Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gen. "Jim Crow" MacArthur

Executive Order 9981 was issued on July 26, 1948 by President Harry Truman. It "abolished" racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.

MacArthur "Inspecting" African-American Troops - 1951

Not surprisingly, many commanders (including Gen. Douglas MacArthur) ignored this presidential order. Thurgood Marshall (Chief Legal Counsel for the NAACP) traveled to Japan on January 14, 1951 to discuss dozens of civil rights violations (continuation of segregation, disproportionate arrests of African-American soldiers, false imprisonments, unconstitutional military trials, trumped up charges, poor treatment, etc.) with Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur.

Thurgood Marshall

Marshall recalled conditions in Korea...

"There were records of trials, so-called trials, in the middle of the night where the men were sentenced to life imprisonment in hearings that lasted less than ten minutes."

and recounted Gen. MacArthur's callous bigotry toward African-American troops...

"He was as biased as any person I've run across...
no question he viewed us as inferior."

MacArthur "Searching" For Qualified Black Troops...

Marshall: "General, you've got all those guards out there with all this spit and polish and there's not one Negro in the whole group."
MacArthur: "There's none qualified."
Marshall: "Well, what's qualification?"
MacArthur: "Qualified in field battle, et cetera, et cetera."
Marshall: "Well, I just talked to a Negro yesterday, a sergeant, who has killed more people with a rifle than anybody in history...and he's not qualified?"
MacArthur: "No."
Marshall: "General, remember yesterday you had the big band playing at the ceremony over there?"
MacArthur: "Yes, wasn't it wonderful?"
Marshall: "It's general, just between you and me, goddamn it, don't you tell me that there's no Negro who can play a horn!" 

Marshall quipped...

"That's when he said for me to go."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

To The Death...

Fighting for Freedom - The Frozen Chosin
Voltaire, the French philosopher (and through action most American soldiers/ veterans) once said...
 “I do not agree with what you have to say,
but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”
Isn't this one of the major goals of deeply understand complex issues, to objectively consider another person's point of view, to have a civilized discussion/ disagreement without being uncivilized/ disagreeable? Why (even in schools) in our society/ world has it become easier to antagonize, patronize, belittle, disrespect, hate, kill...maybe because we really aren't asking or expecting our students to learn how to think critically about the world they live in.
Critical "Thinker"
NYC- April 1965

Recently in class, we have been discussing The Truman Loyalty Program...HUAC...the McCarran-Warren Act...The Hollywood 10...Alger Hiss...The Rosenbergs...McCarthyism...Blacklisting...The Cold War...The Korean War...

The late 1940's through the 1960's led to an unprecedented level (surpassed by today's NSA?!?) of coercion, mistrust, and antagonism toward American citizens (Communists/ Socialists) with different/ radical views. The entertainment industry was especially scrutinized as the FBI blacklist denied employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, artists, and musicians because of their suspected (and often valid) associations with the Communist Party...ruining hundreds of peoples' careers.
Pete Seeger was a Communist musician who was blacklisted from radio/ television/ music venues for 17 years...but, instead of ruining his career he used the "blacklist ban" as a motivation to pursue freedom of thought. He travelled the country to educate America (especially its youth) on the importance of folk music, The Bill of Rights, and true patriotism (upholding the ideals of The Constitution)!
Listen to Pete's "Most Famous" Songs...
He based his protest on the First Amendment’s protection of free speech.
He said:
"I really believed that...and I think I was right...
in the long run this country doesn't go in for things like that." 
I truly hope my students deeply appreciate the sacrifices our veterans have made for our freedom of speech...religion...thought...protest...

Korean War Memorial - St. Paul, Minnesota 
A soldier walks toward a silhouette of a soldier...
  symbolic of the missing in action and those who died for our freedoms. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Patton: "Accidental" Death

On December 9, 1945 (one day before permanently leaving the European Theatre), General George S. Patton and 2 others were on their way to hunt pheasant near Mannheim, Germany. Unfortunately, he was critically injured (and later died) in a low speed fender-bender...after a U. S. Army truck suddenly turned into his limousine’s path on a desolate highway. At one point after the crash, Patton complained...

"This is a hell of a way to die..."

If he only realized the irony in his lament...considering the possibility that his own government may have conspired to silence him!

Since 1945, rumors have persisted that this "accident" was more than just bad luck...

  • Patton was prepared to criticize American/ Allied political and military incompetence that cost American lives during the war.
  • Patton was prepared to expose FDR and Truman for being far too friendly/ willing to negotiate with Stalin.
  • Patton expressed concerns that American POW's went missing at the hands of the Red the gulags (see my previous post).
  • Patton was on Stalin's hit list.
  • Although Patton suffered a broken neck...none of the other passengers in Patton's car or the passengers of the truck were injured.
  • At least five reports on the crash investigation have "disappeared" from US archives.
  • "Recovering" (Patton was one tough sucker) and preparing to fly back to America, Patton quickly deteriorates and dies within 24 hours.
  • No autopsy was done on Patton's body.
“We’ve kicked the hell out of one bastard (Hitler)...
to help establish a second one (Stalin) . . .
more evil and more dedicated than the first.”


Douglas Bazata was a member of the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) Jedburghs, an elite "special forces" unit that parachuted into France to help organize the French Resistance prior to D-Day. He earned 4 Purple Hearts, a Distinguished Service Cross, and 3 French Croix de Guerre Medals. He also worked for Navy Secretary John Lehman and served as a member of the 9/11 Commission...not a bad resume!

Bazata claimed that:
  • OSS Director Donovan ordered him to "silence" Patton.
  • He and a Soviet accomplice staged the car crash as a ruse to shoot a low velocity slug into Patton's neck.
  • The Soviets (NKVD...forerunner to the KGB) finished the poisoning Patton at the hospital.
Stephen Skubik was an officer in the Counter-Intelligence Corps of the US Army claimed that:
  • He was warned (by anti-Soviet Ukrainians) that Patton was on Stalin's hit list.
  • He repeatedly tried to warn OSS Director Donovan of this threat...Donovan had him jailed as a Soviet spy!

Bert Roosen was a 17 year old German who was working as an interpreter for General Eisenhower during the American occupation claimed:
"I lived with this all my life...I could see them (Eisenhower and Patton) arguing. They were on the platform in heated debate." After the argument Eisenhower entered the train car...Eisenhower said, "That guy is going to screw things up...We've got to stop him."
Another (unknown)officer said, "How? We can't shoot him."
A third (unidentified) person said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of it.'"


"The Iron Cage" by Nigel Cawthorne
“Target: Patton-The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton” by Robert K. Wilcox
"The Murder of General Patton" by Stephen Skubik

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Support Our Troops"

At the end of WWII, millions of people were condemned to decades of slave labor and sadistic punishments in Soviet Gulags...the prisoners included Soviet "traitors", German, British, and American POW's that had been "liberated" by the Soviet Army as they pushed west toward Berlin.

GULAG is an acronym for the Russian term...

Glavnoye Upravleniye ispravitelno-trudovyh Lagerey

Josef Stalin demanded that 5 million Soviet citizens in Allied controlled areas be returned to the Soviet Union...upon returning to Russia, most were treated as traitors and executed or sent to gulags where most died of hunger or were worked to death.

Stalin also demanded the return of an additional 2 million former citizens who had fled communist rule seeking political asylum in the west. To satisfy Stalin and guarantee the return of more than 50,000 American and British soldiers (Stalin was holding them as bargaining chips), FDR and Winston Churchill agreed to the forced repatriation of these 2 million dissidents...unfortunately, this never happened!

"The Big Three"
Great Britain secretly kept a number of anti-Communist dissidents with the intention of using them in  “anti-Soviet operations”. In response to Winston Churchill breaking the deal...Stalin retaliated and did not complete the exchange. This left an estimated 50,000+ American and British soldiers to be sent to Soviet Gulags...never to be seen again.

Norman Kass, Executive Secretary of the United States Commission on POW/MIAs stated...

"I personally would be comfortable saying that the number is in the hundreds...we have multiple lists of American servicemen missing...we have lists from World War II, from the Korean War, the Vietnam War."
A 90-page Pentagon report about the missing American and British troops concluded...

"There is a high probability they died in these camps."

FDR...Truman...Ike (and probably others) knew and allowed this to avoid WWIII?

The hypocrisy of POTUS after POTUS asking the American citizens to "Support Our Troops" seems so disingenuous when they often don't really support them!

Gulag Graves

More Questions...

Why did America betray its own soldiers...treating them as pawns in a game?

Why is this not mentioned in our history books?

Why are details still being covered up by our government?

What gulags were they sent to...are any still alive...where are our men buried?

Why aren't we using all possible means to return their bodies to their families?

Why isn't our government apologizing to the families?

Did the government assassinate General George Patton because he was going to expose this "collusion of shame"?!?  

Read my next post...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Trouble Makers"

"Our" Four Freedoms
WWII was a particularly difficult time for African-Americans at home and in the military...resentment over millions of African-Americans moving north, white workers enraged by FDR's Executive Order 8802, race riots and murder in several factory towns, reports of "military lynchings", the hypocrisy of the government, etc. made it hard to believe that America truly believed in FDR's Four Freedoms!

The "Jim Crow" Military was completely segregated...The Marines did not accept African-Americans, The Navy allowed African-Americans to do only custodial duties (e.g. Dorie Miller) and The Army was required to accept a 10% quota of its forces as African-American. This blatant discrimination was justified by a 1925 Army War College "Study" called The Ely Report. In its "scientific study" of African-American cranial cavities it summarized:
 “The Negro does not perform his share of civil duties in time of peace. He has no leaders in industrial or commercial life. He takes no part in government. Compared to the white man he is admittedly of inferior mentality. He is inherently weak in character.”
Chronology of The 364th Regiment
The 367th Negro Infantry Regiment (later to become the 364th) – was one of the earliest African-American combat units. It was activated in March of 1941 at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. In December, a soldier was accused of assaulting a white woman...a riot ensued. Many were killed and wounded in the so-called "Lee Street Riots".
1942: In March, 1,000 soldiers were shipped off for overseas deployment and the remaining men were re-designated as the 364th Negro Infantry Regiment and moved to Arizona. A letter addressed to Pennsylvania Sen. Joseph Guffey described the hostile racial environment:

If there is no change here, all of us from Pennsylvania have decided to go AWOL rather than be murdered in uniforms of the United States Army. Your delay, sir, can be the cause of a disgraceful consequence.”

In November, a memo to the Secretary of War read...
Violent and abusive treatment of Negro military personnel by civilian public authorities in the South...this continuing wave of violence may lead to rioting at any time and certainly it is raising havoc with the spirit of Negro soldiers, many of whom have reached the stage that they would rather fight their domestic enemies than the foreign foe.”
In what is usually referred to as the "Phoenix Thanksgiving Massacre", a soldier of the 364th became involved in a dispute with a woman at a restaurant in Phoenix...Military Police were called in and arrested the soldier. Another group of soldiers protested the arrest and shots were fired by the MPs to disperse the the ensuing melee at least 14 soldiers, police, and civilians were killed or wounded.

Army intelligence reports labeled the 364th as "troublemakers" because they were advocates of a movement known as the "Double V" campaign...some had even gone so far as to carve or burn the "Double V" insignia on their chests.

1943: On May 26, the 364th was transferred to Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi (to teach them a lesson?) in Centreville. They arrived demanding equal treatment, pledging to "clean up" the area, and challenge Jim Crow at every opportunity...but, this was Mississippi.

An Army report stated...

To a majority it was a trip into a virtually unknown and foreign land where a man of color often had to fear for his life...before the 364th came in, there were several unsolved murders of Negro soldiers. Their bodies were found in the fields...all the white farmers and civilians are armed at all times and seem to want a pitched battle with Negro have been constantly molested and beaten by white MPs...commanders were threatened to end the racial violence or lose their jobs.”

Members of the 364th wrote letters...

"We are catching hell here...two of our men have been killed and we have only been in this camp for six days. Something worse is going to happen soon."

A white soldier wrote...

"There have been about 20 or 25 Negroes hurt and killed...they have been 5 or ten shot right through the head … and we are going to give them hell when they come around us."

On May 30, Private William Walker got into a fight (a posse of heavily armed men attempted to arrest him because of a missing button on his uniform!) with white MPs near the entrance to the base. At the conclusion of the fight, the MP issued an order to the local sheriff: "shoot this N-word." And he did.

The Army tried to cover this up by claiming Walker had gone AWOL on May 15th...he hadn't. Members of the 364th broke into base storerooms, took rifles and ammunition, and sought revenge...between May 30th and June 25th, over 3,000 people participated in race riots and at least 25 African-American soldiers were killed.

The largest newspaper in the region, The McComb Daily Enterprise, reported:

“Many wild rumors floated about … rumors of men being killed by the scores and of women being molested."

What happened next has been part of historical debate and speculation for the last 50+ years...

The Von Dorn Massacre Conspiracy Theory

Some (local witnesses/ NAACP/ authors) have alleged that the Army panicked and decided on a violent end to the race riots. Military Police and a local "riot squad" aka the KKK were called in...they lined up over 1200 members of the 364th and opened fire with automatic weapons. Their bodies were buried in trenches that are now covered by a lake and their relatives notified that they had been "killed in combat".

What exactly happened that summer is still a mystery...but, in December the 3,000 remaining men were transferred to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Military records show that between 800 and 1,000 (one per day) of the 3,000 men "left" the personnel rosters before the war ended...a massive cover-up?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Speech Ike Never Gave

General Eisenhower Exhorts Paratroopers - June 5, 1944
On the evening of June 5th, the largest invasion in modern history began across the English Channel in a 3 phase attack (paratroopers, aerial bombardment, amphibious landing) on Normandy, France. In spite of terrible weather conditions, General Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, decided it was now or never. He told his driver, "I hope to God I'm right."
That same evening, Eisenhower wrote brief notes (currently on display at the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas) for a speech he would have to give if the invasion plans failed. Following is a transcript of the above letter:

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops...My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

General Eisenhower then put the note (he mistakenly dated it July 5th) into his wallet...thankfully, a speech he never had to give.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peleliu:The "Forgotten" Battle

"Nothing Like Peleliu" Clip (2:05)
Eugene Sledge from Mobile, Alabama wrote With the Old Breed...a short, riveting, and horrific book that describes his experience as a Marine during the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa.  Most history books, teachers, or students don't remember/ teach/ learn about the 28 day Battle of Peleliu...but, it is a battle that should never be forgotten.

Eugene Sledge and Sidney Phillips
Mobile, Alabama - May 1942
"Remembering E.B. Sledge" Clip (8:12)
Here are a few short excerpts from With the Old Breed...

“War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste... The only redeeming factors were my comrades' incredible bravery and their devotion to each other."
"To those who entered the meat grinder itself the war was a netherworld of horror from which escape seemed less and less likely as casualties mounted and the fighting dragged on and on. Time had no meaning, life had no meaning. The fierce struggle for survival in the abyss of Peleliu had eroded the veneer of civilization and made savages of us all.”  
"We thought the Japanese would never surrender. Many refused to believe it. Sitting in stunned silence, we remembered our dead. So many dead. So many maimed. So many bright futures consigned to the ashes of the past. So many dreams lost in the madness that had engulfed us. Except for a few widely scattered shouts of joy, the survivors of the abyss sat hollow-eyed and silent, trying to comprehend a world without war."
“You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye...Who cheer when soldier lads march by...Sneak home and pray you’ll never know the Hell where youth and laughter go.”  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Project X-Ray

December 7, 1941, the "day of infamy" when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the day Dr. Lytle Adams of Pennsylvania began plotting a "bat crazy" revenge for our WWII is almost incomprehensible that FDR personally endorsed this "research".

The idea...attach tiny napalm firebombs to one million bats and release them over Japan.

"Think of thousands of fires breaking out simultaneously over a circle of forty miles in diameter for every bomb dropped...Japan could be devastated, yet with small loss of life."
Adams took his idea to the National Research Defense Committee, which was in charge of coordinating and researching "war projects."  As if we don't have enough insane and inhumane ways to kill other human beings, our government spent $2 million ($31.6M today) on this "complex" system!!!

Here is the plan they developed...aka Project X-Ray.

1. Collect 1 million Mexican free-tailed bats from the American Southwest.
2. Force the bats into hibernation by transporting them in ice filled containers.
3. Drop the bats from high altitude in cardboard containers.
4. Release the bats automatically in midair.
5. The bats would awaken and go hide in every nook and cranny of Japan.
6. Watch hundreds of Japanese cities burn...

Fortunately and unfortunately, after 30 test demonstrations and an accidental escape of several bats (that destroyed a general's car and an airplane hangar...see photograph above) the project was cancelled...allowing the United States to pour all of its' resources into the development of the atomic bomb.

"I firmly believe that before many centuries more, science will be the master of men. The engines he will have invented will be beyond his strength to control. Someday science may have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide, by blowing up the world."

                                                      - Henry Adams, April 11, 1862