During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Shanghai was famous as China’s international city, a busy trade port with notorious underworld . During the latter part of the 20th century, the city languished through Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, before once again becoming a world-class city leading in finance, technology, and culture at the turn of the millennium.
There was a very brief time after WWII, only four years, when the city was under the Kuomintang (KMT), or nationalist Chinese government. What makes this period interesting militarily, was the unusual combinations of WWII weaponry fielded there, and a now largely-forgotten American military presence in China.
(Officers of the Shanghai Police Department monitor a political protest in 1948. Equipment includes a stahlhelm M35 helmet and Arisaka Type 38 rifle.)
(An abandoned Mitsubishi Ki-21 “Sally” bomber sits opposite American C-46 Commando, C-54 Skymaster, and C-47 Skytrain transports at a former Japanese airbase near Shanghai after WWII.)
(Soviet-made T-26 and American-made M3/M5 Stuart tanks of the nationalist army together in Shanghai during 1949. An irony of this last battle is that the nationalists were partially equipped with Soviet gear and the communists were partially equipped with American gear.)
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(part 2 of a 2-part series)
After achieving independence from the United States ten months after the end of WWII, the military of the Philippines was infused with a variety of WWII American weapons, some of which are still in use in 2018.
(Recruits train with a mix of M16s and M1 Garands in 2018.)
(Philippines army soldiers display weapons captured from Abu Sayyaf in 2017 including a pair of M1 Garands, one of which has been spray-painted glossy black.)
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(part 1 of a 2-part series)
Every nation that participated in WWII had effects on it’s economy after the war ended. For the Philippines, an unfortunate combination of circumstances meant that these effects lasted longer than probably anywhere else, and most curiously the money itself (the physical printed cash) was an issue decades later.
(American soldiers behind a M4 Sherman advance down the right field foul line of Rizal Stadium in February 1945. The ballpark had been converted into a HQ by Japanese forces. For the Philippines, the occupation was ending but the post-WWII monetary woes were just beginning.)
(A stack of old Japanese Invasion Money stamped by the failed JAPWANCAP scheme of the 1950s.)
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To readers of wwiiafterwwii, I would like to wish a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.
Above is the Christmas mess deck menu of USS Culebra Island (ARG-7), a Luzon class engine repair ship, for Christmas 1945, the first after peace returned.
Commissioned on 19 May 1944, USS Culebra Island participated in the liberation of the Philippines and supported operations on Borneo during WWII. Immediately after the war’s end, USS Culebra Island participated in operation “Magic Carpet”, the mass sealift of servicemen back to the United States.
USS Culebra Island‘s pennant number used an experimental new font intended for the postwar fleet, which in the end was never adopted by the US Navy. On 18 December 1946, USS Culebra Island was declared surplus to the needs of the peacetime military and decommissioned into reserve. The ship remained stored in the Suisun Bay, CA reserve anchorage until 10 December 1973, when the badly-rusted hull was auctioned off as scrap. The WWII-veteran ship was broken apart at Portland, OR in early 1974.
The post-WWII career of USS Killen (DD-593) is an interesting example of how the USA’s Cold War atomic tests, along with sloppy record-keeping and the unavoidable passage of time, resulted in a public relations mess at the turn of the millennium.
(USS Killen at sea in the Pacific during WWII)
(Wreckage of USS Killen on the Caribbean seafloor in the 21st century)
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(The WWII-veteran USCGC Cherokee on a 1980s narcotics patrol.)
(A demilitarized WWII-veteran C-46 Commando which crashed while in use as a smuggling plane during the 1980s.)
The US Coast Guard was formed (as the Revenue Cutter Service) on 4 August 1790. The Posse Comitatus law of 1878 restricts use of the American military in law enforcement. However the US Coast Guard is specifically exempted from any restrictions, and in fact law enforcement is one of it’s core missions.
During the Cold War the US Coast Guard’s funding came from the Department Of Transportation, not the Pentagon, and money just to buy fuel was at a premium, let alone new construction. The fleet during President Carter’s term was in a bottleneck; as all Prohibition-era cutters were gone, but new modern hulls were not being launched fast enough to replace them. Some aged WWII ships were pressed into service as cutters.
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(A Kingfisher scout plane catapults off the cruiser USS Detroit (CL-8) during WWII.)
(Abandoned Kingfishers lay in a US Navy storage lot in 1946, a year after WWII ended)
Because most photos of battleships concentrate on the inter-war and WWII era, it’s generally assumed that catapults and seaplanes were always a fixture on them, but this isn’t accurate.
If one considers the “battleship era” starting with the Spanish-American War in 1898 and ending with the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 , it was only half a century that that this type of warship ruled the seas. Of that, seaplanes aboard battleships had an even shorter run, about 24 years. For context, there were US Navy sailors who enlisted before battleship catapults existed and retired after they were already gone.
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