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Choctaw111
11-08-2008, 08:33 AM
This is a great story that a good friend of mine from my American Legion post, post 244 Pottsgrove, sent to me.
I did not know that the last person to die in WW2 was killed in action after the treaty was signed...in the air no less.
Here is the story and a photo of the grave marker just minutes from my American Legion post.

The Last to Die


Just after 2 p.m. on August 18, 1945, U.S. Army Sergeant Anthony J. Marchione bled to death in the clear, bright sky above Tokyo . A month shy of his 20th birthday, Marchione died like so many before him had in the Second World War"”quietly, cradled in the arms of a buddy. What sets his death apart from that of other Allied airmen is that the young man from Pottstown , Pennsylvania , died after the Japanese had accepted the Allied terms of surrender. He was the last American killed in air combat in World War II.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/PublicPhotoAccount2/lastmankilledy.jpg



__________________________________________________ _________________________________________



Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, "Hobo Queen II," serial number 42-108532 of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force. She has just arrived from the United States for combat duty. The B-32 program was developed as a concurrent alternative to the B-29. They shared the same engines. After testing the plane in combat over Formosa , Luzon and Hainan, the 386th moved to Okinawa on August 13, 1945. In service, the B-32 had numerous deficiencies. The cockpit had an extremely high noise level and the instrument layout was poor. Bombardier vision was rather poor. The aircraft was overweight for the available engine power, the mechanical subsystems were inadequate, and there were frequent engine fires caused by a faulty nacelle design. There were frequent undercarriage failures, which caused the type to be grounded briefly during May of 1945. The B-32 had excellent low-speed directional control, good takeoff and landing characteristics and rapid control response. The B-32 was a stable bombing platform, its manned turrets provided good protection, its subsystems were easily accessible for maintenance, and its reversible inboard propellers gave it excellent ground-handling characteristics. On August 18, 1945, four B-32s on a photography mission were bounced by fourteen Imperial Japanese Navy A6M Zeroes and three Army Ki-44 "Tojos" including famed naval ace Saburo Sakai. They shot up two of the B-32s, wounding Staff Sergeant Joseph M. Lacharite and Sergeant John T. Houston, and killing Sergeant Anthony J. Marchione. Hobo Queen II was seriously damaged. This was the last Allied air combat casualty of World War II. Repaired, Hobo Queen II suffered a nosewheel undercarriage failure on October 14, 1945, and was written off.

Choctaw111
11-08-2008, 01:37 PM
I know that there are many others who died as a direct result of their wounds long after the War was over.
Are there any other recorded instances of soldiers being killed by "enemy fire" after the treaty was signed by soldiers who may not have known that the war was over?

LovroSL
11-08-2008, 02:35 PM
well in europe many fights were still going on between the local resistance and the surrendering and reatreting german army, for quite a while after the official german surrender.

for instance (may 15):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Poljana
and even later smaller skirmishes were still going on

CUJO_1970
11-08-2008, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by Choctaw111:
Are there any other recorded instances of soldiers being killed by "enemy fire" after the treaty was signed by soldiers who may not have known that the war was over?


There were soldiers still killing even when they knew the war was over.

Certain leaders in the US 24th Infantry division were executing Japanese soldiers in the Phillipines weeks after the war was officially over.

Possibly the last guys actually killed were some of those Japanese soldiers coming out of a cave with their arms over their head that my Grandfather watched get machine gunned to death. Depending on the person they were surrendering to, that could be a big mistake. Sowing the wind and all...

general_kalle
11-08-2008, 05:17 PM
always wondered why some soldiers couldt not accept people surrendering and shot them anyway?
this was for Americans, British Germans, russians Japanese british...all nations did this.

KIMURA
11-08-2008, 06:10 PM
On more strange thing. The last German unit surrendered on 4th Septembre 45 to a Norwegian sealer half a year after VE. The units name was Wettertrupp Haudegen (weather station warhorse).

leitmotiv
11-08-2008, 06:45 PM
The historian Niall Ferguson found while researching his book on WWI, THE PITY OF WAR, that surrendering was not the straightforward procedure we'd like to believe it was. On the contrary, it was very hazardous. Canadians in Normandy were extremely disinclined to take prisoners because of the slaughter of Canadians in the bungled Dieppe operation in 1942. Hapless Germans surrendering to Canadians on 6 June were led behind dunes and shot. How could a surrenderer have anticipated this? That Americans stopped taking SS prisoners after Malmedy should have come as no surprise to the SS, but Germans finding themselves facing a firing squad for the actions of soldiers two years before in another area shows the uncertainty of trying to surrender.

WTE_Galway
11-08-2008, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
The historian Niall Ferguson found while researching his book on WWI, THE PITY OF WAR, that surrendering was not the straightforward procedure we'd like to believe it was. On the contrary, it was very hazardous. Canadians in Normandy were extremely disinclined to take prisoners because of the slaughter of Canadians in the bungled Dieppe operation in 1942. Hapless Germans surrendering to Canadians on 6 June were led behind dunes and shot. How could a surrenderer have anticipated this? That Americans stopped taking SS prisoners after Malmedy should have come as no surprise to the SS, but Germans finding themselves facing a firing squad for the actions of soldiers two years before in another area shows the uncertainty of trying to surrender.

In some cases it was sheer pragmatic, prisoners would slow you down. The choice was execute them or leave them behind restrained to eventually die of starvation.

The Australians rarely took prisoners in New Guinea even at the very start. This resulted in some interesting arguments with the Australians severely criticising the US for mistreatment (including random execution for minor offenses) of its own black troops and the US accusing the Australians of barbaric treatment of enemy combatants.

On the Eastern Front the Soviets were not a signatory to the Geneva Convention and the Germans took this as permission for them to ignore the convention as well. Barbaric atrocities occurred on both sides.

I have somewhere a translated story by a Russian officer describing how he felt that captured SS were not worth wasting ammo on and so he arranged to "interview" them one by one and slit their throats.

Choctaw111
11-08-2008, 09:03 PM
I guess it should have read that it was that last known soldier to be killed by soldiers who thought we were still at war.
Those Japanese pilots were still defending their homeland, doing a soldiers duty in a time of war. They had not yet received the message that the war was over.
Yes, there were many soldiers killed after the war was officially over by those who "kept the war going".
There is a big difference in the mindset between fighting during a time of war, and still fighting after you know the war is over.

R_Target
11-08-2008, 10:08 PM
Originally posted by Choctaw111:
I guess it should have read that it was that last known soldier to be killed by soldiers who thought we were still at war.
Those Japanese pilots were still defending their homeland, doing a soldiers duty in a time of war. They had not yet received the message that the war was over.
Yes, there were many soldiers killed after the war was officially over by those who "kept the war going".
There is a big difference in the mindset between fighting during a time of war, and still fighting after you know the war is over.

According to Sakai, they had been informed that the war was over before flying the mission.

Von_Rat
11-08-2008, 11:22 PM
according to john keegan surrendering troops only have a 50 50 chance of not being killed. unless they were part of a mass surrender.

iirc this applies to wars in general, not just ww2.



note:snipers are pretty much sol, everybody would pretty much always shoot them if they tried to surrender.

also a pet theory of mine is that us troops as a rule would not let japanese troops surrender, thus leading to the notion that they almost never tried. its my feeling that after the war this was swept under the rug for 2 reasons. one being the us wasnt thrilled to admit it and 2 that the japanese prefered the myth that they almost never surrendered.

feel free to disagree.

CUJO_1970
11-09-2008, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
also a pet theory of mine is that us troops as a rule would not let japanese troops surrender, thus leading to the notion that they almost never tried. its my feeling that after the war this was swept under the rug for 2 reasons. one being the us wasnt thrilled to admit it and 2 that the japanese prefered the myth that they almost never surrendered.

feel free to disagree.


My grandfather's outfit(Army 24th Infantry) did take some Japanese prisoners. In one case they had a prisoner that begged for a bayonet blade for three days. Finally they got sick of hearing him and threw one in to him. He then commited suicide with it.

There was another group but I don't know if it was during or after the war. Not sure if the Japanese soldiers knew some english, or if it was through an interpreter - but they rated the Australian soldiers as the best adversaries in Jungle fighting. They said the Americans simply blew up the jungle first and then came in and fought.

Revenge and emotion was the major factor in shooting those surrendering Japanese soldiers. For their brutal treatment of wounded and captured US soldiers, as well as their treatment of Phillipine civilians.

Choctaw111
11-09-2008, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by R_Target:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Choctaw111:
I guess it should have read that it was that last known soldier to be killed by soldiers who thought we were still at war.
Those Japanese pilots were still defending their homeland, doing a soldiers duty in a time of war. They had not yet received the message that the war was over.
Yes, there were many soldiers killed after the war was officially over by those who "kept the war going".
There is a big difference in the mindset between fighting during a time of war, and still fighting after you know the war is over.

According to Sakai, they had been informed that the war was over before flying the mission. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is very interesting.

K_Freddie
11-09-2008, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by CUJO_1970:
.. They said the Americans simply blew up the jungle first and then came in and fought.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif... Nothing has changed (in peacetime or war)
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Buzzsaw-
11-10-2008, 01:57 AM
Salute

Lots of revisionism going on here.

There were soldiers from both sides shot during the heat of battle. It was common for a soldier who had just been shot at, and seen his buddies shot, to be so full of adrenaline, that he couldn't stop himself from shooting a person in a opposing side uniform.

The big difference, was what happened AFTER the battle was finished and emotions had time to cool.

The Germans and Japanese had a record of killing (or torturing to death) enemy prisoners long after the heat of battle.

And this wasn't done by individuals, it was Army or Government policy.

All one has to do is look at the statistics for the numbers of prisoners who died in captivity.

For example, 3.3 million Soviet prisoners of war died in German captivity. And most of them, (2.8 million) died in the period June '41 - Jan. '42, from simple starvation.

Basically they were force marched to death with no food.

Contrast that with the number of Germans who died in Soviet captivity, 374,000 out of 3.3 million who were captured.

Obviously the Soviets were brutal in their treatment of the Germans, but not in the systematically genocidal way the Germans were.

The Japanese were just as bad. We've all heard of the treatment of the Americans during the Bataan death march or the British/Australian prisoners in Burma.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1a/LeonardGSiffleet.jpg

But as bad as that was, what was done to Chinese who surrendered makes the the Western allied treatment look lenient.

In most cases Chinese soldiers who surrendered to the Japanese were used for bayonet pratice or beheaded, but many times they were burned alive and some were the subject of germ warfare experiments.

Yes, in the heat of battle, bad things happen, but what the Nazi and Japanese governments and armies did was something else.

Buzzsaw-
11-10-2008, 02:28 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
according to john keegan surrendering troops only have a 50 50 chance of not being killed. unless they were part of a mass surrender.

iirc this applies to wars in general, not just ww2.



Complete speculation. I know a lot of WWII vets who had nothing to lose when I talked to them, no reason to lie, in fact they did tell me of stories of people being shot, but in 90% of the cases when the Germans showed a white flag, or came out with their hands up, their surrender was accepted.

It was situations where Germans showed a white flag, then someone came forward to take the surrender and then was shot that you had situations where no prisoners were taken.

I won't mention names, but in one case in Holland on the Scheldt estuary, a Vet told me that was exactly what happened. The Canadians were using a Wasp flamethrower to clear bunkers. After they flamed one, there was a white flag waved from the next one, and when a Sergeant walked forward, he was shot. So the Wasps were put back to work and ALL the bunkers were flamed.

But later in the war, during the Reichswald campaign, they took the surrender of lots of Germans without incident.


Originally posted by Von_Rat:

note:snipers are pretty much sol, everybody would pretty much always shoot them if they tried to surrender.


Not the case. If the sniper had not killed anyone he stood as good a chance of not being killed as any other prisoner. On the other hand, if someone had been killed, and if the German was identified as a Sniper, and he surrendered, the guy who disarmed him would open the bolt of the rifle he was using, and check to see if there were any rounds left. If the mag was empty, he didn't make it. If it had rounds in it, he was ok.


Originally posted by Von_Rat:
also a pet theory of mine is that us troops as a rule would not let japanese troops surrender, thus leading to the notion that they almost never tried. its my feeling that after the war this was swept under the rug for 2 reasons. one being the us wasnt thrilled to admit it and 2 that the japanese prefered the myth that they almost never surrendered.

You are right, it is a pet theory.

The Japanese were taught never to surrender. That was official Japanese Army training. Part of the Army's warped interpretation of the Bushido code. (real Samurai's would never kill themselves for the reasons Japanese soldiers did) Huge numbers of Japanese killed themselves with grenades or by putting the muzzle of their rifle in their mouths and pulling the trigger with their big toe. They did this when they didn't have the courage to fight anymore.

And the ones who appeared to surrender, often were not serious, they were just using the tactic to get close to an American or Australian so they could explode a grenade or stab them. There are thousands of documented incidents of this.

For those reasons, and also the fact that Americans and Commonwealth troops knew about the atrocities the Japanese had committed against Allied POW's, there was a marked reluctance to trust the Japanese. It was easier to just kill them all whether they had their hands up or not.

However, this WAS NOT official policy. The US Army and the Commonwealth Brass WANTED Japanese prisoners for the same reason all armies want prisoners, to get information on troop deployment, plans, etc. Troops were told to take prisoners.

And they were not executed after they had surrendered, unlike the American/Canadian/Australian/British/Phillopino/Chinese, etc. prisoners that the Japanese took.