Looking back, it’s apparent the war was winding down in the last week of May, 1945. Tokyo was bombed so extensively, Premiere Suzuki said the city would have to be completely rebuilt and Emperor Hirohito’s palace was completely destroyed, much to the pleasure of Americans at home, according to news wire reports.
American Superfort planes had struck Tokyo so severely, a Japanese radio broadcast said Tokyo officials were “frantically trying to restore order.”
The Brazil Times’ front page carried more good news of soldiers who had been freed from German prison camps by allied forces.
“Sisters of PFC. Charles Nobles were overjoyed when telegrams were received recently that he was safe and well,” one front page read. “They were also notified by the war department this week that PFC Nobles had returned to his military command in Europe on April 26. He had been missing since January 31 and the family had heard nothing of his fate until the word received lately. It is supposed that he has been a prisoner in Germany and was recently freed by the allied advances.”
A Knightsville man, Victor Linton, was freed after a full year in captivity by the Nazis.
A letter that made its way through various channels, including the Red Cross, said that he was OK and he had plenty of food in the Nazi prison camp. He expected to be back home in three weeks. Lt. Linton’s picture was boldly printed across the front page of The Brazil Times.
Here at home, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars members were preparing for Memorial Day services.
Memorial Day services were planned on Sunday afternoon at the Center Point United Brethren Church, sponsored by the Center Point Memorial Association with the Rev. Clifford Scholey speaking. Other services were planned for Brazil and Ashboro as well.
Most businesses would be closed and it is comforting to realize that Memorial Day services haven’t changed much in the past 72 years.
Crime continued in spite of the sacrifice of so many people because “there’s a war on, you know.” That was the popular slogan of the day as people reminded one another of the sacrifices that every American was expected to make to defeat Germany and Japan.
Burglars broke into three bulk oil plants and obtained some cash, checks and spark plugs. More important in the mind of the reporter was that the thieves got away with gas stamps worth 3,800 gallons from the Standard Oil Company bulk plant on West Jackson Street. Gasoline could not be purchased (except, possibly, on the black market) without the gas stamps.
At the Texaco bulk plant on South Chicago Avenue, Sam Randall, manager, said the burglars took checks and cash worth about $400 and some merchandise.
The thieves also hit the D-X bulk oil plant on U.S. 40, just west of Brazil, but did not find anything to take.
There was entertainment to take Brazil residents’ minds off the war. At the Lark Theatre, two favorites, Veronica Lake and Sonny Tufts starred in, “Here Come the Girls,” a movie that said they were “salt water daffy.”
Next week, we look back to June 4-10, 1946 and see how Clay County was faring in that post-war year.
The Brazil Public Library has great archives of The Brazil Times and other Clay County historical documents. The library is located on North Walnut Street, two blocks north of U.S. 40.