The Year of 1945 (I was 18 years old)
What was happening in the world:
- In Germany, with all of its major cities in ruins, the Russian and American Armies meet at the Elbe River to complete the destruction of the Nazi forces.
- Mad-dog Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin Bunker.
- In Italy, people's court convicts and executes Mussolini then hangs his body up for public display.
- It is the end of the war In Europe. Unfortunately, Stalin and his communist forces are secretly organizing his gains in Europe for permanent occupation.
- The world sees the full horror of Hitler's extermination of Jews at places like Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
- Churchill loses the election and his position as Britain's wartime leader.
- In the Pacific, Tokyo is under heavy daily bombings by US aircraft.
- Okinawa is taken in preparation for an all-out invasion of Japan.
- The last of the Japanese Navy is found and destroyed at its Yokusuka Naval Base.
- The U.S. drops its first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima killing over 100,000 people but Japan refuses to surrender.
- A second Atomic Bomb is dropped on Nagasaki killing another 100,000. This time, Japan agrees to surrender.
- MacArthur arrives in Tokyo to administrate the surrender and post-war Japan.
- World War II officially ends after 3 ½ years of killing.
- The French execute Laval
- The Norwegians execute Quisling
- The U.S. hangs Tojo
- The Nuremberg war crimes trials begin
- General Patton is killed in an auto accident - after surviving countless battles.
What was happening in the USA:
- Roosevelt dies suddenly of a stroke and Truman becomes president - it was a real shock for most of us. I was 18 years old and he had been president nearly all of my life.
- An Army bomber crashes into the Empire State Building in New York City killing 13.
What was happening in California:
- The first session of the United Nations is held in San Francisco.
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it was USC 25 - Tennessee 0.
- In the World Series, it was Detroit over Chicago 4 games to 3.
- In the NFL Championship game, it was Cleveland 15 - Washington 14.
- The Heisman Trophy went to Doc Blanchard of Army.
- The national champion of College Football was Army.
- The national champion of College Basketball was Oklahoma.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was Lost Weekend
- Best actor was Ray Killand in Lost Weekend
- Best actress was Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce
- Other great movies were:
- Bells of St. Mary’s (Bing Crosby)
- A Bell for Adano (John Hodiak)
- Leave Her to Heaven (Gene Tierney)
Memorable songs were:
- By the time I reach Albuquerque
- Blue Spanish Eyes
- That Old Black Magic
- Sweet Caroline (Mills Brothers)
What was happening in my life:
- I was drafted and sent to Fort Hood in Texas for basic training. Although Germany surrendered while I was at Ft. Hood, there was still the war in the Pacific. I was on a troop transport ship on my way to the Philippines when Japan surrendered. The following pages contain my detailed memoirs from my time over in the Philippines with the U.S. Army.
< ---- What was happening in 1944
What was happening in 1945 (continued) ---->
What was happening in 1946 ---->
An all-city track meet at Edwards Field
The Fremont entry (Sanford) in the 440 scored a major upset. He had been an average runner all season, but then set a new time record. I was there to see it.
My graduation picture in January 1945
I was wearing Hank’s brown Zoot Suit. Ma always said I was her best kid and this photo proves it.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
He died on April 12, 1945 of a massive stroke.
Ma's 4 service stars in our front window
I was drafted into the Army on March 7, 1945.
An extraordinary collection of photographs
Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island
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