specified location. · The cargo ship Shincho Maru is damaged by mine, off Ube.
  5. Thursday, August 30, 1945 Japanese Home Front The occupation of Japan in force is begun by US forces. The 11th Airborne Division is flown to Atsugi Airfield, and the 4th Marines, of the 6th Marine Division, lands at Yokosuka Naval Base. Hong Kong British naval forces reoccupy the British colony of Hong Kong. India – Burma Theater (Burma) The 10th Air Force moves the 1st Combat Cargo Group from Burma to China. Southwest Pacific Area The 5th Air Force relocates the 159th Liaison Squadron (Commando), of the 3rd Air Commando Group, which is attached to the 5th Air Liaison Group (Provisional), with UC-64s and L-5s, from Luzon to Okinawa. Four motor torpedo boats transport 50 Japanese troops from Miti Island to Morotai, to contact scattered units there, to effect a complete surrender. The Liberty ship SS Peter White is damaged by a mine, about 33 miles northwest of Paracale, Luzon. Only four men of the ship's total complement, of 52 merchant sailors, one passenger, and 17 Armed Guards, are injured, and the ship reaches Leyte. Central Pacific Area The first AACS planes to arrive at Atsugi Airfield are five additional C-47s carrying components to set-up the first airborne radio station in Air Force history. Within a few hours, the first C-54 aircraft of the official occupation forces land at Atsugi and by mid-afternoon Colonel Gordon Blake’s AACS crews direct over 340 takeoffs and landings at the rate of one every two minutes. On August 30, Atsugi was the busiest airport in the world. Landings by the occupation forces begin in the Tokyo Bay area, under cover of guns of the Third Fleet, plus Naval and US Army aircraft. Rear Admiral Robert Carney and Rear Admiral Oscar Badger accept the surrender of the Yokosuka Naval Base, where the headquarters of Commander Third Fleet is established. A conference is held on board the destroyer USS Stack (DD-406), at Truk Atoll, to discuss the surrender of that Japanese base. Brigadier General Leo Hermle, USMC, is the leader of US representatives.
  6. Wednesday, August 29, 1945 Southwest Pacific Area The Japanese garrisons on Halmahera and Morotai surrender. Central Pacific Area The 68th Army Airways Communications System (AACS) Group, of the 7th AACS Wing, commanded by Colonel Gordon Blake, loses no time in getting their operations into full swing and the Atsugi control tower is completed. Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, arrives in Tokyo Bay, on board a PB2Y, and breaks his flag on the battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57). The submarine USS Segundo (SS-398) encounters Japanese submarine I-401, off the northeast coast of Honshu, and “after considerable negotiation,” places a prize crew on board. US Navy Task Group 30.6, commanded by Commodore Rodger Simpson, arrives in Tokyo Bay to undertake the emergency evacuation of Allied POWs in the waterfront areas. Guided by TBMs from the small carrier USS Cowpens (CVL-25) and taken to the scene by LCVPs, from the high speed transport USS Gosselin (APD-126), Commodore Simpson carries out his orders. The appearance of the LCVPs, off the camp at Omori, the first POW camp liberated, triggers “an indescribable scene of jubilation and emotion” by the former captives, some of whom swim out to the approaching landing craft.
  7. Tuesday, August 28, 1945 Japanese Home Front The occupation of Japan, delayed 48 hours by a typhoon, begins as the advance party arrives. Mediterranean Theater, Italian Campaign With the discontinuance of the 6719th Women Army Air Corps (WAC) Headquarters Platoon, the detachment of the 1054th Military Police Company, Aviation, remains the only unit still attached to the 12th Air Force. India – Burma Theater (Burma) The 10th Air Force relocates the 443rd Troop Carrier Group from India to China. Central Pacific Area The occupation of Japan officially begins as an advance party arrives in the Japanese home islands. When the news of the Japanese proposal for surrender came on August 15, the 68th Army Airways Communications System (AACS) Group, of the 7th AACS Wing, received orders to fly into Atsugi Airfield, near Tokyo, and set up the communications equipment necessary to guide-in the first contingent of occupation troops. The AACS’s mission is to provide navigational aids, point-to-point communications with Okinawa, air-to-ground communications for planes in flight, weather data, and air traffic control. Colonel Gordon Blake quickly assembled a special unit of five hand-picked men. Colonel Blake and his AACS men, part of a 150 man task force, fly from Okinawa to Atsugi, with 24 C-47 aircraft laden with equipment. In order to carry as much equipment as possible, the load is lightened by carrying only enough fuel to reach Atsugi. Although the Japanese had surrendered unconditionally, Blake and his communicators still did not know whether some might still be hostile. The sight of hundreds of Japanese Navy guards lined up along the airfield is not encouraging to the occupants of the first aircraft to land, but they are met by a group of courteous, English-speaking Japanese military personnel. The navy guards are in their honor. Administrative and operational control of the Seventh Fleet, commanded by Admiral Thomas Kinkaid, passes from the Commander-in-Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, to Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.
  8. Monday, August 27, 1945 Southwest Pacific Area The 13th Air Force moves the headquarters of the XIII Bomber Command from Morotai Island to Luzon. The 5th Air Force moves the 67th Troop Carrier Squadron, of the 433rd Troop Carrier Group, with C-46s, from Luzon to Iwo Jima. Central Pacific Area B-29s begin supplying prisoners-of-war and internee camps in Japan, China, and Korea with medical supplies, food, and clothing. The first supply drop, to the Weihsien Camp near Peking, China, is followed by a concentrated effort of 900 sorties in a period of less than a month. 4,470 tons of supplies are dropped to about 63,500 prisoners in 154 camps. The US Navy Third Fleet, under the command of Admiral William Halsey Jr., sails into Sagami Bay, the outer bay to Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese submarine I-14 surrenders to the destroyers USS Murray (DD-576) and USS Dashiell (DD-659), east of northern Honshu. A prize crew from the destroyer escort USS Bangust (DE-739) boards the I-14, about 450 miles east of Nojimazaki Lighthouse, Honshu. The Japanese submarine I-400 surrenders to the destroyers USS Blue (DD- 744) and USS Mansfield (DD-728), east of northern Honshu. The destroyer escort USS Weaver (DE-741) places a boarding party on board the I-400. A US Navy PB4Y (FAW-18) lands at Atsugi Airdrome, about 14 miles from, Tokyo, because of mechanical difficulties. No Japanese approach the plane, which returns to Iwo Jima the same day.
  9. Sunday, August 26, 1945 European Theater The 1st Bomb Wing (Heavy), the 14th Bomb Wing (Heavy), the 487th Bomb Group (Heavy), and the 490th Bomb Group (Heavy) all begin moving from England to the US. Southwest Pacific Area The 5th Air Force moves the 70th Troop Carrier Squadron, of the 433rd Troop Carrier Group, with C-46s, from Luzon to Iwo Jima.
  10. Saturday, August 25, 1945 European Theater The 2nd Bomb Wing (Heavy) begins a movement from England to the US. India – Burma Theater (Burma) The 10th Air Force relocates the 3rd Combat Cargo Squadron, of the 1st Combat Cargo Group, from Burma to China, and the 4th Combat Cargo Squadrons, of the 1st Combat Cargo Group, from India to China. Both squadrons fly C-47s. Southwest Pacific Area The 5th Air Force moves the 68th Troop Carrier Squadron, with C-46s, and the 69th Troop Carrier Squadron, with C-47s, both of the 433rd Troop Carrier Group, from Luzon to Iwo Jima. Central Pacific Area Aircraft from carrier task groups begin daily flights over Japan to patrol airfields, shipping movements, and to locate and supply prisoner of war camps. The operation continues until September 2. US Navy Task Group 95.4, under the command of Captain Henry Armstrong, Jr., returns to Buckner Bay, having completed its mine clearance work in the East China Sea and destroying 578 mines during eleven days of sweeping. The carrier USS Wasp (CV-18) and the destroyer USS Chauncey (DD-667) are damaged by typhoon.
  11. Friday, August 24, 1945 European Theater, Western Europe The 425th Night Pursuit Squadron begins moving from France to the US. India – Burma Theater (Burma) The 10th Air Force moves the 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron, of the 443rd Troop Carrier Group, from India to China, with C-47s. Southwest Pacific Area The 5th Air Force moves the 317th Troop Carrier Group, from Luzon to Okinawa. North Pacific Area 11th Air Force B-24s try to photograph the Soviet occupation of the Kurile Islands, but are impeded by clouds. Alaska Theater The Liberty ships SS Jonathan Harrington and SS Enos A. Mills, of the Navy Petroleum Reserve 4 Expedition, are damaged by ice floes off Point Barrow, Alaska.
  12. Thursday, August 23, 1945 European Theater, Western Europe The 33rd Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, of the 363rd Reconnaissance Group, begins a movement from Germany to the US. Southwest Pacific Area The 5th Air Force moves the 310th Bomb Wing(Medium) from Mindoro to Luzon. Central Pacific Area Planes from US Navy Task Group 38.4, commanded by Rear Admiral Arthur Radford, search for Japanese shipping between Hachijo Jima and the Bonin Islands. Such movement would have been contrary to surrender instructions, but the searching aircraft report no violations. North Pacific Area Four B-24s, from the 11th Air Force, fly a photo mission over Paramushiru and Shimushu Islands, in the Kurile Islands.
  13. Wednesday, August 22, 1945 European Theater, Western Europe The 9th Air Division relocates the 365th Fighter Group from France to Belgium. Southwest Pacific Area The 311th Troop Carrier Squadron, of the US Army Forces, Middle Pacific, and the 316th Troop Carrier Squadron, of the 7th Air Force, both flying C-47s, arrive in Okinawa from Hawaii. Central Pacific Area Captain Harold B. Grow, Atoll Commander, Majuro, accepts the surrender of Mille Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, on board the destroyer escort USS Levy (DE-162). Millie Atoll is the first Japanese garrison to capitulate in the Pacific. Japanese antiaircraft batteries, near Hong Kong, fire upon US Navy patrol planes over the China Coast. The Japanese destroyer Asagao is damaged by a mine in the Shimonoseki Straits, at the western entrance to the Inland Sea.
  14. Tuesday, August 21, 1945 Central Pacific Area Two Chinese junks, commanded by Lieutenant Livingston Swentzel Jr., USNR, manned by seven Americans and 20 Chinese guerrillas, are attacked by a Japanese junk, with a crew of 83 men, while en route from Haimen to Shanghai, China. In a 45 minute action, the Chinese craft, directed by Lieutenant Swentzel, engage the enemy with bazookas, machine guns, and grenades. Upon boarding the Japanese craft, the Allied force finds 45 dead and 35 wounded. The victory has been achieved at the cost of four Chinese killed, with one American and five Chinese wounded. For his heroism above and beyond the call of duty, Lieutenant Swentzel is awarded the Navy Cross in what probably proves to be the last surface action of World War II. The Japanese escort vessel Miyake is damaged by a mine, in the Inland Sea, about a mile northwest of the Hesaki Lighthouse, Kyushu. Tenth Army security patrols on Okinawa, by this point, have captured 69 Japanese and killed 218, since the island is declared “secure.” Asiatic Wing, US Naval Air Transport Service, is established at Oakland California. North Pacific Area Two B-24s, from the 11th Air Force, are prevented by cloud cover from taking photographs of the Soviet occupation of the Kurile Islands. Four others abort a photo mission to Paramushiru and Shimushu islands, due to bad weather.
  15. Monday, August 20, 1945 European Theater The VIII Fighter Command sends a detachment of the 367th Bomb Squadron (Heavy), of the 306th Bomb Group (Heavy), with B-17s, from England to operate from the Azores, to photo-map Africa. European Theater, Western Europe The 19th Reconnaissance Squadron (Long Range, Photographic), of the Army Air Force’s 311th Reconnaissance Wing, and attached to the 9th Air Division, moves from England to Italy, with F-9s. The squadron is photo-mapping Europe. Southwest Pacific Area The 5th Air Force moves the 2nd Combat Cargo Group from Leyte to Okinawa. The Japanese delegation leaves Manila for Tokyo with instructions about the occupation of Japan and the signing of the final peace terms. On the return flight from Ie Shima to Japan, the Betty's run out of fuel and ditch in Tokyo Bay, but the delegation is rescued and completes their mission. Central Pacific Area US Navy Task Force 31, under the command of Rear Admiral Oscar Badger, is formed to assume responsibility for the occupation of the Yokosuka Naval Base. US Navy patrol planes reconnoiter Indochina and southern China coasts. Japanese fighters attempt to intercept them.
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