August 6, 1945

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Rick Courtright

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Hi,

Let's keep this observational, just as a look at how quickly we forget those lessons of history we've been warned about ignoring.

Yesterday, Aug 6, 1945, is an extremely important date in the history of the South Pacific and our war against Japan, effectively the beginning of the end which came three days later

When I was a kid, there was always some mention of the day and its place in history. So , being long past kid stage, I was curious yesterday what we might hear about something that happened 77 years ago. I heard one mention in the entire day, on NPR radio, and even that was just a passing and unbiased note.

What did you guys hear? I know, it was 3/4 of a century ago so a lot of people who saw it happen in as close to real time as we could make it are gone, But,. st;ill, is it just another 25 years before no body's heard of the date and what happened? I'm starting to understand what getting old is really all about as our memories are erased. ;)

Rick C
 

Mauser9

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Didn't hear sh** myself Rick. Even 10-12 years back there would be some mention. Nothing from the history channel either. Big history buff myself so I try to keep on track with these days.
 

Ray Newman

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Heard nothing. Marines landed on Guadalcanal on 8/7/'42. Along this same vein, how many even know about battles at Coral Sea (5/42) or Midway (6/42)?

The participants are almost all gone and those of us who were taught and heard about such battles and their importance are passing. In a few years, it all will be just footnotes or a short paragraph at best in history texts. Time marches on.
 

Ride1949

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Thanks for the reminder Rick. For those who don't know what this thread is about. Here's a little reminder.


Edit: first link started coming up with a 404 error.
 
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Yes the development of the bomb was remarkable. But without a Guy like Paul Tibbits I don't think it would have been delivered when it was.
If you get a chance watch some very good videos on YouTube about Tibbits and the Enola Gay

He was 28 years old when he was assigned to get a unit together to drop the bomb from a brand new type of plane that had many problems.
By the way my Dad flew in the 97th but not when Tibbits was there.

In July 1942, the 97th became the first heavy bombardment group to be deployed as part of the Eighth Air Force, and Tibbets became deputy group commander. He flew the lead plane in the first American daylight heavy bomber mission against Occupied Europe on 17 August 1942, and the first American raid of more than 100 bombers in Europe on 9 October 1942. Tibbets was chosen to fly Major General Mark W. Clark and Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower to Gibraltar. After flying 43 combat missions, he became the assistant for bomber operations on the staff of the Twelfth Air Force.

Tibbets returned to the United States in February 1943 to help with the development of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In September 1944, he was appointed the commander of the 509th Composite Group, which would conduct the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Not to sharp of a Trooper . Looks worn for 28YO
1659921857039.png
 
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It was a very momentus happening then and has just faded away. Years ago I was stationed in Suitland MD closing out a Nike Ajax battery. At that time just around the corner was the Smithsonian rebuild site. In it was the Enola Guy. I went there with a couple other guys from my Battery and got a tour. I have been in the cockpit of the Enola Guy, before it went on display.
 
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It was a very momentus happening then and has just faded away. Years ago I was stationed in Suitland MD closing out a Nike Ajax battery. At that time just around the corner was the Smithsonian rebuild site. In it was the Enola Guy. I went there with a couple other guys from my Battery and got a tour. I have been in the cockpit of the Enola Guy, before it went on display.
Hey FM
We also toured the Silver Hill Facility in 1989 and the Enola Gay was being restored at that time. We have also seen it at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
 

eveled

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They are trying to fight Asian Hate. Because of covid. They aren’t going to bring up old news to stir the pot.

It should be about the heroics of those involved and the American lives saved. But you cannot push Asian hate.

If the current media had brought up the atomic bomb it would sound apologetic.

The only people you are allowed to hate are gun owners.
 
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I don't think most people today can even imagine the loss of life that occurred in WWII. Our media talks up the 'massive deaths' from COVID and how it is all so bad nothing has been this bad before...(see below) not to down play the loss but in perspective of what we did 77 years ago... seems all we remember when we choose to is the dropping of the atomic bombs...

Part of the reason for that: the last Island to be taken, Okanowa had something like 150,000 Japanese soldiers on it... I think we took 7,000 prisoners ....Japan's ruler(s) said they would never Surender, then on March 8th the Army Air Corps did a bombing run on Tokyo.... Over the next day we distroyed /burned 16 square miles of the city and over 100,00 people... still Japan said they would never Surender.... I was watching a video on the British fall back planes to carry the bombs and it was mentioned that the reason for choosing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was these were the only two major cities left in Japan.

My iPhone tells me that as of today just over 6.4 million people have died from COVID, I then asked it how many people died in WWII.... 73 Million.
It might be a sick thing to say... but give me a pandemic any day over another world war......
 

vito

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August 6th is my oldest daughter's birthday, born 25 years to the day after Hiroshima, and my wife's birthday is August 9th, born 1 year to the day after Nagasaki. In my family both those days also include reference to how we ended WWII, much to the dismay of my wife and daughter who just want to celebrate a birthday.

The only public mention that I saw were a few articles in the Chicago Tribune, all critical of the bombing even while mentioning the reality that an invasion of Japan would have involved enormous American, and Japanese deaths. To the credit of the paper, a few letters to the editor were included that remarked on how many American lives were saved due to the bombing.

As a people we always fail to remember the lessons of history. Ask any young person today about September 11th and see what they think about it and what they know. My guess is that if you asked the typical 30 year old today to compare the September 11th attack and the January 6th "insurrection" they would tell you that January 6th was far worse and far more important. Iran today is the real terrorism danger, not the Taliban, and they have never stopped screaming "Death to America" and I have no doubt that they would plan and execute another September 11th or worse attack if they thought that they could pull it off, yet half of America seems OK with Biden (and Obama before him) wanting to work with Iran and even not stand in the way of them developing nuclear weapons.

When I was a kid in 1st grade, that would have been 1949, it had been 84 years since the end of the Civil War, which I as a kid thought of as truly ancient history. Today's 1st graders are now 77 years from the end of WWII, and likely would think of that war as just boring ancient history as I did about the Civil War at that time. We all forget.
 
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Okinawa was only one, of many, battles we fought and Americans incurred almost 50,000 casualties on Okinawa , including over 12,000 dead. Those killed included the American commander, Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner , who was killed by enemy artillery fire just four days before the battle ended, making him the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed during the entire war. You don't hear about those losses.
 
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Okinawa was only one, of many, battles we fought and Americans incurred almost 50,000 casualties on Okinawa , including over 12,000 dead. Those killed included the American commander, Lt. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner , who was killed by enemy artillery fire just four days before the battle ended, making him the highest-ranking U.S. officer killed during the entire war. You don't hear about those losses.

Don't forget about Ernie Pyle.
At the time of his death in 1945, Pyle was among the best-known American war correspondents. His syndicated column was published in 400 daily and 300 weekly newspapers nationwide. President Harry Truman said of Pyle, "No man in this war has so well told the story of the American fighting man as American fighting men wanted it told. He deserves the gratitude of all his countrymen."
 

Snake45

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Yesterday, Aug 6, 1945, is an extremely important date in the history of the South Pacific and our war against Japan, effectively the beginning of the end which came three days later

Not quite. "Three days later," August 9, was when the second A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The Japanese didn't announce their surrender until August 14 (my birthday!), and the surrender was signed on September 2, 1945--which is remembered as VJ Day.
 

Ray Newman

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I enlisted in the USMC in 6/64 and served with some of the remaining WWII veterans of the Pacific. I asked what they thought when they heard about the A-bombs being dropped. They said they felt like they might live through the invasions. Several said the Japanese would not give up and expected to war to last 2-3 more years. In other words, they expected to see "The Golden Gate in '48!"
 

Rick Courtright

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Hi,

Just a look thru the other side of the window: for a number of years, I had clients who were born in Hiroshima. came here and became US citizens. They were about 10 yrs younger than myself, so they'd be early "60s today. Both Mom and Dad were college educated in Japan. We got talking about how history is taught, and Dad said in Japan they knew nothing of the history and battles of WWII. As sketchy as our history books are becoming, Dad said they learned more about WWII from his kids' public school history books than he knew when first arrived in the States. In other words, even if you lived dead center in one of the important events, you'd learn nothing. Ignore at and it will go away? This seems to be a human characteristic, not limited by what side of which ocean on came from.

Rick C
 

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