V-E Day 69 years ago

uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
edited May 2014 in General

Hats off to the Greatest Generation--69 years ago, on May 8, was V-E Day. I have that day's edition of my hometown paper, the Record-Argus, and in our town of under 10K, to that point we had lost 35 native sons, a big loss no doubt repeated in towns and cities across the nation. One posthumously was awarded the Medal of Honor, an enormously rare honor. Hats off to those lost, those who were there, and their families.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited May 2014

    Sorry...I thought this might show up in "Off Topic", although I did not see that as a choice when I posted. Can a moderator assist? Thanks.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    My dad was in the "forgotten war"---India, China, Burma. He would always correct me by saying----"No, we were the generation to which great things happened".

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457

    I think the "Off Topic Chatter" tag will take care of the category. Will give it a try anyway.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    Actually the history of the American automobile market is very interesting 1946-1955. Maybe the topic will morph into that.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476

    My maternal grandpa was in the Aleutians for much of his service - I suppose his V day is a few months off. Never could get him to give me any stories from the war, but I don't think he saw combat. A brave generation indeed, but not to denigrate them, I don't see others serving with less valor under identical circumstances. Like Shifty says, the circumstances were unique.

    69 years later, we still maintain an expensive and omnipresent de facto military occupation in "E" that we can't afford, while many of their ordinary working people live in conditions and with benefits not obtainable by their American counterparts.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited May 2014

    As a kid, or even a teenager, I had no interest in all the WWII vets all around me (my Dad enlisted underage but was found out and reenlisted a year later, after the war had ended). I realize now what a colossal undertaking that war was. I know "Saving Private Ryan"'s story is dramatized some, but sheesh, that first twenty minutes makes you feel like you are there. I keep having to tell myself I'm only seeing a movie and special effects. That was supposedly the biggest invasion in the history of the world. I remind myself that we're not talking ancestors from a couple hundred years ago; we're talking fourteen years to the month from when I was born. As Eisenhower supposedly told the men, "Failure is not an option". I simply can't imagine the scale of anything being done like that today, or the joint feeling of "pitching in" that most people had then. Can you imagine not being able to buy a car for four years? Neither can I! Our local paper lists all the liquor stores that were closed to honor the day. I can't imagine that happening again either. ;)

    Four miles south of our downtown area was the Shenango Personnel Replacement Depot, where about 900K soldiers were as the last stop before being sent to Europe. My Studebaker dealer friend told me that wherever he used to go to NADA meetings, where he'd have his name tag with hometown on it, people would come up to him and say "I went through the Shenango Depot there".

    Speaking of my Studebaker dealer friend, I was very happy to visit the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend last weekend and in the "Club" room, on the Studebaker Drivers' Club bulletin board, was an 8 1/2 by 11 color photo I'd seen before, of my hometown dealer from 1958 with a green Studebaker pickup up against the building with the Mercedes tri-star neon sign in the showroom window plainly visible. I emailed his wife to let them know and she said he'd be happy about that. ;)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Shenango

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476

    For young people today, that generation might as well be in the distant past - I doubt most under 30 have firsthand exposure to vets.

    The MB-Stude idea is kind of relevant - to think that a mere decade after the victory, those once defeated slowly entered the US market. A generation later, the impact would be significant.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited May 2014

    When we were in Italy in 2010, our tour made an unannounced stop at the Florence American Cemetery, which moved me greatly. I heard a twenty-something bimbette in our group say, "Isn't there something like this at Gettysburg?". I wanted to reach out and slap her across the back of the head! LOL

    Merely conjecture on my part, but I think somebody at Studebaker saw the possibility of M-B filling in the gap after real Packards were no longer available.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367

    BTW, I can remember a handful of WWI veterans from our town, but none were related to me. One was my best buddy's grandfather.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476

    I've long thought the Packard - MB comparison had at least a little merit. Somewhat conservative style/image wise, but with technical prowess. MB is a much more diverse player globally, but in the US market, there are similarities.

    I knew of a WWI vet who lived a few blocks away when I was a kid. I remember he died in 2000 at the age of 102.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited May 2014

    We were in London for the 50th anniversary and the vets there were starting to get up in age. Our relation here mustered out of the Air Corps when hostilities ended, and he's "just" 88 now.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367

    I do think the sense of service those guys had just isn't here today, in a general sense...hell, the public's sense of service and duty just isn't there. MHO only.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 15,843

    Coincidentally, I just finished reading 'The Monuments Men'. It provided an additional perspective on WWII in Europe. I'm sure the movie will be more dramatic.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited May 2014

    The movie didn't seem to get very good reviews, but we enjoyed it.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    I'm unable to post this as a new topic, but here's an interview with Louis Zamperini, subject of the current film "Unbroken". The interview touches on events in the film as well as what happened to him after he got home, not discussed in the film. He's sharp as a tack, funny at times, and an engaging speaker. I think his story should be 'out there', too. Hard to believe what he lived through, and not all that long ago in the sphere of U.S. history.

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476
    I don't think what these guys did will ever be forgotten. If anything, because even 70 years later, we maintain de facto military occupations in many of the areas that were vanquished.

    It is kind of cool to see a WW2 themed film that isn't about Nazis, and IMO, the political m.o. therein.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    70th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Huge 'hats off' to those guys.

    http://www.stripes.com/iwo-jima-survivors-gather-in-washington-to-mark-anniversary-of-bloody-wwii-battle-1.330589
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    70th anniversary of V-E day, an enormous day in world history and not really all that long ago. I'm glad I have my Dad's fragile copy of our hometown newspaper from then. The car dealers' ads had great messages and our town lost 35 soldiers by that time.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 186,414

    70th anniversary of V-E day, an enormous day in world history and not really all that long ago. I'm glad I have my Dad's fragile copy of our hometown newspaper from then. The car dealers' ads had great messages and our town lost 35 soldiers by that time.

    Thanks for the reminder. My uncle served in WWII in Europe, though I don't know if he was there when the end of the war happened.

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  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Sat next to a 92 year vet on the golf car shuttle a couple of weeks ago coming back from the border town and chatted about his WWII experience. His unit liberated Dachau.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited June 2015
    With tomorrow being the anniversary of D-Day, I'd like to post this video of American D-Day vet Amos Almeida meeting a French gentleman who wrote a letter of thanks to American liberators. The letter starts at about 1:10 in the video. Amos passed in 2012. The letter is beautifully written.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II--V-J Day. Found this wonderful color home movie of celebrations on Hawaii on V-J Day. Lots of prewar cars and trucks to enjoy too.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    Tip of my hat to the Greatest Generation on this, the 74th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. As scary as things might seem today, I truly shudder to think of what the world would have been like had the Allies not defeated Germany, Japan, and Italy only a relatively short seventy years ago.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476
    edited December 2015
    I remember when I was younger, my dad knew a guy with a "Pearl Harbor Survivor" license plate. He drove a then-new Accord wagon, which had a 4cyl so smooth I was amazed.

    Sadly, we have somewhat-equivalents of those Axis nations today - only today, some are masked under commerce, as money heals all wounds.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    The only "Pearl Harbor Survivor" plate I ever saw was on a Cadillac Brougham of late '80's vintage. It passed us on I-71 in southern Ohio and we were all quite impressed, including my Dad who was active-duty during the Korean conflict.

    My guess, only that, is that for every Pearl Harbor survivor who drove a Japanese make later, there were probably three or four who wouldn't touch one. Of course, I could be totally wrong about that.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476
    I am sure you are right. It is probably a majority anyway. I have seen a few of those plates, as at least one time, there were many "survivors" in this area. I think a good friend's grandfather was one (IIRC he had an Olds).

    There were also vets who liked quirky odd cars or low running costs. My grandfather, who was in the Aleutians, would later have both a Toyota and VW, and a NUMMI Nova, if that counts as half a Toyota :)

    The only "Pearl Harbor Survivor" plate I ever saw was on a Cadillac Brougham of late '80's vintage. It passed us on I-71 in southern Ohio and we were all quite impressed, including my Dad who was active-duty during the Korean conflict.

    My guess, only that, is that for every Pearl Harbor survivor who drove a Japanese make later, there were probably three or four who wouldn't touch one. Of course, I could be totally wrong about that.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    More "hats off" to survivors of the Battle of the Bulge, which began 71 years ago yesterday, Dec. 16. I was invited to a reunion of Bulge veterans about seven years ago in SW PA...we slept in barracks and went to a "USO Show", among other stuff. The stories those guys could tell, some about "shellshock" as PTSD was called then. I was honored to meet those guys. Several could tell you how many days they went without a shower...it was weeks and weeks.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    May 8, 71 years after V-E Day, today. A glorious day for the world.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    Seventy-three year anniversary of V-E Day. Hats off today. Really not all that long ago in the scheme of history, either. Our small town had lost 35 men by that time. I have the V-E Day edition of the local paper ("The Record-Argus") that my Dad had kept. The Record-Argus still publishes six days a week; pretty good for a small town in these days.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    Remembering probably among the most historically-significant days in the world in the twentieth century, today, D-Day.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Tom Brokaw was right on the mark when he called them the greatest generation
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476
    Eisenhower, now there's an R who we should see as an example. Too bad the US and its allies kind of won the war and lost the peace.

    I think today is also the 50th anniversary of RFK's assassination - the year the US might have nudged closest to some kind of revolution in the past 150 years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The soldiers in WW II fought for a clear moral cause and I'm sure most felt very righteous in what they were doing.

    I don't think people in the military today get that same sense of clear vision and purpose. I know when I was serving in the 1960s (with no particular distinction), I had no idea of why, other than it was my obligation and my time to be there.

    In today's professional army, I think it's more like a career opportunity--that's how you justify it.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 186,414

    The soldiers in WW II fought for a clear moral cause and I'm sure most felt very righteous in what they were doing.

    I don't think people in the military today get that same sense of clear vision and purpose. I know when I was serving in the 1960s (with no particular distinction), I had no idea of why, other than it was my obligation and my time to be there.

    In today's professional army, I think it's more like a career opportunity--that's how you justify it.

    Found out today my nephew is being considered at West Point - he is spending the week there for orientation. Football coach wants him on the team, which gives him an inside track to be appointed. My sister says he wants to go Airborne.

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  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Its a good deal if he likes the discipline stuff. Free college ed for 5 years of service and a decent resume. Neighbor's grandson did this a year ago and really likes it there. He is a wrestler.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 186,414
    berri said:

    Its a good deal if he likes the discipline stuff. Free college ed for 5 years of service and a decent resume. Neighbor's grandson did this a year ago and really likes it there. He is a wrestler.

    According to my sister, he is loving the order and discipline.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    West Point grads generally have a good edge in the job market afterwards.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,476
    No doubt a good in for a public sector/praetorian complex job with the last of the fat pensions and bennies. If there's one thing I wish I had done differently when I was new grad, it's that.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Gives him an edge if he wants to get into a top notch business school as well.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 186,414
    berri said:

    Gives him an edge if he wants to get into a top notch business school as well.

    I'm not sure what his plans are - he could easily become a lifer in the Army.

    He and his mom are still planning to visit Columbia University in July - the head coach of the football program has been in contact with them and he will be attending their summer football camp.

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  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Well, that gives him Ivy league and NYC, along with being a fellow alumni to Warren Buffet. Needs big money or a big scholarship going and living there though.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 186,414
    berri said:

    Well, that gives him Ivy league and NYC, along with being a fellow alumni to Warren Buffet. Needs big money or a big scholarship going and living there though.

    They would offer an academic scholarship, as he maintains a 4.0 GPA.

    But, he's leaning more towards West Point now.

    What's interesting is that my dad grew up just a few miles away, in Peekskill, before moving to CA when he joined the Navy.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Michaell said:

    berri said:

    Gives him an edge if he wants to get into a top notch business school as well.

    I'm not sure what his plans are - he could easily become a lifer in the Army.

    He and his mom are still planning to visit Columbia University in July - the head coach of the football program has been in contact with them and he will be attending their summer football camp.
    One of my Alma Maters. Maybe he'd do Columbia some good. Back in the 80s, we set a record for 44 consecutive losses on the gridiron. West Point has certainly improved in football these last few years. but generally over the last 20 years----er, not so good.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoModerator Posts: 186,414

    Michaell said:

    berri said:

    Gives him an edge if he wants to get into a top notch business school as well.

    I'm not sure what his plans are - he could easily become a lifer in the Army.

    He and his mom are still planning to visit Columbia University in July - the head coach of the football program has been in contact with them and he will be attending their summer football camp.
    One of my Alma Maters. Maybe he'd do Columbia some good. Back in the 80s, we set a record for 44 consecutive losses on the gridiron. West Point has certainly improved in football these last few years. but generally over the last 20 years----er, not so good.
    He's a slot receiver / defensive back. Quick as all get out, I'm told. Not sure which position he'd play at either school.

    I remember hearing about the 44 consecutive losses at Columbia. He sees football as a means to an end - not a lot of call for 5'10", 170 pound DB's in the NFL.

    He's also being recruited by a local school - University of San Diego. Plus some D2 and D3 schools, as well. But, USMA is at the top of the list.

    (well, in reality, Annapolis is at the top, as his paternal grandfather went there. But, they haven't contacted him, as of yet)

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHMember Posts: 13,367
    edited May 2020
    75 years ago today, was Victory in Europe day. Really not all that long ago if you think of the level and scope of bad stuff that was happening there. Our small town had lost 35 soldiers up to this point in the war.

    I am reading Martha MacCallum's book about her family's experiences in WWII. The stuff from Midway and Japan are particularly excruciating. And there is evidence the bad stuff was known and condoned right up at the top--including the Emperor, who was Emperor until 1989. Amazing.
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