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Home Again: 1945

Home Again: 1945

August 6, 1945. "Troops of the 20th Armored Division and units of the 9th Army whoop it up between raindrops as the S.S. John Ericsson nears Pier 84, Hudson River." Photo by Al Ravenna, New York World Telegram & Sun. View full size.

 

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Little Did They Know

that thousands of miles away, a lone B-29 Superfortress dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on the day this picture was taken.

The happy troops were getting ready to do their celebrating for V-E Day when they disembarked.

In a few more days, they would also be celebrating V-J Day.

[The bomb was dropped the evening of Sunday, August 5, New York time (the morning of August 6 in Japan), so these men had already heard the news. - Dave]

Exuberance

What an amazing picture.

Great occasion, but

it underscores the racial segregation that still belied the claims of "democracy." Yes, the U.S. armed forces were not wholly white, but this photo should at least have mirrored an embryonic mix. I lived in the U.S. (Queens, NY) from 1941 to 1944 and made a few trips to Times Square during that period without ever seeing a black person. Being a ten year old Scandinavian, I would have noticed, and remembered. I returned in 1957 and became naturalized in 1963 -- we still have a long way to go.

My dad is on that ship

My late father was on this voyage home from Europe after the war. He might be in the photo, but I can't find him. They gave everyone on the ship a certificate confirming they were on that particular voyage and I still have it.

The "Greatest Generation"

Not many of these great men are still alive today. Their courage and sacrifice may never be equaled again. God bless them all !

I wonder if they knew?

The ship, the luxury liner MS Kungsholm of the Swedish American Line, was requisitioned by the US War Shipping Administration in December 1941 to be used as an Army troop transport. She was renamed the SS John Ericsson and was first used as such in January 1942. The interesting part is that the ship was built in the Blohm & Voss shipyards in Hamburg, Germany in 1928!

Heroes All!

God Bless America!

To Paraphrase

Never have so many owed so much to so few.

Did the landings help? In April 1946, my mother and I were on the tenth boatload of family members, landing at Frankfurt and going on to Schwabish Gmund to join up with my father. So, yes the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, did indeed help shorten the war.

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