45th Infantry Division observing Memorial Day, May 30, 1945 in the Konigsplatz, Munich, Germany. PFC Felix A. Cizewski is somewhere in this scene with other members of the 45th Signal Company. (Public Domain Image.)
On May 30, 1945, the 45th Infantry Division held Memorial Day services in the Konigsplatz in Munich, Germany.
Felix A. Cizewski, my late father, may have participated as a member of the 45th Signal Company.
The 45th had captured Munich a few weeks earlier after the 45th’s Task Force Sparks had liberated Dachau outside of Munich.
Munich was the birthplace of the Nazi Party and Germany had surrendered three weeks earlier. Both may have added poignancy to the service.
By this time, some of the men realized that they had not served long enough to be eligible for discharge and instead were to be transferred to the Pacific.
The division may not yet have been informed that not only eligible individuals but the entire 45th was to be redeployed to the war with Japan.
A copy of the program is posted on my family history site. I purchased it on Ebay. After posting it, I donated it to the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.
Ralph E. Robinson with Landing Ship Medium 34 and Gizmo somewhere in the Philippines, 1944 or 1945. (Image © 2010 The Family of Ralph E. Robinson. May not be reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without the express prior written permission.)
On the other side of the world, my late father-in-law, Ralph E. Robinson, on Landing Ship Medium 34 continued delivering supplies to troops in the Philippines.
According to Samuel Eliot Morrison in the History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. XIII:The Liberation of the Philippines, life may have become a bit easier for Ralph. While they still needed to be on the alert for mines, shore batteries, small boats and submarines., the Japanese air force in the Philippines had been mostly destroyed and the Japanese had stopped sending new planes. The air attacks, including by kamikazes, had almost ceased.
The Japanese were using their remaining planes against the U.S. forces who had landed on Okinawa and were saving more for the expected landings on their home islands.
Ralph and his shipmates were aware of that as they trained with the Army for the invasion of Japan scheduled for about September, 1945, in about three months.