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Thread: VJ DAY...It wasn't just men from here that died...

  1. #1
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21

    VJ Day...

    I hope that in the remembrance, today, of the "forgotten war" that the television and the press will also remember those from further afield who also died in that war.

    There is a "Burma Star Road" in Benin City in Nigeria (where my wife comes from) as it was not only British and Australian servicemen that died in that campaign but also from what is now India, Pakistan as the then Indian Army but less well known men from West Africa in the Nigeria Regiment, in the Gold Coast Regiment and others in the 82nd (West Africa) Division in Burma. Indeed even today most barracks of the current Nigerian Army are named after battles of the Burma Campaign.

    One of my late mother's friends officered men from the Nigeria Regiment in that campaign as was the "norm" then, with white officers and black ORs.

    Attachment 60141

    82nd (West Africa) Division - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "This cenotaph erected at this permanent site in memory of our heroes who lost their lives during the two world wars and the war to preserve the territorial integrity of Nigeria as one nation was unveiled by His Excellency the Military Governor of Mid Western State of Nigeria...12 November 1972"
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 15-08-2015 at 08:49.

  2. #2
    I'm sure most people know that Aussies, New Zealanders, certain pacific Islanders, Nigerian, Indian, Malay, Pakistani and other nations sent men to the war as part of 'British' forces, There were also Jewish, Polish, free french etc etc, some were part of the few, many fought on land. My Dad went to Malaya with Indian troops and always spoke with pride and admiration about their dedication and courage. I think its all the more important for each and every nation to remember its own hero's in its own special way and to realise no nation alone could have done what was necessary.

  3. #3
    Very well said kes.

    ATB Lee

  4. #4
    My Mums cousin Lesley MacKenzie was a prisoner of the Japanese for most of the war,, he was an engineer in Malaya, and was captured soon after the invasion...according to mum, he suffered the most brutal torture, but didnt talk much of his experiences to the family,but he managed to survive and was repatriated at the end of hostilities.....he was a member of the Burma Star Assoc, and I still remember his Australian Bush Hat ( that he wore all through his imprisonment) hanging in his hallway....a great man...he died a couple of years ago.

  5. #5
    my grandad fought the ..... in Burma and came home safely but would never discuss what he experienced .Though for the rest of his life would never buy Japanese anything ,all he would say is Baastas are not getting my money hate them .God knows what all the blokes want through out there ,my ex wifes grandad had exactly the same views having been with the Chindits out in Burma.Nationality didnt matter the Japs treated them all evilly
    she buys shoes i buy ,shooting,she stops buying shoes,il be amazed

  6. #6
    I had a great uncle who was on the Burma Railway. His younger brother, my Grandfather was with the Kings Africa Rifles, Northern Rhodesian battalion al the way through Ethiopia and then Burma. Sadly I never knew them.

  7. #7
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    On the banks of the Columbia River, Portland OR. USA
    A lot of folks don't know it but the Japs attacked Oregon and the US mainland during the war. A sub surfaced about 80 miles from where I now sit and fired 8 cannon shells at Fort Stevens, they didn't hit Jack S---. They also brought a small plane over on a sub, put it together and launched it with fire bombs in an attempt to burn a forest near Coos Bay, OR. They also launched balloon bombs from Japan that hit Alaska, Canada, and the US, all the way to OH! A family in Oregon was killed by one of the balloon bombs. My uncle was in the Navy and was on two ships that were sunk by the Japs, he was rescued both times. My best friends grandfather was killed by the Japs leaving the PI, he was a civilian engineer. So many suffered...

  8. #8
    The Japanese invaded the Territory of Alaska and were soundly defeated by a mix of regular US Army, National Guard forces from other states, and the Alaska State Militia.

    Thanks to the OP for bringing up this forgotten bit of war.

    My father was a pilot in the CBI Theater, China-Burma-India. When the U.S. Army Air Corps under Claire Chennault, then Stilwell, were pushed into Burma, they flew out of there and India, while hundreds of thousands of workers cut a new road through the Himalayas. American bomber pilots, familiar with the unmapped terrain, "flew the Hump", carrying supplies to British troops in Burma, U.S. Army troops ( Merrill's Marauders, Unit Galahad, 5307th Composite Unit Long Range Penetration Force). This was a composite of troops from many small Pacific countries, along with the U.S. Special Operations. The U.S. Army Air Corps supplied these men, and the Chindits (Chinese and Indians) under Major General Charles Wingate. I have two of the Cattaragis 225Q fighting knives ( from Cattaraugus, New York, a knife making center like Sheffield ), supplied to the British jungle fighters.

    I must add that I know two survivors of Battaan, still living today and in hearty health. I guarantee you none of the pilots or guerilla fighters wanted to be captured by the Japanese. Some other relations of mine, also pilots, were captured after being shot down while bombing a Japanese air base which was a staging for the planned invasion of New Zealand. Near the end of the war, when spies learned they had been secretly awarded the Silver Star and Congressional Medal of Honor, they were executed.
    Last edited by Southern; 17-08-2015 at 00:15.

  9. #9
    For an update, C-SPAN3 on cable in the USA has been playing films put together by the US Army in 1945 and 1946 of the history of the War in the Pacific, not just the Army and its Air Corps, but the entire war, US Navy, Marine Corps, British and all their forces. I don't know if you can get it there live, or on the Internet, it is surprisingly candid, with vivid footage of battles.

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