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2 June 1942

2 June 1942

2 June 1942

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War at Sea

German submarine U-652 sunk by U-81 after sustaining damage in the Gulf of Sollum



Today in World War II History—June 30, 1942

75 Years Ago—June 30, 1942: Soviets evacuate Sevastopol as Germans advance.

German troops under Rommel reach El Alamein, Egypt.

US begins draft registration for men 18-20.

US Coast Guard’s Beach Patrol Division established under Capt. Raymond Mauerman.

Destroyer USS Fletcher, first in new flush-deck Fletcher class, is commissioned in Kearny NJ.

Technical drawing of a US Fletcher-class destroyer, published in All Hands magazine, 1954 note that the radars are missing (US Navy).


2 June 1942 - History

"Evacuees feared and resented the changes forced by life in the centers, particularly the breakdown of family authority..ldren unsettlingly found their parents as helpless as they."
- "Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians"

"There were shootings..Topaz, an elderly evacuee thought to be escaping was killed. At Gila River, a Guard shot and wounded a mentally deranged evacuee. At Tule Lake, after segregation, an evacuee in an altercation with a guard was shot and killed."
- Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians.

WWII INCARCERATION TIMELINE

August 18, 1941
In a letter to President Roosevelt, Representative John Dingell of Michigan suggests incarcerating 10,000 Hawaiian Japanese Americans as hostages to ensure "good behavior" on the part of Japan.

November 12, 1941
Fifteen Japanese American businessmen and community leaders in Los Angeles Little Tokyo are picked up in an F.B.I. raid. A spokesman for the Central Japanese Association states: "We teach the fundamental principles of America and the high ideals of American democracy. We want to live here in peace and harmony. Our people are 100% loyal to America."

December 7, 1941
The attack on Pearl Harbor. Local authorities and the F.B.I. begin to round up the leadership of the Japanese American communities. Within 48 hours, 1,291 Issei are in custody. These men are held under no formal charges and family members are forbidden from seeing them. Most would spend the war years in enemy alien prisoner camps run by the Justice Department.

February 19, 1942
President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 which allows military authorities to exclude anyone from anywhere without trial or hearings. Though the subject of only limited interest at the time, this order set the stage for the entire forced removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans.

February 25, 1942
The Navy informs Japanese American residents of Terminal Island near Los Angeles Harbor that they must leave in 48 hours. They are the first group to be removed en masse.

February 27, 1942.
Idaho Governor Chase Clark tells a congressional committee in Seattle that Japanese would be welcome in Idaho only if they were in "concentration camps under military guard." Some credit Clark with the conception of what was to become a true scenario.

March 2, 1942
Gen. John L. DeWitt issues Public Proclamation No. 1 which creates Military Areas Nos. 1 and 2. Military Area No. 1 includes the western portion of California, Oregon and Washington, and part of Arizona while Military Area No. 2 includes the rest of these states. The proclamation also hints that people might be excluded from Military Area No. 1.

March 18, 1942
The president signs Executive Order 9102 establishing the War Relocation Authority (WRA) with Milton Eisenhower as director. It is allocated $5.5 million.

March 21, 1942
The first advance groups of Japanese American "volunteers" arrive at Manzanar, CA. The WRA would take over on June 1 and transform it into a "relocation center."

March 24, 1942
The first Civilian Exclusion Order issued by the Army is issued for the Bainbridge Island area near Seattle. The forty-five families there are given one week to prepare. By the end of October, 108 exclusion orders would be issued, and all Japanese Americans in Military Area No. 1 and the California portion of No. 2 would be incarcerated.

March 28, 1942
Minoru Yasui walks into a Portland police station at 11:20 p.m. to present himself for arrest in order to test the curfew regulations in court.

May 1, 1942
Having "voluntarily resettled" in Denver, Nisei journalist James Omura writes a letter to a Washington law firm inquiring about retaining their services to seek legal action against the government for violations of civil and constitutional rights and seeking restitution for economic losses. He was unable to afford the $3,500 fee required to begin proceedings.

May 13, 1942
Forty-five-year-old Ichiro Shimoda, a Los Angeles gardener, is shot to death by guards while trying to escape from Fort Still (Oklahoma) prison camp. The victim was seriously mentally ill, having attempted suicide twice since being picked up on December 7. He is shot despite the guards' knowledge of his mental state.

May 16, 1942
Hikoji Takeuchi, a Nisei, is shot by a guard at Manzanar. The guard claims that he shouted at Takeuchi and that Takeuchi began to run away from him. Takeuchi claims he was collecting scrap lumber and didn't hear the guard shout. His wounds indicate that he was shot in the front. Though seriously injured, he eventually recovered.

May 29, 1942
Largely organized by Quaker leader Clarence E. Pickett, the National Japanese-American Student Relocation Council is formed in Philadelphia with University of Washington Dean Robert W. O'Brien as director. By war's end, 4,300 Nisei would be in college.

June 1942
The movie "Little Tokyo, U.S.A." is released by Twentieth Century Fox. In it, the Japanese American community is portrayed as a "vast army of volunteer spies" and "blind worshippers of their Emperor, " as described in the film's voice-over prologue.

June 17, 1942
Milton Eisenhower resigns as WRA director. Dillon Myer is appointed to replace him.

July, 27 1942
Two Issei -- Brawley, CA farmer Toshiro Kobata and San Pedro fisherman Hirota Isomura -- are shot to death by camp guards at Lourdsburg, New Mexico enemy alien prison camp. The men had allegedly been trying to escape. It would later be reported, however, that upon their arrival to the camp, the men had been too ill to walk from the train station to the camp gate.

August 4, 1942
A routine search for contraband at the Santa Anita "Assembly Center" turns into a "riot." Eager military personnel had become overzealous and abusive which, along with the failure of several attempts to reach the camp's internal security chief, triggers mass unrest, crowd formation, and the harassing of the searchers. Military police with tanks and machine guns quickly end the incident. The "overzealous" military personnel are later replaced.

August 10, 1942 The first inmates arrive at Minidoka, Idaho.

August 12, 1942 The first 292 inmates arrive at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

August 27, 1942 The first inmates arrive at Granada, or Amache, Colorado.

September 11, 1942 The first inmates arrive at Central Utah, or Topaz.

September 18, 1942 The first inmates arrive at Rohwer, Arkansas.

October 20, 1942
President Roosevelt calls the "relocation centers" "concentration camps" at a press conference. The WRA had consistently denied that the term "concentration camps" accurately described the camps.

November 14, 1942
An attack on a man widely perceived as an informer results in the arrest of two popular inmates at Poston. This incident soon mushrooms into a mass strike.

December 5, 1942
Fred Tayama is attacked and seriously injured by a group of inmates at Manzanar. The arrest of the popular Harry Ueno for the crime triggers a mass uprising.

December 10, 1942
The WRA establishes a prison at Moab, Utah for recalcitrant inmates.

February 1, 1943
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is activated, made up entirely of Japanese Americans.

April 11, 1943
James Hatsuki Wakasa, a sixty-three-year-old chef, is shot to death by a sentry at Heart Mountain camp while allegedly trying to escape through a fence. It is later determined that Wakasa had been inside the fence and facing the sentry when shot. The sentry would stand a general court-martial on April 28 at Fort Douglas, Utah and be found "not guilty."

April 13, 1943
"A Jap's a Jap. There is no way to determine their loyalty.. This coast is too vulnerable. No Jap should come back to this coast except on a permit from my office." Gereral John L. DeWitt, head, Western Defense Command before the House Naval Affairs Subcommittee.

June 21, 1943
The United States Supreme Court rules on the Hirabayashi and Yasui cases, upholding the constitutionality of the curfew and exclusion orders.

September 13, 1943
The realignment of Tule Lake as a camp for "dissenters" begins. After the loyalty questionnaire episode, "loyal" prisoners begin to depart to other camps. Five days later, "disloyal" prisoners from other camps begin to arrive at Tule Lake.

November 4, 1943
The Tule Lake uprising caps a month of strife. Tension had been high since the administration had fired 43 coal workers involved in a labor dispute on October 7.

January 14, 1944
Nisei eligibility for the draft is restored. The reaction to this announcement in the camps would be mixed.

January 26, 1944
Spurred by the announcement of the draft a few days before, 300 people attend a public meeting at Heart Mountain camp. Here, the Fair Play Committee is formally organized to support draft resistance.

March 20, 1944
Forty-three Japanese American soldiers are arrested for refusing to participate in combat training at Fort McClellan, Alabama, as a protest of treatment of their families in U.S. camps. Eventually, 106 are arrested for their refusal. Twenty-one are convicted and serve prison time before being paroled in 1946.

May 10, 1944
A Federal Grand Jury issues indictments abgainst 63 Heart Mountain draft resistors. The 63 are found guilty and sentenced to jail terms on June 26. They would be granted a pardon on December 24, 1947.

May 24, 1944
Shoichi James Okamoto is shot to death at Tule Lake by a guard after stopping a construction truck at the main gate for permission to pass. Private Bernard Goe, the guard, would be acquitted after being fined a dollar for "unauthorized use of government property" --a bullet.

June 30, 1944
Jerome becomes the first camp to close when the last inmates are transferred to Rohwer.

July 21, 1944
Seven members of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee are arrested, along with journalist James Omura. Their trial for "unlawful conspiracy to counsel, aid and abet violators of the draft" begins on October 23. All but Omura would eventually be found guilty.

October 27-30, 1944
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team rescues an American battalion which had been cut off and surrounded by the enemy. Eight hundred casualties are suffered by the 442nd to rescue 211 men. After this rescue, the 442nd is ordered to keep advancing in the forest they would push ahead without relief or rest until November 9.

December 18, 1944
The Supreme Court decides that Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu was indeed guilty of remaining in a military area contrary to the exclusion order. This case challenged the constitutionality of the entire exclusion process.

January 2, 1945
Restrictions preventing resettlement on the West Coast are removed, although many exceptions continue to exist. A few carefully screened Japanese Americans had returned to the coast in late 1944.

January 8, 1945
The packing shed of the Doi family is burned and dynamited and shots are fired into their home. The family had been the first to return to California from Amache and the first to return to Placer County, having arrived three days earlier. Although several men are arrested and confess to the acts, all would be acquitted. Some 30 similar incidents would greet other Japanese Americans returning to the West Coast between January and June.

May 7, 1945
The surrender of Germany ends the war in Europe.

August 6, 1945
The atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb is dropped on Nagasaki. The war in the Pacific would end on August 14.

March 20, 1946
Tule Lake closes, culminating "an incrediblle mass evacuation in reverse." In the month prior to the closing, some 5,000 prisoners had to be moved, many of whom were elderly, impoverished, or mentally ill and with no place to go.

July 15, 1946
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is received on the White House lawn by President Truman. "You fought not only the enemy but you fought prejudice -- and you have won," remarks the president.

June 30, 1947
U.S. District Judge Louis E. Goodman orders that the petitioners in Wayne Collins' suit of December 13, 1945 be released native-born American citizens could not be converted to enemy aliens and could not be imprisoned or sent to Japan on the basis of renunciation. Three hundred and two persons are finally released from Crystal City, Texas and Seabrook Farms, New Jersey on September 6, 1947.

July 2, 1948
President Truman signs the Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act, a measure to compensate Japanese Americans for certain economic losses attributable to their forced evacuation. Although some $28 million was to be paid out through provision of the act, it would be largely ineffective even on the limited scope in which it operated.

July 10, 1970
A resolution is announced by the Japanese American Citizen League's Northern California-Western Nevada District Council calling for reparations for the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. This resolution would have the JACL seek a bill in Congress awarding individual compensation on a per diem basis, tax-free.

November 28, 1979
Representative Mike Lowry (D-WA) introduces the World War II Japanese-American Human Rights Violations Act (H.R. 5977) into Congress. This NCJAR-sponsored bill is largely based on research done by ex-members of the Seattle JACL chapter. It proposes direct payments of $15,000 per victim plus an addtional $15 per day imprisoned. Given the choice between this bill and the JACL-supported study commission bill introduced two months earlier, Congress opts for the latter.

July 14, 1981
The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) holds a public hearing in Washington, D.C. as part of its investigation into the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Similar hearings would be held in many other cities throughout the rest of 1981. The emotional testimony by more than 750 Japanese American witnesses about their wartime experiences would prove cathartic for the community and a turning point in the redress movement.

June 16, 1983
The CWRIC issues its formal recommendations to Congress concerning redress for Japanese Americans imprisoned during World War II. They include the call for individual payments of $20,000 to each of those who spent time in the concentration camps and are still alive.


2 June 1942 - History

USS Yorktown

The Japanese High-Command had been divided between those who wanted to consolidate their advances, and those (led by the Navy), who felt the only way to win the war was to decisively defeat the U.S. Navy. After the Doolittle Raid, the Navy received the green light to go ahead. Japanese Naval Chief Yamamoto believed that capturing Midway Island was the key to defeat the U.S. in the Pacific. If Midway could be captured, then Hawaii would be vulnerable. Yamamoto set sail on May 26th 1942 for Midway.

The Americans had broken the main Japanese communication code and were able to determine that Midway was their next target. The U.S. sent a false flag message that Midway was low on water. Then they intercepted a Japanese transmission passing on that information. Admiral Nimitz, commander of U.S. Forces in the Pacific sent Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher- (who commanded a fleet of three Aircraft Carriers: the U.S.S. Enterprise, U.S.S. Hornet and the U.S.S. Yorktown–which had been severely damaged in the Battle of the Coral Sea.) In addition, Fletcher had three Cruisers and 12 Destroyers. Admiral Fletcher faced 11 Japanese Battleships, 8 Carriers, 23 Cruisers and 65 Destroyers.

The deck seemed stacked against Admiral Fletcher, despite his two major advantages: First, Fletcher knew the plans and goals of the Japanese, (while the Japanese were totally unaware that Fletcher was there.) Second, Admiral Fletcher had a type of “limited” aircraft that could be flown off Midway Island itself.


Lidice 1942

In June 1942, Lidice, a village in Czechoslovakia, ceased to exist. Lidice had been implicated in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi controller of Bohemia and Moravia, and Hitler’s order was given to “teach the Czechs a final lesson of subservience and humility”.

On May 27th, 1942, Heydrich was attacked by British-trained freedom fighters – one born in the current Czech Republic and the other, Jozef Gabcik, born in Slovakia. A grenade attack on his car left him fatally wounded and he died on June 4th. Hitler had always had a high opinion of Heydrich. Some believe that Hitler was grooming Heydrich to succeed him and the Fuehrer said that “he has a heart of iron”. Energetic and efficient, Heydrich brought a reign of terror to Czechoslovakia and his death enraged Hitler.

“Hitler was frantic with rage and, characteristically, what he called for was not justice but vengeance. He ordered the instant execution of 30,000 Czechs as a reprisal.”Richard Livingstone

The man appointed to take over from Heydrich, Karl Frank, pointed out that the loss of 30,000 would have a severe impact on the Czech labour force. Hitler took this on board and changed the figure to the arrest of 10,000. On the night of May 27th, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, ordered Frank to shoot 100 “intellectuals” that night. Over the next few days, 3,188 Czechs were arrested of whom 1,357 were executed, while 657 died in police custody. However, none of this satisfied Hitler, though he had recognised the fact that 30,000 executions would have a negative impact on the labour force in Czechoslovakia.

On June 8th, a state funeral was held for Heydrich. On the next day, Frank received an order from Hitler which stated that a small community near an industrial centre was to be selected and wiped out as punishment. Therefore, there would be no impact on the Czech labour force, but Hitler would have gained his desired for revenge.

But why was Lidice chosen? One of the men who assassinated Heydrich had links to Lidice (the assassins were all killed). Also the Gestapo had intercepted what they deemed to be a “suspicious” note that contained the name Lidice. In fact, it was another Lidice in Czechoslovakia – but this only came to light afterwards, once the arrangements had been made to wipe out Frank’s chosen target – Lidice near Prague.

Lidice was about 10 miles from Prague. The village was off any main road so the sighting of any German troops en masse was rare. With 100,000 German troops in Czechoslovakia, German troops had been seen in Lidice but only in small numbers. On June 4th, the day of Heydrich’s death, German troops entered Lidice, the Gestapo questioned people and houses were ransacked. Then they suddenly left leaving the villagers confused as to why they had done this.

On June 9th, they returned in the evening. Most of the villagers had gone to bed. They were woken and made to gather in the village square. Women and children were put on one side and men and boys over 15 were put on the other side of the square. The men and boys were put in farm buildings while the women and children were locked into the local school.

After the villagers had been locked away, military police ransacked the homes once again and took anything of value. All farming tools were taken and cattle were herded up. Anything of the remotest value was taken.

At 05.00 the next day, the198 women and 98 children were put onto lorries and driven away. They were transferred to Ravensbruck concentration camp. Those children who were considered suitable for ‘Germanisation’ were picked out and given to SS families. Those who were not considered suitable were scheduled to be sent to the camps. The men were brought out of the farm houses and lined up in front of mattresses laid against a wall – see the photograph above. The execution squad brought them out in batches of ten. 173 were shot. Those men who lived in Lidice but who were on shift work at the local factories when the arrests were made, were rounded up later – a further 19 were shot. Those men who were in Lidice at the time visiting relatives and friends, but who were not from Lidice, were also shot.

The village was then destroyed – literally wiped off of the map. Houses were destroyed, orchards dug up and the graveyard desecrated. Even pet dogs were shot. When this was done, pioneer troops were sent in to plough the land flat. Seemingly nothing was left of the village, not even the outline. The whole episode was filmed by the SS.

Of the women, only 143 are known to have somehow survived Ravensbruck, the Nazi concentration camp for women. Of the 98 children (who, owing to “transport difficulties”, were separated from their mothers on June 12th), 17 are known to have survived by being selected for ‘Germanisation’. They returned to Czechoslovakia after the war. Those children not considered suitable were gassed at Chemnitz on the orders of Adolf Eichmann.


Yamamotos Intent 5 June 1942

Hoping to game this out with miniatures this summer. Actually a variant with the US battle fleet such as it was, covering Spruances force on the morning of the 5th. The assumption or PoD being Yamamoto does not cancel the previous orders in factor of retirement.

This would change some details on the morning of the 5th, but those will ultimately be up to the players & how they decide to proceed from midnight 4/5 June.

Dilvish

Hoping to game this out with miniatures this summer. Actually a variant with the US battle fleet such as it was, covering Spruances force on the morning of the 5th. The assumption or PoD being Yamamoto does not cancel the previous orders in factor of retirement.

This would change some details on the morning of the 5th, but those will ultimately be up to the players & how they decide to proceed from midnight 4/5 June.

Oh my. That should be a fun time. Which rules will you be using?

The daylight surface action I'm envisioning has both sides roughly equal in cruisers. The USN has the greater number of destroyers. And the Japanese have a pair of battlecruisers, which by themselves are a match for the US cruisers. I'm assuming that Kondo's cruisers are with Nagumo's screening force, and that both sides - oh, just the Americans have their carriers to the rear with a minimal DD force. No IJN carriers left, so all of Nagumo's DDs can join the fight, less those loaded with survivors.

Neither the USN nor the IJN knows about the US torpedo problems, so a massed torpedo attack by the US DDs would be a legitimate tactic and threat. The players know the reality, though do the IJN players want to take the risk of a torpedo having a good day? Might depend on how the players feel about their dice.

Carl Schwamberger

If I can I & the guy assisting me will pass lightly over the torpedo problems & other details that were not clearly understood by either side at the time. I used to umpire a lot of double blind games & learned something about planting the historical assumptions and doctrines in players minds when setting things up. Will be really great if neither side has a clear a'priori knowledge of the others OB at Midway. Just lay the historical intel on them. That can produce some really unexpected results on the game table.

I do have some information on USN doctrine for operating the surface warships & surface action, but if anyone has any details on that to contribute, or for the IJN please post.

Carl Schwamberger

Carl Schwamberger

Was able to game a hypothetical surface action a few weeks ago. It was more in the nature of a schematic, than a developing battle. The assumption was the two groups are simultaneously sighted by air reconissance shortly after dawn, the consolidated surface fleets turn towards each other, and are close enough they come within visual distance within two hours. The two fleets included all three IJN battleships, the four Kongo class BC & the accompanying IJN cruisers. The US Fleet had seven BB Standards, six cruisers. The destroyers were not represented one for one, but reduced for simplicity. Also for simplicity we waived away any air action.

The two fleets were placed in a tight battle formation and approached head on as they crossed to horizon into sighting distance, about 11 Nautical Miles. Both fleets continued straight for another few minutes, the began maneuvering for broadside fire and tactical advantage. We called the game after 42 minutes of combat. The two fleets were inside five NM of each other. As I expected the Kongos did not take much punishment before succumbing. The cruisers of both sides took heavy damage across the board as well. That left essentially three IJN BB including the Yamamoto, vs seven US BB. The US BB took some damage from the Japanese gunfire. However three series of IJN torpedo attacks sank half the US cruisers and put three of the seven US Standards out of action. When called the game left both sides severely damaged basically with three BB each and one or two cruisers effective.

The torpedo results seemed very ahistorical. of 97 torpedoes launched there was a hit rate of 25%. That is way above the actual IJN hit rate for the Long Lance torpedo, actually between 5% & 10%. This may in part have been because the Japanese side launched its torpedoes at a relatively close range of five NM or less. That was well under what I understand of the doctrinal range in daylight battles.

A second ahistoicality is the USN had to few destroyers present. Had we been a bit more through in our research the strength would have been 3-4 times what we had on the table.

A few question revolve around how to rate the training level of some of the USN BB. We gave them a median average rating across the board. No allowance for those with a reputation for elite crews, or substandard. The same for the IJN, except for the Yamamoto which was rated as 'green'. That affected its gun accuracy & effectively took it out of the long and medium range battle.

Altogether this test took seven hours to actually run, with another six to seven hours preparation time using two people. I'm hoping to run another briefer test in August modeling a initial encounter by a few cruisers in the outer scout screen.


2 June 1942 - History

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U.S. Army Rangers sit on board a landing craft assault vessel in Weymouth Harbour, England on June 6, 1944. The ship is bound for the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France.

Clockwise, from far left: First Sergeant Sandy Martin, who was killed during the landing, Technician Fifth Grade Joseph Markovich, Corporal John Loshiavo, and Private First Class Frank E. Lockwood. Galerie Bilderwelt/Getty Images

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"Black and white are the colors of photography," legendary photographer Robert Frank once said. "To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected."

It's easy to agree with Robert Frank's words — especially because they come from Robert Frank.

Still, it's hard to dismiss one of the strongest advantages that color photography holds over black-and-white: its immediacy.

"I work in colour sometimes," said Mary Ellen Mark, who sits not far from Frank in the pantheon of revered black-and-white photographers, "but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it."

Indeed, whereas black-and-white offers an invaluable sense of "abstraction" — a timeless way to tap into the human hope and despair that Frank posits as eternal — color offers a certain vital sense of the here-and-now.

In other words, black-and-white may be timeless, but is timeless always what we want?

This question becomes even more important when it comes to images that document history long gone by.

When someone alive today looks at photographs from World War 2, for example, the black-and-white may very well abstract the images from their original time and thus allow the modern viewer to better tap into the images' timeless, eternal sense of hope or despair.

But that same kind of abstraction can make an image inert — a moment becomes a museum piece, a thing of the past, something that happened to somebody else, something that has no bearing on our present.

But the historical events able to be preserved to an appreciable degree in color — and World War 2 was among the first — can come back to life for the present-day viewer in ways that they likely wouldn't in black-and-white.

Perhaps color reminds us, more so than black-and-white, that the subjects captured were real people just like us, and not merely beings of the past. Black-and-white may preserve the heart and soul, but perhaps color preserves the flesh and blood.

Experience World War 2 in color in the gallery above.

After this look at World War 2 in color, see more of the most powerful photos of World War 2 in both color and black-and-white. Then, discover the truth behind some of the most enduring World War 2 myths.


Battle of Midway, 3-6 June 1942

Ignoring their setback at the Battle of the Coral Sea, Japan turned toward the Central and North Pacific to launch a complicated operation: Admiral Yamamoto's two-pronged thrust at Midway and the Aleutians. With these moves Yamamoto hoped to overcome the reverses at Coral Sea, extend the Japanese defense perimeter, and possibly lure the remainder of the U.S. fleet to a decisive battle of annihilation. The Japanese had reason to be optimistic. Yamamoto had seven carriers, four seaplane carriers and 11 battleships, including three of the latest type. Against this, the U.S. Navy had only three carriers -- Yorktown, Enterprise, and Hornet -- and no battleships.


Torpedo Squadron Six (VT-6) Douglas TBD-1 Devastator aircraft are prepared for launching on USS Enterprise (CV-6) at about 0730-0740 hrs, Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942.

The Japanese had intended to seize Midway Island with two days of shelling followed by an invasion force of 5,000 troops. But two American task forces under Rear Admirals Raymond A. Spruance and Frank J. Fletcher, assisted by planes based on Midway Island, intercepted and outfought the large enemy naval force gathered for the invasion. They rightly ignored the feint against the Aleutians and focused on finding and destroying the Japanese at Midway.

The battle was a disaster for the Japanese, who lost 4 carriers, a heavy cruiser, 3 destroyers, some 275 planes, at least 4,800 men, and suffered heavy damage among the remaining vessels of their fleet. American losses included one carrier, the USS Yorktown, one destroyer, about 150 planes, and 307 men.

Although the carrier planes had the decisive role, the contribution of Marines on Midway to the defense had been considerable. The aviation personnel of MAG-22 destroyed some 43 enemy aircraft (25 dive bombers and 18 Zeros) in air action, plus another 10 shot down by antiaircraft guns, at a cost of 49 Marines killed and 53 wounded.

Many historians and military experts consider the Battle of Midway as the turning point of WW II in the Pacific. Until May 1942, Japan's First Air Fleet was the strongest naval air force in the world, but at Coral Sea and Midway the core of the First Air Fleet was sunk and Japan's offensive capabilities were permanently weakened by the loss of many of their best naval pilots. After Midway, the U.S. Navy, backed by American industrial production, went on the offensive in the Pacific.


Surprising number of Americans 'not sure' if fighting Nazis was good: poll

Shortly after midnight on June 13, 1942, German navy Capt. Hans-Heinz Linder steered submarine U-202 into a sandbar 100 yards off Long Island.

On deck, his crew lowered a big rubber raft into the water.

Two sailors climbed in, along with three men in Nazi uniforms and one man in civilian clothes. George Dasch, the group’s leader, refused to wear the uniform.

Through the fog, Dasch glimpsed the beach at Amagansett, a place he knew well. He was once a waiter at restaurants in Manhattan and Long Island’s East End. Now he was leading the first foreign invasion of American soil since the War of 1812.

Dasch and the three uniformed men were on a sabotage mission conceived by Adolf Hitler himself.

Several wooden boxes loaded into the raft contained explosives and other weapons of destruction. Hitler hoped Dasch and his men would wreak havoc on American factories, railroads and other infrastructure.

Dasch clutched a satchel containing roughly $85,000 in cash meant to fund the operation. His men were busy burying their cache of weapons and explosives when Coast Guard Ensign John Cullen approached.

Cullen — who was based at the Amagansett Coast Guard station, barely a half-mile from the Germans’ landing spot — was on his nightly beach patrol. He was not armed.

Dasch gave Cullen a cover story: they were four fishermen from Southampton headed for Montauk, but their boat ran aground. “I don’t believe I know where I landed,” Dasch said. Cullen answered that he was in Amagansett and suggested the men return with him to his station.

Dasch pushed him away. “You don’t know who I am, and you don’t know what I am intending — why I am here,” he said. “But please. You have a mother and you have a father. I don’t want anything to happen to you. You have done your duty.

“Take a good look at my face. Look into my eyes,” Dasch said. “Would you recognize me if you saw me again?”

“No, sir,” Cullen said. “I never saw you before.” Dasch pressed $300 into his hand. “You never saw this operation,” he said. “Take the money and run.” Which Cullen did.

Back at the Coast Guard station, Cullen alerted his superiors. Some got to the beach in time to glimpse the submarine heading away. They could even smell its engine fumes. Soon they found the Nazis’ explosives. But Dasch and his men were gone.

The Americans should have checked at Amagansett station. There the Germans caught the 6:59 a.m. Long Island Rail Road train to Manhattan.

Dasch went on a 36-hour gambling bender at a Midtown bar, winning $250 at pinochle. Then he got a train to Washington — where he was soon captured by the FBI. Agents rounded up the rest of his crew in New York.

Dan Rattiner, the founder of Dan’s Papers, an East End weekly newspaper, has a new take on the story of George Dasch and his band of Nazi saboteurs. Rattiner is working on a book, “The Night the Nazis Landed,” and believes Dasch, disillusioned with the Nazi movement, never intended to carry out his sabotage mission.


Married men to get draft deferment—for now

Congress has issued revisions to the Selective Service Act to permit all married men deferment from Class I-A draft classification for military service until further notice. Within the next week, the new draft deferment system should reach President Franklin Roosevelt’s desk for a signature of approval or veto.

Men who were aware of their impending induction when they got married will not eligible for deferment under the new amendment. This means that the intention to avoid military service disqualifies such persons. Married men who have already been officially inducted into the armed forces will also be ineligible for a deferment.

This would be one of the biggest changes to the Selective Service Act since its passage in 1940.

“We want the unmarried men taken first,” Democrat Sen. Joshua B. Lee of Oklahoma said. “This is recognizing, in a legislative way, that the family is the fundamental unit of organized society.”

The purpose of this draft amendment, according to Sen. Lee and other officials, is to make sure that the families are “left intact as long as possible and that financial dependency is not the controlling point so much as the status of a man as the family,” Lee said.

Financial dependency requirements, or what is widely known as “the financial test,” are at present the only grounds for deferment for healthy men of fighting age. This test would be repealed as a result of this new amendment. Whether the wives and/or children of married men obtain their financial support from them will no longer affect a man’s draft classification.

To dispel fears that this new deferment law will cause a personnel shortage in the military, Sen. Warren Austin of Vermont and Sen. Elbert D. Thomas of Utah stated that the “present pools of single men or men without dependents should meet all manpower demands of the fighting forces through this year and well into 1943.”

Paul V. McNutt, (FSA) Federal Security Administrator and recently-appointed chairman of the Manpower Commission, registers under the Selective Service Act. From Library of Congress.

Currently, the minimum draft age is 21. If 18- and 19-year-old men become eligible for induction, the number of non-married servicemen would dramatically increase and the senators’ affirmations would further ring true.

Sources said that this deferment for married men could last for six months or more. However, with the direction of the war still unclear, the deferment period has been declared indefinite by the Senate Military Affairs Committee.

For the married servicemen who are already in combat and cannot benefit from the new deferment policy, the Allotment and Allowances Bill within the Selective Service Act would provide financial assistance for their families and dependents. This bill will officially be in effect in the next four months.

As the war carries on, if or when the pool of single men runs out, married men will begin to be drafted according to their family responsibilities. Men with only a wife and no children will be the first in the married-men group to be reclassified to ready-for-war Class I-A status, then men with a wife and only one child, and so forth.

Until the legislation is officially approved and put into effect by the president, local draft boards are proceeding with the classification of married men with no financial dependencies into Class I-A.

Selective Service officials expressed surprise that news of this draft amendment has not gotten much publicity, considering it will affect 18 million men, wives, children and other dependents. Some officials went on to say that “the new system will bring order into a somewhat helter-skelter system of draft deferments for married men,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Under the new Selective Service policy, married men still have the choice of voluntarily entering the service.

Duffield, Eugene S. “All Married Men May Get Six Months Deferment: ‘Family Tie’ Recognized.” The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 1942, p. 1.

Duffield, Eugene S. “All Married Men Deferred Until Further Notice, Local Boards Are Told.” The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 1942, p. 1.

Trussell, C.P. “Deferring of Married Men in Draft Is Written Into Allowances Bill.” The New York Times, June 13, 1942, p. 1.

“Say Family Heads Do Not Face Draft.” The New York Times, June 15, 1942, p. 21.

Duffield, Eugene S. “Classifying Married Men in I-A. Those With Wives In Jobs Still a Problem.” The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 1942, p. 1.

Duffield, Eugene S. “Enough Single Men Left To Fill Army Needs For The Rest of This Year.” The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 1942, p. 1.

Duffield, Eugene S. “Automatic Deferment Of Married Men to Be Effective in Few Days.” The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 1942, p. 1.


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