Lampersari Prison Camp

The Nazis weren’t the only ones using concentration camps, the Japanese Imperial army had them too, although not to the extent as the Nazi camps, and they were not meant for mass extermination. However, the treatment of the prisoners was still brutal and evil.

One of the camps was the Lampersari Prison camp. Lampersari was a civilian camp, located near Lampersariweg and Sompok in the southeast of Semarang. It was in use between October 1942 and August 23, 1945.

The internment of the Dutch women and children in Semarang Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) started in November 1942. They were housed in the Lampersari-Sompok district. In early March 1943, the internment operation in Semarang was almost completed.

Below is an excerpt from the book, All Ships Follow Me by Mieke Eerkens, it illustrates just some of the horrors of the Lampersari prison camp.

Internment Camp Lampersari, Semarang, Dutch East Indies, December 28, 1942

Authority in Lampersari is established immediately. As they enter the camp, some women are pulled from the line, and their suitcases are opened to be searched for contraband: money, Dutch or English printed material, radios, and more. Sjeffie, now eleven years old, watches wide-eyed as the Japanese officers hit mothers with their batons to make them move when they get off the trucks. They shout orders in a language none of the prisoners understand, and when these orders aren’t followed, the flat ends of their sabers come down hard on whomever they happen to reach, sometimes splitting flesh and drawing blood. It’s new violence for most of these children, and a cacophony of cries adds to the chaos. Luckily, Sjeffie’s mother is toward the back of the group of arriving prisoners and escapes injury, though later in the year she will not be so lucky, and her children will have to watch her being beaten to the ground because she doesn’t notice an officer approaching and therefore fails to bow to him in time.

Sjeffie and his mother and little sisters and brother are assigned to a small house on the Hoofd Manggaweg, the Main Mango Road. There are already three families living in the two-bedroom house when they arrive, and they shrink themselves into the corners, hanging a sheet up for privacy. Soon more women and children arrive, truckload after truckload, and Sjeffie and his family contract their spaces repeatedly, compressing more tightly with each new family until 30 people living in the house were crammed into every square inch. Children sleep in drawers, on and under tables, piled in sweaty heaps in the tropical heat. Snoring bodies lie shoulder to shoulder on mats on the floor. One toilet without running water serves all thirty of them in the house, and it soon overflows with human waste. They try to fend off malaria by hanging up klamboes over their sleeping bodies, a necessity in the Indonesian tropics so that the house at night fills with ethereal clouds of hazy mosquito netting from wall to wall. My grandmother keeps a secret diary in the camp, penciled onto onionskin paper hidden in the pages of her Bible.

She addresses her entries to my grandfather throughout her internment:

I am sleeping with the boys in what was once a kitchen…On February 2 the first group arrived [of the 2,000 new internees]…860 people. Until this point, they had been housed in nice, large homes where they had taken care of themselves. There was a lot of hustling and the empty places streamed full…Tomorrow we’ll get another 250 from Soerabaya.

Almost immediately after they arrive in Lampersari, Aunt Ko begins covertly teaching Sjeffie, his siblings, and other boys and girls in the camp from contraband Dutch language textbooks she has smuggled in. Every day, she sets up a little schoolroom in the tiny kampong house while the others clear out and stand watch in case an officer passes and hears them. Sjeffie gets to practice his numbers again. He gets to read, sucking up the words, reading the same books again and again. In one of the houses across the road, he and some other boys have set up a little hidden library under the thatched roof, where they collect their books— Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Hector Malot’s Nobody’s Boy, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and other books with wide appeal to young boys. Most of the children or their parents have brought pencils and notepads, but very quickly they realize how scarce these things are. “Sjeffie, make sure you write small. Save room on your paper,” Aunt Ko says sternly during class. Aunt Ko is very strict. She’s a religious woman who does not approve of waste or idleness. Sometimes she draws on the dirt floor with a stick so she doesn’t have to waste paper or pencil.

Meals during the first month in the camp are meager but sufficient. The prisoners get small portions, mostly of rice but also of some vegetables and meat in the beginning. The meat lasts only a short time. The vegetables last longer, but they too dwindle after several months. After that, all meals consist of a cup of rice or tapioca porridge twice a day, sometimes once a day. Sjeffie lines up with his mother and siblings with all the other prisoners, holding their tin cups. When they get to the front of the line, their cups are filled from giant pots that the kitchen workers have cooked the rice or porridge in. One measured portion per person. Being assigned to work in the kitchen is a coveted job because there are chances to tuck food under one’s shirt, swipe a finger inside the rim of the pot when the officers look away or sneak a second helping.

Lampersari is one of the first camps in Indonesia to be targeted for the infamous “comfort women,” the women specifically selected to be raped by Japanese officers. A recruiter is sent to Lampersari for this task. However, the women hear the rumor about what is about to happen and gather en masse to fight back. They block access and fight fiercely to protect the young mothers and teenage daughters whom the Japanese officers prey upon, forcing the Japanese to abandon Lampersari as a suitable source of comfort women, not worth the trouble after repeated violent beatings only seem to strengthen the prisoners’ resolve to fight back. The Japanese set up two hundred internment camps throughout the Dutch East Indies, and prisoners at the smaller camps are easier to overpower.

The officers who guard them inside the camp quickly get Dutch nicknames. The officers include John the Whacker; Little Ko; Hockey Stick; Pretty Karl; the Bloodhound; the Easter Egg; Bucket Man; Chubby Baby; and Dick and Jane, who patrol together. Seikon Kimura, the man known as John the Whacker, is arguably the most sadistic. He earns his nickname for the way he seems to enjoy striking internees indiscriminately, without warning. When he discovers that a woman in the camp has been hiding money, he confiscates it and punches her in the face. He kicks her in the back until she is unable to stand while her children scream. He has her carried to the center of the camp, where he makes her lay injured in the equatorial sun from morning until evening without water. After the war, the Allied war crimes tribunal will sentence him to death for his human rights violations during the war. He is convicted of “carrying out a systematic reign of terror,” with witnesses at his trial describing his beating of a woman with a piece of wood until her arms broke in several places for sitting down during her work, causing a woman to go permanently deaf after being beaten for thirty minutes for smuggling cigarettes, forcing prisoners to stand in stress positions, withholding water and food, and whipping children until their flesh was in tatters, among other atrocities. Hockey Stick earns his name from the wooden hockey stick he carries with him throughout the camp and uses to take the legs out from under a prisoner. Then he makes them stand up so he can do it again, over and over, laughing every time. The Bloodhound is more selective, but he is capable of beating people into a coma when he does lose his temper.

In September 1944, the Japanese officers announce that the boys on the hill will be transferred out of Lampersari and tell the mothers to say goodbye to their sons, that scab-kneed, lizard-catching children now considered mature enough to do hard labor in a separate camp. The phrase the Japanese use is “men over ten.” As in, “All of the men over ten are hereby reassigned to new camps.” And so with a change of one word, with a relabeling, they justify the transfer.

The women clutch at their sons and weep. They whisper words into their ears as they hug them goodbye, hasty insufficient summaries of all the things that they would have taught them in the remaining years of childhood that now have to be condensed into a few minutes. Sjeffie’s mother tries to remember things to tell him. Wash whenever you can, check for lice and ticks, find a buddy and work as a team, don’t fight, keep practicing your equations, whatever you do just don’t do anything to anger the officers, that’s very important, OK, you have to promise me, can you promise me that? Aunt Ko says, “Say your prayers every day.” Sjeffie’s little sister Doortje hugs him and gives him some coffee. Fien, his youngest sister, hugs his legs, and my father kisses the top of his baby brother Kees’s head. Through the agitated buzz of the Dutch mothers, camp officers shout angry words in Japanese, words like iikagennishiro, teiryuu, shuutai, and hikihanasu, words that tumble into one another and mean nothing to the women until the guards start whacking them with their batons and whips, pulling son from mother and mother from son like starfish from wet rock. Then the boys are marched out of Camp Lampersari as their mothers wail and their younger siblings watch wide-eyed. The cries of Mammie, Mammie rise repeatedly from their midst as they pass through the camp gates, heads swiveling for their last looks back. The newly branded “men” march with their little suitcases banging against their knobby knees for what Sjeffie believes is many hours, along the banana trees and the warungs and the kopi carts. A rumor spreads in low tones through the group as they walk. “I heard they’re taking us to Bangkok.” “Yep, they said they’re taking us to Bangkok. I heard the Jap say it.” “Psst, hey, the word is we’re going to Bangkok.”
“Bangkok! That’s not even in the Indies! I won’t ever see my family again!”
“Well, that’s where we’re going. Bangkok.”

sources

https://fepowhistory.com/tag/lampersari/

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/thema/Lampersari

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The Experiments of Unit 731

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We have all heard about the experiments conducted by the Nazis during World War II, but relatively little is known about the experiments by the Japanese Imperial Army. More specifically Unit 731.

The unit, also known as, “Detachment 731” and the “Kamo Detachment.” was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that engaged in lethal human experimentation and biological weapons manufacturing during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II.

The unit began as a research unit, investigating the effects of disease and injury on the fighting ability of an armed force. One element of the unit, called “Maruta,” took this research a little further than the usual bounds of medical ethics by observing injuries and the course of disease in living patients.

I will only go into a few of their experiments.

Frostbite Testing: The picture above is of the frostbitten hands of a Chinese person who was taken outside in winter by Unit 731 personnel for an experiment on how best to treat frostbite.

Vivisection: Thousands of men, women, children, and infants interned at prisoner-of-war camps were subjected to vivisection, often performed without anesthesia and usually lethal. In an interview, former Unit 731 member Okawa Fukumatsu admitted to having vivisected a pregnant woman. Vivisections were performed on prisoners after infecting them with various diseases. Researchers performed invasive surgery on prisoners, removing organs to study the effects of disease on the human body.

Venereal Disease: To learn what they needed to know, doctors assigned to Unit 731 infected prisoners with the disease and withheld treatment to observe the uninterrupted course of the illness. A contemporary treatment, a primitive chemotherapy agent called Salvarsan, was sometimes administered over a period of months to observe the side effects.

To ensure effective transmission of the disease, syphilitic male prisoners were ordered to rape both female and male fellow prisoners, who would then be monitored to observe the onset of the disease. If the first exposure failed to establish infection, more rapes would be arranged until it did.

In other tests, subjects were deprived of food and water to determine the length of time until death; placed into low-pressure chambers until their eyes popped from the sockets; experimented upon to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival; hung upside down until death; crushed with heavy objects; electrocuted; dehydrated with hot fans; placed into centrifuges and spun until death; injected with animal blood, notably with horse blood; exposed to lethal doses of X-rays; subjected to various chemical weapons inside gas chambers; injected with seawater; and burned or buried alive. In addition to chemical agents, the properties of many different toxins were also investigated by the Unit. To name a few, prisoners were exposed to tetrodotoxin (pufferfish or fugu venom), heroin, Korean bindweed, bacterial, and castor-oil seeds (ricin). Massive amounts of blood were drained from some prisoners for the study of the effects of blood loss according to former Unit 731 vivisectionist Okawa Fukumatsu. In one case, at least half a liter of blood was drawn at two-to-three-day intervals.

As stated above, dehydration experiments were performed on the victims. The purpose of these tests was to determine the amount of water in an individual’s body and to see how long one could survive with a very low to no water intake. It is known that victims were also starved before these tests began. The deteriorating physical states of these victims were documented by staff at periodic intervals.

One member of Unit 731 later recalled that very sick and unresisting prisoners would be laid out on the slab so a line could be inserted into their carotid artery. When most of the blood had been siphoned off and the heart was too weak to pump anymore, an officer in leather boots climbed onto the table and jumped on the victim’s chest with enough force to crush the ribcage, whereupon another dollop of blood would spurt into the container.

Unit 731 researchers conduct bacteriological experiments with captive child subjects in Nongan County of northeast China’s Jilin Province. November 1940.

Members of Unit 731 were not immune from being subjects of experiments. Yoshio Tamura, an assistant in the Special Team, recalled that Yoshio Sudō, an employee of the first division at Unit 731, became infected with bubonic plague as a result of the production of plague bacteria. The Special Team was then ordered to vivisect Sudō. Tamura recalled:

“Sudō had, a few days previously, been interested in talking about women, but now he was thin as a rake, with many purple spots over his body. A large area of scratches on his chest was bleeding. He painfully cried and breathed with difficulty. I sanitized his whole body with disinfectant. Whenever he moved, a rope around his neck tightened. After Sudō’s body was carefully checked [by the surgeon], I handed a scalpel to [the surgeon] who, reversely gripping the scalpel, touched Sudō’s stomach skin and sliced downward. Sudō shouted “brute!” and died with this last word.”

— Criminal History of Unit 731 of the Japanese Military, pp. 118–119 (1991)

In April 2018, the National Archives of Japan disclosed a nearly complete list of 3,607 members of Unit 731 to Katsuo Nishiyama, a professor at Shiga University of Medical Science. Nishiyama reportedly intended to publish the list online to encourage further study into the unit.

Only 12 of them were ever brought to justice, and the longest jail term served was seven years.

sources

https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/unit-731

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/japan-unit-731-imperial-army-second-world-war

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2141877/japans-unit-731-conducted-sickening-tests-chinese-perpetrators

https://www.pacificatrocities.org/human-experimentation.html

https://allthatsinteresting.com/unit-731

Charles Lindbergh’s Des Moines Speech-September 11-1941.

Charles Lindbergh is a classic case from Hero to Zero. However I am not sure if he would have remained a ‘zero’ if it hadn’t been for the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.

On September 11,1941, HE gave a significant address, titled “Speech on Neutrality”, outlining his views and arguments against greater American involvement in the war. But the speech wasn’t a speech for neutrality, it was steeped in anti-Semitism. I don’t know what path the US would have chosen if it hadn’t been for the Pearl Harbor attacke,

Charles Lindbergh had become politically quite powerful with his America First movement.

Des Moines, September 11,1941.

“It is now two years since this latest European war began. From that day in September, 1939, until the present moment, there has been an over-increasing effort to force the United States into the conflict.

That effort has been carried on by foreign interests, and by a small minority of our own people; but it has been so successful that, today, our country stands on the verge of war.

At this time, as the war is about to enter its third winter, it seems appropriate to review the circumstances that have led us to our present position. Why are we on the verge of war? Was it necessary for us to become so deeply involved? Who is responsible for changing our national policy from one of neutrality and independence to one of entanglement in European affairs?

Personally, I believe there is no better argument against our intervention than a study of the causes and developments of the present war. I have often said that if the true facts and issues were placed before the American people, there would be no danger of our involvement.

Here, I would like to point out to you a fundamental difference between the groups who advocate foreign war, and those who believe in an independent destiny for America.

If you will look back over the record, you will find that those of us who oppose intervention have constantly tried to clarify facts and issues; while the interventionists have tried to hide facts and confuse issues.

We ask you to read what we said last month, last year, and even before the war began. Our record is open and clear, and we are proud of it.

We have not led you on by subterfuge and propaganda. We have not resorted to steps short of anything, in order to take the American people where they did not want to go.

What we said before the elections, we say [illegible] and again, and again today. And we will not tell you tomorrow that it was just campaign oratory. Have you ever heard an interventionist, or a British agent, or a member of the administration in Washington ask you to go back and study a record of what they have said since the war started? Are their self-styled defenders of democracy willing to put the issue of war to a vote of our people? Do you find these crusaders for foreign freedom of speech, or the removal of censorship here in our own country?

The subterfuge and propaganda that exists in our country is obvious on every side. Tonight, I shall try to pierce through a portion of it, to the naked facts which lie beneath.

When this war started in Europe, it was clear that the American people were solidly opposed to entering it. Why shouldn’t we be? We had the best defensive position in the world; we had a tradition of independence from Europe; and the one time we did take part in a European war left European problems unsolved, and debts to America unpaid.

National polls showed that when England and France declared war on Germany, in 1939, less than 10 percent of our population favored a similar course for America. But there were various groups of people, here and abroad, whose interests and beliefs necessitated the involvement of the United States in the war. I shall point out some of these groups tonight, and outline their methods of procedure. In doing this, I must speak with the utmost frankness, for in order to counteract their efforts, we must know exactly who they are.

The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration.

Behind these groups, but of lesser importance, are a number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that the future of mankind depends upon the domination of the British empire. Add to these the Communistic groups who were opposed to intervention until a few weeks ago, and I believe I have named the major war agitators in this country.

I am speaking here only of war agitators, not of those sincere but misguided men and women who, confused by misinformation and frightened by propaganda, follow the lead of the war agitators.

As I have said, these war agitators comprise only a small minority of our people; but they control a tremendous influence. Against the determination of the American people to stay out of war, they have marshaled the power of their propaganda, their money, their patronage.

Let us consider these groups, one at a time.

First, the British: It is obvious and perfectly understandable that Great Britain wants the United States in the war on her side. England is now in a desperate position. Her population is not large enough and her armies are not strong enough to invade the continent of Europe and win the war she declared against Germany.

Her geographical position is such that she cannot win the war by the use of aviation alone, regardless of how many planes we send her. Even if America entered the war, it is improbable that the Allied armies could invade Europe and overwhelm the Axis powers. But one thing is certain. If England can draw this country into the war, she can shift to our shoulders a large portion of the responsibility for waging it and for paying its cost.

As you all know, we were left with the debts of the last European war; and unless we are more cautious in the future than we have been in the past, we will be left with the debts of the present case. If it were not for her hope that she can make us responsible for the war financially, as well as militarily, I believe England would have negotiated a peace in Europe many months ago, and be better off for doing so.

England has devoted, and will continue to devote every effort to get us into the war. We know that she spent huge sums of money in this country during the last war in order to involve us. Englishmen have written books about the cleverness of its use.

We know that England is spending great sums of money for propaganda in America during the present war. If we were Englishmen, we would do the same. But our interest is first in America; and as Americans, it is essential for us to realize the effort that British interests are making to draw us into their war.

The second major group I mentioned is the Jewish.

It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race.

No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution of the Jewish race in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they will be among the first to feel its consequences.

Tolerance is a virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it cannot survive war and devastations. A few far-sighted Jewish people realize this and stand opposed to intervention. But the majority still do not.

Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.

I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.

We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.

The Roosevelt administration is the third powerful group which has been carrying this country toward war. Its members have used the war emergency to obtain a third presidential term for the first time in American history. They have used the war to add unlimited billions to a debt which was already the highest we have ever known. And they have just used the war to justify the restriction of congressional power, and the assumption of dictatorial procedures on the part of the president and his appointees.

The power of the Roosevelt administration depends upon the maintenance of a wartime emergency. The prestige of the Roosevelt administration depends upon the success of Great Britain to whom the president attached his political future at a time when most people thought that England and France would easily win the war. The danger of the Roosevelt administration lies in its subterfuge. While its members have promised us peace, they have led us to war heedless of the platform upon which they were elected.

In selecting these three groups as the major agitators for war, I have included only those whose support is essential to the war party. If any one of these groups–the British, the Jewish, or the administration–stops agitating for war, I believe there will be little danger of our involvement.

I do not believe that any two of them are powerful enough to carry this country to war without the support of the third. And to these three, as I have said, all other war groups are of secondary importance.

When hostilities commenced in Europe, in 1939, it was realized by these groups that the American people had no intention of entering the war. They knew it would be worse than useless to ask us for a declaration of war at that time. But they believed that this country could be entered into the war in very much the same way we were entered into the last one.

They planned: first, to prepare the United States for foreign war under the guise of American defense; second, to involve us in the war, step by step, without our realization; third, to create a series of incidents which would force us into the actual conflict. These plans were of course, to be covered and assisted by the full power of their propaganda.

Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms “fifth columnist,” “traitor,” “Nazi,” “anti-Semitic” were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak.

Before long, lecture halls that were open to the advocates of war were closed to speakers who opposed it. A fear campaign was inaugurated. We were told that aviation, which has held the British fleet off the continent of Europe, made America more vulnerable than ever before to invasion. Propaganda was in full swing.

There was no difficulty in obtaining billions of dollars for arms under the guise of defending America. Our people stood united on a program of defense. Congress passed appropriation after appropriation for guns and planes and battleships, with the approval of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. That a large portion of these appropriations was to be used to build arms for Europe, we did not learn until later. That was another step.

To use a specific example; in 1939, we were told that we should increase our air corps to a total of 5,000 planes. Congress passed the necessary legislation. A few months later, the administration told us that the United States should have at least 50,000 planes for our national safety. But almost as fast as fighting planes were turned out from our factories, they were sent abroad, although our own air corps was in the utmost need of new equipment; so that today, two years after the start of war, the American army has a few hundred thoroughly modern bombers and fighters–less in fact, than Germany is able to produce in a single month.

Ever since its inception, our arms program has been laid out for the purpose of carrying on the war in Europe, far more than for the purpose of building an adequate defense for America.

Now at the same time we were being prepared for a foreign war, it was necessary, as I have said, to involve us in the war. This was accomplished under that now famous phrase “steps short of war.”

England and France would win if the United States would only repeal its arms embargo and sell munitions for cash, we were told. And then [illegible] began, a refrain that marked every step we took toward war for many months–“the best way to defend America and keep out of war.” we were told, was “by aiding the Allies.”

First, we agreed to sell arms to Europe; next, we agreed to loan arms to Europe; then we agreed to patrol the ocean for Europe; then we occupied a European island in the war zone. Now, we have reached the verge of war.

The war groups have succeeded in the first two of their three major steps into war. The greatest armament program in our history is under way.

We have become involved in the war from practically every standpoint except actual shooting. Only the creation of sufficient “incidents” yet remains; and you see the first of these already taking place, according to plan [ill.]– a plan that was never laid before the American people for their approval.

Men and women of Iowa; only one thing holds this country from war today. That is the rising opposition of the American people. Our system of democracy and representative government is on test today as it has never been before. We are on the verge of a war in which the only victor would be chaos and prostration.

We are on the verge of a war for which we are still unprepared, and for which no one has offered a feasible plan for victory–a war which cannot be won without sending our soldiers across the ocean to force a landing on a hostile coast against armies stronger than our own.

We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out. It is not too late to show that no amount of money, or propaganda, or patronage can force a free and independent people into war against its will. It is not yet too late to retrieve and to maintain the independent American destiny that our forefathers established in this new world.

The entire future rests upon our shoulders. It depends upon our action, our courage, and our intelligence. If you oppose our intervention in the war, now is the time to make your voice heard.

Help us to organize these meetings; and write to your representatives in Washington. I tell you that the last stronghold of democracy and representative government in this country is in our house of representatives and our senate.

There, we can still make our will known. And if we, the American people, do that, independence and freedom will continue to live among us, and there will be no foreign war.”

Coincidentally on the same day the construction of the Pentagon had started.

fter the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lindbergh sought to be recommissioned in the United States Army Air Forces. The Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, declined the request on instructions from the White House.[198]

Unable to take on an active military service, Lindbergh approached a number of aviation companies and offered his services as a consultant. As a technical adviser with Ford in 1942, he was heavily involved in troubleshooting early problems at the Willow Run Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber production line. As B-24 production smoothed out, he joined United Aircraft in 1943 as an engineering consultant, devoting most of his time to its Chance-Vought Division.

By 1944 Lindbergh had became a consultant with the United Aircraft Company helping them with field testing of their F4U Corsair fighter. The spring of 1944 found Lindbergh in the South Pacific teaching Corsair pilots how to dramatically decrease their plane’s fuel consumption and increase the range of their missions. His task required that he join the Corsair pilots on their missions in order to better understand and change their flying techniques. This is how Lindbergh, a private citizen, managed to make his way into the cockpit of a combat fighter, take part in over 50 missions and shoot down one Japanese plane.

“My tracers and my 20’s spatter on his plane.”

Lindbergh kept a diary describing the day he shot down his only enemy fighter. We join his story as he flies with a squadron of four P-38 “Lightning” fighters to attack a Japanese airfield on an island near New Guinea. Below them they see two enemy aircraft and prepare to attack:

“July 28

We jettison our drop tanks, switch on our guns, and nose down to the attack. One Jap plane banks sharply toward the airstrip and the protection of the antiaircraft guns. The second heads off into the haze and clouds. Colonel MacDonald gets a full deflection shot on the first, starts him smoking, and forces him to reverse his bank.

We are spaced 1,000 feet apart. Captain [Danforth] Miller gets in a short deflection burst with no noticeable effect. I start firing as the plane is completing its turn in my direction. I see the tracers and the 20’s [20mm. cannon] find their mark, a hail of shells directly on the target. But he straightens out and flies directly toward me.

I hold the trigger down and my sight on his engine as we approach head on. My tracers and my 20’s spatter on his plane. We are close – too close – hurtling at each other at more than 500 miles an hour. I pull back on the controls. His plane zooms suddenly upward with extraordinary sharpness.

I pull back with all the strength I have. Will we hit? His plane, before a slender toy in my sight, looms huge in size. A second passes – two three – I can see the finning on his engine cylinders. There is a rough jolt of air as he shoots past behind me.

By how much did we miss? Ten feet? Probably less than that. There is no time to consider or feel afraid. I am climbing steeply. I bank to the left. No, that will take me into the ack-ack fire above Amahai strip. I reverse to the right. It all has taken seconds.

My eyes sweep the sky for aircraft. Those are only P-38’s and the plane I have just shot down. He is starting down in a wing over – out of control. The nose goes down. The plane turns slightly as it picks up speed-down-down-down toward the sea. A fountain of spray-white foam on the water-waves circling outward as from a stone tossed in a pool-the waves merge into those of the sea-the foam disappears – the surface is as it was before.

My wingman is with me, but I have broken from my flight. There are six P-38’s circling the area where the enemy plane went down. But all six planes turn out to be from another squadron. I call ‘Possum 1,’ and get a reply which I think says they are above the cloud layer. It is thin, and I climb up through on instruments. But there are no planes in sight, and I have lost my wingman. I dive back down but all planes below have disappeared, too. Radio reception is so poor that I can get no further contact. I climb back into the clouds and take up course for home, cutting through the tops and keeping a sharp lookout for enemy planes above. Finally make radio contact with ‘Possum’ flight and tell them I will join them over our original rendezvous point (the Pisang Islands).

The heavies are bombing as I sight the Boela strips; I turn in that direction to get a better view. They have started a large fire in the oil-well area of Boela – a great column of black smoke rising higher and higher in the air. The bombers are out of range, so the ack-ack concentrates on me-black puffs of smoke all around, but none nearby. I weave out of range and take up course for the Pisang Islands again. I arrive about five minutes ahead of my flight. We join and take up course for Biak Island. Landed at Mokmer strip at 1555.

(Lieutenant Miller, my wingman, reported seeing the tracers of the Jap plane shooting at me. I was so concentrated on my own firing that I did not see the flashes of his guns. Miller said the plane rolled over out of control right after he passed me. Apparently my bullets had either severed the controls or killed the pilot.)”

Lindbergh is extensively covered in the book “Our Man in New York: The British Plot to Bring America into the Second World War” which is a good read and highly recommended.

sources

http://www.charleslindbergh.com/americanfirst/speech.asp

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/lindbergh2.htm

https://www.ozatwar.com/ozatwar/lindbergh.htm

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-Lindbergh

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Grogol-Japanese Camp

Grogol was a civilian camp, located just outside Batavia(Jakarta, Indonesia nowadays), about three kilometers northwest of Tjideng, on the railway to Tangerang. The camp was in use from July 1, 1943 to April 18, 1945.

Grogol started as a lunatic asylum which was converted in a Japanese Internment Camp for civilians during World War 2.

In this blog some images of wooden labels used in the camp.

The picture above is a wooden board entitled ‘Arrival at Grogol’ , with a magnifying glass burned-in scene of the boys arriving by bus from camp Tjimahi, where they had just left their mothers. They are unloading their luggage. The board was made after the Japanese gave all boys permission in December 1942 to send a package with Sinterklaas(Saint Nicholas) to their mother in the women’s camps.

On a narrow strip/label are: 41881 and japanese/chinese(?) characters burned. A white string is attached via two holes to the label (hanging loop). The loop still has a safety pin and a curved metal pin with disc. The label belongs to R.A. the Lord (02.01.32 -) during the period Karmat, Tjodeng, Grogol.

A board with burned-in text and image. On one side the representation of a bus with people. Luggage on the roof of the bus. On the left a soldier with a rifle, on the right a figure walking to the right with a bag in hand. On the other side the text: ‘Arrival in Grogol, August 29, 2604, J.G. Post, P.O.W. 1-551’.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/thema/Grogol

Little Boy-Hiroshima

Little Boy was the name of the atomic bomb which was dropped from Enola Gay , over Hiroshima on August 6,1945. at 8.15 AM.The bomb exploded
about 1,500 feet above the city with a force of 15,000 tons of TNT.
The name of the plane was Enola Gay, named after the pilot’s mother.
The pilot, attached to the 509th, was Col. Paul Tibbets. The copilot
was Capt. Robert Lewis.
Little Boy destroyed 5 square miles of the city and caused about 140,000
deaths by the end of 1945.

The gun-type weapon possessed the power of 26,000,000 pounds of high explosives. Nuclear fission was achieved by the collision of two parts of active material (Uranium-235). A U-235 projectile fired down a gun barrel collided with a stationary element, causing a mass increase leading to nuclear fission. Little Boy was dropped untested. Previously, on July 26, the bomb, along with “Fat Man” was transported to Tinian Island by USS Indianapolis (CA-35) for final assembly. Four days later, Japanese submarine, I-58, sank Indianapolis, northeast of Leyte. the atomic attacks, the US Air Force dropped pamphlets in Japan. They advised the citizens of “prompt and utter destruction” and urged civilians to flee.

Prior to the atomic attacks, the US Air Force dropped pamphlets in Japan. They advised the citizens of  “prompt and utter destruction” and urged civilians to flee.

The result of the Manhattan Project, begun in June 1942, “Little Boy” was a gun-type weapon, which detonated by firing one mass of uranium down a cylinder into another mass to create a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. Weighing about 9,000 pounds, it produced an explosive force equal to 20,000 tons of TNT.

The crew of the Enola Gay consisted of 12 men. Prior to the war in the Pacifc and taking command of the Enola Gay, Colonel Paul W. Tibbets Jr had flown the lead bomber ‘Butcher Shop'(aka Big Tin Bird) for the first American daylight heavy bomber mission on 17 August 1942, a shallow penetration raid against a marshaling yard in Rouen in Occupied France.

First Lieutenant Jacob Beser was the radar specialist aboard the Enola Gay, 3 days later, he was a crew member aboard Bockscar when the Fat Man bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. He was the only crew member to be on both missions.

sources

https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/little-boy-and-fat-man

https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196219/little-boy-atomic-bomb/

Air Raid on Pearl Harbour X This is not a drill.

On December 7,1941, 80 years ago today, a hurried dispatch from the ranking United States naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, Commander in Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet, was sent to all major navy commands and fleet units provided the first official word of the attack at the ill-prepared Pearl Harbor base. It said simply: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL.

Later that day Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii Territory, killing over 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. A total of twelve ships sank or were beached in the attack and nine additional vessels were damaged. More than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged.

The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.

Also on the day following Pearl Harbor, Alan Lomax, head of the Library of Congress Archive of American Folk Song, sent a telegram to colleagues around the U.S. asking them to collect people’s immediate reactions to the bombing. Over the next few days prominent folklorists such as John Lomax, John Henry Faulk, Charles Todd, Robert Sonkin, and Lewis Jones responded by recording “man on the street” interviews in New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. They interviewed salesmen, electricians, janitors, oilmen, cabdrivers, housewives, students, soldiers, physicians, and others regarding the events of December 7. Among the interviewees was a California woman then visiting her family in Dallas, Texas.

“My first thought was what a great pity that… another nation should be added to those aggressors who strove to limit our freedom. I find myself at the age of eighty, an old woman, hanging on to the tail of the world, trying to keep up. I do not want the driver’s seat. But the eternal verities–there are certain things that I wish to express: one thing that I am very sure of is that hatred is death, but love is light. I want to contribute to the civilization of the world but…when I look at the holocaust that is going on in the world today, I’m almost ready to let go…”

Adolf Hitler responded by declaring war on the US on 11 December, firmly bringing America into both fronts of the war.

sources

https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/december-07/

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pearl-harbor-bombed

https://www.britannica.com/on-this-day/December-7

Fred Hockley-Executed 9 hours after Japanese surrender.

Following the Hiroshima bombing on August 6, the Soviet declaration of war and the Nagasaki bombing on August 9, the Emperor’s speech was broadcast at noon Japan Standard Time on August 15, 1945, and did reference the atomic bombs as a reason for the surrender.

The broadcast was recorded a day earlier but was broadcast on August 15 at noon. Below is the translated transcript of the broadcast.

“After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in our empire today, we have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure.

We have ordered our government to communicate to the governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that our empire accepts the provisions of their joint declaration.

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of our subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by our imperial ancestors and which lies close to our heart.

Indeed, we declared war on America and Britain out of our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandizement.

But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone – the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of our servants of the state, and the devoted service of our one hundred million people – the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.

Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is, indeed, incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, not only would it result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

Such being the case, how are we to save the millions of our subjects, or to atone ourselves before the hallowed spirits of our imperial ancestors? This is the reason why we have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the joint declaration of the powers. We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to our allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently cooperated with the Empire towards the emancipation of East Asia.

The thought of those officers and men as well as others who have fallen in the fields of battle, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death and all their bereaved families, pains our heart night and day. The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of our profound solicitude.

The hardships and sufferings to which our nation is to be subjected hereafter will be certainly great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all of you, our subjects. However, it is according to the dictates of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable. Having been able to safeguard and maintain the Kokutai,(basically the emperors position) We are always with you, our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity.

Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead you astray and cause you to lose the confidence of the world. Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith in the imperishability of its sacred land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibility, and of the long road before it.

Unite your total strength, to be devoted to construction for the future. Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution – so that you may enhance the innate glory of the imperial state and keep pace with the progress of the world.”

Although the Emperor did not mention the word ‘surrender’ once, there could be no doubt about it, this speech was the surrender of Japan.

Despite this some Japanese officers still felt compelled to execute a British Pilot, even after the surrender.

Sub-Lieutenant Frederick (Fred) Hockley was an English Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot who was shot down over Japan while taking part in the last combat mission flown by British aircraft in the Second World War.

Hockley was born in 1923,in Littleport near Ely in Cambridgeshire. His father was a foreman for the water board and a bell ringer in the parish church. Fred attended Soham Grammar School and was a keen swimmer.

Commissioned in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve he was posted as a Supermarine Seafire pilot to HMS Indefatigable.

On the 15th of August 1945 he took off leading five Seafires of 894 Squadron to escort Firefly and Avenger fighter bombers attacking airfields in Tokyo Bay. They were diverted to a chemicals factory in Odaki Bay.

The 15 aircraft diverted to the alternate target which was a chemicals factory in Odaki Bay. Hockley’s radio was not functioning and he bailed out of his aircraft after it was attacked by Mitsubishi Zero fighters, parachuting to the ground near the village of Higashimura (now Chōnan). The formation, now led by Victor Lowden, bombed the target and completed their mission.

Hockley surrendered to an air raid warden who took him to the local civil defence HQ. The commander there handed him over to the 426th Infantry Regiment, stationed in Ichinomiya.

At regimental headquarters the commanding officer, Colonel Tamura Tei’ichi, having heard Emperor Hirohito announce the Japanese surrender at 12 noon, called divisional headquarters for advice on what to do with the prisoner. The 147th Division’s intelligence officer, Major Hirano Nobou, responded with words to the effect that he was to shochi-se (finish him off) in the mountains that night, despite the fact that Tamura had sought no authority to do so.

Tamura claimed that he was shocked by the order, which he felt was “unkind”, but he could not ignore an order from divisional command. He therefore told his adjutant, Captain Fujino Masazo, that Hockley had to be executed, adding that Fujino should do it so that no one could witness it. Fujino then ordered Sergeant Major Hitomi Tadao to move Hockley to regimental headquarters. There Hitomi was ordered by another officer to take six soldiers into the mountains to dig a grave with pickaxes and shovels. At about nine o’clock at night, nine hours after the Emperor had announced the surrender, Hockley was taken to the grave blindfolded, his hands were tied and he was told to stand with his back to the hole. He was then shot twice and rolled into the hole, where Fujino stabbed him in the back with a sword to ensure that he was dead. His body was later exhumed and cremated after Colonel Tamura began to fear that it might be found.

Hockley’s fate was revealed when Allied Occupation forces investigated and Fujino told the truth about what had happened, though Tamura had implored not to do so. Tamura, Hirano and Fujino were transferred to British custody and put on trial as war criminals in Hong Kong between 30 May and 13 June 1947. Tamura and Fujino cited superior orders in their defence, and Hirano maintained that he had ordered that Hockley be dealt with in accordance with intelligence service regulations and claimed that he had not anticipated that Hockley would be killed. Following differing accounts of the precise wording of the orders, Tamura and Hirano were convicted, sentenced to death and hanged on 16 September 1947, and Fujino was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

I think Takuma’s claim that he was shocked was quite a hollow statement. His supreme superior ,the Emperor, had clearly indicated that all hostilities were to cease on noon that day. Also exhuming the body and then cremating it, is a clear sign he knew that the execution was the wrong thing to do.

sources

http://undyingmemory.net/Soham%20V%20Coll/hockley-fred.html

http://www.sohamgrammar.org.uk/fred_hockley_inmem.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hockley

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A moment of compassion in hell.

One of the most cruelest crimes committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII, was the Bataan Death March.

It was a march in the Philippines of some 66 miles (106 km) that 76,000 prisoners of war (66,000 Filipinos, 10,000 Americans) were forced by the Japanese military to endure in April 1942, during the early stages of World War II.

After the April 9, 1942 U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula on the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese during World War II (1939-45), the approximately 76,000 Filipino and American troops on Bataan were forced to make the march to prison camps. Thousands were killed during the march. During the march, prisoners received little food or water, and many died. They were subjected to severe physical abuse, including beatings and torture. On the march, the “sun treatment” was a common form of torture. Prisoners were forced to sit in sweltering direct sunlight without helmets or other head coverings.

It was like hell. But among all the evil and torture there was at least one moment of compassion.

Mario George Tonelli was born the son of Italian immigrants in the Chicago suburbs. He was a professional American football player who played running back for one season for the Chicago Cardinals.

He joined the Chicago Cardinals in 1940. However, feeling a sense of duty to serve his country, he decided to enlist in the Army at the end of the season. Reporting for duty at Camp Wallace, Texas, in March 1941, Tonelli remarked to a reporter that he would be able to use his Army training exercises as a football coach after he finished his service. In 1937 Tonelli played college football .

Tonelli spent three years with the Fighting Irish varsity, leading Notre Dame to the brink of a national championship in 1938. Following the College All-Star Game in 1939, he received his gold class ring, on the underside of which he had his initials and graduation date M.G.T. ’39engraved. He wore the ring proudly during a stint as an assistant coach at Providence College in 1939 and one season of pro football with the Chicago Cardinals in 1940..

On 7 December, 1941, the now SGT Tonelli was stationed at Clark Field on Luzon, the main island of the Philippines. The next day, as he exited the mess hall, a swarm of Japanese planes commenced bombardment of Clark Field. Unable to reach his anti-aircraft gun, he grabbed a nearby Springfield rifle and fired fruitlessly into the horde of enemy aircraft until the Japanese planes departed. Soon after the initial assault, Tonelli joined the rest of the American and Filipino forces in their withdrawal into the Bataan Peninsula.

For five months, Tonelli and his fellow soldiers fought valiantly against the Japanese juggernaut while their supply of food, medicine, and ammunition dwindled. On 9 April, 1942, the weak, starving, and exhausted American forces surrendered to the Japanese. On this day, Tonelli began his 1,236 day ordeal as a prisoner of the Japanese.

The following day, he found himself in what would become known as the Bataan Death March.

Fatigued by the months of fighting and his recent capture, Tonelli neglected to hide his gold Notre Dame ring, which he still wore proudly on his finger. A Japanese guard came by and pointed to the ring. Tonelli refused to hand his precious football memento over to the guard. Annoyed with his insolence, the Japanese soldier threatened to strike him. Tonelli finally decided to turn the ring over as a friend quietly warned him that no ring is worth dying for. As the guard left him, he knew he would never see his class ring again.

A few moments later a Japanese officer stepped up to Tonelli and asked in perfect English, “Did any of my men take anything from you?” Dazed and confused, he responded, “Yes, he took my Notre Dame ring.” The officer handed him his ring back and cautioned him to hide the ring so it would not be taken again. After a word of thanks from the grateful prisoner, the officer explained, “I was educated in America at the University of Southern California.” The officer stated that he knew about Tonelli’s game winning play against the Trojans in the final game of the 1937 season. “I know how much this ring means to you, so I wanted to get it back to you”

That little incident gave Tonelli the hope he needed to survive the rest of the war

Tonelli later buried the ring in a metal soap dish beneath his prison barracks to safekeep it from would be thieves.

sources

https://news.nd.edu/news/notre-dames-tonelli-faced-horrors-of-bataan-refused-to-die/

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Chaim Nussbaum- The Rabbi who escaped the Nazis and survived the Burma Railway

Nussbaum

Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum was born in Lithuania but grew up in Scheveningen in the Netherlands. His story in World War 2 is remarkable, some people just have a very strong life force.

After he got married he returned, together with his wife, to his country of origin, Lithuania. When the Nazis invaded Lithuania in 1941, he managed to escape with his family.

He reached Java in the Dutch East Indies via Via Russia and Japan. In the Dutch East Indies (nowadays known as Indonesia) he became Rabbi of the Jewish communities of Batavia and Bandung.

In 1943, the Japanese occupiers of the Dutch East Indies imprisoned him in the Changi Prisoner of War Camp in Eastern Singapore.

Changi

There he was forced into slave labor on the notorious Burma Railway. Chaim also took up a role as the Rabbi for the Jewish prisoners in the camp and even established a synagogue there named Ohel Jacob.

A fellow prisoner, Bert Besser, made this tapestry, which was to function as a curtain for that synagogue’s Holy Ark, which stored the Torah scrolls.

tapsetry

The text on the curtain says, “The Torah is Our Life” and “House of Worship of POWs, Changi.” Chaim Nussbaum survived the war. After his liberation, he moved to Canada.

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Source

Joods Historisch Museum

Richard Ira Bong- WWII Hero

Richard Bong

I could do a very lengthy blog about Richard Ira Bong but I decided to stay with the facts that really matter. For everything else I urge you to look up his name, so much has already written about him.

He is credited with shooting down 40 enemy aircraft in aerial combat.

The citation on his Medal of Honor descried him best.

“The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Major (Air Corps) Richard Ira Bong (ASN: 0-433784), United States Army Air Forces, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 49th Fighter Group, V Fighter Command, Fifth Air Force, in action in the Southwest Pacific area from 10 October to 15 November 1944. Though assigned to duty as gunnery instructor and neither required nor expected to perform combat duty, Major Bong voluntarily and at his own urgent request engaged in repeated combat missions, including unusually hazardous sorties over Balikpapan, Borneo, and in the Leyte area of the Philippines. His aggressiveness and daring resulted in his shooting down eight enemy airplanes during this period.”

Ironically  though he didn’t die in combat but  he died in California while testing a jet aircraft.

But even the date of his death is significant because it was also the date that the Enola Gay dropped the “Little Boy” atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

enola

But despite that massive historic event , Richard Bong’s death was featured prominently in national newspapers,

paper

Happy Birthday Major Bong, may you rest in peace.

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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