The Emperor’s Speech

The war is over…


On August 15, 1945, a speech from Emperor Hirohito announcing the surrender of Japan was broadcasted over the radio. It was the first time the Japanese heard his voice. A remastered recording of his speech was recently released, which you can listen to below:

Excerpt from Warpath Across the Pacific:

Fifth Air Force scheduled few missions for the 15th as a stand-down began to take effect. But the 499th and 500th Squadrons each got six aircraft off by 0530 hours for the daily sweep up Tsu Shima Strait and the Southern Sea of Japan. To the enormous relief of the aircrews, the other two squadrons had their missions cancelled during the pre-flight briefing.

About eight o’clock the dozen planes which were airborne reached their rendezvous point about 400 miles out and formed up to begin the morning’s sweep. 1/Lt. Shuler S. Gamble was one of the six veteran 499th…

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Surviving the Death Railway – to be published

The news I was waiting for…

Green Writing Room

Surviving the Death Railway: A POW’s Memoirs and Letters from Home

To my intense joy and relief the military publishers Pen & Sword and will be launching this title in June/July 2016.

For six years I have been researching and editing a story using a unique collection of letters and a memoir. The letters between my parents, Barry and Phyllis, and my father’s memoir of life as a Japanese POW tell a chronological story of a young couple during World War Two – these are special, but not, perhaps, unique.

What is unique is another collection of letters and a dossier. Phyllis spent the war looking after her baby son AND trying to look after the relatives of the men in Barry’s Royal Signals Unit, 27 Line Section. There were 68 men under Barry’s captaincy and Phyllis had addresses for many of the wives, mothers and fiancées. She sent circular and individual letters, at…

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75th National Airborne Day

A sequel to one of my latest posts…

Pacific Paratrooper


16 August 2015 is the 75th Anniversary of the United States Airborne, of which my father Smitty belonged when he volunteered for the 11th Airborne Division.  My best wishes go out to ALL the paratroopers both past and present!!

Pvt. Smith Camp MacKall Pvt. Smith Camp MacKall

The Army will honor the 75th anniversary of the American paratrooper with — what else? — a large jump into Fort Benning, Georgia.

The commemoration, led by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, will mark 75 years since the War Department approved the formation of a test platoon of airborne infantry from Fort Benning’s 29th Infantry Regiment. Less than 45 days after it was formed, on Aug. 16, 1940, members of the test platoon made their first jump from a Douglas B-18 over Lawson Army Airfield.

On Aug. 15, today’s paratroopers, along with the Liberty Jump Team, a group of civilian World War II airborne…

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