—1945—

Time Capsule Dates of 1945, the last year of the Second World War.

The following is taken from the book A Toast For You and Me, America's Participation, Sacrifice and Victory, vol 8, which is not yet available.
Chronology in vol 8 is much more detailed. Color pictures are preserved and restored by Robert Valentine for you on this special web page.
Normally, events of 1945 have been posted on a weekly basis. But, we have specially advanced the chronology of August. Enjoy.


Americans of this generation sent food and arms to liberate. Sent her people to live and fight for freedom. A united effort that was not cheap.


Invasion beach Iwo Jima in 1945.
Feb 14—Waves of U.S. planes drop 771 tons of bombs on refugee-crowded Dresden, Germany; some 135,000 killed. Three waves of British Lancasters bombed Dresden the night before.
Feb 14-17—All advances by Third Army, namely the separate drives against Bitburg, the Schnee Eifel, and the Saar-Moselle Triangle forced to come to a stop. All advances by the First and Ninth armies along the Siegfried also come to a halt; part of Hitler’s 400-plus miles of defensive lines.
Feb 15—Roosevelt and Churchill meet for last time, aboard U.S. cruiser off Alexandria after Yalta Conference. Yalta Conference agrees to partition Germany after unconditional surrender. Japanese forces are trapped in the Manila rectangle of 5,000 yds by 2,000 yards.


Feb 16—U.S. paratroopers and 24th Inf Div land on Corregidor, a Japanese stronghold in Manila Bay.
Feb 19—Assault force of 71,000 invade Iwo Jima, about 660 miles from Japan (left + below). 1 of 5 actual radio recordings. sands.3gp












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U.S. 94th Inf Div mounts a massive offensive against Siegfried Switch Line; in the first 10 hours heavy continuous division artillery falls on main routes of advance. Gen. Harry J. Maloney, commander of the 94th, conducts a breakthrough against his adversaries of Army Group G, commanded by Gen. Blaskowitz; the 10th Arm Div is to breakthrough the center of the Saar-Moselle triangle, 1/3 of the 94th was attached to the armor, while the remainder of the div cleared the hilly areas between Sinz and the Saar R, from Orscholz on the south to Saarburg on the north.
Feb 20—The U.S. 10th Arm Div joins the 94th. The 94th captures the strategic cross-roads towns of Dilmar and Kreuzweiler; in the ladder a Japanese prisoner was captured. U.S. 20th Armored Div arrives in Europe.
Feb 21—Reinforcements are committed on Iwo, the day began worse than they could have imagined. Objectives.3gp



Navy carrier-based attack aircraft were launched to strike at Japanese positions, but the bombs fell near U.S. positions.

Captain Severance attempted to use a frequency reserved for the top brass to warn the Navy of the friendly fire, and to his surprise he was told to get off the frequency. Fortunately, a field colonel overheard the distress call and ordered the bombing to stop before any Americans were hurt by their own bombs.


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Kamikazees dive on Saratoga and hit her, 123 dead, 192 wounded. Bismark Sea is hit by kamikaze and sinks, 218 men are lost.

Baby flattop Lunga Point and a cargo ship fall to kamikazee attack but escape.




Feb 22—Washington’s Birthday. In a thick fog, the 94th Div crosses the Saar River at Staadt and Taben. Huge allied air attack, 1,372 8th A.F. heavies escorted by 817 fighters plus IX and XXIX Tactical Bomber Commands and the RAF, against Nazi communications, transportation and oil sites in Germany; second in size since summer. Eight Allied armies aligned on the western border of Germany. Marines slowly work around base of Mt Suribachi, encircling it except for 400 yards on west coast.




Feb 23—Marines raise the U.S. flag over the heights at Mt Suribachi to the sound of cheers and celebratory gunfire from the men watching below.
Associated Press Photographer Joe Rosenthal snaps famous photo of 6 marines struggling to hoist the Stars and Stripes. This flag was recovered from a sinking ship at Pearl Harbor. The flag would bring Rosenthal a Pulitzer Prize. Sgt Bill Genaust took a video recording. Pictures sent to Guam and Hawaii.

Sgt Bill Genaust (above). Joe Rosenthal (above, r). Japanese commander Tadamichi Kuribayash is livid and orders a countercharge against point. When Tokyo Rose heard about it (the flag raising), Tokyo Rose said this flag on the mountain would be thrown into the sea; it never was. Gen. Eisenhower has the 9th U.S. Army conduct a new offensive (approaching the Rhine is key of the offensive; the Rhine is some 55 km away) as infantry divisions 35th,79th, 84th and 102nd kick off jump across swirling Roer R, between little towns of Hilfarth and Hambach. Within 14 days, 9th Army captures 300,000 Germans. U.S. paratroopers liberate 2,146 prisoners from a Japanese camp south of Manila; 2 U.S. killed; 243 Japanese killed.


Feb 24—U.S. Marines capture a second airfield on Iwo Jima. Prime Minister Pasha of Egypt announces Egypt declares war against Germany; assassinated later that day.
Feb 25—U.S. First Army completes capture of Dueren, Germany. U.S. Third Army drives toward Bitburg. Heavy fighting in Manila continues.
Feb 26—Japanese on Corregidor blew themselves up in the tunnel rather than surrender after 9 days and nights of fighting. Corregidor is captured. In the company of the 94th, CCB reaches the main north-south road that led to the ancient city of Trier, some 4.8 miles north. Bradley and Eisenhower want Patton to halt his drive completely, however Patton manages to be granted 48 hours to keep the armored division and to continue the attack for the purpose of capturing Trier.
Feb 27—Motoyama falls to Marines on Iwo Jima after a bloody battle. British Indian troops take Meiktila airfield in central Burma.
Feb 28—Key town of Bitburg falls to U.S. First Army.
Mar 1—U.S. 2nd Arm Div speeds across Cologne Plain. Munchen-Gladbach captured by U.S. 9th Army. Savage fighting on Iwo Jima by 3rd Marine Div to take Airfield 3.


Mar 2—Patton’s Third Army captures ancient city of Trier on the Moselle. {"The breakthrough and capture of Trier plus the fall of Remagen were two great catastrophes,” exclaimed Reichsmarshal H. Goering.} The 94th continues to battle in the vineyard slopes of the Saar R. bridgehead. During past 4 days, the 94th had captured 1,719 prisoners. FDR reports on Yalta to Congress. Corregidor cleared, Gen. MacArthur pays return visit to Corregidor. 4,500 killed and 20 captured Japanese; some 200 were killed trying to escape and about 500 sealed in caves and tunnels. U.S. casualties exceed 1000 killed, wounded or missing. U.S. 41st Inf Div begins fighting on Palawan.
Mar 3—Marines advance on Iwo by flushing Japanese solders out of caves and pillboxes. The 26th Inf Div is scheduled to relief the 94th as soon as the last SS pockets are reduced. All resistance in Manila ends, civilian casualties top 100,000. U.S. sustains 6,500 casualties.
Mar 4—Heavy fighting on Iwo Jima to clear pillboxes, caves and underground passages. Photographer Bill Genaust is killed in a cave on Iwo Jima. U.S. First Army speeds across front overrunning more than 30 towns and villages; 3rd Arm Div reaches metropolis of Cologne. First B-29 emergency landing on Iwo Jima.

P-51's over Iwo Jima, 7th Fighter Command.

Mar 5—Heavy fighting all over Western Europe, as U.S. 1st, 3rd, 7th, 9th U.S. Armies (over 50 American divisions each composed of some 14,000 troops,) British 2nd Army and Canadian 1st Army committed along western German border.
Mar 6—U.S. 9th Army completes drive to the Rhine R. U.S. 3rd Arm Div, 8th Inf Div, 104th Inf Div, battle for control of Cologne. First P-51 Mustangs from U.S. 7th Air Force start landing on Airfield 1, Iwo Jima (below.)


Dreaded reality, a B-29 crashes and is on fire on the Pacific base on Tinian.


Mar 7—Third largest city in Germany, Cologne, declared secure by 4 pm, captured by U.S. 3rd Inf Div and 104th Inf Div. The 94th Inf Div slowly advances from the Saar bridgehead meeting stiff resistance against the 11th SS Mountain Division, a savvy and tough division, along the Zerf-Pellingen highway. A fierce counterattack by part of the 11th SS Mtn explodes against the 94th in the village of Lampaden; the 94th holds. U.S. 9th Arm Div establishes bridgeheads across Rhine and Ahr Rivers, one column reaches Remagen and finds Ludendorff RR Bridge still standing over the Rhine, and establish crucial bridgehead over the Rhine. U.S. 1st Inf Div (Big Red) reaches outskirts of Bonn. 28th Inf Div clears Blankenheim. U.S. 6th Arm Div reaches Blankenheimerdorf. British 8th Army and U.S. 5th Army regroup in tough Italian mountainous terrain for Spring offensive. Heavy fighting in Burma, Japanese troops recapture Taungtha from Indian troops. Heavy fighting continues along outskirts of Manila, especially in 32nd Inf Div sector near Mt Magabang. Limited progress on Iwo Jima.
Mar 8—The 11th SS Mountain abandons their final positions along Saarburg bridgehead.
Mar 9-10—U.S. B-29s begin powerful night raids over Japanese cities; turn Tokyo into inferno with incendiaries, resulting in 83,793 dead. Raids continue for 10 days against Tokyo before switching to Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe. First and Third armies link on the E bank of the Rhine and encircle some 10 German Divisions.






This is an actual picture taken by a Japanese photographer in Tokyo after the March 10 raid.


Tokyo aftermath. The B-29 Superfortresses did their job. Close to 100,000 died. (below) Battleships Missouri and Iowa.

Mar 10—Field Marshal Kesselring relieves Field Marshal von Rundstedt as commander of the West. Germans continue persistent attacks by air on Ludendorff Bridge and portable treadway bridge. U.S. Third Army captures Bonn.
Mar 11—Bombing Squadron 105, U.S. Navy PBY detected and sent to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean U-boat 681. U.S. 8th Army secures airfield and Zamboanga City, Mindanao.
Mar 12—1,107 RAF bombers drop 4,899 tons on Dortmund, the war record for a single attack in the ETO. All rest and relief cancelled, the 94th was to remain in the lines. Big Luftwaffe attack against Remagen bridge with jets, 26 aircraft shot down. Heavy fighting on Calumpan Peninsula, S. Luzon encountered by 11th Airborne Div. U.S. 8th Army extends positions on Mindanao.
Mar 13—Patton’s XX Corps, to which the 94th Inf Div is attached, launches a big attack 4 divisions abreast; in the prognostics of supreme strategies, the eastward advance of the XX Corps was part of one of three March objectives for all the Allied armies: the main advance according to Eisenhower was in the north across the Rhine to capture the industrial heartland known as the Ruhr; another advance was across the Rhine plain in the vicinity of Bonn; and finally to advance in the vicinity of 2 rough groups of towns, Frankfurt-Manheim and Karlsruhe-Stuttgart, in which lay Ludwigshafen, a key German city separating Patton’s Third Army and Patch’s Seventh Army lines; heavy casualties were expected in Patton’s and Patch’s offensive in the ladder—in fact, when the so-called Saar-Palatinate ended the Third Army sustained 5,220 casualties and the 7th some 12,000 casualties, but the Third Army netted 68,000 German prisoners overall; the 7th: 22,000 pow’s. Enemy opposition stiffens on Mindanao against U.S. 8th Army and along Mainaga and Mt. Bijang, Luzon.
Mar 13-24—U.S. 94th Inf Div alone captures 13,434 prisoners, over 200 German towns, and had advanced more than 100 miles to the Rhine River at Ludwigshafen.
Mar 14—U.S. military government is established on Iwo Jima; U.S. sustains 26,038 casualties; 20,703 Japanese casualties.
Mar 15Going My Way wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards held at the Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood. Going My Way released by Paramount Pictures was the highest-grossing picture of 1944 about a new young priest taking over a parish from an old veteran. Best Actor went to Bing Crosby in Going My Way; Best Actress went to Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight. Going My Way was followed the next year by a sequel, The Bells of St. Mary's. The Best Director Award went to Leo McCarey for Going My Way; which won most awards (7). Best Documentary Feature was The Fighting Lady (in Technicolor). Best Documentary Short was With the Marines at Tarawa (in color.) Best Dramatic or Comedy Score went to Since You Went Away--Max Steiner. Best Musical Score: Cover Girl--Morris Stoloff and Carmen Dragon, beating out Meet Me in St. Louis, Brazil, Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Hollywood Canteen. Best Music (Song): Swinging On A Star in Going My Way. First time the ceremony was broadcast nationally on the ABC Radio network.

Technicolor The Fighting Lady was released late Dec of 1944, narrated by Robert Taylor. Director: Edward Steichen.
In one shot, U.S. planes swoop down on Truk, but on it were held ace pilot Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and 5 other POWs.
They were blindfolded. A Japanese soldier grabbed them and threw them into the safety of an air raid pit just as the attack started.
And they survived unharmed, according to Boyington. Released by 20th Century Fox.
The film shows a crater from a two-thousand pound bomb that landed just fifteen feet from the pit.
Filmed primarily on the USS Yorktown, with some shots on the USS Ticonderoga. Double click on picture to start video clip.
Mar 16—U.S. 78th Inf Div cuts Cologne-Frankfurt Autobahn.
Mar 17—U.S. 36th Inf Div secures Mertzwiller, drives through Haguenau Forest and Soultz. Soviet forces drive on Vienna.
Mar 18—German jets destroy 5 Allied fighters and 24 bombers; 16 more crash-land in Russian lines. U.S. 40th Inf Div lands on Tigbauan, Panay supported by large naval force. White Russian troops capture port town of Kolberg (Pomerania) the last German outpost on Baltic coast.
Mar 19—Coblenz captured by U.S. 87th Inf Div. Food supplies, water works, railroads, and all other facilities are to be destroyed per-se in Hitler’s total scorched-earth policy; Speer countermanns the order. U.S. 12th Arm Div overruns German defenses south of Nahe R. U.S. 4th Arm and 11th Arm divisions race toward Worms sector. Stiff resistance all along U.S. First Army sector in the north. Nagoya bombed. U.S. carrier planes of TF 58 hit Japanese homeland bases on Kyushu. U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima still reducing pockets of Japanese die hards who escape capture or surrender. U.S. aircraft carrier Franklin is hit by conventional Japanese dive bombers; two men earn the Congressional Medal of Honor for exceptional heroism. Japanese in San Fernando under heavy pressure by U.S. forces in the south and Filipino guerrillas in the north begin to evacuate city.
Mar 21—In a secret SHAEF directive, Gen Eisenhower authorizes establishing a bridgehead across the Rhine in the vicinity of Frankfurt to be conducted by the 3rd and 7th U.S. Armies.
Mar 22—Supported by 7,500 engineers, the first wave of Third Army five hundred assault boats from the 5th Inf Div begin to cross around 10 p.m. the Rhine River at Nierstein and Oppenheim; Third Army 90 Inf Div (followed by 89th Inf Div) was over the Rhine at 2200 hours against minimal opposition. Night of 22-23, U.S. First Army 9th and 99th Inf Divs cross Wied R. U.S. 12 Arm Div attacks to secure bridge over Rhine in vicinity of Germersheim. U.S. 45th Inf Div advances to the Rhine in vicinity of Bitche. U.S. 36th Inf Div advances through Bergzabern. U.S. 43rd Inf Div captures Mt. Balidbiran in Bosoboso R. Valley, Luzon Philippines.
Mar 23—Supported by 36,000 British engineers, Field Marshal Sir Montgomery’s forces begin Operation Plunder to cross the Rhine. U.S. First, Third, and Seventh Armies expand Rhine bridgeheads. Hitler orders German population to move into the center of Germany; Speer countermands the order. U.S. 94th Inf battles in suburbs and city of Ludwigshafen. MacArthur’s troops struggle against 172,000 Japanese in the Philippines.
Mar 24—The 94th Inf Div with the assistance of the 12th Arm Div capture the great industrial city of Ludwigshafen and suburbs (pre-war pop. 145,000.) Ludwigshafen was the home of the largest chemical plant in Germany (I.G. Farben Industrien.) Supported by 22,000 American engineers, the 9th U.S. Army conducts Operation Varsity across Rhine, fires the first of 2,070 guns that launch over 65,261 shells; Allied troop Landings 21,650 paratroopers, including British forces and U.S. 17th, U.S. 82nd and U.S. 101st Airborne Divs participate, plus glidermen in 1,696 C-47’s and Ç-46’s and 1,348 gliders protected by 676 U.S. 9th Air Force and 213 RAF aircraft supported by 1,406 U.S. 8th Air Force heavy bombers escorted by over 1,200 U.S. fighters supported by a special supply air drop by 240 8th Air Force Liberators takes place on the main Rhine River crossing in the vicinity of Cologne and Dusseldorf. Forty-four transports, 50 gliders, and 22 C-46’s go down in flames. U.S. 30th and 79th Inf Divs lead Varsity. U.S. 4th Arm Div crosses the Oppenheim bridgehead and encircles Darmstadt. Airborne Operation Varsity across the Rhine near Wessel: out of 21, 680 men, 200 were killed and some 522 wounded Americans. U.S. 13th Airborne Div is held back in reserve. The 6th SS Mtn Div is transferred from Boppard and St Goar to Wiesbaden. U.S. Marines seize islands off coast of Okinawa. 3rd Ukranian Army advances sw of Budapest. U.S. 442nd RCT detaches from Western Front (France) to rejoin U.S. Fifth Army in Italy. U.S. 5th AF is established at Ft Stotsenburg, Luzon. U.S. 41st Inf Div secures Sinonog R area, Mindanao.
Mar 25—Patton’s 87th Inf Div crosses Rhine at Boppard and Rhens (127 wounded, 8 killed). Led by U.S. 3rd Arm Div, First Army breaks out of Rhine bridgehead. Organized resistance west of the Rhine ceases. U.S. 17th Airb Div captures Issel Canal. Patton’s 6th Arm Div crosses Rhine at Oppenheim and captures a highway and railway bridge intact at Aschaffenburg. U.S. 99th Inf Div cuts autobahn near Willroth. U.S. air force base on Laohokon, China is captured by Japanese; the very last Allied air base to fall to the enemy in the war.
Mar 26—On Iwo Jima, Japanese holdouts of some 300 make futile suicide attacks on American troops.

Banzai charge no more on Mar 26.
Treadway bridge is completed at Boppard against extreme German fire. Patton’s 89th Inf Div crosses Rhine at St Goar and Oberwesel under intense enemy fire (102 wounded, 29 killed, 146 missing). U.S. 45th Inf Div of 7th Army crosses Rhine north of Worms near Hamm (20 wounded, 13 killed) while 3rd Inf Div crosses Rhine south of Worms (131 wounded, 29 killed) and 7th Army links with Patton’s Third on the east bank; many landing craft lost in this crossing. 5th Inf Div captures the Rhine-Main airport at Frankfurt. U.S. 8th Army Americal Div invades Cebu but beachhead incurs heavy mine field.

A V-2 Rocket

Mar 27—Last V-2’s hit London. Third Army liberates metropolis of Frankfurt (pre-war pop. 1.2 million), cleared by U.S. 5th Inf Div.
Mar 28—The U.S. 94th Inf Div receives a secret order to move 175 miles north toward Dusseldorf. Eisenhower secretly takes Berlin out as primary goal and sends a secret cable to Stalin notifying he will send the bulk of the U.S. troops towards Leipzig, Dresden and Regensburg instead of Berlin, neither tell Roosevelt or Bradley; the British Chiefs of Staff request to have the Combined Chiefs of Staff discuss the message with Stalin but is denied by Eisenhower. U.S. 45th Inf Div advances toward Aschaffenburg. Patton conducts a fifth American Rhine bridgehead at Mainz and Hockheim (20 wounded, 4 killed, 3 missing.)

Rhine crossing at Boppard by U.S. troops, 1945. (private collection).
Mar 30—7th Arm captures Eder-See Dam. U.S.104th Inf Div captures Hallenberg, Medebach, and Brilon. U.S. 2nd and 3rd Arm spearheads toward Berlin, a little less than 200 miles away.
Mar 31—U.S. 2nd Arm Div crosses Dortmund-Ems Canal and cuts the Ruhr-Berlin Superhighway. U.S.12th Arm fights out of the Black Forest.

Apr 1—Mighty Invasion fleet of 500,00 men and 154,000 soldiers and Marines invade Okinawa on Easter Sunday; supported by 1457 ships. Okinawa defended by 100,000 Japanese and auxiliaries. The Ruhr pocket is closed when 2nd Arm and the 3rd Arm divisions link at Lippstadt. Stalin tells Eisenhower that Berlin is of no importance-then orders Zhukov and Konev to take Berlin before the Allies. 2nd Arm races to Berlin.
Apr 2—U.S. First Army captures Fulda and Kassel. U.S. 9th army captures Recklinghausen in the Ruhr. British 2nd Army reaches Rhine on Dortmund-Ems canal.
Apr 3—MacArthur is appointed commander-in-chief of land forces in the Pacific. British 2nd Army reaches Munster. Nazis try to evacuate Buchenwald.
Apr 4—Merkers occupied by U.S. 90th Inf Div, Third Army. U.S 100th Inf Div crosses the Neckar River. Near town of Gotha, U.S 89th Inf Div and U.S. 4th Arm Div, Third Army overun Ohrdruf, and discover subcamp of Buchenwald. French 1st Army enters Karlsruhe. U.S. troops on Okinawa encounter the first significant resistance. Hungary liberated by Soviet forces.
Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Apr 5—Okinawa battles develop as Americans reach entrenched Japanese defense. U.S. Fifth Army and British 8th Army open Spring Offensive in Italy, in the Po Valley. U.S. 63rd and 100th Inf Divs cross the Jagst River. The 94th, part of the U.S. 15th Army, in the company of the 82nd and 101st Airborne, conducts Occupation duty, containment of sabotage, mopping-up duties, and operates displaced persons camps. The U.S.10th Arm captures Crailsheim on the Jagst River. U.S. military government is established on Okinawa.
Apr 6—U.S.14th Arm liberates Hammelburg prison. Soviets begin siege on Vienna.

Apr 7—Discovery of 285 tons of gold, 1200 crates of priceless art and paintings valued over 80 million dollars in a salt mine at Merkers (above); the first secret depository encountered by an Allied army. It is recommended to watch the 20th Century Fox film Monuments Men. Merkers is found to have 30 miles of galleries and 5 entrances. Eisenhower cables to Marshal in Washington DC he could re-adjust his plans to capture Berlin. U.S. 1st Army captures Gottingen, 25 miles north of Kassel. RAF Bomber Command discontinues air strikes over Germany. First land-based U.S. fighters from Iwo Jima conduct operations over Japan. Bombers from Iwo Jima hit Tokyo. Battles of Okinawa goes tilt as Americans reach entrenched Japanese defenses. U.S. aircraft intercept Japanese fleet that was headed for Okinawa on a suicide mission. Yamato, world's largest battleship, is sunk by U.S. planes along with 4 Japanese destroyers.
Apr 8—The U.S. 10th Arm holds off a fierce counterattack at Crailsheim.
Apr 9—U.S. captures Siegburg in the Ruhr. Konigsberg in East Prussia and Vienna, Austria, fall to the Russians. Wilhelm Canaris, German spy chief and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian and antifascist, hanged by the Nazis at Flossenburg prison; Bonhoeffer was participant in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Hitler. (In 1998, Denise Giardina published her novel "Saints and Villains," that reconstructed his story. A TV documentary on Bonhoeffer was aired in 2006.)
Apr 10—U.S. Ninth Army takes Hanover. U.S. 2nd Arm Div advances east toward Schladen. U.S. 3rd Arm Div advances on Nordhausen. South of Nordhausen, U.S. 9th Arm Div reaches Hain. U.S. 3rd Army advances in Coburg and Thuringer Wald areas. British 2nd Army advances on Bremen. Canadian 4th Arm Div advances to Soegel. French 1st Army expands along Neuenburg and Dobel plateau. Valluy Groupement breaks through German defenses south of Karlsruhe. French open assault on L'Aution, commanding terrain in the Alps Maritimes province. German Me 262 jet fighters shoot down 10 U.S. bombers near Berlin. British 8th Army reaches Lugo Canal in Italy. U.S. 6th Army reaches Albay Gulf and San Francisco, Luzon after hard fighting
Apr 11—Concentration camp at Buchenwald liberated by U.S. 6th Arm Div and worst horrors of Hitler’s Reich revealed. No photographers or correspondents were present in Buchenwald on liberation day. 83rd Inf Div liberates Langenstein, a subcamp of the Buchenwald complex.



Apr 12—President Roosevelt dies in Georgia of a heart attack, succeeded by his Vice-President, Harry S. Truman. Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton inspect Ohrdruf. Patton forces mayor and citizens of Ohrdruf to walk through concentration camp of which they had disclaimed any knowledge. Patton invited Eisenhower and Bradley to visit the Merkers gold mine. U.S. 6th Arm Div takes Buchenwald concentration camp. British tank troops enter into Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They found some 10,000 corpses killed by the guards as the allies approached. U.S. 5th Arm Div reaches Elbe at Wittenberge. U.S. 2nd Arm Div establishes Elbe crossing at Randau. Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Westerbork, Netherlands.
Apr 13—A local truce is set near Celle so that the British 2nd Army can take over Bergen-Belsen concentraton camp. U.S. Third captures Erfurt and Weimar. U.S. Ninth Army clears the Duisberg Pocket.
Apr 14—U.S. Ninth Army sixty miles from Berlin. Ike orders his troops to halt at the Elbe instead of going on to Berlin. He fears Hitler is setting up forces in Bavaria. U.S. troops split the Ruhr Pocket in two at Hagen. Robert Dole, later US senator and 1996 presidential candidate, was severely crippled by an artillery shell in Italy, with the U.S.10th Mountain Division.
Apr 15—Eisenhower shifts weight of U.S. strength from the North to the South, with the foundation of the Allied attack at Nuremburg, the shrine of Adolf Hitler. U.S. 3rd and 45th capture Bamberg, 50 kilometers from Nuremburg. Canadian First Army completes capture of Arnhem. U.S. 6th Army captures San Francisco, Luzon.
Apr 17—Nuremburg surrounded. Stalin gives permission to Konev to turn his tanks north toward Berlin. America and USSR sign 4th Protocol for aid to Soviet Union, over 2,700,000 tons via the Pacific and 3,000,000 via the Atlantic. Canadian lead tanks roll into Apeldoorn, Netherlands, loudly cheered by relieved residents. A factory in Stassfurt, Germany raided, and found some 1,100 tons of ore, some in the form of uranium oxide, a basic material of atomic bombs; part of mission Alsos, intended to track down Germany's atomic bomb project and nuclear scientists. In 1986 Richard Rhodes authored "The Making of the Atomic Bomb."
Apr 17-18—Nuremburg garrison of fierce mountain and SS divisions fall to fierce artillery and aerial assaults by U.S. 3rd and 45th Inf divisions. German resistance in the Ruhr pocket ceases: final prisoner count: 317,000, including 29 generals; over 2,000 U.S. wounded and 341 killed; overall more than twice the number of German estimated to have been encircled. Over 5,639 Allied prisoners and 200,000 displaced slave-persons are freed. Battle for Magdeburg, Germany. Battle to capture Bremen intense for British.
Apr 18—Ernie Pyle, the GI’s war correspondent, met his demise on Ie Shima Island near Tegusngu. (In 1997 James Tobin published "Ernie Pyle’s War: America’s Eyewitness to World War II.") U.S. 77th Inf Div continues against Bloody Ridge Ie Shima. A patrol of the 358th Inf Reg, 90th Inf Div, enters Czechoslovakia near Prex . U.S. 97th Inf Div takes Dusseldorf unopposed. French troops begin drive on Stuttgart. U.S. 10th Mtn Div takes 3,000 prisoners near Sulmonte-S Chierlo.
Apr 19—Fierce house to house combat in Nuremburg against 15,000 well dug-in German defenders. Leipzig is captured by U.S. 2nd and 69th Inf Divs. U.S. 4th Arm Div liberates Allied prisoner camp outside Nuremburg; 350 Americans were imprisoned at Berga, a sub-camp of Buchenwald. Charles Guggenheim's last documentary film was title "Berga." U.S.10th Arm cuts the Stuttgart-Ulm Autobahn at Kirchen. Heavy enemy resistance continues at Bloody Ridge on Ie Island. U.S. aircraft carrier Franklin was heavily damaged in Japanese air raid.
Apr 20—Hitler receives top Nazis on his fifty-sixth birthday, last time he emerges from bunker. He appoints 2 commanders for Germany, Adm. Donitz in the north, Gen. Kesserlin in the South.
Apr 21—Americans crack key Okinawan defense on Sugar-Loaf Hill. All resistance on "Bloody Ridge" ceases. All resistance in Nuremburg ceases. U.S. 10th Arm captures atomic scientists and laboratory at Hechlingen. U.S. 5th Army liberates Bologna, Italy. U.S. bomber Black Cat downed over.... last bomber over ETO downed; 10 men killed.
Apr 22—Hitler decides to stay in Berlin. 12th Arm Div is first U.S. unit to reach the Danube River, and crosses at Dillingen. U.S. 1st and 9th Armies clear all resistance in the Harz Mtns. French troops liberate Stuttgart. French 1st Army reaches Lake Constance on the Swiss-Geman border. Soviet troops liberate concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen, later turned into Soviet "Special Camp No. 1" where some 60,000 people were sent from 1945-1950; in 2008 researchers finished compiling a list of 11,890 Germans who died there. U.S. campaign in the central Philippines officially ends with capture of Cebu Island.
Apr 23—Churchill and H. Truman reject Himmler’s offer of surrender to western allies. U.S. and Russian patrols meet on the Elbe R. Imperial fortress at Ulm falls to U.S. and French troops. U.S. 3rd Army captures Frankfurt. Himmler begins secret negotiations for a sepearate peace in the West via Swedish Red Cross. U.S. 97th Infantry Division, which played no role in the liberation of Buchenwald, did liberate the Flossenburg concentration camp on April 23. 120th Evacuation Hospital personnel enter Buchenwald.
Apr 24—Patton’s Third Cavalry Group reaches Regensburg on Danube River. U.S.1st Army liberates 31,601 in Dachau concentration camp. British 2nd and Canadian 1st Armies enter Bremen. U.S. 7th Army reaches Dilingen on Danube River and captures Ulm. USS F.C. Davis is torpedoed in the N. Atlantic (119 are killed.)
Apr 25—A patrol of the 69th Inf Div meets Russians at the Elbe River near Torgau, 100 miles south of Berlin. British Lancaster bombers dropped 1,232 tons of bombs on Hitler’s alpine redoubt at Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden. Bombing Squadron 105, U.S. Navy PBY, sinks U-boat 1107. U.S. Third Army crosses the Danube, 70 miles ne of Munich.
Apr 26—U.S. 26th, 86th, 99th and 14th Arm divs reach the Danube River. U.S. Third Army takes Regensburg on the Danube. Soviet forces begin final assault on Berlin.
Apr 27—Allies capture Genoa and Verona, Italy.
Apr 28—U.S. 7th Army reaches Austrian border. U.S. 5th Army reaches Swiss border. Canadian 1st Army captures Emden and Wilhelmshaven. Hitler marries his mistress Eva Braun. Mussolini is executed by machine gun fire in village of Giulino di Mezzegra on the shores of Lake Como.
Apr 29—German forces in Italy surrender unconditionally to Allies; it would take effect on May 2, the first formal surrender of German forces anywhere in Europe; U.S suffered 1,914 killed and 6,160 wounded since Apr fifth; 36,169 U.S. were killed and 90,455 U.S. were wounded overall in Italy. Bodies of Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are hung in public. Patton’s 15th Arm liberates Moosburg pow camp of 30,000 including 14,000 Americans. U.S. troops cross Austrian border, capturing Fussen.
Apr 29-May 7—Weaving between church steeples and windmills, Allied Air Forces conduct Operation Manna and Operation Chowhound for starving people in western Holland; sometimes 900 bombers a day participated.
Apr 30—Adolf Hitler commits suicide in a Berlin bunker. After 20 days of fighting in the Harz Mountains, the last of 70,000 Germans are captured by U.S. forces. After 2 days of heavy fighting, 45th Inf Div captures Munich including her bridges intact. U.S. 1st Army meets Russian 5th Guard Army at Eilenburg. U.S 5th Arm Div thrusts across Austrian border. U.S 92nd Inf Div reaches Turin. The last of the German 148th Division and 3 Italian divisions surrrender to Brazilian forces, aka the Smoking Cobras; over 14,700 Axis troops, including 2 generals. U.S. 5th Army occupies Milano. Since March 26, U.S. has had 20 ships sunk, 14 by Kamikaze; 157 damaged while Japan lost some 1,100 aircraft. Soviet forces hoist red flag over Reichstag, Berlin (but fighting continued); next day restaged for the cameras.
May 1—'The Fuehrer of the great German Empire is dead,' exclaims Radio Berlin. U.S. 7th Army advances through the Alps. U.S. 101st Airborne Div advances across Miesbach area of Bavaria. U.S. 9th and British 2nd Armies link bridgeheads over the Elbe R. U.S. Third Army reaches the German/Austrian border at Braunan. On Negros, So. Philippines, U.S. Americal Div gains position on Cuernos de Negros ridge despite fierce Japanese counterattacks. U.S. Marines and Army continue futile operation to reach Asa R. line on Okinawa. Indian paratroopers land south of Rangoon.
May 2—Adm. Donitz takes over as head of German regime. Lt. Gen. von Tippelskirch surrenders unconditionally to 82nd Airborn Div. Berlin surrenders. Australian troops land in Borneo. Hostilities come to an end in Italy as surrender terms become effective.
May 3—Hamburg capitulates to British 2nd Army; Hamburg is declared an open city. U.S. 11th Arm Div occupies Linz. U.S. 12th Arm Div reaches Reisach, just south of Innsbruck. An amphibious attack behind U.S. lines by Japanese on Okinawa in the night is a costly failure, nearly 800 Japanese are killed.
May 4—Field Marshal Montgomery receives surrender of German forces in northwest Germany, Holland, and Denmark at 1820, to become effective 0800 May 5. Nazi generals tried to capitulate to western forces only but are refused, again. U.S. Third Army captures Trstenice, Chodova Plana, Bor, Klatovy, Enns and Urfahr-Linz industrial center. U.S. Fifth and Seventh armies link up in Austria at Brenner Pass. German troops in south surrender with signing at Haar, in Bavaria, to become effective noon May 6. (Both sides order immediate cessation of fighting). U.S. 7th Army reaches Salzburg and Berchtesgarten. Field Marshal von Kleist gives himself up to U.S. Third Army near Straubing. From evening of May 3 to evening of May 4, 17 American ships are sunk at cost to Japanese of 131 aircraft destroyed.
May 5—The 761st Tank Battalion, an all black unit under Gen. Patton, linked with Russian allies near Steyr, Austria. Mauthausen Concentration camp in Austria was liberated. U.S. Third Army captures Karlsbad. British troops enter Copenhagen. Amsterdam is liberated. Czech partisans rise up against the German occupation force in Prague and elsewhere. Adm. von Friedeburg arrives at Gen. Eisenhower's HQ in Rheims. Eisenhower announces the capitulation of Germany's Army Group C--a war front from Linz to the Swiss frontier. A Japanese balloon bomb exploads on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, and kills Mrs. Elsie Mitchell, the pregnant wife of a minister, and five children after they attempted to drag it out the woods in Lakeview. The balloon was armed, and exploaded soon after they began tampering with it; the last continental U.S. attack by the Japanese during World War II.
May 6—Donitz, the man who once said to his U-boat officers in 1942 ‘Woe to the man who comes back empty-handed. And don’t attack anything less than 10,000 tons’(in Operation Pau-kenschlag against the United States Coast), orders all German forces to lay down their arms. U.S. 16th Arm Div liberates Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.
May 7—Colonel General Alfred Jodl, the last chief of staff of the German Army, signs unconditional surrender at Ike’s HQ in Rheims at 0141 hours. Russians are represented but Moscow later will ignore this surrender in its propaganda. Cease fire to take place at 1 minute past midnight on the 8th. 803rd Tank Destroyers ambushed near Volary, Czechoslovakia, 1 killed, 3 wounded. SS opened fire on a crowd in Amsterdam and killed 22. U-2336 sinks two merchant ships in the North Atlantic -- the last U-boat "kills" of the war. John Hersey awarded Pulitzer prize for Bell for Adano. Pfc. Dominic Mozzetta, 97th Inf Div, fires a shot at a German sniper near Klenovice, Czechoslovakia, at night and this is claimed as the last shot fired in the European Theater of War.


May 8—VE-Day (Victory-in-Europe) is celebrated in USA and western Europe as Churchill and Truman broadcast
word of the end of the war against Germany. Eight GI’s from 26th Inf Div killed in Pernek, Czechoslovakia. Presenting Sadness 1945 .Total U.S. ground casualties in Czechoslovakia: 116 killed and 353 wounded. Total U.S. ground casualties in Austria: 118 killed and 507 wounded.Europe

In London, May 8, 1945 Victory in Europe (above).
May 9—Keitel signs unconditional surrender in Berlin. Soviets celebrated their WW II victory in Europe at Red Square. Russians take Prague, Czechoslovakia. Reich Marshal Goering and his family surrender to U.S. 36th Inf Div near Salzburg.
May 10—Central Europe campaign casualty lists: U.S. 15,009 killed in action; 42,568 wounded. Total U.S. Army casualties in the ETO: 177,549 killed; 472,742 wounded; 151,920 non-battle casualties. Total U.S. Navy casualties in the ETO: 5,793 killed and 6,077 wounded. Germans in St. Nazaire and Lorient surrender to 66th Inf Div. U.S. 10th Army reaches the suburbs of Naha, capital of Okinawa. U.S. POW Lt. John F. Kinney and 4 other Marines escape from a Japanese prisoner train in China and journeyed for 47 days before reuniting with U.S. troops. Wewak captured by 6th Australian Div.
May 11—Churchill urges Truman to keep U.S. troops in advanced positions in Germany until assured of Stalin’s intentions in eastern Europe. Kiyoshi Ogawa, Japanese pilot, crashed his plane into the U.S. carrier Bunker Hill near Okinawa; 496 Americans died with him and the ship was knocked out of the war.


In the fighting, the Allies had air superiority. This is the propellor driven B-29. Unlike the bombers in Europe, it was air-conditioned-pressurized.
This is the Superfortress Bocks car.
May 12—Heavy fighting on Okinawa; 125 Japanese aircraft shot down.
May 13—U.S. troops capture Del Monte airbase on Mindanao. U.S. submarine Baya commanded by Capt. Benjamin C. Jarvis sank a Japanese tanker and left 2 other ships severely disable off French Indochina. Capt. Jarvis received a Navy Cross for his action.
May 14—U.S. 20th A.F. firebombs Nagoya, the heaviest raid on Japanese homeland thus far; Mitsubishi works destroyed. U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise struck by kamikaze. Vienna Radio announces the re-establishment of the Austrian Republic. Presenting Berlin 1945 .
May 16—British troops land on Aldernay, capturing 3,200 German prisoners. German submarine U-234 surrenders at Portsmouth, New Hampshire; bound for Tokyo with 10 containers of uranium oxide. (The atomic material ended up in the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)
May 17—President of Rumania executed by Communists.
May 18—U.S. 6th Marine Div captures Sugar Loaf, Okinawa.
May 20—U.S Marines on Okinawa repel fierce counterattacks at night over Horseshoe-Sugar Hill area; inflicting more than 200 casualties. 77th Inf Div finally clears Chocolate Drop, Okinawa. Japanese are redeploying from China to defend Japan homeland.
May 21—Hollywood stars Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married. British 2nd Army troops arrested Himmler (in disguise) at Bremervorde. Japanese began evacuation of Shuri Ridge on Okinawa.
May 22—Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa is captured after changing hands 11 times in the last few days. Rains become heavier on Okinawa hampering all operations rest of month and early June.
May 23—Churchill resigns as PM. Heaviest air raid thus far on Japan; some 4,500 tons of incendiaries fell on Tokyo; about 21%% of the city is burnt out; 17 B-29’s lost. British military police arrested Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz. Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi Gestapo, committed suicide while imprisoned in the British Second Army HQ in Luneburg, Germany.
May 24—Japanese paratroopers drop on U.S. airbases on Okinawa and Ie. U.S. 24h Inf Div links up with Filipino guerillas near Talomo River Valley.
May 25—A B-29 mission against Tokyo cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas. U.S. planes carry out heaviest destruction on Tokyo in a raid, 16.8 sq miles destroyed. In secret meeting, U.S. Chiefs of staff meet to authorize the invasion of Japan. They agree on Nov 1, 1945. Arthur C. Clark proposed relay satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

This torn wing signifies that the Japanese were not going to give in easily in the air.
May 27—U.S. 6th Army captures Santa Fe, Luzon. Japanese air forces begin two-day air strikes on Allied shipping.
May 28—U.S. 1st Marine Div captures Beehive Hill lower end of Shuri, Okinawa. Fierce air fighting off Okinawan seas as Japanese hit in strength; U.S. destroyer Drexler is sunk, many are damaged; over 100 enemy planes shot down. (This becomes the last strong Japanese air effort of Okinawa.) Lord Haw Haw, a virulent anti-Semite who broadcast pro-Nazi propaganda from Germany during the war, was shot in the leg in an encounter with two British officers near Flensburg on the Danish border with Germany; sentenced to death for treason on September 19 and hanged on January 3, 1946. British 12th Army HQ is set up in Rangoon.
May 29—1,782,832 U.S. infantrymen in the Army, by June 30, 1947, only 126,121 remained.
(Below) Target: Osaka, June 1.

June 5—Allied Control Commission assumes authority over Germany at meeting in Berlin. 94th Div along with other Allied units is in the arduous process of moving a million and a half Allied prisoners from numerous nations to their homeland.
June 7—U.S. 94th Inf Div receives order to be transferred to Czechoslovakia.
June 8—After a secret Imperial Conference in Tokyo, Japanese leaders decide Japan will fight to the death despite it is collapsing.
June 10 —Soviet commander orders British to leave Vienna.
June 12—Japanese resistance on Oroku Peninsula Okinawa begins to crack as converging columns of 6th Mar Div maintain pressure and further reduce the small pocket. Some of the enemy defense force continue to resist but others are committing suicide or surrendering. Predawn assault by 17th Inf, 7th Div, takes enemy by surprise and gains the regt its assigned portion of the escarpment. Japanese still hold Yaeju-Dake peak but SE end of their defense line has been penetrated.
June 13—Armored column pushes into plain of Cagayan Valley, driving through Cordon to Santiago, Luzon. U.S. 6th Mar Div, during 12th and 13th, bags a record number of Japanese prisoners, 159 in all on Okinawa. Australian forces capture Brunei town, Borneo.
U.S. P-51 fighter pilot that protected American forces overall in the Pacific (below).

June 19—Ike returns home and receives a hero's welcome. Four million New Yorkers cheer his ticker tape parade up Broadway.
June 22—Main resistance on Okinawa ends: 31,500 were wounded; over 12,000 were killed or missing; Navy sustained 10,000 casualties; 108,000 Japanese fought to the death. One of the many American pilots who bravely intercepted enemy resistance and hit hard.
June 26—United Nations Conference ends in San Francisco; President Truman observes signing of United Nations Charter however, it is not ratified until October 24. 50 nations signed. B-29s start night raids on Japanese oil refineries.
June 27—U.S. troops reach Aparri; Luzon is declared secure despite pockets of die-hards; 2 large pockets remain on northern Luzon, about 11,000 enemy troops in the Sierra Madres and 12,000 in Kiangan-Bontoc; U.S. sustains 8,000 dead, 30,000 wounded. Kamikaze hits carrier Bunker Hill.
July 1—7th Australian Div invades Balikpapan, Borneo supported by U.S. 7th Fleet. American air raid destroys 40% of Kure. Chinese forces capture Liuchow town, China.
July 2—The island of Okinawa declared secured. U.S. 93rd Inf Div relieves 41st Inf Div and assumes command of Palawan, Jolo, Zamboanga and Sanga Sanga.

July 4—The Luzon Campaign is militarily declared ended despite pockets of die-hards; U.S. sustains 10,640 dead, 36,550 wounded; 190,000 Japanese fought to the death. The 94 Div holds a big 4th of July parade in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia.


July 6—President Truman signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom. B-29 Superfortress bombers attacked Honshu, Japan, using new fire-bombing techniques.
July 9—A 3rd big Tillamook fire occurred near the Salmonberry River, and was joined two days later by a second blaze on the Wilson River, started by a discarded cigarette. This fire burned 180,000 acres before it was put out. The cause of the blaze on the Salmonberry River was mysterious, and many believed it had been set by an incendiary balloon launched by the Japanese, and brought to Oregon by the jet stream? Australian and Dutch forces complete encirclement of Balikpapan Bay, Borneo.
July 10—Powerful and sustained attacks on Japan are carried by carrier-based and land-based planes in preparation for the invasion of Japanese homeland. Airfields and industrial targets in Tokyo area are hit. Japanese air force reaction is light.
July 12—The 32d Inf Div advances along Highway 11 against enemy pockets on N Luzon, in Sierra Madre. Mountains, Luzon. Thousands of gallons of napalm have been dropped on enemy pocket in Kiangan area during last few days.


July 14—American battleships and cruisers bombarded the Japanese home islands for the first time. U.S. Navy ships bombard cities of Kamaishi and Muroran; 34 Allied POWs accidentally killed. The battleship USS Indiana (above). The battleship USS South Dakota was called the first U.S. ship to bombard Japan.
July 15—Central Burma Campaign ends: total U.S. casualties: 552 killed; over 2,393 wounded. Manhattan Project insignia (below).
July 16—The first U.S. test explosion of the atomic bomb was made at Alamogordo Air Base, 120 miles south of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The bomb was called the Gadget and the experiment was called Trinity from a poem by John Donne (Batter my heart, three-person'd God), and it was conducted in a part of the desert called Jornada del Muerto (Dead Man's Trail), and measured the equivalent of 18,600 (21,000) tons of TNT. It was the culmination of 28 months of intense scientific research conducted under the leadership of physicist Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer under the code name Manhattan Project. Representatives of the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States prepared to draw up terms for Japanese surrender and work out military and political issues connected with the termination of hostilities, at Potsdam, Germany. The US cruiser Indianapolis left San Francisco with an atom bomb to be assembled at Tinian Island in the western Pacific. Representatives of the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States attend the Potsdam Conferences, to draw up terms for Japanese surrender and discuss military and political issues connected with the termination of hostilities. Presenting Berlin 1945 .

July 17- 18—U.S. Navy and British Navy in night attack bombard city of Hitachi.
July 17- Aug 2—President Truman (below), Soviet leader Josef Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill (and his successor Clement Atlee) began meeting at the Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam in the final Allied summit of World War II. It re-established the European borders that were in effect as of Dec. 31, 1937.


July 22—B-29s from Iwo Jima begin mining the waters off Najin, Korea; overall U.S. 20th AF flies 18 total missions over Korea.
July 24—U.S. Navy carrier aircraft conducted 1,747 sorties, aircraft carrier Amagi and cruiser Oyodo sunk, battleships Ise, Haruna and Hyuga damaged. British aircraft raided Osaka and targets in the Inland Sea, sank two escort vessels and damaged the carrier Kaiyo. U.S. Third Fleet destroys 74 Japanese airplanes and damages 22 warships overall. Enroute from Okinawa to Leyte, U.S. destroyer Underhill is sunk by I-53.

July 26—The United States, Britain and China issued the Potsdam Declaration to Japan that she surrender unconditionally.
July 27—FDR postal stamp issued. Japan has over 3,900 aircraft, mainly kamikazes and some 3,000 suicide vessels and 2.3 million Japanese troops plus 3.8 million garrison and service troops and a volunteer civilian force of 28 million awaitiing the invasion.
July 28—A B-25 crashes into the 79th floor of Empire State building.
July 29—Cruiser USS Indianapolis is torpedoed by Japanese sub between Tinian and Guam; survivors attacked by sharks.
July 30—Japanese Premier Kantaro Suzuki announced to the Japanese press that the Potsdam Declaration is to be ignored.





Aug 1—(Air Force Day) New transatlantic record of 3600 miles, NY to Paris, set by a Lockheed Constellation C-69: 14 hours, 12 mins. 836 B-29s and 160 plus P-47s and P-51s strike Japan with some 6,ooo tons of bombs. Typhoon strikes Japan.
Nagaoka (below) after it was hit on August 1 by Superfortresses. The Japanese would not surrender.


General Douglas MacArthur on August 1 in the Philippines.
Aug 2—At 11:30 a.m., Lieut. Wilbur C. Gwinn and his Ventura patrol plane spot survivors from Indianapolis floating in the Pacific; out of 1,198 only 316 burned and blackened American survivors were picked up by destroyers and other craft. Potsdam Conference ends.

U.S. P-51 fighters that protected American forces in the Pacific (below). These aircraft were the best of all WW II aircraft.


Aug 3—Some 100 P-51 Mustangs attack Tokyo despite bad weather.
Aug 4—U.S. destroyers arrive to area where Indianapolis went down and begin the grim task of locating and identifying body parts still floating in the water; all remains are sent to the deep tied to a five inch shell. 580 B-29s bomb Japan including the coal liquefaction plant at Ube. Some 1,500 troops are rounded up from the Sea Truk Hirose Maru off Timor, cleverly camouflaged as a hospital ship bound for Japan.

B-29s Big Stink, Great Artiste, Enola Gay
Aug 5—The night before in Hiroshima a factory worker committed suicide, prefering to die rather than face bombings.
Aug 6—Atomic bomb exploades at Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. A mushroom cloud rises 50,000 ft; scorching winds and a bubbling black molasses seem to cover entire city. Number 91 photographs. Between 70,000 and 80,000 die instantly. Eight Jesuit missionaries survive by a miracle. Maj Richard Bong U.S. ace accidentally killed in jet crash, Burbank, California. An historical note on Hiroshima by Rev Kleinsorge SJ, Rev Schiller SJ, John Hersey, Rev Siemes SJ:

Abbreviated version

Larger version
Aug 7—170 B-29s bomb Japan.
Aug 8—Truman signed the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union decalares war on Japan, effective on Aug 9. 1.5 million Soviet troops launched a massive surprise attack (August Storm) against Japanese occupation forces in northern China and Korea.

Fat Man, Atomic Bomb
Aug 9—Plutonium bomb dropped on redirected target Nagasaki at 11:01 a.m., 75,000 dead, 75,000 radiation sickness inflicted. On an intelligence tip, Navy carrier planes locate and destroy 251 aircraft, damaging 141 in Misawa, camouflaged site of a suicide mission against B-29 bases in the Marianas.

Remains of Urukami Cathedral. Praying for peace in the Home Front.

Aug 10—Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki sends out peace feelers that Japan is prepared to surrender provided that the status of Emperor Hirohito remains unchanged. Yosuke Yamahata photographed the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki. He was dispatched by the Japanese military, but did not turn over the pictures to the military authorities.
Aug 11—Eight U.S. airmen are beheaded south of Tokyo.

Aug 12—USS Concord bombards Shasukotan; the last naval shots of World War II. Soviet forces move into Korea. Japanese conduct air strikes on Okinawa; a torpedo damages the Pennsylvania; 20 Americans dead. Task Force 38 destroys 254 Japanese aircraft. Donovan's OSS secretly parachutes agents into Peking and set up radio operations. Japan receives America's response to the Japanese conditional surrender.


Aug 13—NCR order 1834: all shipments of torpedoes to the Pacific halted. Over 500 U.S. aircraft strike Japan. Ford Motor rolls out the first 1946 models at Edgewater, New Jersey. LaGrange loses 21 with 89 wounded to a Kamikaze attack.
Aug 14—Final B-29 daylight mission: 449 Superforts hit Japan. An American cargo ship explodes in Buckner Bay, Okinawa, due to Japanese Baka bomb.

Naval Helldiver dive bomber over Tokyo (above). Emperor Hirohito calls an Imperial Conference.
Aug 14—U.S. Pres. Truman believes the Japanese will not surrender and authorizes resumption of conventional bombing. 2:49 p.m.: Japanese Domei News Agency broadcast FLASH TOKYO AUGUST 14 — IT IS LEARNED THAT AN IMPERIAL MESSAGE ACCEPTING THE POTSDAM PROCLAMATION IS FORTHCOMING SOON. Tokyo 4:00 p.m. Lieutenant Colonel Masataka Ida and Major Kenji Hatanaka were plotting their strategy for a revolt, a plan to occupy the Imperial Household Ministry and cut off the Palace from all outside contact. The Emperor would be protected from all “traitorous” advisors to help His Majesty preserve Japan, according to them. The first Superfort mission by the 8th Air Force bombs Kumagaya, Japan, at night; 1 B-29 lost. The 331st and 315 BG are the last 20th Air Force BG’s to bomb Japan. At 8:30 p.m., the Emperor signed “HIROHITO” at the bottom of the Rescript, and the Imperial seal was affixed to surrender document. The date given next to the Imperial signature and seal, “The fourteenth day of the eighth month of the twentieth year of Showa (enlightened peace).” 11 p.m B-29s flying just east of Tokyo, the city responded with a blackout. The Japanese Cabinet put the final signature on the surrender documents just as the blackout occurred. Two sets of records containing the Emperor’s surrender were put into metal cases. Tokyo Palace was securely locked up at 2:00 a.m., under the complete control of the rebel guards. The air raid alert blackout, triggered by the 315th Wing, was still in effect. The Palace was pitch black. At 3:39 a.m. Tokyo time Aug 15 B-29 Boomerang piloted by Carl Schahrer, 315 Wing makes the last bomb drop, hitting oil refineries at Akita, Honshu, 277 miles nw of Tokyo, the largest natural source of oil in Japan proper. Zamboanga Island secured. U.S. 11th Airborne Div moves by air from the Philippines to Okinawa.
FLASH! CBS Radio, 7pm Eastern War Time, announced the surrender of Japan. FlashEnd_of_War16.3gp
The surrender is official.

Aug 15—Unofficial V-J Day. Six Hellcats from the Yorktown are attacked over Tokyo’s Tokorozawa airfield; 9 Japanese airplanes are shot down but at a cost of 4 U.S. planes. Confusion in Tokyo, a story given to the morning newspapers: The Imperial Japanese Army was in revolt against the “submissive and cowardly government that has persuaded the Emperor to terminate the war.” Story never printed.
VoiceEmpwillread.3gp
Emperor Hirohito issues radio speech to surrender at noon Tokyo time, 11 pm Eastern War Time (Aug 14). Celebrating in Australia (above).

U.S. troops in Manila from the 139th AACS (Army Airways Communications System) pickup first radio contact of surrender from the Japanese High Command on their 10 kilowatt weather broadcast transmitters. Emperor_copy.3gp
Pfc Edward Mullins, 32nd Inf Div, is killed in the Cagayan Valley, Luzon, 45 minutes before the cease-fire takes effect.
CBS Radio report from Charles Shaw, NYC: Times_Sq23.3gp
The jubilation on their faces caught on film the moment they heard the surrender, and the celebrations go worldwide.

London (above), then New York.

In black and white, lengthy clip of the magic words the war is over.
PopularCultSong.3gp S Voice00024.3gp NBC amidst bedlam voiceNYC28.3gp Now, NBC from the Chicago Loop: VoiceChicago29.3gp President Truman announces that the acceptance of unconditional surrender by Japan is official. It takes effect at 0700 hours. San Francisco (below).


Famous kiss in Times Square New York City.
Going crazy in Washington DC.
Going nuts in Hawaii everywhere.
NBC Radio in the Philippines: Manila25.3gp




One of history's bloodiest wars is over, and these images attest how it was in London and Paris and San Francisco.

Aug 15—In Harbin, Manchuria, all horrendous evidence to a very secret medical compound named Unit 731 ‘the Japanese Auschwitz’ (where pow’s were used as medical experiments with glass jars of body parts and a six-foot jar containing a pow pickled in formaldehyde) ordered destroyed. Admiral Matome Ugaki makes a suicide attack on U.S. forces off Okinawa and fails. Sixteen American airmen are hacked to death with samurai swords in a non-publicized orgy by Japanese officers near Fukuoka, 100 miles n. of Nagasaki. The remains were cremated and taken to Miyoko Temple. The officers were later prosecuted for war crimes. Paris26.3gp U.S. freighter William D. Byron damaged by two mines off Savona, Italy. Three American airmen are shot and two are beheaded in Osaka, Japan. End of the war came too late for some. NatlAntem20.3gp This is the way it was and many history books do not tell you the full story.
The end of the war in New York City.
Aug 16—Emperor Hirohito dispatches his sons Prince Asaka, Prince Kanen and Prince Takeda across the Empire to establish a peaceful and succesful surrender. About 725,000 Japanese soldiers lay down their arms on the island of Kyushu. In Rabaul, over 100,000 Japanese surrender. In China and northern Indochina, 2,000,000 Japanese troops begin to do the same. Unit 731’s Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night scheduled for September 22 is called off. This operation planned to drop millions of fleas with the bubonic plague by submarine off the San Diego Coast.
A not so happy moment in San Francisco.
Aug 17—Victory celebrations in San Francisco turns into a drunken melee of looting, rioting and raping, over 3,000 MP and SP’s help restore order with the S.F. Police. General Prince Higashikuni becomes Prime Minister of Japan and forms a new cabinet.
Aug 18—Aerial photographer Sgt Anthony Marchione, 20th A.F. is the last American killed in action when 14 Japanese fighters over Tokyo attack his air reconnaisance unit.
Aug 19—Final U.S. sea engagement: U.S. sinks a Japanese junk off China. Japanese delegation arrives on a Mitsubishi G4M-1 on Ie Shima then is transferred to a C-54 to be flown to Gen. MacArthur's HQ in Manila for conference on formal surrender arrangements (below).

Japanese who surrendered on a lonely island outpost (below). Compared to their better fed delegation who arrived in Manila, they are pitiful.


Aug 20—Japanese delegation leaves Manila for Tokyo with instructions about the occupation of Japan and signing of final peace terms.
Aug 21—Two Chinese junks manned by 7 Americans and 20 Chinese guerrillas led by Lieutenant Livingston Swentzel Jr., USNR, were attacked by Japanese junk (with a crew of 83 men) while enroute from Haimen to Shanghai, China. In the 45-minute fight, the Chinese craft engages 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, and 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.

Pacific campaigns are over from far flug outposts to Tokyo Bay. U.S. Third Fleet and British Pacific Fleet converged off Japan.
In the image below, over 260 aircraft participated in a large flyover, August 23, while ships await orders to move into ports. Jubilee_Song.mp3


Aug 26—Carrier Wasp and destroyer Chauncey damaged by typhoon.
Aug 27—Mission Pigeon: OSS team rescues some 350 Allied prisoners on Hainan. For over 100,000 Allied and U.S. prisoners of war, their long dark night of captivity was over; the main portion of the POW missions was Aug 27-Sep 20 with 1,066 supply missions; 77 U.S. airmen are killed. Thirty Allied prisoners are executed by the Japanese at Ranau, Borneo. Others come home.
Out of 132,400 Allied prisoners of war Japan once held, about 11,400 Americans would be liberated from prisons in Japan. Of an estimated 26,000 American prisoners of war captured by the Japanese, about 10,000 were executed or died from the brutal treatment as slave laborers.
Aug 28—Advance party of AACS radio specialists arrive on Atsugi airstrip, Tokyo. They are the first American troops to land in Japan, and are followed by U.S. airborne and Marines. End of the day, 4,200 men and equipment were landed, plus over 100 aircraft including Navy fighters. Fleet Admiral Nimitz arrives at Tokyo Bay on August 29 (below) on board PB2Y, and breaks his flag on battleship South Dakota. Sinatra_shorty.mp3

Aug 29—Battleship Missouri entered Tokyo Bay.

On September 2, 1945, the Japanese representatives signed the official Instrument of Surrender aboard USS Missouri.





The Japanese delegation led by Foreign Minister Shigemitsu, wearing glasses.




Supreme Allied Commander Gen. MacArthur. The flag in upper left is that flown by Commodore Matthew C. Perry's flagship when she entered Tokyo Bay in 1853.
MacArthur 1min50.mp3

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz signs surrender document (above.)

General Douglas MacArthur signs surrender document. Standing nearest to microphone is Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright, U.S. Army and next to his left is Lieutenant General Sir Arthur E. Percival, British Army, both of whom had just been released from Japanese prison camps.
September of1945 was a time of Abbott and Costello, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, the golden age of radio, and Oh What a Beautiful Morning, which was on everybody’s lips (a big hit from Oklahoma).
The official V-J Day was September 2, with the Japanese surrender signing on the battleship Missouri. The radio program was special. All the radio networks carried it live. Time check: 9 a.m. local Tokyo time. Brig. General Luther D. Miller, Chief of Chaplains leads off. VoiceChaplain33.3gp
Take a peak at popular culture, and some pretty interesting things before it all disappears.
Bing Crosby introduces Dinah Shore who sings America the Beautiful. Bing_Dinah.3gp
Bil Mauldin who introduces Bob Hope in a tribute to Ernie Pyle. Voice00035.3gp Popular Culture music PopularCultSong.3gp
Bing on Command Performance. This is my final addition to the 70th Anniversary of World War II. CommdPerformance39.3gp
Navy color guard pays tribute, Arlington Cemetary (below).




Official V-J Day is waiting and forthcoming very soon.

American History Part of the final days of WWII

The World TODAY—An air view of present day Iwo Jima.

Peace to cometh




back Castles of the mind introduction



The year 1945 was the last year of the Second World War.