Japanese Surrender

Pacific Paratrooper

11th Airborne Recon Battalion Honor Guard, Missouri 9/2/45

The above photo shows the 11th Airborne Reconnaissance Battalion Honor Guard as they presented arms to the Allied and Japanese delegations upon their arrival.

General Douglas MacArthur, despite the irate fuming of the Soviets, was to be the Supreme Commander in Japan for the Occupation and rebuilding of the country. No occupational zone was given to the Russians irregardless of their protests. The Soviets were insisting that they were to receive the Kuriles, Hokkaido and northern Honshu as their ‘spoils of war.’ Stalin sent an emissary with these plans to MacArthur, who in reply threatened to sent the messenger back to Moscow rather than allow him to remain in his observer status. Stalin also sent a telegram to Truman with the same demands. At first, the president felt he would just ignore the irrational request, but then decided to just send a…

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Working on my Postcard Collection


A postcard from the Cote D’Azur


posted to a resident of Belmont Park, Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland.  I suspect I found this at one of the Dublin City Bookfairs.  I was probably attracted to the Belmont Park address – a flashback to my hometown address of Belmont Massachusetts.  The world shrinks sometimes.

11th Airborne Division in Japan

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Smitty’s, Broad Channel, NY

Atsugi Airfield, Japan

Just as General Douglas MacArthur said to Gen. Robert Eichelberger that it was a long road to Tokyo, so it was for Smitty. Yes, the stretch from Broad Channel to Camp MacKall and finally Atsugi Airfield was a long and arduous road, but here, the 11th Airborne Division arrives in Japan to begin the Occupation and to help start the rebuilding of a country.

Aerial view, Atsugi Airfield

With the initial arrival of the division, rarely was a female between the ages of 8 and 70 seen on the streets. The Japanese had heard their government’s propaganda for years as to the American looting and raping, so they were understandably afraid of the conquering troops. But many were confused about the peaceful attitude of the soldiers and a member of the 511th regiment was stopped one day by a Japanese officer, he asked…

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A Quick Photo Shoot

Knitting patterns by Liz Lovick.

Northern Lace

Elly and I
had already arranged to meet for lunch this week. When the day proved to be glorious we decided
to do some pix for the Orkney book.

Those of
you who follow any of my online doings will know the Peedie Sea from my dog walks. This was the perfect setting for a fairisle
skirt I have recently finished. The
pattern was taken from a sweater worn by a bloke in one of the Archive’s

The skirt
is knitted in DK yarn, using a dark mix for the background and a gradience set
for the pattern.

Next we went along The Street (proper name Albert Street) to one of Kirkwall’s ‘monuments’, the Big Tree, which won Scottish Tree if the Year in 2017.  This 200 year old sycamore has lost the inside of its trunk, and is shored up by an iron post.  It was here I…

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Voyage to California (43c) – John Jackson Lewis – More of the San Jose Valley

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the last section of the final letter from John Jackson Lewis. This one is  to Edward, dated May 8th, 1851, describing the San Jose Valley and what he can see from his brother William’s farm. This sketch was made by John Jackson Lewis and enclosed with the letter.

Turning our gaze up the valley towards Monterey, the timber prevents our seeing much of the low land, except in the immediate vicinity of our house, that is within two or three miles, but beyond the timber, and distant, perhaps, five or six miles, the hills, comparatively low, but high notwithstanding, indicate that the valley becomes much narrower, and changes its course very materially.  Looking towards the Bay, the mountains fade away on either side, leaving us one place where we can look out on what I shall call the real horizon.

On the plain, in this direction, there is…

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Vintage Postcard

2019_05_17_11_54_36.pdf000 Champion Bull Dog

2019_05_17_11_54_36.pdf001When I first saw this postcard I thought the dog was rather ugly.  But with time I’ve mellowed and I’ve become rather fond of this vintage card postmarked 1911, Binghamton New York.

How Japan Helped the Allies Spy on Hitler

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Baron Oshima & Adolph Hitler

Throughout the Second World War, the Allies tried to spy on Hitler and his generals. They went to extraordinary lengths to understand what the Führer was thinking, using intercepted messages, intelligence from inside Germany, and the advanced decryption facilities at Bletchley Park.

Ironically, some of their best intelligence on Hitler’s thinking came not from spying on the Germans but on their allies, the Japanese.

The groundwork for Baron Hiroshi Oshima’s role as an intelligence source was laid in 1934 when he arrived in Berlin to act as Japanese Military Attaché. An officer and a diplomat, Oshima quickly established good relationships with German officers and members of the Nazi party, who had risen to power in Germany the year before.

Oshima’s political philosophy was a good fit with that of the Nazis. He soon gained the ear of Hitler, becoming the Führer’s favored representative of Japan.

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