Some have said that America's first introduction to Latin culture came with "Ricky Ricardo"; others say Carmen Miranda, Xavier Cugat, Charo or "Chico and the Man". The dilettantes at OldMagazineArticles.com are not qualified to answer such deep questions, but we do know that for a bunch of unfortunate Nazis and their far-flung Japanese allies, their first brush with "la vida loco Latino" came in the form of Private Anibal Irizarry, Colonel Pedro del Valle and Lieutenant Manuel Vicente: three stout Puerto Ricans who distinguished themselves in combat and lived to tell about it.
In 1917 the U.S. Congress granted American citizenship rights to the citizens of Puerto Rico - but they didn't move to New York until the Fifties. Click here to read about that...
Click here to read an article about Latinas in the WAACs.
The attached article is an eye-witness account of the World War II surrender proceedings in Reims, France in the early days of May, 1945. Written in the patois of the 1940s American soldier (which sounded a good deal like the movies of the time), this article describes the goings-on that day by members of the U.S. Army's 201st Military Police Company, who were not impressed in the least by the likes of German General Gustav Jodl or his naval counterpart, Admiral Hans von Friedeburg:
"Sgt. Henry Wheeler of Youngstown, N.Y., said, 'The wind-up was pretty much what we expected. 'Ike' didn't have anything to do with those phonies until they were ready to quit. Then he went in and told them to sign up. And what does he do as he comes out of the meeting? He shakes hands with the first GI he comes to."
Writing about the bitter fighting on Okinawa some years after the war, Marine veteran Eugene Sledge
remarked that he and his comrades had been reduced to "Twentieth Century savages". Much of what he said is confirmed in thie attached YANK MAGAZINE article from 1945 which clearly illustrated the terror that was experienced by G.I.s and Marines on that island after the sun went down.
This is a fascinating read. The writer, Sergeant Joe McCarthy (no relation), was very observant on matters involving the behavior of the natives when in the presence of Americans, their attire and demeanor; the accuracy of the bomb damage and the food available. A conversation is recalled that took place between the author and an English-speaking newspaperman in which details about Japanese life during wartime prove revealing.
"Nobody here wants to have much to do with us. It looks as if there will be no fraternization problem in Japan."
Click here to read additional articles about the post-war world.
A light and breezy review concerning the findings of a U.S. government study regarding the effectiveness of the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany:
"...the survey authorities report that although air power might have been more advantageously applied in this case or that, its decisive bearing on the victory was undeniable...At sea, its contribution, combined with naval air power, brought an end to the enemy's greatest naval threat -the U-boat; on land, it helped turn the tide overwhelmingly in favor of allied ground forces."
Articles about the daily hardships in post-war Germany can be read by clicking here.