Bill Hillman's Monthly Military Tribute
AS YOU WERE . . .
WAR YEARS ECLECTICA
2016.01 Edition

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11-year-old Cousins, Wendy Anderton and Cathie Jones pose with the tail section of a Heinkel He 111P-2 of 8./KG27 which crashed landed by their home at Border House Farm near Chester in Cheshire, August 14th 1940.
The five crew survived and were taken prisoner and the 'kill' was claimed by the Spitfire of P/O P. Ayerst, Nº 7 OTU.

"It occurred at approx. 1930 hrs, weather good, 14/08/40.
Peter Ayerst, Hallings-Pott & McLean all heard explosions and saw an (only one) aircraft "5 miles away". The bombs were being dropped on the training school at RAF Sealand. All 3 scrambled (the aircraft were just being put away for the day).

Heinkel He111 was spotted at 2000' over Sealand, about to start a second run. Hollings-Pott & Mclean attacked and scored minor hits. Peter attacked and must have hit engines as it rapidly lost height. Other 2 Spits returned home, Peter stayed with Heinkel to watch it crash land. It was witnessed by 16 year-old Syd Lawrence (the band-leader). The aircraft shot past the bottom of Salisbury Street, Shotton at about 9pm, no more than 20' above the ground pursued by Peter's spit. The Heinkel flew under some pylons, nice wheels up landing and stopped 50yds short of a farmhouse. The 5 crew were made POW's but had planted detonators which blew up and only the tail and half of the fuselage remained. The next day the 3 Spit pilots and others travelled the 5 miles to view the wreck.

German crew - Fw. Heinrich Rodder (Nav.); Oblt. Artur Wiesemann (pilot); Uffz. Walter Schaum (Flt. Mech.); Uffz. Heinz Kochy (Radio Op.); Uffz. Gustav Ullmann (Gunner).

Four of the Germans met up with Peter Ayerst in 1988 and the Germans also gave their side of events, confirming the above - target was RAF Sealand, damaged caused to Guardroom, Sgts. Mess; and Airmen's block. Were part of 3 aircraft formation, other 2 shot down over Devon. They said they didn't see the Spitfire's from Hawarden coming - they thought the shadow on the cloud was their own aircraft - D'OH!" ('Spirit of the Blue')

Ref: Colourizing History

F/O Bob Middlemiss and 
F/O George 'Buzz' Beurling DSO, DFC, DFM and Bar,
RCAF 403 Squadron, 
RAF Kenley in Surrey, late 1943.

A new kind of Punch and Judy show, performed by puppeteer Tom Haffenden 
where the original characters have been replaced with look-alikes of 
Stalin, Mussolini, Churchill and Hitler. 23rd August 1941.
(Photographer Bill Brandt for 'Picture Post' magazine - edition 837)
Acting Squadron Leader Robert Stanford-Tuck 
DSO., CO of Nº. 257 (Burma) Squadron, 
in the cockpit of his Hawker Hurricane Mark I, V6864 'DT-A', 
at RAF Coltishall, Norfolk. January 1941.
In January 1941, Tuck was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the citation published in the London Gazette reads:
Acting Squadron Leader Roland Robert Stanford TUCK, D.F.C. (37306), No. 257 Squadron.

"This officer has commanded his squadron with great success, and his outstanding leadership, courage and skill have been reflected in its high morale and efficiency. Since 4 October 1940, he has destroyed four hostile aircraft, bringing his total victories to at least eighteen."

The Burmese flag is seen painted on the starboard side of the aircraft and on the port side were painted 26 victory symbols.
(Squadron Motto - Burmese: Thay myay gyee shin shwe hti "Death or glory")
Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC - died 5 May 1987 (aged 70)

(Source - IWM 1934 - Royal Air Force official photographer Mr. P H F Tovey ~ Colourising History)
Author Probes Oddities of World War II Life in Japan

When author Tadanori Hayakawa looks at life in Japan during World War II, his eye is drawn to the bizarre.

Take the case of nudism: At some schools, both the pupils and teachers wore only underpants or trousers to become physically stronger. A photo from 1943 shows that even a principal was working almost naked at his desk.

A magazine for homemakers gave advice on how to grow opium poppies for use as anesthetics during a medicine shortage. Readers were told to go to government health offices for free seeds.

Many other books have described the militarist rhetoric and emperor worship that pervaded the years before and during the war. In two books published this year, the 41-year-old Mr. Hayakawa, an independent writer and editor, focuses on lesser-known ways that imperial propaganda filtered down into Japanese daily life, drawing on his study of government documents, magazines and ad fliers from the 1930s and 1940s.

“These days, there has been much praise and glorification of the past. I wanted to ask people in a playful way, ‘Is this really what you want? Are you indeed willing to go back to this kind of life?’ ” Mr. Hayakawa said in an interview.

One book, “Ways to Show Your Love for the Nation,” was published in January by Seikyusha with an initial printing of 5,000 copies. The other, “Outrageous Battle Life in Divine Japan,” from Chikuma Shobo hit bookshops in February with a printing of 10,000 copies. Both have been selling well and have been reprinted, the publishers said.

Mr. Hayakawa’s research showed how police routinely checked on the wives of soldiers away at the front to keep the women from having adulterous affairs and ensure their husbands could fight without worry. When detectives caught wind of a visit by a paramour to a lonely wife, they would ambush and arrest him.

One magazine told readers how to make pickles when there wasn’t enough salt, saying they should go to the seashore and bury vegetables in the sand. The next day they could dig at the spot and find good pickles, according to the magazine.

Mr. Hayakawa has been gathering his materials for about 20 years, sometimes trading with collector friends who have different interests. “Prices at used bookshops tend to be high. I usually search antique shops and visit trash dealers,” he said.

The number of items has reached some 5,000. Mr. Hayakawa said he rented a space for many of them eight years ago, after his wife complained about the smell of so many old papers.

The two book projects started after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in late 2012 and raised issues that carried echoes of World War II, such as proposing a greater role for Japan’s military.

“My friends say I’m lucky. They tell me if Mr. Abe weren’t in office, these books wouldn’t have sold as much,” Mr. Hayakawa said.

Some readers have criticized him for making fun of earlier generations. But Mr. Hayakawa said he was genuinely interested in the ideas and ways of life shown in his unique collection of materials. “Most readers enjoy them. Many have said, ‘Oh, this is just like North Korea,’ ” he said.


The Asahi Shimbun
    A Japanese school principal is shown at his desk in this 1943 photo. 
Students and teachers sometimes went without clothes to toughen their bodies.    

Mari Iwata/The Wall Street Journal
    Materials from the World War II era 
collected by author Tadanori Hayakawa.


Click for full-size image
Collage of LIFE Magazine Covers from the WWII era


 

The Race to Get World War II Veterans 
Home in Time for Christmas
'Operation Santa Claus' had to contend with the worst traffic jams ever
Christmas in America had been anxious and somber during the four years of World War II. The peril and sacrifice of war was hard to reconcile with memories of the joyfulness of pre-War holidays, and by 1944 many American servicemen and women shared one particular Christmas wish: to be “Home Alive by ’45.”

That year, as war drew to a close in both Europe and the Pacific, it seemed possible that the wish might come true. But the war’s end hardly meant that the 2,000,000 men and women eligible for separation—those who could be done with active duty—were home in their civvies by the time the holiday rolled around. With all resources dedicated to winning the war, neither the Army nor the Navy had spent much time thinking through the logistics of bringing everyone home until after the fighting was finished. And so it was without too much preparation that Operation Magic Carpet began in September 1945 to bring the troops back home to the United States.

As Christmas approached, the Army and Navy launched Operation Santa Claus to expedite Operation Magic Carpet, with the goal of rushing as many eligible men and women home for the holiday as possible. But violent storms at sea and the volume of eligible servicemen conspired to thwart the high ambitions of these operations. And so throngs of American military personnel—some 250,000 in all, some with brand new discharge papers and some just a day or two away from separation—found themselves back on American soil for Christmas 1945, but not quite home. Instead, they faced the worst air, rail and automobile traffic jams in history. The rule of thumb in the days immediately preceding Christmas 1945 was that a westbound train would be about 6 hours late, and an eastbound train about 12 hours.

The predicament was met with overwhelming understanding and good nature among the servicemen. Upon being asked by a newspaper reporter what he thought about being among the 150,000 who were stranded along the West Coast for Christmas, an Army Private trying to get home to Texas responded that simply stepping on U.S. soil was, “the best Christmas present a man could have.”

Civilians near the West Coast “separation centers,” where soldiers and sailors were being relieved from active duty, enthusiastically opened their homes to the new and soon-to-be veterans, while many of the 50,000 men and women awaiting discharge from points along the Eastern Seaboard were required to have Christmas dinner at the separation center itself, or sometimes even on the ships which had just brought them there. But even then hardly a complaint was heard, as the troops enjoyed hearty meals provided by the Army and Navy while noting that this year ration tins were nowhere to be found.

As reported in the New York Times: “tens of thousands of tired troops, dreaming of a white Christmas, are seeing enough of it from (train) car windows to last them a lifetime.” A full 94% of the passengers on trains originating from the West Coast on Dec. 24, 1945, were military or recently discharged military personnel. Even recently minted veterans unfortunate enough to still be in route between their separation center and home on Christmas were cheerful about their holiday circumstances. Christmas dinner with their families would be eaten on whatever day they arrived home, it hardly mattered whether it was December 25 or a few days later.

Goodwill was everywhere. Civilians gifted their train tickets to returning servicemen and women. Others threw spirited, though condensed, parties for the trainloads of veterans who had even just short stopovers at their town’s station. In at least one instance, a trainload of vets returned the favor by spending their 20-minute layover in Salt Lake City taking up a collection of $125 ($1,650 in 2015 dollars) for a local charitable cause they learned about at the newsstand during the stop.

Citizens even volunteered to sacrifice Christmas with their own families to get veterans home before the New Year. A Colorado trucker drove 35 veterans marooned in Denver to their homes in Dallas and 34 points in between. The driver refused to accept payment, insisting the men spend the money on presents for their families. A Los Angeles taxi driver drove a carload of six new veterans 2,700 miles home to Chicago. Another drove six veterans from L.A. to their homes in Manhattan, The Bronx, Pittsburgh, Long Island, Buffalo and New Hampshire in exchange for nothing but the cost of gas.

“This is the Christmas that a war-weary world has prayed for…” proclaimed President Truman at the National Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 24, 1945 – and Americans did everything they could to give their servicemen and women the holiday they deserved.

Personnel sling hammocks where available during transport back to the States on board Intrepid (CV 11) as part of Operation Magic Carpet. This image is part of a photograph album detailing the wartime service of the carrier Intrepid (CV 11) in the Pacific during World War II. Marines show a sailor a captured Japanese flag while en route home to the States as part of Operation Magic Carpet. This image is part of a photograph album detailing the wartime service of the carrier Intrepid (CV 11) in the Pacific during World War II.
Personnel being transported back to the States on board Intrepid (CV 11) during Operation Magic Carpet. This image is part of a photograph album detailing the wartime service of the carrier Intrepid (CV 11) in the Pacific during World War II. Troops heading back to the States as part of Operation Magic Carpet crowd the hangar deck of Wasp (CV 18). This image is part of a photograph album that was acquired by RADM Joseph C. Clifton during his service as Executive Officer of Wasp (CV 18) during World War II.
HANGAR HOTEL
Troops heading back to the States as part of Operation Magic Carpet crowd the hangar deck of Wasp (CV 18). This image is part of a photograph album that was acquired by RADM Joseph C. Clifton during his service as Executive Officer of Wasp (CV 18) during World War II.

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