History Podcasts

2 June 1945

2 June 1945

2 June 1945

Middle East

De Gaulle criticises the British decision to intervene in Syria

War at Sea

German submarines U-218, U-778, U-907, U-1004, U-1005, U-1057, U1271, U-1301, U-1307, U-2328 surrendered at Bergen

German submarines U-539 and U-875 surrendered



2 June 1945 - History

Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation at San Diego as Model 32. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PB4Y-2 Privateer bureau number 59563.

Wartime History
Assigned to Patrol Bombing Squadron 106 "Wolverators" (VPB-106). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On June 1, 1945 at 2:37am took off from Puerto Princesa Airfield on Palawan Island piloted by Commander Howard F. Mears with "Crew no. 3 (Crew III)" on a routine patrol, photographic reconnaissance mission with PB4Y-1 Liberator piloted by Lt(jg) Heyler over Singapore to photograph any of any Japanese Naval vessels in Singapore Harbor. This was to be Commander "Pappy" Mears last combat mission.

The formation was led by this Privateer with PB4Y-1 Liberator 38917 from VPB-111 to perform the photographic reconnaissance with the Privateer providing increased defensive firepower in case of fighter interception.

Inbound to the target, the Liberators and Privateer would approach the target area separately and rendezvous over the Singapore Strait then circle Singapore counter clockwise for the photographic run at 10,000'. By dawn, the formation reached Anambas Islands and joined two Liberators to perform the photo reconnaissance on a parallel course about 15 miles apart and joined in a loose formation.

As they crossed the Malay coastline, they closed into a tight formation with this Privateer leading and reached Cape Punggai at 9:15am. At roughly the same time, two Ki-43 Oscars were spotted a distance away but made no effort to come closer. Flying at an altitude of 11,000' the formation was over Kong Kong and the western side of the Johore River when heavy anti-aircraft guns in the Navy yard and from aboard a cruiser at anchor opened fire on the formation with accurate altitude but did not have the correct deflection the closest round exploding 150 yards away. It was believed the Ki-43 Oscars might have been relaying altitude information and the formation changed altitude by 500' to spoil the gunner's aim.

Two more Ki-43 Oscars were spotted above in front and the gunners manned their guns for 20 minutes and at 9:40am one of them made an attack run, opening fire out of gun range with his 20mm cannons from 1 o'clock and scored hits on the no. 3 engine of this Privateer. The Oscar was fired on by the formation as it passed below. This attack caused the Privateer's no. 3 engine to catch fire over Johore and began to loose altitude with the PB4Y-1 Liberator descended to continue escorting the damaged Privateer as both turned towards the southwest to finish their orbit around Singapore Island.

A dozen Oscars and a Hamp made at least three more fighter attacks but repelled by defensive gunfire. One Oscar attacked from 1 o'clock high but broke off at 200' diving away. Another made a feint then a snap roll and attempted a low port side run that was repelled. Another Oscar was shot down that was believed to be the one that had made the initial attack that damaged the engine when it made an attack from 1 o'clock, broke of trailing smoke, pulled up in a stall, flipped over and dove into the sea. A photograph showed this Oscar in a dive at 300' before it crashed into the sea. All the while, anti-aircraft fire from vessels in Singapore Harbor were firing at the bombers.

At 3,000' the no. 3 engine flames appear to go out and the engine was feathered, but flames broke out again and Mears radioed Heyler stating: "I'm sorry but I am going to have to ditch. Thank you for the way you stuck with me." At the same moment, the no. 4 engine cut out and the glide increased rapidly at an altitude of roughly 1,000' then the right wing broke off between the two engines at about 300' and then flipped upside down, did a split-s and crashed into the Singapore Strait upside down at roughly Lat 1.11' N Long 103.39 E at 10:10am. After the crash, there was no fire or explosion and debris was seen on the surface of the sea. When this aircraft failed to return, the entire crew was officially listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

In total, the air combat lasted an hour and five minutes starting at 11,000' and continuing down to 1,000'. The Japanese fighters claimed this PB4Y-2 as shot down by Flight Pilot Sergeant Okubayashi over the sea of Muantan on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula and also claimed a "B-24" (PB4Y-1) shot down, erroneously.

Memorials
The entire crew was officially declared dead on June 2, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Mears earned the Navy Cross (posthumously), Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Gold Star, Air Medal with two Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at lmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, VA at plot ext 16-L14.

Commander Howard F. Mears Navy Cross Citation:
"The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Howard Foster Mears (NSN: 0-146555), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Commander of a Navy Patrol Bomber Airplane in Patrol-Bombing Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VPB-106), and as Leader of a two-plane section of Navy Search Bombers during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Singapore area, on 1 June 1945. Undertaking a vital observation and photographic mission to secure intelligence concerning hostile shipping, airfields and ground installations with particular regard to the location and condition of enemy heavy cruisers known to be at Singapore, Lieutenant Commander Mears coolly persisted in his mission until the desired information was obtained despite intense and continuous opposition from the enemy's powerful ship and shore batteries and impending attack from a vastly superior and rapidly increasing number of Japanese fighter planes. By skillfully coordinating the maneuvers of his two planes, he avoided damage from the concentrated anti-aircraft barrage and enabled both planes to continue their observation and photography until a hostile fighter scored a hit from extreme range, causing his number three engine to burst into flames and the plane to lose altitude. Undaunted by incessant attacks upon his crippled plane, Lieutenant Commander Mears successfully repulsed the enemy onslaught by skillfully directing the combined fire of his two bombers and, although losing altitude constantly, continued to hold his course until flames from the temporarily feathered engine fanned out again and the starboard wing broke off, forcing him into the water from the perilously low altitude of three hundred feet. By his brilliant combat tactics and superb airmanship, Lieutenant Commander Mears made possible the collection of information which was of inestimable value to the Allied forces and his inspiring leadership and unwavering devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

Decker earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Gold Star, Air Medal with three Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Carlson earned the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) with Gold Star, Air Medal with three Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD.

McCabe earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

Reiter earned no awards (entitled to the Purple Heart, posthumously).

Davis earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

George earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta, GA.

Kitchen earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Gold Stars (entitled to the Purple Heart, posthumously). He also has a memorial marker at Decatur Cemetery in Decatur, IN.

Capen earned the Purple Heart, posthumously.

Morgan earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Pine Log Cemetery in Barber, AR.

Blanton earned the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), Air Medal with four Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously.

O'Kane earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Gold Stars and Purple Heart, posthumously. He also has a memorial marker at Arlington National Cemetery at section MK, site 119.

Relatives
Jeff O'Kane (great nephew of O'Kane):
"My entire family just submitted DNA to DPAA, hoping our family members remains from WW2 will someday be found. I am so happy for these families."

References
Navy Serial Number Search Results - PB4Y-2 Privateer 59563
"59563 (VPB-106) shot down by fighters over Singapore June 11, 1945. All crew KIA."
USN Overseas Aircraft Loss List June 1945 PB4Y-2 59563 VPB-106 CDR H.F. MEARS
VPB-106 Aircraft Action Report No. 36 (AAR No. 36) June 1, 1945
VPB-111 Aircraft Action Report June 1, 1945
VPB-111 War Diary June 1945 page 3-4
The Syonan Shimbun [The Singapore Newspaper] "Two enemy B-24s, One PB4Y2 Shot Down in Waters Off Malai Coast" No. 782 June 1, 1945
Privateer in the Coconut Navy page 74 (photo)
VPB-111 "Dope Sheet 2 June 1945 Events of 1 June 1945"
"Lt. Cdr. Mears and his gallant flight crew made the supreme sacrifice for their country over Singapore today. He was flying plane 563 [PB4Y-2 59563] over Singapore when shot down by Jap fighters.
The sector was covered by two planes Lt.(jg) Heyler in pane 917 [PB4Y-1 Liberator 38917] was with the doomed plane until it went down. They rendezvoused outside Singapore Straits and flew into the target area in formation, with Heyler flying about 50 feet starboard and slightly above Mears."
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Howard F. Mears
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Robert H. Decker
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Vernon H. Carlson
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Raymond B. McCabe
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Joseph J. Reiter
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Paul Davis Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Arthur J. George
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Ernest L. Kitchen
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Harold E. Capen Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Doyle T. Morgan
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Roy H. Blanton Jr.
American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) - Beauran R. O'Kane
FindAGrave - LtCdr Howard Foster Mears (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - LCDR Howard Foster Mears (memorial marker photo, Navy Cross Citation)
FindAGrave - Ens Robert Harry Decker (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Ens Vernon H Carlson (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Ens Vernon Holt Carlson (memorial marker)
FindAGrave - AMM1 Raymond B McCabe (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM1 Joseph J Reiter (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - ARM2 Paul Davis, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM2 Arthur J George (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Arthur Jackson George (memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - AOM2 Ernest L Kitchen (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Ernest L. Kitchen (photo, memorial marker photo)
FindAGrave - ARM3 Harold E Capen, Jr (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - AMM3 Doyle T Morgan (tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Doyle Truman Morgan (photo, memorial marker)
FindAGrave - FC1 Roy H Blanton, Jr (tablets of the missing photo)
FindAGrave - S1 Beauran R O'Kane (obituary, tablets of the missing)
FindAGrave - Beauran Roy O'Kane (photos, memorial marker photo)
Briefing "Photo Reconnaissance of Singapore, 1 June 1945" by Harvey Roscoe Spring 1988 page 15-17
VPNavy "VPB-106 Memorial - VPB-106 Crew-3 In Memorium"
VPNavy "VP Shipmate Directory" Lund, George H. AOM3
". LUND, AOM3 Gordon H. I am sorry to report that my uncle Gordon Hugo Lund (VPB-111) passed away this morning in Klamath Falls, Oregon, January 31, 2005. He served with LTjg R. Fred Heyler on Palawon and was on the Liberator search plane piloted by Heyler when the Privateer piloted by Lieutenant Commander "Pappy" Mears went down in the South China Seas. Stewart Hedges [01FEB2005]"
VPNavy "The Navy Cross is presented to Romayn F. Heyler, Lieutenant" (photos)
Facebook "Beauran O’Kane, History of A Privateer from Vpb-106."
Above an Angry Sea Men and Missions of the United States Navy’s PB4Y-1 Liberator and PB4Y-2 Privateer Squadrons Pacific Theater: October 1944–September 1945 by Alan C. Carey mentions this loss
KBAK "Family Searches For WWII Crash Site - O'Kane Family Relative Shot Down Over Pacific" May 30, 2018
VPNavy VPB-106 Memorial - VPB-106 Crew-3 - In Memorium - VPB-106 Crew-3
DPAA - Personnel Profile - SEA1 Beauran R OKane (photo)
Thanks to Jeff O'Kane and Steven O'Kane for additional research and analysis

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
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Leather, multi-position stato-lounger recliner chair. Top grain leather upholstery on places that touch the body with perfect match vinyl on outside surfaces. Heavily padded split headrest. Colors include toast and steel blue.

1965 Vietnam Australian Troops Arrive

1965 : The first contingent of Australian combat troops arrives by plane in Saigon as Australia takes a more active role in the Vietnam War.

1966 Space Surveyor 1 Moon Landing

1966 : First US space probe to land on the moon, "Surveyor 1" has a soft landing on Moon. The Soviet Union was the first when the Russian probe Luna 9 had a successful soft landing on the moon on February 3rd earlier in 1966.

1972 USA United Airlines Plane Hijack

1972 : In Reno, Nevada a United Airlines jet was hijacked by one man. He demanded a $200,000 ransom while the plane remained grounded. His only hostages were crew members since passengers had not boarded yet.

1979 Poland Pope John Paul II

1979 : Pope John Paul II returns home to his native Poland as the first Roman Catholic pontiff to visit a Communist-ruled country.

Born This Day In History 2nd June

Celebrating Birthday Today

Born: June 2nd, 1979 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Known For : Brazilian American actress Morena Baccarin got her start in the early-2000s, appearing in the film Perfume and television series Firefly. She went on to appear in Homeland and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance. She is most well-known for her appearances as the love interest in the popular Deadpool comic film adaptations and leading role in the television series Gotham. She is married to Gotham co-star Ben McKenzie.

1985 English Soccer Clubs Banned in Europe

1985 : European football's governing body has banned English clubs from playing in Europe indefinitely, following a riot by Liverpool fans who were blamed for the tragedy at Brussels' Heysel stadium four days ago on May 31st in which 39 people died.

1985 USA Leonard Lake

1985 : Leonard Lake is arrested close to San Francisco, California, Charles Ng fled to Canada where he fought extradition proceedings for 6 years. Lake and Charles Ng were responsible for a series of particularly brutal crimes including kidnapping women to brainwash them into becoming their willing sex slaves during the mid-1980s.

1987 USA Alan Greenspan

1987 : President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating economist Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He retired from the position on January 31st, 2006, handing over the chairmanship to Ben Bernanke.

1997 USA Timothy McVeigh

1997 : Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 15 counts of murder for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

1998 USA Proposition 227

1998 : Proposition 227, requiring that all schoolchildren be taught in English is passed by the voters of California.

Born This Day In History 2nd June

Celebrating Birthdays Today

Born: June 2nd, 1972, Columbus, Georgia, USA

Known For : Popular improvisational actor and comedian known for appearing on the American version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" from 1998 to 2006 and hosting his own talk show "The Wayne Brady Show" from 2001 to 2002. He has also become a game show host for "Don't Forget the Lyrics" and "Let's Make a Deal." He has also made several appearances in guest roles on popular TV shows like Psych, How I Met Your Mother, and 30 Rock. He has also done theater acting on and off Broadway with appearances in Chicago, Rent, Kinky Boots, and Hamilton.

2000 Zimbabwe Land Seizures

2000 : The government of Zimbabwe has issued a list of 800 plus farms earmarked for forcible seizure by the government who will devide them up between landless citizens.

2002 USA FBI Expanded Powers

2002 : The US Attorney General John Ashcroft has defended the FBI expanded investigative powers to monitor the activities of people and organisations suspected of plotting terrorist acts. FBI agents will now be able to monitor people at any public event or place if they suspect a terrorist plot without seeking approval from FBI headquarters.

2002 USA End of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treat

2002 : The United States has formally withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty signed in 1972 by the US and the then Soviet Union. President George W Bush has said the ABM treaty is an outdated relic of the Cold War.

2003 Burma Colleges and Universities Closed

2003 : The ruling military authorities in Burma order the indefinite closure of universities and colleges, and shut down offices of the opposition National League for Democracy following the civil unrest after the arrest of the NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday. The NLD had won free elections back in 1990 by a landslide majority, but the military regime which has run the country since 1962 refused to hand over power.

2005 Australia Beached Whales Helped Off Beach

2005 : Several beached whales were helped back into the ocean by hundreds of locals who moved the animals. The false killer whales, which are actually a type of dolphin, had been stranded on a beach near Busselton in western Australia when the government asked local citizens to help move them back into the water. Only one false killer whale was reported to have died.

2007 Chinese Vice Premier Dies

2007 : A senior official in the Chinese government, Huang Ju, the vice-premier died of an illness at the age of sixty-eight. The type of illness that Huang suffered from was not disclosed, but cancer was suspected.

1925 Frigidaire

I included this Frigidaire Electric as the final Electric Item from the Twenties as it was significant in many ways 1. It was made by General Motors not General Electric. 2. The cost was pretty high and I suspect out of most people's reach and 3. It was sold by a dedicated salesman who visited your home rather than through a shop etc.

2008 Zimbabwe Aid Agencies Asked To Leave

2008 : With the upcoming election in Zimbabwe between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai the government has banned the Care International aid group from operating in the country for allegedly campaigning for the opposition. It is thought up to 4 million Zimbabweans a third of the population - are in need of food aid.

2010 Japanese Prime Minister Resigns

2010 : The prime minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, resigned after holding only eight months of office. Hatoyama announced his resignation in a televised speech, in which he emotionally addressed the Japanese people. Among reasons cited for his resignation were various scandals involving aides as well as a controversy surrounding a United States army base in Okinawa.

2011 New President Elected in Latvia

2011 : Andris Berzins, the challenger of incumbent president Valdis Zatlers, won the presidential election in Latvia. The parliament in Latvia chooses the president and Berzins received fifty-three out of the one hundred votes. Zalters had lost favor in parliament after accusing members of being weak on corruption.

2012 UK Queen's Diamond Jubilee Begins

2012 : The first major event of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration, marking sixty years since the beginning of her reign, took place on this day as she watched teh Derby at Epsom.

2012 Television Actor Richard Dawson Dies

2012 : Richard Dawson, best known for his role as Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes and hosting the game show Family Feud, died at the age of seventy-nine. Dawson had died as a result of complications due to esophageal cancer.

2013 Czech Republic Woman Gives Birth to Quintuplets

2013 : A twenty-three year old woman in the Czech Republic gave birth to quintuplets, a first for the country. The four boys and one girl were delivered by c-section and were conceived naturally without any IVF treatments.

We spent many hours researching cost of living information for each year and I created this page after being asked a number of times about why I did not include current prices alongside our cost of living information for each year and thought this was the easiest way to make the information available. includes Average Cost Of New Home, Average Wages, New Car cost, Gallon Of Gas and a 1lb Hamburger Meat, 1920 to 2021


Shop Talks on Socialism

From The Militant, Vol. IX No.㺖, 2 June 1945, p. 5.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

An old-timer explained Capitalism and Socialism to me at lunch the other day. This is what he said.

Now the Capitalists own all the factories, the mines, the railroads and everything we work at. We just own our debts, our appetites and our muscles. We have to give the Capitalists our muscles so we can pay our debts and feed our appetites now and then.

Here&rsquos the way it works. Say this jackknife here is all the plants, machinery, tools &ndash everything we work with that the Capitalists own. Suppose this chunk of bread is the earth itself. Pretend for now that you are the whole working class of the world. I&rsquom the Capitalist class because I own the jackknife.

I let you work with this jackknife. Here, take it, and cut that bread. There, you made ten slices. Well, I put those ten slices away in my cupboard and give you five cents. You take the five cents, go out and buy five slices of bread. Here&rsquos the five slices. You and your family eat it up tonight. Then tomorrow you come to work and slice some more bread for me.

After this goes on for a while, I get a hell of a lot of bread stored up in that cupboard. And it isn&rsquot any use to cut up any more, because it&rsquoll only get moldy. So I tell you to go home, and wait for me to call you back to work. I let the jackknife get rusty while I sell that extra bread.

How Capitalism Operates

Well, you&rsquore out of work, and you can&rsquot buy any bread, so I have to lower the price. I can&rsquot make much money that way, so I dump a lot of it in the ocean so the price will go up. Maybe you&rsquore so hungry by this time that you pick it up and eat it when it drifts to shore, salt water and all. But if I&rsquom smart, I figure on that and put poison in the bread.

Things get tougher and your muscles are getting weaker. That looks bad for me because I&rsquoll need you later on. So I am big-hearted. I give you a half a slice of bread a day for nothing &ndash no money at all. Of course I say you&rsquore a lazy bum because you won&rsquot work, and it&rsquos your fault that I don&rsquot give you any work. But that generosity makes me a pretty good guy.

Finally I get things started again. I get you to sharpen up the jackknife once more. You cut out twenty slices a day instead of ten. To show you how big-hearted I am, I give you six cents a day. And it isn&rsquot my fault if the price of bread goes up. I&rsquove got a little war on so I can sell more bread in the rest of the world. I have to give your brother some of the bread you cut so he can go out and kill your cousin and get killed himself.

In the meantime my cupboard is getting bigger than ever. When my war is over I&rsquoll lay you off again, fold up the jackknife again and eat my bread while you starve.

What can you do about it? IN JUST THIS COUNTRY ALONE YOU ARE 130 MILLION PEOPLE, AND I&rsquoM JUST 60 FAMILIES. WHY DON&rsquoT YOU TAKE THAT JACKKNIFE AWAY FROM ME?


World War Two Pictures

By Stephen Sherman, Dec. 2002. Updated July 8, 2013.

H ere is a collection of iconic photographs of World War Two, photos that have been widely circulated. Each one is memorable, because each one captures some telling aspect of the war.

Times have changed values have changed, but World War Two is still important, because its outcome has defined the world for more than fifty years. And each one of these photographs tells the viewer something, not just about that long-ago war, but about the world today. Is modern Israel an intransigent state? Maybe it is now look at the boy in the Warsaw Ghetto. "Never again," the Israelis say. Is modern Germany pacifist, to a fault? Maybe it is now look at the worn-out expression on that German soldier's face. "Never again," modern Germans say. Does the United States behave like the self-appointed world's policeman? Maybe it does. Now look at the flag-raising at Iwo Jima. "Making the world safe for democracy, anywhere and everywhere." That sense still impels American foreign policy.

Click on each image open it up look it over carefully and read the caption. Every one is worth it.

Frenchman crying - June, 1940

He cries for the Twentieth Century.

Churchill Portrait - by Yousuf Karsh, 1941

Churchill's favorite portrait. He looks the wartime leader, the defiant bulldog.

"We shall never surrender." I sometimes wonder if the modern enemies of English-speaking democracies and freedom understand Churchill and Roosevelt.

Yousuf Karsh took the famous photograph of Winston Churchill. It was in 1941, in Ottawa, following Churchill’s speech in the House of Commons. Prime Minister King arranged for a portrait session in the Speaker’s chamber. No one had told Churchill of the session, so after lighting up a cigar he growled, “Why was I not told of this?”

Karsh then asked Churchill to remove the cigar for the photographic portrait. When Churchill refused, Karsh, then 33, walked up to the great man, said, “Forgive me, sir,” and calmly snatched the cigar from Churchill’s lips. As Churchill glowered at the camera, Karsh snapped the picture. Karsh regards that portrait as one of favorites.

Smoking battleships at Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

Sailors in a motor launch rescue a survivor from the water alongside the sunken USS West Virginia (BB-48) during or shortly after the Japanese air raid on Pearl Harbor. USS Tennessee (BB-43) is inboard of the sunken battleship.

Note extensive distortion of West Virginia's lower midships superstructure, caused by torpedoes that exploded below that location. Also note 5"/25 gun, still partially covered with canvas, boat crane swung outboard and empty boat cradles near the smokestacks, and base of radar antenna atop West Virginia's foremast.

Lexington at the Coral Sea - May 7, 1942

Task Force 17 with the carrier USS Yorktown (CV 5), bombed Japanese transports engaged in landing troops in Tulagi Harbor, damaging several and sinking one destroyer. They then joined the other Allied naval units, including Task Force 11 with USS Lexington (CV 2). On 7 May, carrier aircraft located and sank the light carrier Shoho.

The next day, the Japanese covering force was located and attacked by air, resulting in the damage of the carrier Shokaku. Simultaneously, the Japanese attacked task Force 17, scoring hits on Yorktown. Lexington was struck by a torpedo. Seconds later, a second torpedo hit directly abreast the bridge. At the same time, she took three bomb hits from dive bombers, listing to port and burning. Soon her damage control parties had brought the fires under control and returned the ship to even keel making 25 knots, she was ready to recover her air group. Then suddenly Lexington was shaken by a tremendous explosion, caused by the ignition of gasoline vapors below, and again fire raged out of control.

At 1558 Capt. Frederick C. Sherman, fearing for the safety of men working below, ordered all hands to the flight deck. At 1707, he ordered, "abandon ship!", and the men began going over the side into the warm water, almost immediately picked up by nearby cruisers and destroyers. Capt. Sherman and his executive officer, Cmdr. M. T. Seligman insured all their men were safe, then were the last to leave their ship.

Lexington blazed on, flames shooting hundreds of feet into the air. The destroyer USS Phelps (DD 361) closed to 1500 yards, fired two torpedoes into the carrier's hull and, with one last heavy explosion, Lexington slid beneath the waves.

Jewish boy raising his hands, in the Warsaw Ghetto - May, 1943

This photograph was used in the Nuremburg Trials, to help convict SS General Stroop, as evidence of the forced deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943, to extermination camps like Auschwitz.

Eisenhower with airborne troops before D-Day - June 5, 1944

"Some of the men with Gen Eisenhower are presumed to be: Pfc William Boyle, Cpl Hans Sannes, Pfc Ralph Pombano, Pfc S. W. Jackson, Sgt Delbert Williams, Cpl William E Hayes, Pfc Henry Fuller, Pfc Michael Babich. and Pfc W William Noll. All are members of Co E, 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment. The other men shown on the photo are not identified. Ike punches the air forcefully, "Full victory, or nothing else," he says. The determined troopers, faces blackened, listen attentively. The next morning, they dropped into Ste. Mere Eglise and other places to secure the beachheads at Normandy.

Soldier going ashore on D-Day, - by Robert Capa, June 6, 1944

Capa described the morning, "After the pre-invasion breakfast at 3 am with hot cakes, sausages, eggs and coffee, served on the invasion ship by white-coated waiters, at 4 am the invasion barges were lowered down into the rough sea. The men from my barge waded in the water. I paused for a moment on the gangplank to take my first real picture of the invasion. The boatswain who was in a hurry to get the hell out of there, mistook my picture-taking attitude for explicable hesitation, and helped me make up my mind with a well-aimed kick in the rear. The water was cold and the beach still more than a hundred yards away. The bullets tore holes in the water around me and I made for the nearest steel obstacle." His three rolls of film were rushed to London for processing. There a darkroom technician, eager for glimpses of the landing, dried the film too fast. The excessive heat melted the emulsion and ruined all but 10 frames. The soldier in the picture has been identified as Huston Sears Riley.

German Soldier - 1944?

The individual soldier is unknown (at least to me), taken in Belgium in the winter of 1944-45, although I originally assumed it was from the Russian Front, the classic image of the cold and worn-out German soldaten, "Winter Fritz."

MacArthur wading ashore in the Philippines - by Carl Mydans, October 1944

Carl Mydans of Life took the dramatic photograph of General Douglas MacArthur and staff coming ashore at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, in the Philippines on January 9, 1945. MacArthur was commander of the United States forces in the Pacific. When the United States lost the Philippines, he promised to return. Here’s Mydans’ description of that event:

"Luck is forever at play in a photographer’s life. It is part of his intellectual training to know where luck is most likely to lie and to take advantage of it. In January 1945 I was the only press photographer aboard General Douglas MacArthur’s command ship as he prepared to invade Luzon, in the Philippines. I was invited to go ashore with him. As our landing craft neared the beach, I saw the Seabees had got there before us and had laid a pontoon walkway out from the beach. As we headed for it, I climbed the boat’s ramp and jumped on to the pontoons so that I could photograph MacArthur as he stepped ashore. But I suddenly heard the boat’s engines reversing and saw the boat rapidly backing away. I raced to the beach, ran some hundred yards along it and stood waiting for the boat to come to me. When it did, it dropped its ramp in knee-deep water, and I photographed MacArthur wading ashore."

Flag Raising at Iwo Jima - by Joe Rosenthal, February 1945

And, no, it was not staged. The actual story has led to some confusion over the years. As soon as Mount Suribachi had been somewhat secured, some Marines raised a flag. It was a small flag, not too imposing from a distance. The commanders ordered a second, larger flag to replace it. Six Marines (Doc Bradley, Mike Strank, Rene Gagnon, Harlon Block, Ira Hayes, and Franklin Sousley) were assigned to put up the larger flag. Photographer Joe Rosenthal went along. It was still quite dangerous, as Japanese snipers lay concealed all over the island. The flag-raising party made it to the top without incident, and Rosenthal caught the famous image, quite hastily, as he had been distracted moments before the famous event. His original caption: "Atop 550-foot Suribachi Yama, the volcano at the southwest tip of Iwo Jima, Marines of the Second Battalion, 28th Regiment, Fifth Division, hoist the Stars and Stripes, signaling the capture of this key position."

The son of one of the flag-raisers, James Bradley, has written an excellent book, Flags of Our Fathers, about the men involved, their service leading up to Iwo Jima, the events surrounding the flag raising and the famous photo, and the life of the men afterwards.

Flag Raising over the Reichstag - by cameraman Khaldei, May, 1945

Stepan Andreyevich Neustroyev commanded the battalion that stormed the Reichstag in 1945 and hoisted the flag over the building. This is one of the most famous images of World War Two and only in 1997 did it become known that the photo had been doctored. Photographer Khaldei had made the flag in the photograph himself from red tablecloths from Tass, the Soviet press agency, emblazoned with the Soviet hammer and sickle. Erich Kuby's book The Russians and Berlin, page 60, says:

It seems strange that the Russians should have looked upon the Reichstag, . now an empty piece of masonry, its windows and doors bricked up, as the symbol of Germany. . Mednikov describes this historic action in great detail:

"About noon on April 28 [1945], one of our battalions advanced on the Spree. At the same time the commander of the regiment, Col. F.M. Zinchenko, took charge of a red banner . expressly set aside for planting on the dome. It was Red Banner No. 5 of the [150th Rifle Division] 3rd Shock Army . [it was] twenty-three-year-old Capt. Stefan Andreyevich Noystroev men [who] battled their way into the building, fighting for every room and corridor. . Noystroev ordered a shock detachment commanded by Lt. Berest to escort the two standard-bearers . [who] took nearly half a day to reach the dome. At 10:50 p.m. on April 30, the banner of victory was unfurled over the Reichstag."

Evidently, the photograph of raising the Hammer and Sickle over the Reichstag was not taken at 10:30 at night. Soldiers on the street below are walking about. Most likely the famous photo was taken a day or two later.

Sailor kissing girl in Times Square - by Alfred Eisenstaedt, V-J Day, 1945

Surrender on USS Missouri - Sept. 2, 1945

Overhead, a thousand American F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats roared over. What had started at Pearl Harbor had been finished.

Public Domain? Copyrights?

I understand these memorable images to be in the public domain. If I am mistaken, and a copyright holder would like better attribution, I would be pleased to do so. Or, if a copyright holder wants the images removed, of course, I would do so promptly.


Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy, the J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, Director of International Security Studies at Yale, and Distinguished Fellow of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, coordinates the ISS programs funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation. He is internationally known for his writings and commentaries on global political, economic, and strategic issues.

Born in June 1945 in the northern English town of Wallsend, Northumberland, he obtained his BA at Newcastle University and his DPhil at the University of Oxford. He is a former Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University, and of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn. He holds many honorary degrees, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 2000 for services to History and elected a Fellow of the British Academy in June 2003.

Prof. Kennedy’s monthly column on current global issues is distributed worldwide by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media Services. He is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, The War Plans of the Great Powers, The Realities Behind Diplomacy, and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. His best-known work is The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which provoked an intense debate on its publication in 1988 and has been translated into over twenty languages.

In 1991, he edited a collection entitled Grand Strategies in War and Peace. He helped draft the Ford Foundation-sponsored report issued in 1995, The United Nations in Its Second Half-Century, which was prepared for the fiftieth anniversary of the UN. His 2006 book The Parliament of Men contemplates the past and future of the United Nations. Prof. Kennedy’s most recent book Engineers of Victory, history through the eyes of problem-solvers during the Second World War, was published in 2013. He is currently writing a book about seapower and global transformations during World War Two.


National Archives Footage of the Surrender

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Edexcel GCSE History past exam papers (9-1).You can download the papers and marking schemes by clicking on the links below.

June 2018 - Edexcel GCSE History Past Papers (9-1) (HI0)

Paper 1: Thematic study and historic environment (HI0)

Option 10: Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000 – Present and Whitechapel c1870- c1900: Crime, policing and the inner city.
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Option 11: Medicine in Britain c1250 – present and the British sector of the Western front, 1914 -1918: Injuries, treatment and the trenches.
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Option 12: Warfare and the British society c1250 – present and London and the second World War, 1939 -1945.
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Paper 2: Period Study and British depth study (HI0)

Option 20: Spain and the ‘New world’ c1490 – c1555 and Medieval depth options.
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Option 21: Spain and the ‘New world’ c1490 – c1555 and Tudor depth options.
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Option 22: British America, 1713 – 83: empire and revolution and Medieval depth options.
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Option 23: British America, 1713 – 83: empire and revolution and Tudor depth options.
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Option 26: Superpower relations and Cold War, 1941- 91 and Medieval depth options.
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Option 27: Superpower relations and Cold War, 1941- 91 and Tudor depth options.
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Option 28: Conflict in the Middle East, 1945 – 95 and Medieval depth options.
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Option 29: Conflict in the Middle East, 1945 – 95 and Tudor depth options.
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Paper 3: Modern depth study (HI0)

History A: Edexcel GCSE History Past Papers June 2017 (5HA)

History A (The Making of the Modern World)

Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3A War and transformation of British Society c1903-1928 (5HA03/3A)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3B War and transformation of British Society c1931-1951 (5HA03/3B)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3C The transformation of British Society c1951-1979 (5HA03/3C)
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History B: Edexcel GCSE Past Papers June 2017 (5HB)

History B (Schools History Project)

Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1A: Medicine and public health in Britain, C50AD to the present day (5HB01/1A)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1B: Crime and Punishment in Britain, C50AD to the present day (5HB01/1B)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1C: The changing nature of warfare in Britain, C50AD to the prsent day (5HB01/1C)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2A: The transformation of British Society c1815-1851 (5HB02/2A)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2B: The American West c1845- 1890 (5HB02/2B)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2C: Germany c1918- c1945 (5HB02/2C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3A: The transformation of Surgery c1845-c1918 (5HB03/3A)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3B: Protest, law and order in the twentieth century (5HB03/3B)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3C: The impact of war on Britain c1903- c1954 (5HB03/3C)
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History A: Edexcel GCSE History Past Papers June 2016

History A (The Making of the Modern World)

Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3A War and transformation of British Society c1903-1928 (5HA03/3A)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3B War and transformation of British Society c1931-1951 (5HA03/3B)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3C The transformation of British Society c1951-1979 (5HA03/3C)
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History B: Edexcel GCSE Past Papers June 2016

History B (Schools History Project)

Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1A: Medicine and public health in Britain, C50AD to the present day (5HB01/1A)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1B: Crime and Punishment in Britain, C50AD to the present day (5HB01/1B)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1C: The changing nature of warfare in Britain, C50AD to the prsent day (5HB01/1C)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2A: The transformation of British Society c1815-1851 (5HB02/2A)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2B: The American West c1845- 1890 (5HB02/2B)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2C: Germany c1918- c1945 (5HB02/2C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3A: The transformation of Surgery c1845-c1918 (5HB03/3A)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3B: Protest, law and order in the twentieth century (5HB03/3B)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3C: The impact of war on Britain c1903- c1954 (5HB03/3C)
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History A (The Making of the Modern World)

Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3A War and transformation of British Society c1903-1928 (5HA03/3A)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3B War and transformation of British Society c1931-1951 (5HA03/3B)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3C The transformation of British Society c1951-1979 (5HA03/3C)
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History B (Schools History Project)

Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1A: Medicine and public health in Britain, C50AD to the present day (5HB01/1A)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1B: Crime and Punishment in Britain, C50AD to the present day (5HB01/1B)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1C: The changing nature of warfare in Britain, C50AD to the prsent day (5HB01/1C)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2A: The transformation of British Society c1815-1851 (5HB02/2A)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2B: The American West c1845- 1890 (5HB02/2B)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2C: Germany c1918- c1945 (5HB02/2C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3A: The transformation of Surgery c1845-c1918 (5HB03/3A)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3B: Protest, law and order in the twentieth century (5HB03/3B)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3C: The impact of war on Britain c1903- c1954 (5HB03/3C)
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History A (The Making of the Modern World)

Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3A War and transformation of British Society c1903-1928 (5HA03/3A)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3B War and transformation of British Society c1931-1951 (5HA03/3B)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3C A Divided Union? The USA 1945-1970 (5HA03/3C)
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History B (Schools History Project)

Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1A: Medicine and Treatment (5HB01/1A)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1B: Crime and Punishment (5HB01/1B)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1C: The changing nature of warfare (5HB01/1C)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2A: The transformation of British Society c1815-1851 (5HB02/2A)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2B: The American West c1840- 1895 (5HB02/2B)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2C: Life in Germany c1919- c1945 (5HB02/2C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3A: The transformation of Surgery c1845-c1918 (5HB03/3A)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3B: Protest, law and order in the twentieth century (5HB03/3B)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3C: The impact of war on Britain c1914- c1950 (5HB03/3C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3D: The work of the historian (5HB03/3D)
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History A (The Making of the Modern World)

Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3A War and transformation of British Society c1903-1928 (5HA03/3A)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3B War and transformation of British Society c1931-1951 (5HA03/3B)
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Unit 3: Modern World Source Enquiry: Option 3C A Divided Union? The USA 1945-1970 (5HA03/3C)
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History B (Schools History Project)

Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1A: Medicine and Treatment (5HB01/1A)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1B: Crime and Punishment (5HB01/1B)
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Unit 1: Schools History Project Development Study Option1C: The changing nature of warfare (5HB01/1C)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2A: The transformation of British Society c1815-1851 (5HB02/2A)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2B: The American West c1840- 1895 (5HB02/2B)
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Unit 2: Schools History Project Depth Study Option2C: Life in Germany c1919- c1945 (5HB02/2C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3A: The transformation of Surgery c1845-c1918 (5HB03/3A)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3B: Protest, law and order in the twentieth century (5HB03/3B)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3C: The impact of war on Britain c1914- c1950 (5HB03/3C)
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Unit 3: Schools History Project Source Enquiry Option 3D: The work of the historian (5HB03/3D)
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'Cambridge spies' surface in Moscow after disappearing in 1951

Two British diplomats, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, were among five men recruited by the Soviet secret service, the KGB, at Cambridge University in the 1930s. The others were Harold (Kim) Philby, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. All had been involved in passing to the Soviets highly damaging military information, and the identities of British agents. Burgess and Maclean, who had fled Britain five years before, suddenly reappeared in the Soviet Union where they denied being spies.


ExecutedToday.com

On this date in 1945 — morning after a devastating U.S. air raid that destroyed much of Fukuoka — eight previously-captured American airmen* were summarily executed there in retaliation.

In a precedent that dated back to the Doolittle raids, Japan officially considered as a prospective war criminal any enemy airman who could be connected to indiscriminate bombing. Tokyo didn’t follow this logic to the point of executing all downed Americans — indeed, late in the war, beleaguered Japanese civilians became increasingly hostile towards the government for allowing excess legalism to stand in the way of exacting some satisfying revenge for the cities burning under American bombs — but it did execute some, and it had sanctioned legal theorems that could have accommodated quite a bit more bloodletting.

Finding Tokyo short of prison space, the government ordered on May 1, 1945, that the various armies should no longer send to the capital any downed airmen they captured. In the chaos of the war’s last months, this would create the context for local commanders at the Western Military District in Fukuoka to put those legal theorems to seriously nasty use.

Four captured airmen held in Fukuoka were stuck in an indeterminate judicial process which the army realized was going nowhere slowly. The others were just plain underfoot. Over the period of May-June, between a couple of ambiguously-worded orders and the officers’ annoyance at having to divert scarce resources to these captives, an understanding formed if “the air raids increased and conditions became more chaotic, the prisoners would be executed without a trial.”

Well, as U.S. papers exultantly reported on June 20,

About 3,000 tons of … incendiary bombs … were released by the B-24s from low level starting about three a.m. … The three cities [Fukuoka, Toyotashi and Shizuoka] were tasting for the first time the bitter flames of war, roaring over factories, shops and thousands of congested homes.

Timothy Lang Francis, whose “‘To Dispose of the Prisoners’: The Japanese Executions of American Aircrew at Fukuoka, Japan, during 1945” from the November 1997 Pacific Historical Review traces the confluence of factors that made possible this day’s executions, describes the fate that was unfolding for Fukuoka’s eight captive airmen at about the same time those words were going to press.

All were blindfolded and had their hands tied in front. Several swords were obtained from the Legal Section. [Yusei] Wako** then told the twenty or so assembled Japanese that, “in compliance with the Commanding General&dagger’s orders, we were going to execute the plane crash survivors.” One officer, Lt. Michio Ikeda of the Medical Section, volunteered himself, and Wako ordered Probationary Officer Tamotsu Onishi, since he was skilled in kendo, to assist him as a third executioner. Sato watched the proceedings from one side.

The first flyer was brought to the edge of the pit and made to sit on his haunches. Wako then ritually washed one of the swords and stood behind the prisoner, slightly to the left. Raising the sword above his right shoulder with both hands, Wako brought it down on the flyer’s neck. “Both the body and head fell into the pit,” remembered Wako “I washed my sword and ordered the guard to bring another flyer to the pit. I killed this flyer exactly the same way I had killed the first one.” Onishi then executed a third prisoner in the same manner.

In the pause that followed, Lt. Kentaro Toji, an officer attached to Western Army Headquarters, approached Sato. According to his pretrial affidavit, Toji said to Sato, “My mother was killed in the air raid on Fukuoka this morning, and I think it would be fitting that I be the one who execute these American flyers.” Sato told him to wait while Wako ordered Ikeda to execute the fourth flyer. Toji, after borrowing a sword from Onishi, beheaded the last four prisoners. The pit was then filled with dirt.

This is all well and good, but Tokyo’s orders to its armies had been to do the juridical legwork on these cases themselves — and not just to summarily kill prisoners. So, in a bit of ex post facto bureaucratic butt-covering, the Western District Army’s legal section proceeded to close the matter by shipping the central government a report saying that all these prisoners had been killed during the previous night’s air raid. Problem solved!

No known direct connection to this particular atrocity, but there’s a recent documentary about an elderly Japanese man who used to serve at Fukuoka that looks worth the watching.

* Six of the eight were Robert J. Aspinall, Merlin R. Calvin, Jack V. Dengler, Otto W. Baumgarten, Edgar L. McElfresh, and Ralph S. Romines. The other two remain unidentified. These eight were, maybe, the lucky ones: Fukuoka had had 16 prisoners from downed bombers, but the other eight weren’t around to be beheaded because they’d previously been given over to the local hospital to suffer ghastly deaths in vivisection experiments.

** A Judge Advocate who had also been involved in the Doolittle trials.

&dagger Gen. Isamu Yokoyama. When he’d been briefed prior to the June 19 raid that the army was fixing to just dispose of its prisoners if it came to that, Yokoyama had done the Pontius Pilate act and informed Wako, “I have decided to concern myself only with the decisive battle and hereafter do not bother me with the problem of the flyers.”


Recommendations on the Immediate Use of Nuclear Weapons, June 16, 1945

Source: U. S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, Harrison-Bundy File, Folder ෸.

Recommendations on the Immediate Use of Nuclear Weapons, by the Scientific Panel of the Interim Committee on Nuclear Power, June 16, 1945.

Images of both pages of this document are included below the transcription.

THIS PAGE REGRADED UNCLASSIFIED
Order Sec Army By TAG per
720564

THIS DOCUMENT CONSISTS OF 2 PAGE(S)
NO. 1 OF 12 COPIES, SERIES A

RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE IMMEDIATE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

You have asked us to comment on the initial use of the new weapon. This use, in our opinion, should be such as to promote a satisfactory adjustment of our international relations. At the same time, we recognize our obligation to our nation to use the weapons to help save American lives in the Japanese war.

(1) To accomplish these ends we recommend that before the weapons are used not only Britain, but also Russia, France, and China be advised that we have made considerable progress in our work on atomic weapons, that these may be ready to use during the present war, and that we would welcome suggestions as to how we can cooperate in making this development contribute to improved international relations.

(2) The opinions of our scientific colleagues on the initial use of these weapons are not unanimous: they range from the proposal of a purely technical demonstration to that of the military application best designed to induce surrender. Those who advocate a purely technical demonstration would wish to outlaw the use of atomic weapons, and have feared that if we use the weapons now our position in future negotiations will be prejudiced. Others emphasize the opportunity of saving American lives by immediate military use, and believe that such use will improve the international prospects, in that they are more concerned with the prevention of war than with the elimination of this specific weapon. We find ourselves closer to these latter views we can propose no technical demonstration likely to bring an end to the war we see no acceptable alternative to direct military use.

(3) With regard to these general aspects of the use of atomic energy, it is clear that we, as scientific men, have no proprietary rights. It is true that we are among the few citizens who have had occasion to give thoughtful consideration to these problems during the past few years. We have, however, no claim to special competence in solving the political, social, and military problems which are presented by the advent of atomic power.

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Watch the video: RAF Bewegung (January 2022).