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.
The philatelists in our audience know well the G.I. stamps issued by the U.S. Post Office in 1945; what they may not know are some of the stories that lay behind them (some stories are sad and some are merely pathetic).
On January 26, 1942 the long awaited boatload of U.S. troops to Great Britain had finally arrived. The first American G.I. to step off the plank and plant his foot on British soil was Pfc. Milburn H. Henke (1918 - 1998) of the 34th Infantry Division; and as the news spread throughout all of John Bull's island that help had arrived and the first guy had a German surname, the Brits (always big fans of irony) had a good laugh all around.
This article tells the tale of the 1st Battalion, 34th Division which had the distinction of being the longest serving U.S. combat unit in the course of the entire war. It was these men of the Mid-West who took it on the chin that day at Kasserine (America's first W.W. II battle, which was a defeat), avenged their dead at El Guettar, landed at Salerno, Anzio and fought their way up to Bologna. By the time the war ended, there weren't many of the original men left, but what few there were reminisce in this article. Interesting gripes about the problems of American uniforms can be read.
The YANK MAGAZINE editors remarked that this brief column, which was intended to help American G.I.s deal with panic attacks during combat, was written by the National Research Council and appeared in the Infantry Journal of 1943. It is a segment from a longer article titled, "Psychology for the Fighting Man". The psychologists who wrote it presented a number of examples of soldier's panic (mostly from the last war) and illustrate how best the front-line soldier could deal with this stress while the bullets are flying. Happily, they made it sound so easy.
Click here to read about one other effect the stress of combat wrought upon the luckless men of the Forties.
This is yet another excerpt from "Psychology for the Fighting Man" which addresses a grave concern that has been on the mind of all soldiers from time immemorial: "how to be brave and safe?". In simply three paragraphs the psychologists charged with answering this question actually do a pretty feeble job, but they did a fine job summing up the heavy responsibilities that the front-line G.I. had on his mind when great acts of courage were expected of him.
Perhaps one of the most lucid definitions of bravery was uttered by an anonymous soldier from the Second World War who offered that courage is like a bank, with a finite balance; each soldier is allowed to make a small or a large withdrawal from the account and they can do so when ever they wish, but when the account is empty they can't go to the bank any longer.
Click here to read a psychological study of fear in combat.
Until recently we always seemed to think that all those pretty British girls during the war were genuinely captivated by that unique and sincere breed of American male called the "G.I.". It seemed obvious to us that such a self-effacing, homespun, mud-between-the-toes kind of charm would naturally lead to thousands upon thousands of out-of-wedlock births and prove once and for all that the Anglo-American alliance was truly a necessary union and not merely a wartime contrivance. But after a careful reading of the attached headline from this 1943 "Yank", it occurred to us that perhaps British girls were just doing their bit for king and country.
One British woman complained that the average American GI of World War II was substandard in the bedroom; to read the article, click here.