Vol. 2, no.121     AND 717 DAILY NEWS     Sat., 23 June 1945


Okinawa is secured.

Admiral Nimitz, in a special communique, declared the battle of Okinawa has been won, and the tired, but triumphant troops of the U.S. 10th Army have attained a complete victory on the 82nd day of the island campaign.

Two tiny pockets are all that remain of the once powerful garrison of 90,000 men, and naval units of our Pacific Fleet and our landbased planes now have a base within 325 miles of Japan proper and 1,025 miles from the capital city of Tokio. Says Nimitz: "American air power based on that island can soon reach every part of the Japanese empire."

The island was taken in the most costly operation yet of the Central or Western Pacific areas. American casualties, not counting the last 4 weeks of bitter fighting, included 9,600 killed and 25,000 wounded. The Japanese lost more than 4,000 planes attacking our surface units but managed to sink 31 small naval vessels and damage 54.

Premier Suzuki said at the start of the Okinawa campaign that the fate of Japan rested upon the outcome.

From Manila, General MacArthur reported yesterday that General Stilwell will take over the command of the Tenth Army, succeeding General Simon Bolivar Buckner, who was killed. Marine Lt. Gen. Roy Geiger has temporarily headed the Tenth Army. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell will accordingly give up the job of Chief of Army Ground Forces, but his successor has not been named.

Significance is noted in the appointment of General Stilwell at just the time when the Tenth Army, having completed the conquest of Okinawa, is, in effect, ready for its next job.

End of the fighting leaves the occupation forces free to develop Okinawa's airfields and harbors, some already in use. Admiral Nimitz points out that possession of Okinawa brings not only Japan within the range of all United States planes, but also the war production centers of Manchuria.

Would Increase G.I. School Pay

A broad expansion of the educational benefits for veterans under the G.I. Bill of Rights was proposed yesterday in Congress by Senator Pepper of Florida.

Pepper's bill proposes to increase dependency allowances for veterans resuming their education. The present allowance is $50 a month if single, $75 if married. Under this new bill, allowances would be raised to $100 a month for 2 dependents, $125 for 3 and $150 for 4.

Under the new bill, men over 25 years of age no longer would have to forego their education if it was interrupted when they entered the service. They would get the same educational benefits as the men under 25, who are the only ones covered under the present bill.

The day before yesterday it was the first day of summer way back where we all want to be. School is out everywhere now and city folks are heading for the shore, mountains or country, as the wherewith all and transportation facilities allow. Things in the cities are settling down into the summer doldrums, or would if there were not a war on.

In the country, though, the season of greatest activity is at hand. Field crops are in, the first harvest is coming on. A week or two from now, perhaps sooner, one of man's greatest crops, grass, will begin to roll into the barns.

Judging from news dispatches received here in New Guinea, it should be a good hay year in many parts of the United States. In the northeast, the farmer has been anxiously watching the alfalfa and clover coming along -- later on there will be timothy, highly prized roughage for horses. When the blooms reach about the right stage another factor must be considered. Rain is welcomed while the crop is coming along but can ruin the harvesting if it falls at the wrong time in too great quantities. Precious vitamins and minerals then go down the creeks instead of into food and horsepower.

Then some morning, after much sky scanning and exchanging of opinions on the weather for the day, the mower is hitched up -- it may be either horsedrawn or tractor-powered nowadays -- and begins to go round and round the field, scattering pheasants and rabbits before it. And one of the pleasantest smells of country life rises from the meadow -- the smell of new mown hay.

When the hay in the swath has reached the proper moisture content, the side delivery or dump rake goes to work on it, making windrows. Then comes the test of how "stout" a man is. Can he stand up to a hayloader or pitch it on all afternoon?

All the menfolk, young and old, are out in the north meadow. Sonny has had to give up his fishing to drive the team, or the tractor, Grandpop can still manage the horsefork or electric hoist. But is has its compensations. There is still a thrill for a youngster when he handles the reins on a pair of sturdy black grade Percherons, and Grandpop gets the opportunity to brag a little about how he hayed it "the hard way" all by hand when he was a young sprout -- and if Grandma isn't too handy, how much of that hard cider he could handle from that jug out under the shade of the oak in the south corner.

HIM! Oh, he just figured out when he would get his discharge by the NAVY POINT SYSTEM!!

25th Special U.S. Naval Construction Battalion, Fleet Post Office, San Francisco, California
This paper is precensored and may be mailed home.

with George Raft and Brenda Marshall.

Republished in good faith from an original Stevie Seabee newsletter brought back from New Guinea by U.S. Navy Seabee Roy Tibbets, 1945. No copyright infringement is intended.

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