America at war! (1941–) – Part 5

Memorandum to the Press

For Immediate Release 
May 8, 1945

The following are casualty figures for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard sustained in the Atlantic-Mediterranean theaters, including the European theater. Data for the Navy are through April 26; those for the Marine Corps are through April 10; those for the Coast Guard are through May 5. The Coast Guard keeps no breakdown by theaters for casualties other than dead. Totals include combatant as well as non-combatant casualties. Navy totals for the combined Atlantic and Mediterranean theaters include casualties which might have been sustained on the continents of Europe and Africa. The Coast Guard totals for the “Atlantic” theater cover all operations against the European enemy.


Atlantic Mediterranean TOTAL
Dead 6,415 1,930 8,346
Missing 594 78 672
Wounded or Injured 3,612 1,689 5,301
Prisoners of War 29 0 29
TOTAL 10,650 3,697 14,347


Atlantic Mediterranean Eastern Theatre of Operations TOTAL
Dead 32 2 0 34
Missing 0 0 1 1
Wounded or Injured 1 0 0 1
Prisoners of War 0 0 3 3
TOTAL 33 2 4 39

Coast Guard: 508

CINCPOA Communiqué No. 356

Battleships and cruisers of the U.S. Pacific Fleet delivered heavy fire in support of the Marine III Amphibious Corps and the XXIV Army Corps in southern Okinawa on May 7 (East Longitude Date) destroying gun emplacements, some artillery and a number of mortars. During the night of May 7-8, surface craft fired several hundred rounds of illumination which effectively reduced the enemy’s attempts at infiltration into our lines. Adverse weather limited our operations on the island during May 8 and there were no substantial changes in the lines.

No enemy aircraft activity was noted in the Ryukyus during the night and day of May 7-8. As of that date, summaries of damage to the enemy show that fighters of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing have shot down 209 Japanese aircraft since they commenced operation from captured fields on Okinawa.

Escort carrier aircraft of the U.S. Pacific Fleet continued to neutralize airfields in the Sakishima group on May 7.

Concentrations of shipping in the coastal waters around Korea were attacked on May 7 by search planes of Fleet Air Wing One and an estimated 14,000 tons of shipping were sunk and 3,500 tons damaged as follows


  • One small freighter transport
  • One large fleet oiler


  • One trawler set afire
  • One small freight transport set afire and listing
  • One small freighter left listing and dead in water

Planes of FlAirWing 18 in attacks on shipping south of the island of Honshu on May 8 inflicted the following damage on the enemy:


  • Two small cargo ships
  • One large fishing craft
  • One coastal cargo ship


  • Four small cargo ships
  • Four large fishing craft
  • One coastal cargo ship

Search planes of this wing shot down a four-engine flying boat near the Honshu coast on the same date.

Night flying Mitchells of the 4th MarAirWing damaged a small ship with rockets south of Honshu on May 7.

Thunderbolts of the 7th Army Air Force strafed and bombed gun positions and radio installations on Truk in the Carolines through intense anti-aircraft fire on May 7. On the same date, Liberators of this force bombed the runways on Marcus Island.

Times Square, New York.

‘God Save the King’ (BBC):

V-E Day Address by King George VI
May 8, 1945, 9:00 p.m. BDST

Broadcast audio (BBC):

Today we give thanks to Almighty God for a great deliverance.

Speaking from our Empire’s oldest capital city, war-battered but never for one moment daunted or dismayed, speaking from London, I ask you to join with me in that act of thanksgiving.

Germany, the enemy who drove all Europe into war, has been finally overcome. In the Far East we have yet to deal with the Japanese, a determined and cruel foe. To this we shall turn with the utmost resolve and with all our resources. But at this hour when the dreadful shadow of war has passed far from our hearths and homes in these islands, we may at last make one pause for thanksgiving and then turn our thoughts to the task all over the world which peace in Europe brings with it.

Let us remember those who will not come back: their constancy and courage in battle, their sacrifice and endurance in the face of a merciless enemy; let us remember the men in all the services, the women in all the services, who have laid down their lives.

We have come to the end of our tribulation and they are not with us at the moment of our rejoicing.

And then let us salute in proud gratitude the great host of the living who have brought us to victory. I cannot praise them to the measure of each one’s service, for in a total war the efforts of all rise to the same noble height and ale are devoted to the common purpose. Armed or unarmed, men and women, you have fought, striven and endured to your utmost. No one knows that better than I do, and as your King I thank with a full heart those who bore arms so valiantly on land and sea or in the air; and all civilians who, shouldering their many burdens, have carried them unflinchingly and without complaint.

With those memories in our minds, let us think what it was that has upheld us through nearly six years of suffering and peril. With the knowledge that everything was at stake, our freedom, our independence, our very existence as a people, with the knowledge also that in defending ourselves we were defending the liberties of the whole world, that our cause was the cause not of this nation only, not of this Empire and Commonwealth only, but of every land where freedom is cherished and law and liberty go hand in hand.

In the darkest hours we knew that the enslaved and isolated peoples of Europe looked to us. Their hopes were our hopes; their confidence confirmed our faith. We knew that if we failed the last remaining barrier against a world-wide tyranny would have fallen in ruins. But we did not fail. We kept faith with ourselves and with one another. We kept faith and unity with our great Allies. That faith, that unity have carried us to victory through dangers which at times seemed overwhelming.

So let us resolve to bring to the tasks which lie ahead the same high confidence in our mission. Much hard work awaits us, both in the restoration of our own country after the ravages of war and in helping us to restore peace and sanity to a shattered world.

This comes upon us at a time when we have all given of our best. For five long years and more, heart and brain, nerve and muscle have been directed upon the overthrow of Nazi tyranny. And now we turn, fortified by success, to deal with our last remaining foe. The Queen and I know the ordeals which you have endured throughout the Commonwealth and Empire. We are proud to have shared some of these ordeals with you and we know also that together we shall all face the future with strong resolve and prove that our reserves of will power and vitality are inexhaustible.

There is great comfort in the thought that the years together, that the years of darkness and danger in which the children of our country have grown up are over, and please God, forever. We shall have failed, and the blood of our dearest will have flowed in vain, if the victory which they died to win does not lead to a lasting peace, founded on justice and good-will.

To that, then, let us turn our thoughts on this day of just triumph and proud sorrow, and then take up our work again, resolved as a people to do nothing unworthy of those who died for us and to make the world such a world as they would have desired, for their children and for ours.

This is the task to which now honor binds us. In the hour of danger, we humbly committed our cause into the hand of God and He has been our strength and shield. Let us thank Him for His mercies and in this hour of victory commit ourselves and our new task to the guidance of that same strong hand.

The Pittsburgh Press (May 8, 1945)

Fighting will stop at 6 tonight

Stalin announcement of war’s end delayed – Reds continue attacks
By Virgil Pinkley, United Press staff writer

PARIS, France – The bloodiest war in Europe’s history ends officially at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow (6:01 p.m. today, EWT) with the unconditional surrender of Germany scheduled to be ratified in the ruins of the Reich’s capital city of Berlin.

Guns are still blazing and men are still dying in some parts of Europe, but the ceasefire order has gone down from the High Command of the Western Allies.

The end of the war was proclaimed by President Truman, Prime Minister Churchill and Gen. Charles de Gaulle of France.

Premier Stalin waited – presumably until Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov, conqueror of Berlin, sits down in the Reich capital and exacts assurance from German leaders that their troops will quit fighting the Red Army. Such fighting was still going on in Central Europe.

Stalin announced tonight in an order of the day that the Red Army has captured Olmuetz, big Czechoslovak defense base.

“Troops of the Fourth Ukrainian Front, continuing their offensive, after fierce battles today captured the town and large rail junction of Olmuetz,” Stalin’s order said.

Stalin also announced the capture of the German city of Dresden.

British warships steamed up the roadstead toward Oslo to accept the surrender of some 250,000 German troops in Norway.

Orders to navy

What is left of the German Navy received specific orders from the Allies on how to surrender.

German warships were ordered to remove the breech locks from their guns and unload torpedo tubes. The U-boats, if they were still at sea, hoist black flags and report their position in plain language to the nearest radio station.

Third Army stops

Gen. George S. Patton’s U.S. Third Army, the last American force fighting in Europe, was brought to a standstill by a ceasefire order at 8 a.m. Front reports indicated the army’s last shot was fired in the Austrian mountains southwest of Linz.

Mr. Churchill, in his proclamation from 10 Downing St., revealed that the ratification of Germany’s surrender was being made in Berlin today, with Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the German High Command, acknowledging the German defeat.

Sitting around the table with Keitel in Berlin were to be:

FOR THE WESTERN ALLIES: Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur W. Tedder, deputy supreme commander.

FOR RUSSIA: Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov, commander of the First White Russian Army.

FOR FRANCE: Gen. Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, commander of the French First Army.

Fanatical Nazis, defying the High Command’s unconditional surrender, held out in some parts of Czechoslovakia, in French Atlantic ports, the Channel Islands, and some pinpoints in the Aegean.

But Prime Minister Churchill warned in London that if the Nazis held out against the Russians after the 12:01 a.m. deadline, they would become outlaws under the rules of war, and would be attacked from all sides by the Allies.

The German “peace” government of Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz, successor of Adolf Hitler, was carrying on a semblance of official functions at Flensburg on the Danish frontier.

Doenitz offered today in a Flensburg broadcast to continue the leadership of the German government during the Allied occupation of the Reich.

Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, ousted in the last days of organized resistance from the command of the German Air Force, was believed to be with the Doenitz government. So was Gestapo Chief and Interior Minister Heinrich Himmler.

Mr. Churchill said the unconditional surrender of Germany was signed at 2:41 a.m. yesterday (8:41 p.m. Sunday ET) at Reims.

Jodl salutes Eisenhower

Doenitz and Gen. Jodl, representing the German High Command, signed for Germany. Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, Gen. Eisenhower’s chief of staff, and Gen. Francois Sevez signed for the Western Allies, and Gen. Ivan Susloparov for Russia.

Gen. Eisenhower did not appear until after the documents – plain papers resembling ordinary legal folios – were signed. Officers said that, in accordance with precedent, negotiations of this kind were carried out on the chief of staff level.

When Gen. Eisenhower appeared, he was greeted by Jodl’s clicking of heels. He was asked sternly whether the Germans understood the terms completely. A stiff bow was his answer. Then, in English, he asked permission to speak. He uttered a plea for the Germans in his own language.

‘Victory for France’

Gen. Charles de Gaulle told the French people by radio that “the war has been won! Victory is here! The victory of the United Nations and the victory of France!”

A German High Command communiqué, presumably referring to yesterday’s events as usual, said big guns of the German garrisons in the western coastal pockets – La Rochelle, St. Nazaire, Lorient, Dunkerque – “shelled enemy batteries and troop movements.”

Evidently this was the last communiqué the High Command would issue, since it was now committed to stop fighting.

‘Heil Hitler’ dropped

The High Command announced that the greeting “Heil Hitler” would no longer be used in the German Army.

Supreme Allied Headquarters released a statement by Gen. Eisenhower after the signing of the surrender document at his headquarters.

In January 1943, the late President Roosevelt and Premier Churchill announced the formula of unconditional surrender of the Axis powers.

In Europe that formula has now been fulfilled. The Allied force which invaded Europe on June 6, 1944, has with its great Russian Allies and with the forces advancing from the south utterly defeated the Germans by land, sea and air.

Achieved by teamwork

This unconditional surrender has been achieved by teamwork – teamwork not only among all the Allies participating, but among all the services, land, sea and air.

To every subordinate that has been in this command of almost five million Allies I owe a gratitude that can never be repaid. The only repayment that can be made to them is the deep appreciation and lasting gratitude of all free citizens of all United Nations.

A Supreme Headquarters communiqué, possibly the last one of the war, said Gen Eisenhower’s forces had been ordered to cease offensive operations, but would maintain then positions until the surrender becomes effective.

Fighting in Prague

The commanders of the last major surviving German armies in the field – in Czechoslovakia and Norway – agreed to unconditional surrender. But some troops in Prague refused to obey the cease fire order.

German resistance in the Czechoslovak capital was expected to be crushed quickly, however. Liaison officers of the U.S. Third Army were already in the city. A Brussels broadcast said U.S. tanks were entering Prague.

Burn houses

The patriot radio in Prague said some German units were burning houses, murdering Czech civilians and looting in defiance of orders of their commanders. The broadcast called on patriot units to “reply to these bandits with hard blows.”

The Allies notified the German High Command that Allied plenipotentiaries would fly to Oslo in two flying boats today to accept the surrender of the German garrison of 250,000 men in Norway.

Dispatches from Copenhagen said about 50 Russian planes renewed their attacks on German shipping off Bornholm Island today.

Roenne town on the island was evacuated by the Germans after a heavy bombing yesterday, but the Nazis were said to have left a strong concentration of anti-aircraft batteries around the town.

Truman: Japan next

Victory only half won, President says – work, work, work, he urges
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

WASHINGTON – President Truman today proclaimed victory in Europe but told the nation its fighting job would be finished only “when the last Japanese division has surrendered unconditionally.”

He said, “Our victory is only half-won.” He gave this counsel for the months to come: “Work, work, work.”

He gave this advice to the Japs: Surrender.

Surrounded by his government leaders, Mr. Truman issued his proclamation of victory and his statement of the work yet to do at a historic news conference in the White House. Then he broadcast them to the nation.

Outside, while the President spoke, a chill rain fell.

“This,” the President said, “is a solemn but glorious hour.”

He voiced the thought of millions by adding: “How I wish Franklin Roosevelt had lived to see this day.”

The President reminded the nation in its flush of victory that it had not been fighting alone. He proclaimed Sunday, May 13, a day of prayer.

**I call upon all the people of the United States, whatever their faith, to unite in offering joyful thanks to God for the victory we have won and to pray that He will support us to the end of our present struggle and guide us into the way of peace.

I also call upon my countrymen to dedicate this day of prayer to the memory of those who have given their lives to make possible our victory.

The President sent his congratulations and thanks to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Premier Joseph Stalin, Gen. Charles de Gaulle.

To Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, he said:

All of us owe to you and to your men of many nations a debt beyond appraisal for their high contribution to the conquest of Nazism.

Mr. Truman counted the cost of victory. He did not forget “the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band.”

But he also sounded a note of triumph and hope.

He said:

United, the peace-loving nations have demonstrated in the west that their arms are stronger by far than the might of dictators or the tyranny of military cliques that once called us soft and weak.

The power of our peoples to defend themselves against all enemies will be proved in the Pacific war as it has been proved in Europe.

And with victory, the President said, “we must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world – to build an abiding peace, a peace rooted in justice and in law.”

For the Japs, he said, the choice is between unconditional surrender and “utter destruction to Japan’s industrial war production, to its shipping, and to everything that supports its military activity.”

He gave Japan this promise, this invitation to survival: “Unconditional surrender does not mean the extermination or enslavement of the Japanese people.”

He spelled out patiently the choice which is Japan’s.

He said:

The longer the war lasts, the greater will be the suffering and hardships which the people of Japan will undergo – all in vain.

Our blows will not cease until the Japanese military and naval forces lay down their arms in unconditional surrender.

Just what does unconditional surrender of the armed forces mean for the Japanese people?

It means the end of the war.

It means the termination of the influence of the military leaders who have brought Japan to the present brink of disaster.

It means provision for the return of soldiers and sailors to their families, their farms, their jobs.

It means not prolonging the present agony and suffering of the Japanese in the vain hope of victory.

Marshall praises Yanks

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall and Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and many others added their voices to observance of V-E Day.

Gen. Marshall told the men in Europe that they had composed, with their Allies, the greatest military team in history. But he did not forget the men who have been fighting so long in the Pacific. They will be getting help soon, he said, and rest.

To veterans throughout the world, Gen. Marshall said:

Those veterans, who have been long overseas and suffered hazards and hardships of many battles should be spared further sacrifices, but others must move in an overwhelming flood to the Pacific to bring that war to the earliest possible conclusion as well as to relieve the war-weary veterans in that theater.

Warns of future

Mr. Stimson said the German leaders had been shattered but added, “They must be watched lest they again poison civilization.”

Japan, Mr. Stimson said, will get what Germany got.

He said:

We are fighting one vast war for a decent world. We shall continue that war wherever it has to be fought with all our righteous might until the last sign of power in our enemies has disappeared from sight.

Before going on the air, Mr. Truman, surrounded by the leaders of his government, told a crowded news conference that the watchword of the nation now should be “work, work and more work.”

He said:

I call upon every American to stick to his post until the last battle is won. Until that day, let no man abandon his post or slacken his efforts.

Only half-won

Declaring that he wanted it emphasized repeatedly that much work remained before final victory, he said:

Our victory is but half-won. The West is free, but the East is still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese. When the last Japanese division has surrendered unconditionally, then only will our fighting job be done.

He also pointed to the need for hard, toilsome painstaking work to achieve “an abiding peace, a peace rooted in justice and in law."

He gave no details of the surrender except to say in his proclamation that “the Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender.”

Family present

He said:

The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed.

His proclamation continued:

United, the peace-loving nations have demonstrated in the West that their arms are stronger by far than the might of dictators or the tyranny of military cliques that once called us soft and weak. The power of our people to defend themselves against all enemies will be proved in the Pacific war as it has been proved in Europe.

It was one of the most colorful, dramatic news conferences in the history of the White House. The President was surrounded by his family – Mrs. Truman in a dark blue suit and light blue blouse and their daughter, Mary Margaret, in a blue suit and white blouse.

Close friends and associates, the Cabinet, leaders of the armed forces and ranking members of Congress were also present.

Praises Allies

His congratulatory messages to the Allied heads of state were similar. Each message congratulated the Allied peoples and the Allied armies for their heroism and expressed appreciation of the American people and this government for their cooperation and “splendid contribution to the cause of civilization and liberty.”

Government workers and officials took V-E Day in stride. Where possible they listened to the President’s broadcast and then went back to their jobs, as he had previously asked them to do. The Capitol was virtually deserted at that early hour to the disappointment of three soldiers, bound for Germany to join occupational forces, who had hoped to see how the House and Senate reacted.

At the War and Navy Departments, it was a quiet day. The War Department had planned a little ceremony outdoors, but it was canceled. The official reason: “Rain and work.”

Churchill pledges help in Pacific

Says Jap cruelties ‘call for justice’

LONDON, England (UP) – Prime Minister Churchill today proclaimed the end of the war in Europe and pledged that Britain now would concentrate all her forces against Japan.

Britain may allow herself a “brief moment of enjoyment,” he told his countrymen in a brief radio speech, but added:

Japan with all her treachery and greed remains unsubdued. Her despicable cruelties call for justice and retribution. We must now concentrate all forces for the task ahead.

Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!

King broadcasts

In a broadcast to the empire at 9 p.m. (3 p.m. ET), King George also sounded the keynote of continued war against the Japs, “a determined, cruel foe.”

Of the war just ended, he said, “In the darkest hours we knew that the enslaved and isolated peoples of Europe looked to us,” adding that “we kept faith with ourselves and with one another, we kept faith and unity with our great allies.”

Goes to Commons

Mr. Churchill broadcast from the Cabinet room at his official residence, 10 Downing St., at 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET), then proceeded to Commons.

The House gave him an uproarious welcome. When the cheers had died down, he read to the Members the same speech he had broadcast a half-hour earlier.

He reviewed briefly the signing of the original unconditional surrender pact of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters at Reims yesterday and the arrangements for its ratification in Berlin today.

Some still resist

Despite the capitulation, he said, the Germans in some places were still resisting the Red Army.

He said:

Should they continue to do so after midnight, they will of course deprive themselves of the protection of the laws of war and will be attacked from all quarters by Allied troops.

It is not surprising that on such long fronts and in the existing disorder of the enemy, the commands of the German High Command should not in every case be obeyed immediately.

Nevertheless, he said, it did not seem best to withhold longer the news of Germany’s capitulation “nor should it prevent us from celebrating today and tomorrow as Victory-in-Europe Days.”

To pay tribute

He said:

Today, perhaps we shall think mostly of ourselves. Tomorrow, we shall pay particular tribute to our Russian comrades whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to general victory.

The German war, therefore, is at an end.

He recalled that Britain for a time stood alone against German military might, but was joined by power and resources of the United States of America.

“Finally, almost the whole world was combined against the evildoers who are now prostrate before us,” he said. “Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this island and throughout the British Empire.”

Delay explained

Political and diplomatic correspondents of London morning newspapers attributed the delay in the official Allied announcement of the surrender to the insistence of President Truman and Premier Stalin.

It was generally believed Marshal Stalin particularly balked at announcing victory until diehard German forces in Czechoslovakia had agreed to the capitulation.

Mr. Churchill was expected to make a long broadcast to the world on Thursday, the fifth anniversary of the German invasion of the Lowlands.

The Ministry of Information said both today and tomorrow would be holidays in Britain.

Marines advance on Okinawa capital

Superfortresses batter Kyushu air bases

Disgraceful, unethical, war reporters charge –
AP’s story of surrender called ‘double cross,’ violation of oath

PARIS, France (UP) – All correspondents at Supreme Allied Headquarters, except those on the staff of the Associated Press, today signed a letter to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, accusing Edward Kennedy of the AP of violating a pledge of honor by filing an unauthorized dispatch on the German surrender at Reims.

They asked that the ban on the AP filing privileges from the European theater of operations be imposed.

The pledge of honor was accepted without dissent by 16 newspapermen, including Mr. Kennedy, who were flown from Paris to Reims to cover the surrender.

The letter called Mr. Kennedy’s action in sending out a dispatch in violation of this pledge “the most disgraceful, deliberate and unethical double-cross in the history of journalism.”

The letter was signed by some of the most distinguished correspondents assigned to the war, including men representing The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, the John Knight newspapers, including The Chicago Daily News, Time and Life Magazines, representatives of radio networks, Reuters, the United Press and the International News Service.

Gen. Eisenhower rejected the correspondents’ petition on the grounds only the War Department in Washington could discipline an entire American organization. The ban against Mr. Kennedy filing remains in effect.

Mr. Kennedy admitted he had violated his pledge not to file a dispatch on the Reims surrender until authorized to do so by SHAEF. He said he had violated it because he believed Brig. Gen. Frank Allen, SHAEF press relations officer, had no right to bind correspondents to such a pledge.

Mr. Kennedy, however, made no protest against taking the pledge when Gen. Allen called the correspondents around him in the plane on the way to Reims and told them:

Gentlemen, we are going on a mission to cover the signing of the peace. This group has been chosen to represent the press of the world.

This story is off the record until the respective heads of the Allied governments announce the fact to the world. I, therefore, pledge each and every one of you on your honor not to communicate the results of this conference or the fact of its existence until it is released by SHAEF.

Fifty-three correspondents signed the letter to Gen. Eisenhower.

SHAEF appointed a committee of three officers to investigate the method Mr. Kennedy used in filing his Reims dispatch in violation of his pledge. The committee has not reported.

The AP in New York said Mr. Kennedy telephoned his dispatch from France to London where it was put on the trans-Atlantic cable to New York.

The rule of the London censorship is that dispatches of foreign origin, travelling through London, merely can be stamped “in transit” and do not need to be submitted to the London censorship.

The assumption of the rule is that such dispatches have been censored at the source of origin.

**Such an evasion was available to all the correspondents who went to Reims, except that they had given their word that they would comply with regulations which called for their copy to be submitted to the censor at Allied Headquarters in Paris.

Today’s action by the SHAEF correspondents is unparalleled. Never before have so many correspondents signed such a denunciation of a fellow reporter as the one sent to Gen. Eisenhower today.

Discussing the imposition of the ban on the AP’s filing facilities throughout the European Theater yesterday, Gen. Allen said:

The ban was imposed for the purposes of investigation and not as a punishment. Therefore, its lifting cannot be regarded as exoneration.

The text of the SHAEF correspondents’ letter to Gen. Eisenhower:

We the undersigned SHAEF accredited correspondents have learned with utter astonishment of the decision to lift the ban on Associated Press in connection with the unauthorized publication of official news of the unconditional surrender of Germany.

It is our firm conviction that this action is most outrageously unfair treatment of those news agencies and newspapers whose correspondents have respected the confidence placed in them by SHAEF; and who as a result of so doing have suffered the most disgraceful, deliberate and unethical double-cross in the history of journalism.

‘Position incomprehensible’

Any position that the Associated Press as an organization was not guilty of any infraction of SHAEF regulations is in our opinion incomprehensible. The organization in question published the story and made no effort whatever to retract it when it became evident that its publication was a flagrant violation of SHAEF security regulations imposed on all other correspondents concerned.

Furthermore, the Paris Bureau of Associated Press distributed the story to all French newspapers. This involved activities of more than one representative of that agency.

It is an accepted fact that any organization is responsible for its personnel, especially in the case of men assigned as war correspondents to theater of military operations and even more especially in the case of men selected as bureau chiefs. (Edward Kennedy, Paris Associated Press Bureau chief.)

Pledge quoted

Each accredited SHAEF correspondent who participated in the mission in question was pledged on his honor to secrecy by Brig. Gen. Frank Allen. Gen. Allen made to correspondents involved a statement to the following effect:

“This story is off the record until the respective heads of the Allied governments announce the fact to the world. I therefore pledge each and every one of you on your honor not to communicate the results of this conference or the fact of its existence until it is released by SHAEF.”

Associated Press cannot escape responsibility for the fact that a man selected as its representative at SHAEF and who was among those present when Gen. Allen imposed his secrecy pledge deliberately circumvented SHAEF censorship in order to file his story for immediate publication in complete defiance of the pledge.

Story unauthorized

Much less can Associated Press escape responsibility for continuing to publish the story when it was evident that it was unauthorized.

To permit Associated Press to carry at the time of its authorized release any official news out of ETO concerning the surrender of Germany is in our opinion most unjust. to those correspondents who have kept faith with you.

If this decision is allowed to stand it will in our opinion completely undermine any sense of responsibility on the part of correspondents to abide by or respect in the future SHAEF rules or regulations.

Evidence of incompetence

That an Associated Press correspondent was able to telephone an unauthorized story of this to London is in itself glaring evidence of incompetence on the part of that branch of Allied military which is responsible for security in Paris.

That Associated Press should be permitted to continue to benefit from its defiance of a solemn pledge of secrecy imposed on news of such importance to the world is incredible.

Although the original action against the AP suspended all its filing privileges throughout the European Theater, this order was later amended to apply only to Mr. Kennedy.

*Commenting yesterday on the suspension of all AP filing facilities in the European Theater, Paul Mickelson, general news editor of the AP in New York, said: “The suspension is like being thrown out of Wahoo, Nebraska, after the whole thing is over.”

The United Press man assigned to the Reims trip was Boyd D. Lewis, European news manager, who filed dispatch No. 1 with the SHAEF censor when he returned to SHAEF. That dispatch was released for publication at 9 a.m. ET today.

Bright lights go back on tonight

Dimout revoked by War Utilities head

WASHINGTON (UP) – Bright lights can be turned on tonight throughout the nation with the blessing of the War Production Board.

Edward Falck, director of the Office of War Utilities, revoked the dimout order which had darkened shop windows, theater marquees and outdoor advertising signs in most of the nation for the last three months.

The dimout started February 1. It was ordered to save two million tons of coal annually. Mr. Falck said that it had saved 500,000 tons of coal.

WPB Chief J. A. Krug cautioned that it might be necessary to order another dimout in the fall if coal stocks have not been replenished.

Truman 61 today

WASHINGTON – This is President Truman’s 61st birthday. What a birthday! The President planned nothing elaborate. Just ending the war with Germany, a worldwide radio broadcast and a dozen or so conferences with government leaders.

Out of this world

By Florence Fisher Parry

V-E Day celebration differs from Armistice Day in 1918

Impromptu rejoicing 27 years ago was greater for news meant peace
Tuesday, May 8, 1945

Today’s V-E celebration couldn’t match the Armistice jamboree of 1918. The boys and girls really went to town on that November 11.

On that morning, word that the Armistice had been signed in the forest of Compiegne was flashed from Washington shortly before 3 a.m. It said firing would stop at 5 a.m. ET, 11 a.m. French Time.

While the news had been expected since the false Armistice four days earlier the first thousands heard of the German surrender was when they started for work.

Then news meant peace

Many never reached their desks, work benches, mines or machines. They paraded through the streets, jammed into barrooms, shouted joyously, bought strangers drinks. Department stores closed. it was just as well because that throng wasn’t thinking of shopping. They really went on a binge of rejoicing.

In the afternoon, Mayor E. V. Babcock led a hastily-formed parade through the Golden Triangle. In the evening, another parade started on the North Side and snake danced into the Downtown district. In 1918, the news meant peace.

Headlines still good

Headlines in The Press of November 11, 1918, outlined stories which could be used in today’s Press – with the changing of a few names and some minor details.

For instance, a Page 1 boxed head in 1918 asked: “Kaiser’s Fate?” Today, substitute Hitler.

“Crown Prince Reported Shot” was another 1918 headline. It has been reported within the past 48 hours that the same Crown Prince. has been taken prisoner.

Parallels today

“Hohenzollern Peril Not Dead; Allies Discord Remains Danger,” was another headline. With a slight alteration it could be used on a story from the San Francisco Conference. Just substitute “Nazi” for “Hohenzollern.”

Editorially, on November 11, 1918, the Press said:

The German people, led thereto by the wicked ambition of their late distinguished emperor, now the world’s most distinguished fugitive from justice, have done other nations a great wrong.

Write in “Hitler” for “emperor” and the 1945 picture duplicates 1918.

Who said that history never repeats?

New York stages wild celebration

NEW YORK (UP) – New York City erupted today in a wild celebration of victory over Germany.

Tons of paper and ticker tape showed from windows in the city’s business districts.

Tens of thousands of persons danced through Times Square in the heart of the city.

In the city’s harbor, ships and vessels began blowing whistles in the victory sign.

Department stores were closed.

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Conference may end within three weeks

SAN FRANCISCO, California (UP) – The end of the war in Europe spurred delegates at the United Nations Conference today to hasten the creation of a world organization strong enough to prevent another war.

The delegates wall “celebrate” the historic announcement of the end of the war with only a minute of silence. Then they will return to long hours of work designed to accomplish their task here within the next two or three weeks.

The end of the European war finds this conference in a favorable position.

Big powers in agreement

The big powers are in an amazing decree of unanimity on all fundamental issues pertaining to the new world peacekeeping organization.

It has been little short of a miracle that the unanimity has been attained. There have been side issues which, with less determination to succeed on the part of the leaders, could have bogged down the conference.

On the Polish issue especially, feeling on both sides has been bitter.

Leaders move ahead

But the leaders here succeeded in not letting it interfere with the task of building a charter for a world organization.

The atmosphere here augurs well for greater success at this conference than anticipated by even the most optimistic a month ago.

The United States, Great Britain, Russia and China are ready to turn the conference over to the little nations.

In effect, the “Little Nation” phase begins today after nearly two weeks of domination by the big ones. The others now will have a chance to be heard, but are expected generally to accept the broad outline of the plan on which the big powers agreed.

Objections met

Most of the issues raised by the little powers have been met by Big Four amendments. The major one left untouched is the voting procedure which gives the big powers a veto over virtually all decisions and actions of the Security Council.

The little nations will seek restrictions, but it is generally recognized that the formula must stand for the present. It was agreed to at Yalta and the prospects of any change in it here are nil.

Big Four unanimity on all major issues was claimed yesterday by Soviet Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov at a press conference. Some of his statements at first were interpreted as meaning that he was not supporting the revised amendment of Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-Michigan) – the so-called “treaty revision” amendment.

Clarified by Vandenberg

But Mr. Vandenberg himself clarified that quickly by announcing that he and M. Molotov were in agreement on post-war revision of treaties.

Mr. Vandenberg explained that both he and M. Molotov opposed giving the world organization itself actual authority to reviser treaties. But both, he said, felt it should have power to recommend revisions whenever it found a situation likely to impair the general welfare.

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Japs prepared, Grew warns

WASHINGTON (UP) – Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew warned in a Victory Day broadcast that Japan has prepared herself for a long time to carry on the war after Germany’s defeat.

Mr. Grew said:

Although Japan is fighting alone, she is strong, and she is still fighting with cunning and tenacity.

Let us not think that the defeat of her Nazi ally has caught her by surprise. Let us not think that she was not aware that one day she would have to bear the full brunt of our force alone.

Japan has been preparing herself for this for a long time – and most particularly since the successful Allied landings in Normandy last June showed that Germany was going to be crushed.

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‘War in Europe over? So what?’

OKINAWA (UP) – “So the war in Europe is over. So what?”

This comment from a G.I., arriving from battle on the front line, sums up the feeling on this island about the end of the war in Europe.

The Japs are still fighting for this island, but there has never been any doubt that U.S. forces will take it. The Tenth Army has a powerful force ashore with plenty of supplies for the final drive to victory.

V-E Day found Okinawa swept by cold rain. It annoyed Doughfoots and Japs alike.

There is still a hard, long road ahead in the Pacific and there can be no pause for celebration.

MacArthur salutes victors in West

MANILA, Philippines (UP) – Gen. Douglas MacArthur said today his command saluted the comrades who were victors in the West and rededicated themselves to the task of crushing the Japs in the East.

Gen. MacArthur said he rejoiced that this theater will “now be reinforced by those vast and powerful resources of the war which heretofore have been employed on the battlefields of Europe.”