73 years ago today – Victory in Europe

US troops watching VE Day celebtations from top of l_Arc de Triomphe Paris 08MAY45

US Army troops watching VE Day celebrations 08MAY45 from top of l’Arc de Triomphe

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The fighting may have been over (for the most part) in Europe but it was still going full bore on the other side of the world…

Men of the US Army 77th Infantry Division at Okinawa, Japan listening to radio reports for the German surrender, 8 May 1945

Men of the US Army 77th Infantry Division at Okinawa, Japan listening to radio reports for the German surrender, 8 May 1945

General Thomas Blamey and Brigadier David Whitehead inspecting a captured Japanese Type 96 25mm anti-aircraft gun, Essex Ridge, Tarakan Island, Borneo, 8 May 1945

General Thomas Blamey and Brigadier David Whitehead inspecting a captured Japanese Type 96 25mm anti-aircraft gun, Essex Ridge, Tarakan Island, Borneo, 8 May 1945

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76 years ago today – Wake Island

The first landing attempt by the Japanese on 11DEC was driven off by the Marines manning the coastal batteries (6 – 5″/51 cal naval rifles removed from the USS Texas during a refit in the mid-1920s) and the F4F-3 Wildcats of VMF-211 and cost the IJN 2 destroyers.

The Hayate was hit in the magazine by 1 or 2 shells from Battery L on Peale Islet at a range of approximately 4,000 yds.  She broke in two and sank within 2 minutes with only 1 survivor being picked up.

The Kisaragi was hit during the withdrawal by the Wildcats of VMF-211.  She caught a bomb which took out most of the bridge and possibly set off the depth charges.  She went down with all hands in about 5 minutes.

After what could be qualified as a disaster, the IJN was in no mood to play around on the second landing attempt.  They detached Sōryū and Hiryū from the returning Pearl Harbor force and upped the number SNLF troops from 450 to almost 2,000.

The second landing attempt started around 0235 following a pre-landing bombardment with fighting continuing into the mid-afternoon before the garrison surrendered.

Per Wikipedia:

The US Marines lost 49 killed, two MIA, and 49 wounded during the entire 15-day siege, while three US Navy personnel and at least 70 US civilians were killed, including 10 Chamorros, and 12 civilians wounded. 433 US personnel were captured. USMC History estimates that 125 Japanese were killed in ground combat with another 125 wounded. It also estimates 92 killed and 195 wounded from damaged ships.[13] At least 28 land-based and carrier aircraft were also either shot down or damaged. The Japanese captured all men remaining on the island, the majority of whom were civilian contractors employed by the Morrison-Knudsen Company.[14]

Of those captured, 98 American civilian workers were kept on the island as forced labor.  On 07OCT43 the Japanese garrison commander, fearing an attempt by the US to re-take the island, ordered them executed.  97 were executed by machine gun with 1 unknown worker escaping and carving “98 US PW 5-10-43” into a large coral rock near the mass grave of the executed.  This unknown American was recaptured and personally executed by the garrison commander.  After the war the garrison commander was tried and hanged for war crimes.

Wake Island was surrendered by the Japanese to a detachment of US Marines 04SEP45.

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The 98 rock

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The Wake Island exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia, United States, 15 Jan 2007 ww2dbase
Photographer
Bryan Hiatt

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A destroyed Japanese patrol boat (#33) on Wake.

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5″/51 caliber gun on Texas 1914.

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KAMIKAZE-class profile (IJN Hayate) via http://www.combinedfleet.com/hayate_t.htm

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MUTSUKI-class profile (IJN Kisaragi) via http://www.combinedfleet.com/kisara_t.htm

 

 

Thank a Veteran today

Happy Veteran’s Day to my fellow Vets and as @laststandonzombieisland says:

Remember, today is not about how much you can save on bedding

When I see Dad today, I’ll ask him if Valley Forge was as cold as the books claimed…

American troops preparing to sail home from Russia after World War I. Credit via the Library of Congress

M4 Sherman tank fitted with a bulldozer blade supporting US Marine infantry on Iwo Jima, Mar 1945.

M4 Sherman tank fitted with a bulldozer blade supporting US Marine infantry on Iwo Jima, Mar 1945.

 

Missing since September 3rd 1942

Via: Missing since September 3rd 1942 and Les souvenirs de guerre de Gérard Pelletier

Missing but never forgotten

Source https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=1535

Missing while on air to sea firing practice.
Fl/Sgt. Joseph Pelletier was classed as ‘missing, believed killed’ along with his pilot on the 03rd September 1942. Defiant N1804 had been on an air to sea firing practice which failed to return. The Royal Observer Corps reported the aircraft crossing the coast at the south end of Druridge Bay, Northumberland (south of Amble) at 15:53 hrs. A search was instigated but apart from a patch of oil on the sea no wreckage trace of the crew were found. Fl/Sgt. Joseph Alphonse Jean Gerard Pelletier R/53763 RCAF – air gunner and Polish pilot, 32 year old, F/O. Stanisław Józef Sowiński P-0151 from Nowy Sacz, Poland missing – believed killed.

 

Courtesy https://www.facebook.com/color.praeterita/

About the artist

Hi, I’m Harry and I’ve created this page to showcase my efforts in colouring old black/white photographs. Just for fun!

Biography
I’ve long been interested in history, especially that of WW2 aviation, so after coming across the likes of communities like Colourising History and a variety of very talented artists, I decided I’d like to try my hand at this.
I do this for fun: I get a sense of satisfaction when I finally complete an image, but what I really like is how a coloured image can make the history it shows somehow more real… or perhaps more ‘relevant’ would be a better term as I find it makes said history easier to connect with. A colourised photo can remind us that the portrayed person isn’t just some distant, long dead curiosity but was once a living, breathing human being just like you and I.

Collection Gérard Pelletier

 

Of morale patches, terror attacks, second tier football and the British sense of decency

I’m not into the whole morale patch collecting scene because my OCD won’t tolerate yet another category to organize and mentally track when I’m at a show or browsing online but that doesn’t mean I don’t get a chuckle out of the more clever patches.

jerkingthetrigger posted this up this morning and I may just have to grab one at the risk of being sucked into yet another item to collect: Millwall Fist Patch from Wilde Custom Gear

The story of Roy Larner’s bravery surfaced in the media earlier this week. According to reports, he took on three knife wielding terrorists with nothing but his fists all while shouting his allegiance to Millwall FC – a football club in the second tier of English football. That kind of bravery will earn a man a pint or two… and a morale patch in his honor.

millwallfistmoralepatch

WildeCustomGear.com

Like I did when I saw the post, you’re probably wondering who, what, when, where and why?  Read on: London attack: Football fan shouted ‘F*** you, I’m Millwall’ and took on knife-wielding terrorists with bare fists

Now out of the intensive care ward of St Thomas’ Hospital, where he was treated for knife wounds all over his body including his neck, the father-of-one has told The Sun how he reacted when the killers burst into the restaurant shouting “Islam, Islam” and “This is for Allah”.

“Like an idiot,” he told the newspaper, “I shouted back at them. I thought, ‘I need to take the p*** out of these b******s’.”

“I took a few steps towards them and said, ‘F*** you, I’m Millwall’. So they started attacking me.”

Mr Larner added: “I stood in front of them trying to fight them off. Everyone else ran to the back.

“I was on my own against all three of them, that’s why I got hurt so much.

“It was just me, trying to grab them with my bare hands and hold on. I was swinging.

“I got stabbed and sliced eight times. They got me in my head, chest and both hands. There was blood everywhere.

“They were saying, ‘Islam, Islam!’. I said again, ‘F*** you, I’m Millwall!’

“It was the worst thing I could have done as they carried on attacking me.

“Luckily, none of the blows were straight at me or I’d be dead.”

And the British sense of decency?

“I can handle myself. But I was out with an old person and it was out of order.”

Well played my good man and yeah, I’m probably ordering a couple of patches as soon as this is posted…