Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and enlistment and death details for August 2-8, 1945
WARNING TO LEAVE CITIES
August 1: American carrier planes today switched their attacks against the Japanese mainland to industrial areas around Osaka. Superfortresses yesterday dropped leaflets on 12 Japanese cities warning the residents to evacuate them immediately, as the cities were marked for early destruction. According to radio the Japanese Prime Minister (Baron Suzuki) had an interview with the Emperor on the general situation. Japanese Imperial Headquarters announced that the Army and Navy were steadily strengthening their preparations against an Allied invasion.
VETERANS PULLED FROM BATTLE
Eleven hundred Australian troops from the battle areas of Bougainville and Wewak (New Guinea) arrived in Newcastle on a troopship Monday morning. They were taken later by trains to Queensland, Sydney and southern states. Included in the detachment were 110 men with five years' service and over. They will be given 24 days' leave before discharge. The balance of the troops were on ordinary leave. Some of the veterans were in action a week ago when they received word they were to go home. They marched back in their battle dress and within a few hours were on board a ship bound for Australia. The movement was so swift that relatives of many of the veterans could not be advised of their coming.
BEAUFIGHTER STRIKE SURPRISES
Japanese, occupying administrative offices at Kuching, former seat of government of the White Rajah of Sarawak (Sir Charles Vyner Brooke) left Beaufighters out of their reckoning. This explains why a raid on Kuching came as the biggest air surprise the Australians have sprung on the Japanese in Borneo. The raid, which made Kuching the principal target, was the first fighter sweep over the centre, and a striking answer to an ineffectual attack by two enemy "snooper" bombers on Miri on Sunday night. The Japanese had known Kuching to be out of the range of R.A.A.F. Spitfires and Kittyhawks, based on Labuan, and apparently had staked all on this. Beaufighters were specially flown in from other bases for the attack. The planes first searched aerodromes in the Kuching area for Japanese aircraft in dispersal bays, and then made four tree-top level attacks on the town. Shipbuilding yards and barracks and river traffic were blown to pieces by raking cannon fire. Fires were raging in several parts of Kuching when the Beaufighters turned for home.
JAPANESE USE PRISONERS
The U.S. State Department has announced that, despite repeated American protests, the Japanese persist in attempting to protect target areas by placing a prisoner camp nearby. The department said it was seeking verification of a radio report that a prisoner of war camp at Kawasaki was hit on Thursday with casualties to American prisoners. The Japanese, although they did not sign the Geneva Convention, agreed to conform to the provision prohibiting the using of prisoners to protect targets.
OPPOSITION TO MEMORIAL
Merewether sub-branch of the Returned Soldiers' League decided Wednesday night to ask the District Council to protest against the plan to build a £250,000 ($500,000) culture centre as a war memorial. The money should be spent on homes for servicemen, said Mr. M. Lauder. When all discharged men had been rehabilitated he would be glad to see a memorial built, but rehabilitation was the council's first obligation.
RECORD SUPERFORTRESS RAID
August 2: Eight hundred Superfortresses, carrying a record load of 6000 tonnes of incendiaries and high explosives, today attacked Hachioji, Toyama, Nagaoka and the Kawasaki oil plant. Radio announced that three other cities were also attacked. They were Turumi, between Tokyo and Yokohama, Tachikawa, 25 miles west of Tokyo, and Ujiyamada, south-east of Nagoya. Tokyo claims that 11 planes were shot down, and 27 damaged, but an Allied communique states that only one Superfortress was lost.
25 RESTRICTIONS OFF
Lifting of 25 restrictions made under the National Security Regulations was announced by the Minister for Postwar Reconstruction (Mr. Dedman). He said he hoped to announce the lifting of 30 to 40 more controls by the end of the month. He also said the restrictions had proved their worth in the war effort. The restrictions about to be revoked include those which closed unnecessary bank branches, and limited New Year, Easter, Christmas and liquor advertising. Prams, toys, and more varieties of cakes may be made again. Zoning for radio and mechanics and refrigerator repairs is being abolished. Dry cleaners may accept full range of articles for cleaning. Petrol may be sold in bulk again. Private boats may use Port Stephens again with the lifting of the prohibition on entry of the area as defence area. Mr. Dedman said these controls had been relaxed in accordance with the policy of retaining only the essential minimum controls necessary to avert inflation and ensure that resources were available where they were most needed.
END OF WAR THIS YEAR
"I do not see how Japan can continue fighting for very much longer than the end of this year, and we must plan for the rehabilitation of men and women of the services," said the Acting Premier (Mr. Baddeley). "Money will have to be supplied for implementing all post-war plans, and this money must be forthcoming," he said. "If these men are good enough to fight in mud up to their waists, then they are good enough to look after in the peace years. If they are not looked after they are going to 'break through,' and rightly so, too."
VITAL GAINS IN NEW GUINEA
Units of the Australian Sixth Division scored their most important victory in the inland sector of New Guinea since the 17th Brigade began the drive east from its Maprik base in a well-combined air and ground attack. Fifty more Japanese were killed, making 100 confirmed dead in two days' fighting. The main target for the latest attack was Alama, about six miles south of big Japanese concentrations around Kaboibus, says the Department of the Army. It adds that in Southern Bougainville the Japanese fiercely resisted a probing attempt by a spearhead of the Third Australian Division to cross the Mivo River. In the north, ships of the Royal Australian Navy devastated the cave-riddled shores of Buka Island with a heavy bombardment. In Buka Passage and on the east coast of Bougainville near Kiete, the frigate H.M.A.S. Diamantina and the corvettes H.M.A.S. Lithgow, Dubbo and Kiama have been carrying out an extensive bombardment. Although at times in the last month the Japanese have returned the fire from shore no damage has been done to the Australian ships.
'I THINK THE WAR IS OVER'
U.S. Army and Navy circles are seriously discussing the possibility that victory in the Pacific might come so soon that an invasion of Japan would be unnecessary, says the Washington correspondent of the "Herald Tribune". A high Navy spokesman declared bluntly: "I think that the war is over". It was clear that the military leaders intended to give the air forces a chance to prove that air power alone can knock out the enemy. A high Army Air Force authority predicted daily raids soon by Superfortresses and other heavy bombers. He expressed the view that Japan would be unable to continue very much longer. The combined might of the British and American navies is also being used against Japan. At the same time, preparations are under way for an actual invasion of the enemy homeland. The Under-secretary for War (Mr. Patterson) declared last night that the war would end "only when the Japanese Army is smashed beyond repair." However, other quarters pointed out that the Japanese Army, tired of the long China war, does not relish a showdown fight.
ATOMIC BOMB HITS JAPAN
Washington, August 6: The White House announced that the Army Air Forces dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. This bomb contained more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T., and produced a blast 2000 times greater than the largest bomb previously used. The atomic bomb was dropped for the first time on Hiroshima.
HOLLOW TRIBUTES TO HEROES
The presence of only four of his comrades at the service in St. Philip's Presbyterian Church before the funeral of Mr. Andrew Mackie, 3rd Battalion, A.I.F., was unmistakable evidence of the hollowness of the tributes so often paid to Australia's heroes, said Rev. A. R. McVittie. The service had been advertised, but not one citizen of Newcastle, other than his comrades, had found time to attend to pay tribute to the memory of one of those who had been acclaimed heroes when they went out to fight for Australia. "Australian treatment of the returned Diggers after the last war left very much to be desired," he said. "It seemed as if history will repeat itself for those returning from the present war."
R.A.A.F. WANTED IN BLOW
Although there were no special plans for R.A.A.F. participation in the final blow against Japan the U.S. Air Corps Commander in the South-west Pacific (General Kenney) was very keen to have Australian participation, said Air Vice-Marshal W. D. Bostock in Brisbane. Air Officer Commanding R.A.A.F. Command, which operates directly under the control of General Kenney, Air Vice-Marshal Bostock, said he hoped the R.A.A.F. soon would be able to attack the Japanese homeland. The ability of the service depended on command commitments. There were hopes that the Bougainville and Wewak campaigns, which were going well, would be finished soon, leaving R.A.A.F. squadrons available to join in a major attack against the Japanese, he said.
"In response to my request, General MacArthur has made available three Australian troop ships under his operational control for the return of long-service men from Borneo, New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomon Islands," said the Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley). "The Government," said Mr. Chifley, "is most grateful to General MacArthur for his ready and generous response to this request, which is typical of the cordial and cooperative manner that has at all times characterised his relations with the Australian Government. "It is not likely that all three ships will be immediately available, as one of them is undergoing repairs and will not be ready until September, when it is planned to place one of the remaining two under repair for about four weeks.
GIFT FOR CIGARETTE FUND
This week, the Victoria League would cable the 26th amount of £100 ($200), plus exchange, for purchase of 100,000 cigarettes, said the President (Miss Dora Sparke). Cigarettes would be sent to South-east Asia Command and the Pacific area. A steady stream of letters and cards continued to arrive from men who had received gifts of cigarettes, Miss Sparke added. One man said that as he wrote, the victory bells were peeling, for the end of the war in Europe. Some cards, posted in Brussels, were from liberated A.I.F. prisoners of war. "With the speeding up of the Pacific war, it is urgent that the supplies of cigarettes should be sent as quickly as possible," said Miss Sparke. "For this reason, an earnest appeal is made that donations be sent to the Victoria League office, 119 Scott Street, Newcastle, marked "Cigarette Fund." Each £1 ($2) sends 1000 cigarettes."
Kevin Albert Hume, Maitland; Harold Frederick Meehan, Waratah; Robert George Walker, Maitland; John William Barnes, Mayfield; Donald William Dewey, Cooks Hill; Kevin Alwyn Trimingham, Murrurundi; Maxwell John Condran, Bellbird.
Lance Corporal George Alexander Shepherd, New Lambton. POW; Private Ronald James Bailey, Carrington; Gunner John Henry Kellett, Merewether. POW; Private Edward Terrett, New Lambton. POW; Leading Aircraftman James Adrian Holdstock, Maryville; Private James George Wiseman, Upper Rouchel. POW.