On Joseph W Smith and World War II

 

p-40-warhawk-large-56a61c4b3df78cf7728b648bOn October 12, 1943, 25 days after my 18th birthday, I reported for active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps. A bus took me to Sheppard Field, Texas near Wichita Falls.

I was in a field doing calisentics when I heard someone say, “hey Jody!” Jody was my name in high school. I had graduated in 1943. It was Jack Simpson, who graduated with me.  When I got the chance, I proceeded to look him up. He had shipped out.

The advertisement had me in a P-40 flying into the wild blue yonder. It bated me into joining as a pre-aviation cadet when I was 17 years old and still in high school. I proudly wore my pre-aviation cadet pin and bragged that I was going to be a P-40 pilot in World War II.

The offer to join included 30 days of basic military training, five months in college, then flight training, after which I would be commissioned a second lieutenant. It was all professionally presented to me in a brochure. I had to wait until I was 18 to be in active duty. I could hardly wait.

One’s military commander is the same as God. I won’t belabor the point, but a year after arriving at Sheppard Field I was in Nazi Germany, a buck private, a combat rifleman in the 97th Infantry Division. It had nothing to do with my qualifications.

I was sitting in front of a house in a German village my squad had taken over for the night, watching the troops moving down the road in front of me. I heard, “hey Jody.” No way! It was Jack Simpson. He was in my battalion, in a different company. We’d both been conned into joining the U.S. Army Air Corps. In World War II, we were in the U.S. Army, not the U.S. Air Force, a separate branch.IMG_0411

At any rate, my Third Battalion of the 303rd Regiment took Dusseldorf, Germany. I’ve a story that has not been told.  We were positioned to attack.  A delegation of city officials bearing a white flag approached K company, my company. The Gestapo, we were told, had departed, the army too. I was right there listening to it all. I was picked to walk with the delegation and our brass to Gestapo headquarters. I was to walk behind General Halsey, our Division commander.

Thousands of people, many of them slave laborers, lined the street cheering.  General Halsey turned to me and said, “stay right here soldier” (as we passed through a barrier that was partly removed) “until the last man has passes through.” I was the BAR man in my squad. I carried serious fire power, a heavy as hell machine gun.

We walked past the body of a Liberator bomber in the street, the wings sheered off. Not many American airmen made it through their 25 missions over Germany. The devastation they left was mind numbing. America’s economy was pulled out of the Great Depression building a war machine, one hell of a thing. Killing, destroying and rebuilding, could you have believed such a thing was going to take place?

There was bomb damage in Dusseldorf but not a lot, nothing like in other cities. Cologne was flat on the ground. The only building standing was a cathedral.

This 19 year-old was an eye witness to those millions of suffering people who died for the dream of psychopaths. At the war’s end, I saw with my own eyes the walking skeletons released from Hitler’s death camps. Not many know that two million Russians were returned to Russia to be killed.

While the brass negotiated with Dusseldorf’s city fathers at Gestapo headquarters, I walked around the motor pool. Spotting a 1937 Ford convertible with the keys in the ignition, I decided to take a spin around town. If caught, I would be fined 6 months pay.

I drove past a wine cellar. People were carrying buckets of wine away from the cellar.  I stopped and asked two girls carrying buckets if they would like a lift. They spoke English. I drove them home. They wanted me to meet their family. Can you imagine?

We sat around the dining table sipping wine, chatting the way you would in a neighborhood get-together.  When I left, they hugged me and thanked me for liberating them. I was one of them, my brother’s keeper. I got away with it. No one knew what I did and I never mentioned it. I would have been in big trouble. The no fraternization rule was for my own good, ostensibly.

While the brass and city fathers were deciding the fate of Dusseldorf, I was playing my self-appointed role with the people directly. I doubt if I was forgotten.

After we defeated Nazi Germany, The 97th Division was sent to the Pacific theater of operations to finish off the Japs. I was on a troop ship heading for the invasion of Japan’s main island. We expected very heavy casualties within our troops, the Japs, and the civilian population. America’s elite decided to use the just created atom bomb to end the war, reasoning that there would be less loss of life.

It took two atom bombs to convince Japan’s maniacal warlords that there no use in continuing. Lucky me. The Japs signed an unconditional surrender and I made it alive to the ripe old age of 20.

I was a military policeman in the Army of Occupation, with an office in the police station—given me, mind you, by Urawa’s police—not the military. I was merely a private first class. That would never happen. My job was to police our own troops. The Japanese police took care of their people. It was important that we discuss matters.

The mayor of Urawa asked me to join his family for dinner, this private first class honored by a Japanese dignitary. He was pleased with my performance. At the time, my officers were helping themselves to my cigarette rations, those ass holes selling them to the Japanese. Why not? There was nothing I could do.

My officers were helping themselves to bolts of parachute silk from a Japanese government warehouse, which I guarded. I, too, helped myself. I immediately mailed my liberated silk home. The Japanese government complained about the theft. It was published in the newspapers. An investigation found soldiers guilty of the theft, and not one officer, mind you. It was those lowdown skunks who encouraged us. How they could do it is beyond me. They court marshaled their own troops for something they caused.

I’m reminded that on my troop ship, while my officers dined on white tablecloths, served by orderlies. They ate steak. I ate canned corned beef hash out my mess-kit, standing at long tables. I’m reminded that before becoming a combat rifleman, I was offered a job as officer’s orderly. The job consisted of making officers’ beds, mopping their floors, cleaning their toilets and emptying their cigarette butt cans. I made it plain that I did not volunteer to be their servant. They made me a combat rifleman.

They were out of American combat boots with Neoprene soles, so what did they do? They issued me British combat boots with hobnails. The Germans wore hobnail boots. On my first night at the front my own troops opened fired on me. Wouldn’t they have know that?

They found a pair of American combat boots—used and a size too large. They had plenty of dead soldiers to pick from. I know, it is important that I follow orders. I was there to give my life for my country, as if that had anything to do with the gross incompetence that was taking place.

You will never hear a word about it. Had an American bullet found it’s mark, my mother would have been informed that her son died of a bullet wound defending his country. It takes but one misconception to make a world of difference. But what can we do?

Getting back to my story, Private, First Class Smith, the guest of the mayor of Urawa, his family spoke English. The men sat on the floor around a low table, the women serving us.  We all laughed at my clumsy handling of chop-sticks.  I was handed silverware.

I found the Japanese people to be extremely polite and friendly. They told me we were nothing like their own military. Their military didn’t know me and most other people. Trained by maniacs, they lived in another world. What about America’s military?

America’s military-industrial complex has seen tremendous growth. Follow the money. Trillions of taxpayer dollars have gone into a black hole in the Pentagon. The military is keeping secret advanced technology that could totally replace fossil fuel and give the world limitless free, clean energy, but, unfortunately, it is a military secret. America is heading down the same road the Japanese elite took, which of course led to their demise.

After spending six months in the Army of Occupation in Japan, the order came down to pick two in my company for schooling to prepare for collage. I took the test and was picked. Wouldn’t you know that Jack Simpson took the test in his company and was picked? We were together in Fukashima, Japan for schooling. We returned to the United States and were honorably discharged in El Paso, Texas. Jack and I made the bars in Juarez, Mexico while we waited to board an airliner. In the middle of the night, we staggered aboard a DC-3 and landed in Ft. Worth, hitch-hiked to Dallas, and took cabs home. End of my story in the U.S. military, one lucky guy.

I was a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas for two years, paid for by America’s taxpayers, and then went into the lumber business with my father.

Four years after Jack and I went our separate ways, I opened my car door and heard, “hey Jody.” No way! It was Jack Simpson. He was working in a children’s clothing store that backed up to my office parking lot. Jack said he had enlisted in the Air Force. Things had changed for the better, he said. I’m sure!

Some veterans come home with missing limbs, some with post traumatic stress disorder. For five years after I came home I had nightmares that I was back in the army. I guess you could call it PTSD.

I heard that Jack Simpson became a bird colonel in the Air Force. Great! America has not won a war since World War II. We’re still at war.

Some of us are oblivious of what’s going on, others paralyzed by fear. There are those who have guessed what is taking place but prefer to remain in their comfort zones. Not many willing to act and the odds are slight that they could change anything, on Good Friday 1975, “a day that will live in infamy,” Roosevelt’s remark concerning Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, I departed my old life and never looked back.

My chief of police in Flower Mound, Texas had told me my political enemy was talking about ambushing me and killing me. What had I done? I supported making Flower Mound an example of how to design a city from scratch. The government’s Housing and Urban Development was all for it. The “old settlers” did not want Flower Mound to become a city. Flower Mound is now a bedroom community of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex with a population of more than 200,000.

chartWhat has taken place in my life was predicted to me in July 1975 by an astrologer who analyzed my astrological chart. Quantum physics, moving closer to astrology, says   there is a dimension of infinite possibility coupled with our reality. What do you make of it?

Yesterday, on Veteran’s Day, Karen and I came out of the house and looked at the mess fallen leaves had made. We were going to get the free meal that Applebee’s Restraint was giving veterans. My neighbor, Mike, seeing us looking at the leaves, came over to shake my hand and thank me for my service to the nation.

 

ca. 1980-2001

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America,” what do you make of it? On the one hand, we’ve got a new world order, a borderless world and only one government.

Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you, not out there somewhere. According to astrology, and Jesus, in Luke 21:25, there are signs in the sun moon and stars. We are entering the Age of Aquarius, when we become our brother’s keeper. When we returned from Applebee’s my neighbor, Mike, had removed all the leaves.

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