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August 2nd, 1945 (THURSDAY)

UNITED KINGDOM: Plymouth: Truman has lunch with King George VI on board the battleship HMS RENOWN on his way back to the US.

Minesweeper HMS Mystic commissioned.
Submarine HMS Springer commissioned.

GERMANY: The Potsdam Conference ends.
Germany will be disarmed, divided and deprived of the power to make war by the decisions announced here today by the "Big Three" Allied powers. The conference's report was signed by President Truman, Marshal Stalin and Clement Attlee, who succeeded Winston Churchill as prime minister after the British general election results were announced during the conference.

A council of foreign ministers is to be established to continue three-power co-operation, though much in the deliberations and the atmosphere of the conference suggested that this will be difficult.

The Big Three propose that cartels, as well as war industries, in Germany are to be broken up. Going some way to accept the controversial proposal of the US treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau Jr, the powers propose that the German economy should "give primary emphasis to agriculture" and "domestic industries."

There is a striking difference between the treatments proposed for Italy and Germany. Italy is to be offered a peace treaty. The Germans are to be convinced "that they cannot escape responsibility for what they have brought upon themselves". Allied reparations will be paid from German assets and major war criminals will be speedily brought to trial. Germany will lose territory to Poland and Russia.

Franco's Spain, "having been founded with the support of the Axis powers", will not be allowed to be a member of the United Nations. The signatories sent a message thanking Mr. Churchill for his contribution not only to the earlier stages of the conference but also to the war itself.

JAPAN: On Shimushu Island in the Kurile Islands, 5 US Eleventh Air Force B-24s visually bomb Kataoka Naval Base and 1 radar-bombs Kokutan Zaki and returns to base (600 miles or 966 km) on 3 engines.

B-29s attack Nagasaki and virtually annihilate Toyama, claiming to have sunk 26 ships.

Okinawa: Bad weather due to a typhoon cancels all Far East Air Forces missions against Japan.

While on routine patrol, the crew of a US Navy PV-1 Ventura of Patrol Bombing Squadron One Hundred Fifty Two (VPB-152), based on Peleliu, spots a large oil slick with 30 survivors in the water. Further examination of the area reveals another group of 150 survivors. An immediate call for assistance is made, with PBY Catalinas and the high speed transport USS Bassett (APD-73) soon enroute to rescue the men. This is the remainder of the crew of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), sunk by the Japanese submarine HIJMS I-58, which had sunk without sending an SOS on 30 July, with the majority of the ship's crew dying of exposure and shark attacks. The searches continue until 8 August.

The 316 survivors of the crew of the USS INDIANAPOLIS have been telling harrowing tales of their sinking. She was torpedoed at midnight three days ago and sank so quickly that many of the crew of 1,196 were trapped below decks and the radio officer could not send an SOS.

The chances of any of the missing 880 men being alive in the shark-infested Philippine Sea are remote.

SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC: Two USN destroyers, USS Charrette (DD-581) and USS Conner (DD-582), make radar contact with a ship which they track through the night, finding in the morning that it was the Japanese hospital ship Tachibana Maru. A search party from USS Charrette boards the ship and finds able-bodied troops and arms and ammunition in boxes marked with red crosses; the troops are made prisoners of war. A prize crew of 80 marines and sailors is placed aboard the Japanese ship and it is taken to Naval Advance Base Morotai in the Netherlands East Indies arriving on 6 August.

Off the Malay Peninsula, the USN submarine USS Bugara (SS-331), on her third war patrol, encounters a Japanese schooner manned by a Chinese crew being attacked by Malay pirates; the pirates fire at the submarine and then attempt to escape. The sub crew takes off the Chinese crew, sinks the schooner with gunfire and then pursues the pirates and disposes of them.

MARIANAS ISLANDS: Lieutenant General Nathan F Twining relieves Lieutenant General Curtis Emerson LeMay as Commanding General, Twentieth Air Force; LeMay is reassigned to the US Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF) as Chief of Staff.

CANADA: Destroyer HMCS Hamilton (ex HMS and USS Kalk) sold for scrapping in Baltimore.

U.S.A.: The top pop songs are (1) "The More I See You" by Dick Haymes; (2) "Dream" by The Pied Pipers' (3) "Sentimental Journey" by Les Brown and his Orchestra with vocal by Doris Day: and (4) "Oklahoma Hills" by Jack Guthrie.


1999:     The death of TSgt Bobby Austin: October 24, 1924 - August 2, 1999.  He entered the Marines in 1942 and served as a navigator of a Marine R4D and was honourably discharged in November 1945.  A member of the WWII List! Semper Fi!!

Bobby's logbook and pictures are online at:

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