14 May 1945

14 May 1945

14 May 1945

New Guinea

Australian troops occupy Wewak village


Vienna announces that the Austrian Republic has been re-established

War at Sea

German submarine U-244 surrenders

German submarines U-516, U-764, U-1010 surrender in Lock Eriboll

German submariness U-805 and U-858 surrenders at Portsmouth

German submarine U-2326 surrendered in Lock Foyle

Europe 1945: German Surrender

The unconditional surrender of Germany on May 8 marked the end of the War in Europe. The cost had been huge, leaving perhaps 35 million dead. Among them were two-thirds of Europe's Jews, who had been systematically exterminated by the Nazis. And although the war was finally over, the outcome was a Europe dominated by the United States and the Soviet Union.

Main Events

6–11 May 1945 Prague Offensive▲

In May 1945, in the last major Soviet operation of World War II in Europe, forces of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its allies attacked Germany’s Army Group Centre and Army Group Ostmark in Czechoslovakia and Austria. The offensive led to the capitulation of German forces in Central Europe and the liberation of Prague. in wikipedia

7 May 1945 German Instrument of Surrender▲

Representatives of the German armed forces signed the Instrument of Surrender in Berlin, along with representatives of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom (on behalf of the Western Allies, who had also overseen a surrender ceremony in Reims earlier that day). This act brought an end to World War II in Europe. in wikipedia

8 May 1945 V.E. Day▲

Following the German signing of the Act of Surrender on 7 May 1945 in Reims, France, and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany, a public holiday—Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day—was celebrated in Allied countries to mark the Allies’ formal acceptance of Germany’s surrender and the end of World War II in Europe. in wikipedia

9 May–31 Oct 1945 Allied occupation of Norway▲

British forces, starting with the 1st Airborne Division in Operation Doomsday and followed by Force 134, maintained order in Norway until the full restoration of the Norwegian government and its armed forces. in wikipedia

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14 May 1945 - History

(Supplied courtesy of Mr. Mark Boland)

NOTE: This document was generated by the AAF and was obtained from the National Archives and is provided merely as an historical reference. It is a snapshot-in-time of units and their locations at the time the list was compiled. It is not completely accurate as units were often in transition between the times the list was compiled and published.

Headquarters, Fourteenth Air Force:

14th Air Force, Hq Sq - Kunming
331st Airdrome Sq - Tsuyung
308th Bomb Group (H), Hq - Hsingching
375th Bomb Sq (H) - Hsingching
374th Bomb Sq (H) - Kwanghan
425th Bomb Sq (H) - Kwanghan
373rd Bomb Sq (H) - Luliang
490th Bomb Sq (M) - Hanchung
16th Combat Camera Unit - Kunming
11th Combat Cargo Sq - Tsuyung
907th Engineer Hq Co AF - Kunming
1389th Military Police Co, Avn - Enroute from India
1390th Military Police Co, Avn - Enroute from India
18th Photo Intelligence Det - Kunming
35th Photo Reconnaissance Sq - Chanyi
21st Photo Reconnaissance Sq - Kunming
4th Photo Technical Unit - Kunming
2082nd Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Chengkung
2124th Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Enroute from India
2125th Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Enroute from India
2459th Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Enroute from India
5th Radio Sq, Mobile - Kunming
Co C, 559th Signal AW Bn - Kunming
720th Signal AW Co - Enroute from India
396th Signal Co, Avn - Kunming
1377th Signal Co, Wing - Enroute from India
330th Signal Co, Wing - Shwangliu
1712th Signal Service Bn - Kunming
24th Statistical Control Unit - Kunming
12th Tactical Air Commuications Sq - Kunming
1st Tactical Air Commuications Sq - Luliang
322nd Troop Carrier Sq - Kunming
27th Troop Carrier Sq (Attd to 69th CW) - Chengkung

Headquarters, 69th Composite Wing - Kunming:

1st Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Kunming
3rd Air Cargo Resupply Det - Kunming
19th Liaison Sq - Chengkung
51st Fighter Group, Hq - Kunming
16th Fighter Sq - Chengkung
25th Fighter Sq - Yunnanyi
26th Fighter Sq - Kunming
449th Fighter Sq (TE) - Chengkung
322nd Fighter Control Sq - Kunming
341st Bomb Group (M), Hq - Yangkai
11th Bomb Sq (M) - Yangkai
22nd Bomb Sq (M) - Yangkai
491st Bomb Sq (M) - Yangkai

Headquarters, 68th Composite Wing - Luliang:

23rd Fighter Group, Hq - Luliang
74th Fighter Sq - Luliang
75th Fighter Sq - Luliang
76th Fighter Sq - Luliang
118th Tactical Recon Sq - Chengkung
23rd Fighter Control Sq - Luliang

Headquarters, 312th Fighter Wing - Shwangliu:

7th Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Shwangliu
81st Fighter Group, Hq - Fungwanshan
91st Fighter Sq - Fungwanshan
92nd Fighter Sq - Fungwanshan
311th Fighter Group, Hq - Pungchacheng
528th Fighter Sq - Pungchacheng
529th Fighter Sq - Pungchacheng
530th Fighter Sq - Kwenghan
317th Fighter Control Sq - Shwangliu
426th Night Fighter Sq - Shwangliu
843rd AAA AW Bn - Hsingching

Headquarters, Chinese-American Composite Wing - Peishiyi:

3rd Fighter Group, Hq - Ankang
7th Fighter Sq - Ankang
8th Fighter Sq - Ankang
28th Fighter Sq - Ankang
32nd Fighter Sq - Hanchung

5th Fighter Group, Hq - Chihkiang
17th Fighter Sq - Chihkiang
26th Fighter Sq - Chihkiang
27th Fighter Sq - Chihkiang
29th Fighter Sq - Chihkiang

Attached Units:

Army Postal Unit 430 (attd to 68th Comp Wg) - Luliang
Flight C, 821st Medical Air Evac Sq - Kunming
3363rd Signal Service Bn - Kunming

14th Air Force Service Command Units:

Headquarters, 14th Air Force Service Command - Kunming

Station Hospital (P), APO 210 - Chengtu
235th Medical Dispensary, Avn - Chengtu
Kunming Army Air Base - Kunming
90th Airdrome Sq - Kunming
1211th Military Police Co, Avn - Kunming
Hq, Engineer District 1 - Kunming
Hq, Engineer District 2 - Chengtu
Hq, Engineer District 3 - Luliang
Hq, Engineer District 4 - Peishiyi
234th Medical Dispensary, Avn - Luliang
1891st Engineer Avn Bn - Mengtze

Hq & Hq Sq, 12th Air Service Group - Peishiyi

396th Air Service Sq - Liangshan
397th Air Service Sq - Peishiyi
1835th Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Peishiyi
1836th Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Liangshan
2122nd Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Peishiyi
1066th Quartermaster Co, Service Group, Avn - Peishiyi
1102nd Signal Co, Service Group, Avn - Peishiyi

Hq & Hq Sq, 14th Air Service Group - Chanyi

3rd Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Luliang
10th Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Chanyi
407th Air Service Sq - Luliang
555th Air Service Sq - Tsingchen
17th Airways Det - Chanyi
1544th Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Tsingchen
1545th Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Luliang
1077th Quartermaster Co, Service Group, Avn - Chanyi
2121st Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Chanyi
1157th Signal Co, Service Group, Avn - Luliang

Hq & Hq Sq, 68th Air Service Group - Chengkung

12th Air Service Sq - Chengkung
54th Air Service Sq - Chengkung
2nd Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Chengkung
5th Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Yunnanyi
6th Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Yangkai
15th Airways Det - Chengkung
18th Airways Det - Yunnanyi
232nd Medical Dispensary, Avn - Yunnanyi
1760th Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Yangkai
1803rd Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Kunming
1151st Quartermaster Co, Service Group, Avn - Kunming
1989th Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Chengkung
1088th Signal Co, Service Group, Avn - Chengkung

Hq & Hq Sq, 301st Air Depot Group - Kunming

69th Depot Repair Sq - Kunming
315th Depot Supply Sq - Kunming
8th Medical Supply Plat, Avn - Kunming
472nd Quartermaster Plat, Air Depot Gp - Kunming
885th Signal Co, Depot, Avn - Kunming

Hq & Hq Sq, 315th Air Service Group - Hsingching

338th Air Service Sq - Hsingching
358th Air Service Sq - Hsingching
8th Airdrome Sq - Hsingching
8th Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Hsingching
9th Air Base Communications Det (Sp) - Kwanghan
16th Airways Det - Hsingching
36th Malaria Survey Det - Hsingching
86th Veterinary Det - Hsingching
231st Medical Dispensary, Avn - Hsingching
233rd Medical Dispensary, Avn - Kwanghan
1364th Military Police Co, Avn - Hsingching
1369th Military Police Co, Avn - Chengtu
1641st Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Fungwanshan
1682nd Ordnance Supply & Maint Co, Avn - Hsingching
1139th Quartermaster Co, Service Group, Avn - Hsingching
1980th Quartermaster Truck Co, Avn - Hsingching
1049th Signal Co, Service Group, Avn - Hsingching

Other Units:

Ankang, Chanyi, Chaotung, Chengkung, Chihkiang, Chiuling-Po, Enshih, Hanchung, Hsian, Hsingching, Ipin, Kunming, Kwanghan, Leifeng, Lanchow, Laowhangpin, Liangshan, Likiang, Lukiang, Luliang, Mengshih, Mengtze, Paoshan, Peishiyi, Posch, Shwengliu, Sitkeng, Suchow, Szemao, Tihwa, Tsuyung, Tushan, Yangkai, Yenan and Yunnanyi.

158th AACS Squadron, with Dets at the following bases:

14 May 1945 - History

An entry from the diary of Eva Ginzová from May 14, 1945, in which she describes the liberation of the Theresienstadt ghetto and her return to her home in Prague.

May 14, 1945

Yesterday morning (May 3) I arrived back home. Petr wasn’t at home (I was secretly hoping he would be). We’re now expecting him every day, for him to come back or at least to have some news of him. Mummy looks well, thank God.

The Russians occupied us on May 8, at half past nine at night. I was in my room when I suddenly heard cheering and shouting: “Long live the victorious Red Army!” They went to Prague to help. It’s hard to describe what was happening there — Germans were murdering Czechs, Czechs were murdering Germans. I’m glad I wasn’t here when it happened.— I sleep and eat all day, nothing else.

This is the end of my diary since I only want to have my memories from Terezín in it. But when Petr comes back I’ll write it here.


[footnote=1]: Alexandra Zapruder, ed., Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust, 2nd edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015) 189.[footnote]

World Politics

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 20, 14 May 1945, p.ك.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

“Enough” Is To Much

ILYA EHRENBURG, until recently the official Kremlin hate-monger against the German people, has fallen from grace. He has been taken to task for over-reaching himself in an article entitled Enough in which he attempted to explain why the German people fled from the advancing Russian army instead of welcoming it as a liberator.

We need only recall that it was Ehrenburg who said, with official sanction, that the Russians were coming to Germany, not as liberators but as conquerors, and that those Germans who would welcome the advancing Russian army would be the “first people we would shoot.”

In his latest article, he states that all Germans are the same, that is, fascists and murderers, and that they must all be held equally responsible for the crimes of Hitler. He writes that the German people are a “huge gang which is scattering and fleeing now that the time has come to answer for their-deeds.”

They Came as Conquerors

For these statements, Ehrenburg, who was merely carrying out orders, is now being reprimanded in the Russian press. That the German masses did not enthusiastically welcome the armies of Stalin cannot be denied, not even in Stalin’s official press, which has been able to create all kinds of fables. The German masses, no matter what they may think about the nature of Russia itself, know one thing: Stalin’s armies are not coming as liberators, but as conquerors.

They know this from the pens of all the Ehrenburgs, and they know this from the past deeds of Stalin’s armies as they occupied one country after another. They know it from the proposal of tfte Russian ruling class to take at least ten million German workers into slavery. And they have not forgotten that Stalin is the ex-partner of Hitler and has his own system of concentration camps, torture chambers, frame-ups and confession trials.

The Russian press is now trying to explain away the fact that the German people fled upon the approach of the Russian armies. The Stalinist writers have been instructed to say that all this has happened as a result of a plot on the part of the Nazis who tried to sow intrigue and dissension among the Allies by frightening the German masses about the Russians and making them less apprehensive about the western Allies.

Ehrenburg is how repudiated for having lumped all the Germans into one mass. No, he is now told, not all the Germans will be punished or exterminated. That is all a Nazi lie, you see. And Ehrenburg is helping the Nazis by writing as he does. The reason for this change should be sought in the increasing difficulties of the Big Three.

Nothing in the criticism of Ehrenburg, however, repudiates the Russian proposal for ten million German slaves. There is no indication of who the “good” Germans are, except a passing reference that those “who behave loyally toward the Allied armies are not threatened.”

Changing the Line

How serious may be the differences between Russia, on the one hand, and Britain and the United States on the other, is reflected in the as yet cautious words of Earl Browder, American mouthpiece for Joseph Stalin. The San Francisco conference is daily revealing these deep-seated conflicts among the Big Three in their desire to dominate the European continent. The dispute over Poland may well be the crucial question.

Should a break occur between Russian and American policies, the Communist Party in this country will again “change the line.” And Earl Browder, in his capacity of leader of that party, is the official line-changer.

Creation of Israel, 1948

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion , the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

Although the United States supported the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which favored the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had assured the Arabs in 1945 that the United States would not intervene without consulting both the Jews and the Arabs in that region. The British, who held a colonial mandate for Palestine until May 1948, opposed both the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine as well as unlimited immigration of Jewish refugees to the region. Great Britain wanted to preserve good relations with the Arabs to protect its vital political and economic interests in Palestine.

Soon after President Truman took office, he appointed several experts to study the Palestinian issue. In the summer of 1946, Truman established a special cabinet committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Henry F. Grady, an Assistant Secretary of State, who entered into negotiations with a parallel British committee to discuss the future of Palestine. In May 1946, Truman announced his approval of a recommendation to admit 100,000 displaced persons into Palestine and in October publicly declared his support for the creation of a Jewish state. Throughout 1947, the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine examined the Palestinian question and recommended the partition of Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end. Under the resolution, the area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem would remain a corpus separatum under international control administered by the United Nations.

Although the United States backed Resolution 181, the U.S. Department of State recommended the creation of a United Nations trusteeship with limits on Jewish immigration and a division of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab provinces but not states. The State Department, concerned about the possibility of an increasing Soviet role in the Arab world and the potential for restriction by Arab oil producing nations of oil supplies to the United States, advised against U.S. intervention on behalf of the Jews. Later, as the date for British departure from Palestine drew near, the Department of State grew concerned about the possibility of an all-out war in Palestine as Arab states threatened to attack almost as soon as the UN passed the partition resolution.

Despite growing conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews and despite the Department of State’s endorsement of a trusteeship, Truman ultimately decided to recognize the state Israel.

LDS Church History

-- May 21, 1945
At a special meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple, the First Presidency was reorganized with President George Albert Smith ordained and set apart as the eighth president of the Church. Presidents J. Reuben Clark Jr. and David O. McKay, counselors to President Grant, were called also as counselors to President Smith. (1)

George Albert Smith became President of Church. (2)

George Albert Smith ordained and set apart as eighth president of the Church. (3)

George Albert Smith became President of the Church. (8)

[Quorum of the Twelve] The First Presidency is reorganized, with George Albert Smith President, J. Reuben Clark First Counselor, and David O. McKay Second Counselor. George F. Richards becomes President of the Quorum. (6)

-- Jul 16, 1945
The First Presidency authorized monthly priesthood and auxiliary leadership meetings if they could be held without violating government restrictions concerning use of gas and rubber. (1)


On February 19, 1945, the United States invaded Iwo Jima as part of its island-hopping strategy to defeat Japan. Iwo Jima originally was not a target, but the relatively quick fall of the Philippines left the Americans with a longer-than-expected lull prior to the planned invasion of Okinawa. Iwo Jima is located halfway between Japan and the Mariana Islands, where American long-range bombers were based, and was used by the Japanese as an early warning station, radioing warnings of incoming American bombers to the Japanese homeland. The Americans, after capturing the island, weakened the Japanese early warning system, and used it as an emergency landing strip for damaged bombers. [5]

Iwo Jima is a volcanic island, shaped like a trapezoid. Marines on the island described it as "a large, gray pork chop". [6] The island was heavily fortified, and the invading Marines suffered high casualties. Politically, the island is part of the prefecture of Tokyo. It would be the first Japanese homeland soil to be captured by the Americans, and it was a matter of honor for the Japanese to prevent its capture. [7]

The island is dominated by Mount Suribachi, a 546-foot (166 m) dormant volcanic cone at the southern tip of the island. Tactically, the top of Suribachi was one of the most important locations on the island. From that vantage point, the Japanese defenders were able to spot artillery accurately onto the Americans—particularly the landing beaches. The Japanese fought most of the battle from underground bunkers and pillboxes. It was common for Marines to disable a pillbox using grenades or flamethrowers, only to come under renewed fire from it a few minutes later, after replacement Japanese infantry arrived into the pillbox through a tunnel. The American effort concentrated on isolating and capturing Suribachi first, a goal that was achieved on February 23, four days after the battle began. Despite capturing Suribachi, the battle continued to rage for many days, and the island would not be declared "secure" until 31 days later, on March 26. [8]

There were two American flags raised on top of Mount Suribachi, on February 23, 1945. The photograph Rosenthal took was actually of the second flag-raising, in which a larger replacement flag was raised by different Marines than those who raised the first flag. [9] : xix-xxi

Raising the first flag Edit

A U.S. flag was first raised atop Mount Suribachi soon after the mountaintop was captured at around 10:20 a.m. on February 23, 1945. [9] : 48

Lieutenant Colonel Chandler W. Johnson, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, ordered Marine Captain Dave Severance, commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, to send a platoon to seize and occupy the crest of Mount Suribachi. [11] First Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier, executive officer of Easy Company, who had replaced the wounded Third Platoon commander, John Keith Wells, [12] volunteered to lead a 40-man combat patrol up the mountain. Lieutenant Colonel Johnson (or 1st Lieutenant George G. Wells, the battalion adjutant, whose job it was to carry the flag) had taken the 54-by-28-inch/140-by-71-centimeter flag from the battalion's transport ship, USS Missoula, and handed the flag to Schrier. [13] [14] Johnson said to Schrier, "If you get to the top, put it up." Schrier assembled the patrol at 8 a.m. to begin the climb up the mountain.

Despite the large numbers of Japanese troops in the vicinity, Schrier's patrol made it to the rim of the crater at about 10:15 a.m., having come under little or no enemy fire, as the Japanese were being bombarded at the time. [15] The flag was attached by Schrier and two Marines to a Japanese iron water pipe found on top, and the flagstaff was raised and planted by Schrier, assisted by Platoon Sergeant Ernest Thomas and Sergeant Oliver Hansen (the platoon guide) at about 10:30 a.m. [10] (On February 25, during a CBS press interview aboard the flagship USS Eldorado about the flag-raising, Thomas stated that he, Schrier, and Hansen had actually raised the flag.) [16] The raising of the national colors immediately caused a loud cheering reaction from the Marines, sailors, and coast guardsmen on the beach below and from the men on the ships near the beach. The loud noise made by the servicemen and blasts of the ship horns alerted the Japanese, who up to this point had stayed in their cave bunkers. Schrier and his men near the flagstaff then came under fire from Japanese troops, but the Marines quickly eliminated the threat. [9] : 15 Schrier was later awarded the Navy Cross for volunteering to take the patrol up Mount Suribachi and raising the American flag, and a Silver Star Medal for a heroic action in March while in command of D Company, 2/28 Marines on Iwo Jima.

Photographs of the first flag flown on Mount Suribachi were taken by Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery of Leatherneck magazine, who accompanied the patrol up the mountain, and other photographers afterwards. [17] [18] Others involved with the first flag-raising include Corporal Charles W. Lindberg (who also helped raise the flag), [19] Privates First Class James Michels, Harold Schultz, Raymond Jacobs (F Company radioman), Private Phil Ward, and Navy corpsman John Bradley. [20] [21] This flag was too small, however, to be easily seen from the northern side of Mount Suribachi, where heavy fighting would go on for several more days.

The Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, had decided the previous night that he wanted to go ashore and witness the final stage of the fight for the mountain. Now, under a stern commitment to take orders from Howlin' Mad Smith, the secretary was churning ashore in the company of the blunt, earthy general. Their boat touched the beach just after the flag went up, and the mood among the high command turned jubilant. Gazing upward, at the red, white, and blue speck, Forrestal remarked to Smith: "Holland, the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years". [22] [23]

Forrestal was so taken with fervor of the moment that he decided he wanted the Second Battalion's flag flying on Mt. Suribachi as a souvenir. The news of this wish did not sit well with 2nd Battalion Commander Chandler Johnson, whose temperament was every bit as fiery as Howlin Mad's. "To hell with that!" the colonel spat when the message reached him. The flag belonged to the battalion, as far as Johnson was concerned. He decided to secure it as soon as possible, and dispatched his assistant operations officer, Lieutenant Ted Tuttle, to the beach to obtain a replacement flag. As an afterthought, Johnson called after Tuttle: "And make it a bigger one." [24]

Raising the second flag Edit

The photograph taken by Rosenthal was the second flag-raising on top of Mount Suribachi, on February 23, 1945. [9] : xix

On orders from Colonel Chandler Johnson—passed on by Easy Company's commander, Captain Dave Severance—Sergeant Michael Strank, one of Second Platoon's squad leaders, was to take three members of his rifle squad (Corporal Harlon H. Block and Privates First Class Franklin R. Sousley and Ira H. Hayes) and climb up Mount Suribachi to raise a replacement flag on top the three took supplies or laid telephone wire on the way to the top. Severance also dispatched Private First Class Rene A. Gagnon, the battalion runner (messenger) for Easy Company, to the command post for fresh SCR-300 walkie-talkie batteries to be taken to the top. [25]

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Albert Theodore Tuttle [24] under Johnson's orders, had found a large (96-by-56–inch) flag in nearby Tank Landing Ship USS LST-779. He made his way back to the command post and gave it to Johnson. Johnson, in turn, gave it to Rene Gagnon, with orders to take it up to Schrier on Mount Suribachi and raise it. [26] The official Marine Corps history of the event is that Tuttle received the flag from Navy Ensign Alan Wood of USS LST-779, who in turn had received the flag from a supply depot in Pearl Harbor. [27] [28] [29] Severance had confirmed that the second larger flag was in fact provided by Alan Wood even though Wood could not recognize any of the pictures of the second flag's raisers as Gagnon. [30] The flag was sewn by Mabel Sauvageau, a worker at the "flag loft" of the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. [31]

First Lieutenant George Greeley Wells, who had been the Second Battalion, 28th Marines adjutant officially in charge of the two American flags flown on Mount Suribachi, stated in The New York Times in 1991 that Lieutenant Colonel Johnson ordered Wells to get the second flag, and that Wells sent Rene Gagnon, his battalion runner, to the ships on shore for the flag. Wells said that Gagnon returned with a flag and gave it to him, and that Gagnon took this flag up Mt. Suribachi with a message for Schrier to raise it and send the other flag down with Gagnon. Wells stated that he received the first flag back from Gagnon and secured it at the Marine headquarters command post. Wells also stated that he had handed the first flag to Lieutenant Schrier to take up Mount Suribachi. [13]

The Coast Guard Historian's Office recognizes the claims made by former U.S. Coast Guardsman Quartermaster Robert Resnick, who served aboard the USS Duval County at Iwo Jima. "Before he died in November 2004, Resnick said Gagnon came aboard LST-758 [32] the morning of February 23 looking for a flag. [33] Resnick said he grabbed a flag from a bunting box and asked permission from his ship's commanding officer Lt. Felix Molenda to donate it. [34] Resnick kept quiet about his participation until 2001." [35] [36]

Rosenthal's photograph Edit

Gagnon, Strank, and Strank's three Marines reached the top of the mountain around noon without being fired upon. Rosenthal, along with Marine photographers Sergeant Bill Genaust (who was killed in action after the flag-raising) and Private First Class Bob Campbell [37] were climbing Suribachi at this time. On the way up, the trio met Lowery, who had photographed the first flag-raising, coming down. They considered turning around, but Lowery told them that the summit was an excellent vantage point from which to take photographs. [38] The three photographers reached the summit as the Marines were attaching the flag to an old Japanese water pipe.

Rosenthal put his Speed Graphic camera on the ground (set to 1/400 sec shutter speed, with the f-stop between 8 and 11 and Agfa film [39] [40] ) so he could pile rocks to stand on for a better vantage point. In doing so, he nearly missed the shot. The Marines began raising the flag. Realizing he was about to miss the action, Rosenthal quickly swung his camera up and snapped the photograph without using the viewfinder. [41] Ten years after the flag-raising, Rosenthal wrote:

Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don't come away saying you got a great shot. You don't know. [40]

Sergeant Genaust, who was standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Rosenthal about three feet away, [40] was shooting motion-picture film during the second flag-raising. His film captures the second event at an almost-identical angle to Rosenthal's shot. Of the six flag-raisers in the picture—Ira Hayes, Harold Schultz (identified in June 2016), Michael Strank, Franklin Sousley, Harold Keller (identified in 2019), and Harlon Block—only Hayes, Keller (Marine corporal Rene Gagnon was incorrectly identified in the Rosenthal flag-raising photo), and Schultz (Navy corpsman John Bradley was incorrectly identified) survived the battle. [2] Strank and Block were killed on March 1, six days after the flag-raising, Strank by a shell, possibly fired from an offshore American destroyer and Block a few hours later by a mortar round. [9] : 18 Sousley was shot and killed by a Japanese sniper on March 21, a few days before the island was declared secure. [9] : 23

Following the flag-raising, Rosenthal sent his film to Guam to be developed and printed. [42] George Tjaden of Hendricks, Minnesota, was likely the technician who printed it. [43] Upon seeing it, Associated Press (AP) photograph editor John Bodkin exclaimed "Here's one for all time!" and immediately transmitted the image to the AP headquarters in New York City at 7:00 am, Eastern War Time. [44] The photograph was quickly picked up off the wire by hundreds of newspapers. It "was distributed by Associated Press within seventeen and one-half hours after Rosenthal shot it—an astonishingly fast turnaround time in those days." [45]

However, the photograph was not without controversy. Following the second flag-raising, Rosenthal had the Marines of Easy Company pose for a group shot, the "gung-ho" shot. [46] A few days after the photograph was taken, Rosenthal—back on Guam—was asked if he had posed the photograph. Thinking the questioner was referring to the 'gung-ho' photograph, he replied "Sure." After that, Robert Sherrod, a Time-Life correspondent, told his editors in New York that Rosenthal had staged the flag-raising photograph. Time's radio show, Time Views the News, broadcast a report, charging that "Rosenthal climbed Suribachi after the flag had already been planted. . Like most photographers [he] could not resist reposing his characters in historic fashion." [47] As a result of this report, Rosenthal was repeatedly accused of staging the photograph or covering up the first flag-raising. One New York Times book reviewer even went so far as to suggest revoking his Pulitzer Prize. [47] In the following decades, Rosenthal repeatedly and vociferously denied claims that the flag-raising was staged. "I don't think it is in me to do much more of this sort of thing . I don't know how to get across to anybody what 50 years of constant repetition means," he said in 1995. [47]

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, upon seeing Rosenthal's flag-raising photograph, saw its potential to use for the upcoming Seventh War Loan Drive to help fund the war effort. He then ordered the flag-raisers to be identified and sent to Washington, D.C. after the fighting on the island ended (March 26, 1945). [9] : xviii

Rosenthal did not take the names of those in the photograph. On April 7, Rene Gagnon was the first of the second "flag-raisers" to arrive in Washington, D.C. Using an enlargement of the photograph that did not show the faces of the flag-raisers, he named himself, Henry Hansen, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley and Michael Strank, as being in the photograph. He initially refused to name Ira Hayes, as Hayes did not want the publicity and threatened him with physical harm. [48] However, upon being summoned to Marine headquarters and told that refusal to name the last flag-raiser was a serious crime, he identified the sixth flag-raiser as Hayes.

President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. On April 19, Bradley (then on crutches) and Hayes arrived in Washington, D.C. On April 20, the three surviving second flag-raisers, identified then as Gagnon, Bradley, and Hayes, met President Truman in the White House. On May 9, during a ceremony at the nation's capitol, the three men raised the original second flag to initiate the bond tour which began on May 11 in New York City. On May 24, Hayes was taken off the tour due to problems caused by drinking alcohol and ordered back to his company and regiment which had returned to Hawaii. Gagnon and Bradley completed the tour which ended on July 4 in Washington, D.C. The bond drive was a success, raising $26.3 billion, twice the tour's goal. [49]

Harlon Block and Henry Hansen Edit

Gagnon misidentified Corporal Harlon Block as Sergeant Henry O. "Hank" Hansen in Rosenthal's photo (both were killed in action on March 1). Initially, Bradley concurred with all of Gagnon's identifications. On April 8, 1945, the Marine Corps released the identification of five of the six flag raisers, including Hansen rather than Block (Sousley's identity was temporarily withheld pending notification of his family of his death during the battle.) Block's mother, Belle Block, refused to accept the official identification, noting that she had "changed so many diapers on that boy's butt, I know it's my boy." [50] When Hayes was interviewed about the identities of the flag raisers and shown a photo of the flag raising by a Marine public relations officer on April 19, he told the officer that it was definitely Harlon Block and not Hansen at the base of the flagpole. The lieutenant colonel then told Hayes that the identifications had already been officially released, and ordered Hayes to keep silent about it [51] (during the investigation, the colonel denied Hayes told him about Block). Block, Sousley, and Hayes were close friends in the same squad of Second Platoon, E Company, while Hansen, who helped raise the first flag, was a member of Third Platoon, E Company.

In 1946, Hayes hitchhiked to Texas and informed Block's parents that their son had, in fact, been one of the six flag raisers. [52] Block's mother, Belle, immediately sent the letter that Hayes had given her to her congressional representative Milton West. West, in turn, forwarded the letter to Marine Corps Commandant Alexander Vandegrift, who ordered an investigation. John Bradley (formerly in Third Platoon with Hansen), upon being shown the evidence (Hansen, a former Paramarine, wore his large parachutist boots in an exposed manner on Iwo Jima), agreed that it was probably Block and not Hansen. [53] In January 1947, the Marine Corps officially announced it was Block in the photograph and not Hansen at the base of the flagpole. Hayes also was named as being in the far left position of the flag raisers replacing the position Sousley was determined to have had up until then Sousley was now in back of and to the right of Strank (in 2016, Harold Schutz was named in this position and Sousley was named in the position where Bradley was named).

Ira remembered what Rene Gagnon and John Bradley could not have remembered, because they did not join the little cluster until the last moment: that it was Harlon [Block], Mike [Strank], Franklin [Sousley] and [Hayes] who had ascended Suribachi midmorning to lay telephone wire it was Rene [Gagnon] who had come along with the replacement flag. Hansen had not been part of this action. [54]

Harold H. Schultz and John Bradley Edit

On June 23, 2016, the Marine Corps publicly announced that Marine Corporal (then Private First Class) Harold Schultz was one of the flag-raisers and Navy corpsman John Bradley was not one of the flag-raisers in Rosenthal's second flag-raising photograph. Harold Schultz was identified as being in Franklin Sousley's position to the right and in front of Ira Hayes, and Sousley was identified as being in Bradley's position to the right and behind Rene Gagnon (identified as Harold Keller in 2019) behind Harlon Block at the base of the flagpole. [2] Bradley and Schultz had been present when both flags were actually raised, while Sousley was only on Mount Suribachi when he helped raise the second flag. Schultz was also part of the group of Marines and corpsmen who posed for Rosenthal's second "gung ho" photo.

Bradley, who died in 1994, seldom did an interview about the famous second flag-raising, occasionally deflecting questions by claiming he had forgotten. [55] He changed his story numerous times, saying that he raised or pitched in to raise the flag, and also that he was on, and not on, Mount Suribachi when the first flag was raised. [56] Within his family, it was considered a taboo subject, and when they received calls or invitations to speak on certain holidays, they were told to say he was away fishing at his cottage. At the time of Bradley's death, his son James said that he knew almost nothing about his father's wartime experiences. [50] James Bradley spent four years interviewing and researching the topic and published a nonfiction book entitled Flags of Our Fathers (2000) about the flag-raising and its participants. [57] The book, which was a bestseller, was later adapted into a 2006 film of the same name, directed by Clint Eastwood.

After being honorably discharged, Schultz moved to California and made his career with the United States Postal Service. He died in 1995.

The possibility that any flag-raiser had been misidentified was publicly raised for the first time in November 2014 by Eric Krelle, an amateur historian and collector of World War II-era Marine Corps memorabilia, and an Irish citizen and amateur historian named Stephen Foley. [58] Studying other photographs taken that day and video footage, Krelle and Foley argued that Franklin Sousley was in the fourth position (left to right) instead of Bradley and Harold Schultz of Los Angeles (originally from Detroit) was in the second position, previously identified as Sousley. [58] Initially, Marine Corps historians and officials did not accept those findings, but began their own investigation. [59] On June 23, 2016, they confirmed Krelle's and Foley's findings, stating that Schultz was in Sousley's place, Sousley was standing next to Block, and that Bradley was not in the photo at all. [60] James Bradley has also changed his mind, stating that he no longer believes his father is depicted in the famous photograph. [61] [62] [63]

Harold Keller and Rene Gagnon Edit

On October 16, 2019, the Marine Corps announced that Marine Corporal Harold Keller was the flag-raiser previously identified as Rene Gagnon in the Rosenthal's photograph. Stephen Foley, filmmaker Dustin Spence, and Brent Westemeyer were key to this revised identification. Photos and video footage showed that the man (originally identified as Gagnon) had a wedding ring, which matched Keller, who had married in 1944 (Gagnon was not married at the time). The man also did not have a facial mole, as Gagnon did. Finally, a photo which captured the lowering of the first flag verified what Gagnon had looked like that day, which did not match the second man in the Rosenthal photo. [64]

Rosenthal's photograph was used as the basis for C. C. Beall's poster Now. All Together for the Seventh War Loan Drive (14 May - 30 June 1945). [9] : 63–5

Rosenthal's photograph won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Photography, the only photograph to win the prize in the same year it was taken. [65]

News pros were not the only ones greatly impressed by the photo. Navy Captain T.B. Clark was on duty at Patuxent Air Station in Maryland that Saturday when it came humming off the wire in 1945. He studied it for a minute, and then thrust it under the gaze of Navy Petty Officer Felix de Weldon. De Weldon was an Austrian immigrant schooled in European painting and sculpture. De Weldon could not take his eyes off the photo. In its classic triangular lines he recognized similarities with the ancient statues he had studied. He reflexively reached for some sculptor's clay and tools. With the photograph before him he labored through the night. Within 72 hours of the photo's release, he had replicated the six boys pushing a pole, raising a flag. [44] [66]

Upon seeing the finished model, the Marine Corps commandant had de Weldon assigned to the Marine Corps [67] until de Weldon was discharged from the navy after the war was over.

Starting in 1951, de Weldon was commissioned to design a memorial to the Marine Corps. It took de Weldon and hundreds of his assistants three years to finish it. Hayes, Gagnon, and Bradley, posed for de Weldon, who used their faces as a model. The three Marine flag raisers who did not survive the battle were sculpted from photographs. [68]

The flag-raising Rosenthal (and Genaust) photographed was the replacement flag/flagstaff for the first flag/flagstaff that was raised on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945. There was some resentment from former Marines of the original 40-man patrol that went up Mount Suribachi including by those involved with the first flag-raising, that they did not receive the recognition they deserved. These included Staff Sgt. Lou Lowery, who took the first photos of the first flag flying over Mt. Suribachi Charles W. Lindberg, who helped tie the first American flag to the first flagpole on Mount Suribachi (and who was, until his death in June 2007, one of the last living persons depicted in either flag-flying scene), [69] who complained for several years that he helped to raise the flag and "was called a liar and everything else. It was terrible" (because of all the recognition and publicity over and directed to the replacement flag-raisers and that flag-raising) [70] and Raymond Jacobs, photographed with the patrol commander around the base of the first flag flying over Mt. Suribachi, who complained until he died in 2008 that he was still not recognized by the Marine Corps by name as being the radioman in the photo.

The original Rosenthal photograph is currently in the possession of Roy H. Williams, who bought it from the estate of John Faber, the official historian for the National Press Photographers Association, who had received it from Rosenthal. [71] Both flags (from the first and second flag-raisings) are now located in the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. [72]

Ira Hayes, following the war, was plagued with depression brought on by survivor guilt and became an alcoholic. His tragic life, and death in 1955 at the age of 32, were memorialized in the 1961 motion picture The Outsider, starring Tony Curtis as Hayes, and the folk song "The Ballad of Ira Hayes", written by Peter LaFarge and recorded by Johnny Cash in 1964. [73] Bob Dylan later covered the song, as did Kinky Friedman. [74] According to the song, after the war:

Then Ira started drinkin' hard
Jail was often his home
They'd let him raise the flag and lower it
Like you'd throw a dog a bone!
He died drunk early one mornin'
Alone in the land he fought to save
Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
Was a grave for Ira Hayes.

Rene Gagnon, his wife, and his son visited Tokyo and Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima during the 20th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima in 1965. [75] After the war, he worked at Delta Air Lines as a ticket agent, opened his own travel agency, and was a maintenance director of an apartment complex in Manchester, New Hampshire. He died while at work in 1979, age 54. [25] [76]

In other media Edit

Rosenthal's photograph has been reproduced in a number of other formats. It appeared on 3.5 million posters for the seventh war bond drive. [47] It has also been reproduced with many unconventional media such as Lego bricks, butter, ice, Etch A Sketch and corn mazes. [77]

The Iwo Jima flag-raising has been depicted in other films including 1949's Sands of Iwo Jima (in which the three surviving flag raisers make a cameo appearance at the end of the film) and 1961's The Outsider, a biography of Ira Hayes starring Tony Curtis. [78]

In July 1945, the United States Postal Service released a postage stamp bearing the image. [79] The U.S. issued another stamp in 1995 showing the flag-raising as part of its 10-stamp series marking the 50th anniversary of World War II. [79] In 2005, the United States Mint released a commemorative silver dollar bearing the image.

A similar photograph was taken by Thomas E. Franklin of the Bergen Record in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Officially known as Ground Zero Spirit, the photograph is perhaps better known as Raising the Flag at Ground Zero, and shows three firefighters raising a U.S. flag in the ruins of the World Trade Center shortly after 5 pm. [80] Painter Jamie Wyeth also painted a related image entitled September 11th based on this scene. It illustrates rescue workers raising a flag at Ground Zero. Other iconic photographs frequently compared include V–J day in Times Square, Into the Jaws of Death, Raising a flag over the Reichstag, and the Raising of the Ink Flag. [81]

The highly recognizable image is one of the most parodied photographs in history. [77] Anti-war activists in the 1960s altered the flag to bear a peace symbol, as well as several anti-establishment artworks. [82] Edward Kienholz's Portable War Memorial in 1968 depicted faceless Marines raising the flag on an outdoor picnic table in a typical American consumerist environment of the 1960s. [83] [84] It was parodied again during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to depict the flag being planted into Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's behind. [82] In the early 2000s, to represent gay pride, photographer Ed Freeman shot a photograph [85] for the cover of an issue of Frontiers magazine, reenacting the scene with a rainbow flag instead of an American flag. [86] Time magazine came under fire in 2008 after altering the image for use on its cover, replacing the American flag with a tree for an issue focused on global warming. [82] The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association likewise came under criticism in 2010 for a poster depicting employees raising a flag marked "BASSA" at the edge of a runway. [82]

Among the smaller scale replicas of the Marine Corps War Memorial based on the flag raising is one also sculpted by Felix de Weldon at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island on the Peatross Parade Deck. For the finale of The Crucible, the Marines' 54-hour final training test, Marine recruits at Parris Island hike 9 miles to the statue as the sun rises and the flag is raised. They then are addressed on the flag raising and its meaning and are then awarded their Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblems by their drill instructors signifying them as full-fledged Marines. [87]

V-J Day

“It was too much death to contemplate, too much savagery and suffering and in August 1945 no one was counting. For those who had seen the face of battle and been in the camps and under the bombs—and had lived—there was a sense of immense relief.”

The Allied celebrations on Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day), on May 8, 1945, were subdued by the knowledge that war raged on in the Pacific. As the fighting ended in Europe, US troops were drawing a noose around the Japanese home islands. But there were ominous signs that Japan’s fierce resistance would continue. The battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the first half of 1945 were marked by spectacular carnage, and Americans were chastened by the knowledge that Japan had never surrendered to a foreign power and that no Japanese military unit had surrendered during World War II.

After Okinawa fell to US forces on June 22, 1945, an invasion of the Japanese home islands was set to begin. But before the invasion was to take place, the most destructive war in history came to a shattering and rapid end. On August 6, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, ultimately killing as many as 140,000 people. Two days later, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. Then, on August 9, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb over Nagasaki, ultimately killing approximately 70,000.

Finally recognizing that victory was impossible, the Japanese government accepted Allied surrender terms without qualifications on August 14, 1945. That same day, President Harry S. Truman announced from the White House that the Japanese acceptance met the terms laid down at the Potsdam Conference for unconditional surrender. As soon as the news of Japan’s surrender was announced on August 14, celebrations erupted across the United States. The United Kingdom announced that its official V-J Day would be the next day, August 15, 1945, and Americans exuberantly joined in that day’s merriment, too.

Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) would officially be celebrated in the United States on the day formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay: September 2, 1945.

From the Collection to the Classroom: Teaching History with The National WWII Museum: The War in the Pacific

In New York City’s Times Square, sailors climbed lampposts to unfurl American flags as ticker tape rained down upon the throngs gathered to celebrate the war’s end. In thousands of small towns like North Platte, Nebraska, similar scenes included fireworks, confetti, and impromptu parades down Main Street. In San Francisco, parades celebrated that troops would soon return home through that city.

In Honolulu, marching bands, parades, ticker tape, and blowing papers filled the streets. In backyard celebrations, shirtless veterans drank celebratory toasts in the warm sunlight. Veterans and their girlfriends also crowded into and on top of trucks and cars (some even riding on fenders), waved flags, and excitedly drove through the city, relishing the moment Americans had hoped for since the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) would officially be celebrated in the United States on the day formal surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay: September 2, 1945.

But as welcome as victory over Japan was, the day was bittersweet in light of the war’s destructiveness. More than 400,000 Americans—and an estimated 65 million people worldwide—had died in the conflict. As historian Donald L. Miller, PhD, wrote in his book The Story of World War II, “It was too much death to contemplate, too much savagery and suffering and in August 1945 no one was counting. For those who had seen the face of battle and been in the camps and under the bombs—and had lived—there was a sense of immense relief.” The war was over.

The capture of Henry Rinnan, notorious Norwegian Gestapo agent, mass murderer, torturer and war criminal. Verdallsfjellen, near the Norwegian border to Sweden. May 14, 1945. [960x540]

Article (Norwegian) about the capture. Apparently the soldiers hunting him down used amphetamine to handle the stress and exhaustion of the chase: http://www.dagbladet.no/2010/05/14/nyheter/innenriks/henry_rinnan/11723172/

Amphetamine use was pretty common place in WWII. The Germans gave it to tankcrews and pilots and the Americans gave it to pilots (and still do in the form of go-pills)

Who captured him, swedes or norwegians?

Ahhh Henry Oliver - member of my extended family,, not something we are proud of for sure!

His famous "Bande kloster" (Gang monastery directly translated) was not far from where I was born and raised.

I hadn't known about this guy. What a piece of shit.

Serious question here - why is an Allied troop pointing an MP40 at a Gestapo?

I really can't make out in the picture myself. But it wouldn't surprise me if it is. After the Germans in Norway complied with the capitulation orders on May 7th a new Norwegian administration of the country was put in place over night. If it is an MP40, then I would speculate that it was "liberated" from the capitulating German forces at some point.

The allied air-dropped weapons into Norwegian territory, and some weapons were secretly manufactured here during the war, but still, after the liberation the resistance coming out of hiding lacked guns. So they took what they could find.

At first glance I too thought it was an MP40 but if you look closely there are some major differences between that gun and an actual MP40.

The gun in this picture has a barrel which is far too wide/large to be an MP40, the clip looks larger than the standard MP40 clip, and the body of the gun doesn't look like an MP40.

Link to a google image search for "mp40":

EDIT did a google search for Norwegian sub machine guns of ww2 and found one that looks a lot more similar to gun in picture than an MP40:

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