Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

…ended today in 1945.
A great victory by a great generation.
How soon we forget.

Thank you to all the World War II Veterans.

Many men and women lost their lives to preserve our freedom.

On this day in 1945, the USS Missouri hosts the formal surrender of the Japanese government to the Allies. Victory over Japan was celebrated back in the States.

As Japanese troops finally surrendered to Americans on the Caroline, Mariana, and Palau islands, representatives of their emperor and prime minister were preparing to formalize their capitulation. In Tokyo Bay, aboard the Navy battleship USS Missouri, the Japanese foreign minister, Mamoru Shigemitsu, and the chief of staff of the Japanese army, Yoshijiro Umezu, signed the “instrument of surrender.” Representing the Allied victors was Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of the U.S. Army forces in the Pacific, and Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, now promoted to the newest and highest Navy rank, fleet admiral. Among others in attendance was Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, who had taken command of the forces in the Philippines upon MacArthur’s departure and had been recently freed from a Japanese POW camp in Manchuria.

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A color video of the celebrations in Hawaii:

To all of our World War II Veterans, a most profound and heartfelt thank you for your service and sacrifice for freedom. Without your dedication and stalwart  stand against tyranny, the world as we know it today wouldn’t exist.

Thank you one and all.

Go have a look over at War on Terror News:

August 14, 1945: Victory Over Japan; Video: Post WWII

The defeat of Imperial Japan & Nazi Germany may have ended the shooting wars, but it was not the end of Our Commitment, and it wasn’t the end of dangers. Whole German and Japanese cities had been destroyed by allied bombs, but while we rebuilt our future allies, the Communists oppressed our future enemies.

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Today is the 68th anniversary of the invasion of Europe. Thanks to all the Veterans who served in WWII, and a special thanks to those that hit the beaches of Normandy, or dropped behind enemy lines on that infamous day. Without their sacrifices and bravery, WWII would have lasted a lot longer. There aren’t many WWII Veterans left. If you see one, make sure you let them know that they are appreciated. It goes a long way with them.

Warriors of yesterday, today commemorate D-Day together

SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE, France (June 6, 2012) — When Eugene Cook jumped into Normandy during the predawn hours of June 6, 1944, he landed several miles from his intended drop zone.

Alone in the dark French countryside, the young 101st Airborne Division paratrooper from Georgia assembled his rifle, got his bearings and began looking for other Americans among Normandy’s hedgerows. In the days and weeks that followed, Cook took part in the now famous battles that began the liberation of France and led to Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

Cook, 87, was among the handful of World War II veterans who attended the 68th anniversary of the D-Day landings this week. U.S. service members from all the military branches took part in honoring them, something Cook said he was glad to see.

“We have to commemorate the lives of the guys we left here,” Cook said. “They gave their lives for us and we should show them thanks.”

Known as Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, combined U.S. and Allied air drops with beach landings along Normandy’s coast. U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Infantry Division dropped onto the Cotenin peninsula to secure bridges, roads and towns vital to allowing the troops landing at nearby Utah Beach to move inland.

“That day, 68 years ago, as American blood mixed with French soil, it cemented even further the strong bonds between our two nations,” said U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh.

For returning veterans, there was a mix of feelings — glad to be alive and sharing good times and sorrowful memories of those who died.

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Here are some links to the Army’s website for D-Day:

United States Army Divisions in the Normandy Campaign

Army Assault Forces – Normandy 6 – 7 June 1944

Order of Battle for the Normandy Campaign

D-Day Airborne and Beach Assault

General Eisenhower’s Message Sent Just Prior to the Invasion

WWII Poster Gallery

Today brings us the 70th anniversary of the Doolittle raid over Tokyo in 1942. Our first strike against the Japanese homeland in World War II.

Doolittle Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942

The April 1942 air attack on Japan, launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet and led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, was the most daring operation yet undertaken by the United States in the young Pacific War. Though conceived as a diversion that would also boost American and allied morale, the raid generated strategic benefits that far outweighed its limited goals.

The raid had its roots in a chance observation that it was possible to launch Army twin-engined bombers from an aircraft carrier, making feasible an early air attack on Japan. Appraised of the idea in January 1942, U.S. Fleet commander Admiral Ernest J. King and Air Forces leader General Henry H. Arnold greeted it with enthusiasm. Arnold assigned the technically-astute Doolittle to organize and lead a suitable air group. The modern, but relatively well-tested B-25B “Mitchell” medium bomber was selected as the delivery vehicle and tests showed that it could fly off a carrier with a useful bomb load and enough fuel to hit Japan and continue on to airfields in China.

Gathering volunteer air crews for an unspecified, but admittedly dangerous mission, Doolittle embarked on a vigourous program of special training for his men and modifications to their planes. The new carrier Hornet was sent to the Pacific to undertake the Navy’s part of the mission. So secret was the operation that her Commanding Officer, Captain Marc A. Mitscher, had no idea of his ship’s upcoming employment until shortly before sixteen B-25s were loaded on her flight deck. On 2 April 1942 Hornet put to sea and headed west across the vast Pacific.

Joined in mid-ocean on 13 April by Vice Admiral William F. Halsey‘s flagship Enterprise, which would provide air cover during the approach, Hornet steamed toward a planned 18 April afternoon launching point some 400 miles from Japan. However, before dawn on 18 April, enemy picket boats were encountered much further east than expected. These were evaded or sunk, but got off radio warnings, forcing the planes to take off around 8 AM, while still more than 600 miles out.

Most of the sixteen B-25s, each with a five-man crew, attacked the Tokyo area, with a few hitting Nagoya. Damage to the intended military targets was modest, and none of the planes reached the Chinese airfields (though all but a few of their crewmen survived). However, the Japanese high command was deeply embarrassed. Three of the eight American airmen they had captured were executed. Spurred by Combined Fleet commander Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, they also resolved to eliminate the risk of any more such raids by the early destruction of America’s aircraft carriers, a decision that led them to disaster at the Battle of Midway a month and a half later.

Here are a few videos:

More Pearl Harbor remembrance…

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — The Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor and those who lost their lives that day are being remembered Wednesday on the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II.

About 120 survivors will join Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, military leaders and civilians to observe a moment of silence in Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time — the moment the attack began seven decades ago.

About 3,000 people are expected to attend the event held each year at a site overlooking the sunken USS Arizona and the white memorial that straddles the battleship.

The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon will render honors to the Arizona and blow its whistle at the start of a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. — the same time 70 years ago the first Japanese planes began to attack.

via Pearl Harbor attack remembered at 70th anniversary – Yahoo! News.