August 2, 1945

I want to share this story because of this…

Two of the veterans I met told me that they were witnesses to caskets being prepared in England.

After a crash, when little was left, they would fill the caskets with whatever body parts they could find of the bomber crew.

This is what happened with the 18 December 1944 crash at Tholthorpe. The veteran who told me that story in May 2015 had never told it to anyone before. One of his friends was the pilot.

He then broke up into tears. He felt this wasn’t right for the families who would never know.

Wayne's Journal

They All Came Home

Bonnie Gray & Harry Nordman Gray -- 1945 Bonnie Gray & Harry Nordman Gray — 1945 Wayne’s youngest brother, Harry Nordman Gray, returned to the United States on August 2, 1945. He celebrated his 19th birthday in Germany five weeks before. He was the last member of his family to have seen his brother, Verne, before Verne went overseas. Harry hadn’t seen his older brother, Wayne, since 1943.

Wayne’s younger brother, Robert Searls Gray, returned from Italy in 1945. The date, though, is lost to his family.

Ken Cline’s brother, Art, deployed from Guam to Japan in November 1945 as part of the occupation force. The 64th Engineer Topographic Battalion sailed from Guam on 4 November and arrived at Yokohama, Japan on 13 November 1945.1 On 15 November, the unit moved into the Isetan Department Store building and occupied the floors above floor three. The building stood undamaged at the intersection of Shinjuku-dori…

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5 thoughts on “August 2, 1945

  1. Thank you, Pierre, for reblogging today’s post on Wayne’s Journal. Today’s is the penultimate post. I hope that everyone that reads it will take time to read the entries under its “Notes & Commentary” section. There is a lot of information there about which most people know nothing.

    I don’t know what the criteria were for shipping home remains, i.e., when was there nothing worth shipping home, of U.S. serviceman nor do I know if other countries did what we in the U.S. did.

    Verne’s brother, Harry, told his wife and children that Verne’s body really wasn’t in the casket. That nothing was left of him. Yet every Christmas, Harry visited Verne’s grave and decorated it with a wreath. It was his way of honoring his brother. Harry was following the custom of many families in the U.S. Those that had loved ones buried in cemeteries overseas sometimes made arrangement for their graves to be decorated at Christmas.

    It was once common at Christmas to find the graves of soldiers decorated with wreaths. As parents and brothers and sisters passed away and as families relocated to other places fewer and fewer wreaths were seen. Communities forgot those that were buried in their cemeteries and why they had died so young. Across the U.S. and at overseas military cemeteries, we are once again honoring with wreaths soldiers that have passed on. That effort is through local community groups working through an organization known as Wreathes Across America ( In 2014, Wreaths Across America through it network of volunteers laid over 700,000 wreaths on veterans graves at over 1,000 locations across the U.S. and overseas.

    Those that died defending our country have not been forgotten nor should they ever be,

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