Item #3908 [WWII: TYPESCRIPT V-E DAY ANNOUNCEMENT RECEIVED DURING THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA - MAY 8, 1945]. "NEWS: EUROPEAN THEATRE OPERATIONS" W. W. Lewis, short wave radio operator.
[WWII: TYPESCRIPT V-E DAY ANNOUNCEMENT RECEIVED DURING THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA - MAY 8, 1945]. "NEWS: EUROPEAN THEATRE OPERATIONS"
V-E Day in Europe while war rages in Okinawa: Typescript May 8, 1945

[WWII: TYPESCRIPT V-E DAY ANNOUNCEMENT RECEIVED DURING THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA - MAY 8, 1945]. "NEWS: EUROPEAN THEATRE OPERATIONS"

[Okinawa, Japan]: 1945. Single sheet typescript on onion-skin paper (327 x 200 mm), two brad holes at top (staining along left edge), folded four times. Very good. Item #3908

PRECIOUS WWII RELIC FROM WAR-TORN OKINAWA, BEING A TYPEWRITTEN ANNOUNCEMENT OF GERMANY'S SURRENDER, THE NEWS OF WHICH HAD BEEN RECEIVED VIA SHORTWAVE RADIO AND DISSEMINATED BY A SEABEE SOLDIER. The text of the announcement itself does not appear to conform with any official communiqué and may be unique, possibly written by the radio operator himself, one W.W. Lewis, a soldier in the 79th USNCB (Special Naval Construction Battalion, or "Seabees").

It has not escaped our notice that the Battle of Okinawa had been raging since April 1st, 1945 and would continue until June 22nd. Thus the present typewritten announcement -- dated May 8th -- would have seemed bittersweet to surviving members of the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army then under constant fire: it has been estimated that approximately 50,000 Allied soldiers died there in those three months, an extraordinary loss considering that the US Army had ca. 103,000 soldiers in Okinawa (of these, 38,000+ were non-divisional artillery, combat support and HQ troops, with another 9,000 service troops), and ca. 88,000 Marines and 18,000 Navy personnel (mostly Seabees and medical personnel).

The text of the present announcement reads:

"German Foreign Minister announced German's (sic) unconditional surrender to Western Allies and Soviet Russia today in a broadcast to his country-men. Broadcasting on the radio Germany's Foreign Minister said that the High Command of the Armed Forces today asked Admiral Doenitz declare unconditional surrender of all fighting German troops. Two hours earlier radio had broadcast the order of the day from Admiral Doenitz notifying all German submarines to cease activities. The German general, Commanders-in-Chief broadcasted an order of the day over Radio commanding
his troops lay down their arms.

"Surrender of German Armed Forces to Allies and Soviet Russia has not yet been officially confirmed by Supreme Headquarters or any other Allied forces. However, British MinIster of Information announced that May 8th will be treated as V-E day in Europe and that both Tuesday and Wednesday will be public holidays. Prime Minister Churchill will broadcast an official announcement at three in the afternoon, nine o'clock Tuesday morning, Eastern War Time.

"In Washington, White House announced that on the basis of reports now received, the President will make an announcement to the nation by radio at nine o'clock Eastern War Time, Tuesday.

"The White House report was made by Presidential Pressy (sic) Secretary Daniels. When asked if present message of V-E address (sic), Daniels said, "The statement speaks for itself."

"War-scarred London's millions of happy citizens were unable to wait for formal announcement of V-E Day tomorrow morning.

"The Nation's Capitol took news of German's surrender as just a battle won, the biggest but not the last."

CATALOGUER'S NOTE: Our writer's Seabee Batallion (the 79th) was first deployed to Saipan, and then on to Okinawa. We have learned that Lewis belonged to Company C Platoon 1 (see p. 37 of the May 1944 79th Naval Construction Battalion Guide held by the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum). Lewis returned to the States and resided in San Jose, CA (specifically at 927 California Avenue). For a lengthy discussion of the heroic efforts of the Seabees, see: Building the Navy's Bases in WWII: History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps 1940-1946, especially vol. II, p. 400.

Price: $750.00