View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 11, 1995
                         INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING
                     ON 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF V-J DAY 

2:15 P.M. EST

MR. MITCHELL: Good afternoon, this is a briefing today on V-J Day, the end of the war in the Pacific and the end of World War II, and the President's trip to Hawaii to commemorate that event.

It's my pleasure to introduce to you someone you all know; he's been here several times before -- General Kicklighter, who is Executive Director for the 50th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Committee. And he has given us, in the past, a great history, a great briefing of the events that this President has helped celebrate, helped commemorate.

And today I understand we also have a wonderful show. We have some wonderful veterans here he'll introduce, and some historians.

So, General Kicklighter.

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: It's a pleasure for us to be back with you today, and I think this is the third time that we've had the opportunity to come and talk to you about the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of World War II. And I'd just like to remind you again, the purpose of this program is for all of us to help a grateful nation to remember and thank and honor the veterans, their families, and especially the families who lost loved ones and those who served on the home front.

All together, 50 years ago, they saved the world that we live in today. And so as we come to the 50th anniversary, we want to make sure that they know that we haven't forgot what they did 50 years ago. And as we now come to the end of that war, we want to talk to you today about commemorating the 50th anniversary of V-J Day.

And the way that we plan to do that -- we have with us some very distinguished Americans, some World War II veterans, who'll I'll introduce in just a minute, and we also have some historians that will talk to us about that. And then we'll talk to you about the events that are going to happen around the country.

First, Brigadier General Jack Mountcastle, who is the Chief of the Center of Military History, will be representing all the historians in the Department of Defense. He'll get up and give an overview, about a 10-minute overview of the war in the Pacific, but a lot of the focus will be as we come to the end of that war and the final battles that take place in Iwo Jima and Okinawa, as we come to the end of the war.

He'll be followed by Dr. Ed Drea, who will talk about the Japanese preparation for defending the home islands as we come to the end of the war, and his assessment and our knowledge of how well they could have defended those islands had we had to invade them.

And then he'll be followed by General Andy Goodpaster. General Goodpaster is a World War II veteran. He served in North Africa and he served in Italy as a battalion commander. He was badly wounded and medically evacuated in the end of the war, as a joint planner in the Pentagon. And it was part of his responsibility to do the planning for invading and then occupying Japan if that had been necessary. And he'll share with you the thinking that was going on in our nation 50 years ago here in the Pentagon.

And then he'll be followed, again, by General Mountcastle, who will get up and talk to you about the dropping of the bomb, the end of the war, and the disposition of the Japanese forces when the war came to an end. When he completes that overview of the end of the war 50 years ago, then we'll ask the veterans to get up and talk to you very briefly. And I know you will want to talk to them in more detail at the end of this briefing.

And Colonel Don Lopez will lead off. And he was a fighter pilot, an ace; flew more than 100 missions in China with the Flying Tigers. And he will talk to you about his experiences in World War II and his thoughts as the war came to an end. And then he'll be followed by Colonel Ruby Bradley.

If the Army has a Florence Nightingale, it's Colonel Ruby Bradley. Colonel Bradley was a young lieutenant nurse in the Philippines when they came under attack. And she opened and operated, initially after that attack, an operating room where she saved many lives. And then shortly thereafter, she was captured and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. And so she will share with you some of the experiences and her thoughts as she was liberated at the end of that war.

And then we have Dr. Frank. Dr. Frank was a young Marine PFC and Corporal on Okinawa, and he fought in one of the bloodiest battles of the war. And I went by Mr. Udoff. Mr. Udoff was a Navy veteran -- 19 years old, aboard the aircraft carrier, Bunker Hill, when it came under attack by the Kamikazes. And his experience -- he's written a book on the subject and he will share with you those experiences.

And then we'll close our briefing by walking you through the events that will take place in Honolulu with the President participating. Colonel Kevin Hanretta will do that. And then Colonel John Sullivan will give you a quick overview. There are many other events commemorating the end of V-J Day, the victory in the Pacific and the end of the war. Colonel John Sullivan will do that as we close out.

With that, I'd like to hand over to Brigadier General Jack Mountcastle.


GENERAL MOUNTCASTLE: Thank you, sir. It is a pleasure to be here representing all the service history officers. And as we've gone through the World War II commemorative period of the last four years, we've really worked well together, I think, to bring to the American public the story of that great conflict that went around the world.

President Roosevelt called December 7th the date that will live in infamy. And, in fact, that was the single event that propelled the United States into World War II. When the Japanese fleet attacked the U.S. Anchorage at Pearl Harbor and Army and Army-Air force installations at Pearl Harbor, it was a bitter blow: eight battleships either sunk or seriously damaged; hundreds of aircraft lost; and 3,600 American servicemen either killed or wounded.

Japan's military leaders had thought that with the U.S. fleet, the Pacific fleet -- with its home port being Honolulu, Pearl Harbor -- out of the way, that would clear the way for their expansion into the resource-rich Southeast Asia and Southern Pacific. And it appeared, for the first six months, anyway, after Pearl Harbor, that they were right on the mark, because in rapid succession, you saw the fall of Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, Singapore -- the British garrison there. And then finally our own Philippine Island defenders, both American and Filipino troops, under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, were forced finally to surrender greatly -- great odds.

The general in charge, General MacArthur, had shifted his headquarters just before the surrender to Australia in order to carry on the fight against the Japanese; initially, in a purely defensive way, trying to sustain our access to those same resources in the Southeast Asia area and, of course, to defend Australia. Because if we had no base in the far reaches of the Pacific, we'd be hard-pressed to fight back and regain our holdings. As you recall, when he left the Philippines, he promised, "I shall return." And, in fact, he did.

The aircraft carriers that made up part of our Pacific fleet had fortuitously been out on maneuvers and training when the attack took place that Sunday morning, and they were spared the initial attack. And thanks to them and a few more naval vessels that quickly put to sea, moved out from West Coast ports, we were able to maintain some limited offensive strikes, such as the one that Colonel Jimmy Doolittle with his squadron of American Army bombers staged in the Spring of 1942, in April, taking off from the aircraft carrier, USS Hornet, just a few hundred miles off the Japanese coast, and actually dropping bombs on Tokyo, the Japanese capital, in what was the first strike back at the Japanese by U.S. forces.

Unlike Europe, where large land armies fought over tremendous expanses of territory, naval power was going to be the key in the Pacific. And that was going to determine the course of the war. Fast carrier task forces and an ever-growing fleet of special purpose ships, from battleships to submarines, and all sorts of supply ships began to roll down the U.S. ways at shipyards on the East Coast and West Coast, and joined the fighting fleets in both the Pacific and the Atlantic.

We understand, of course, that it was critical to U.S. planners to do whatever we could do to destroy or decimate Japan's ability to resupply its war machine from those captured territories. Oil, tin, manganese, rubber -- all of those items were in short or nonexistent supply in the Japanese home islands. All of them were needed by our modern industrial state.

The Battle of the Coral Sea, in May 1942, on the very doorstep to Australia, and then in the Central Pacific, the battle at Midway, in June 1942, marked a definite turning point in the naval war. Although I think we might be stretching it to say it was the beginning of the end in the Pacific, clearly it was the end of the beginning, because from that point on, Japanese naval theorists and those fleets that carried out their strategy truly never enjoyed the strategic offensive. They were going to have to react to U.S. initiatives in the Pacific.

Critical, too, to U.S. strategy in the Pacific, and soon after Midway, was the landing of U.S. forces -- Marine and subsequently, Army forces -- in the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. This took place in late summer 1942 -- one of the most difficult pieces of terrain, I suppose, in the whole world, as far as climate and the land form itself, not to mention the Japanese, who fought very, very hard to retain it and then attacked repeatedly with air and naval attacks to try and force the Americans and their Army allies, and Navy supporting them, out of the Solomons. It didn't work, and we started the road back.

Just to the east of the Solomons -- or to the west, as you look at it this way -- in the large island of New Guinea, General MacArthur fought initially a defensive battle to turn back Japanese who were even then approaching within bombing range of Australia's northern coast. Along the Kokoda Trail and in the Papua area, Australian and American allies fought brutal battles in dismal conditions, where every conceivable disease attacked the forces, as well as the Japanese defenders. And they were successful. And that set the scene, then, for strategy decisions made in the early part of 1943 that would lead U.S. forces on the road back.

In your packets, we've put some maps for you to look at if you need them now or later. And I'd point to Map 2, because in your packet you'll see there really are two avenues of approach -- one coming out of the Central Pacific; Admiral Nimitz, his headquarters in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor, was the commander-in-chief of that area. And then in the Southwest Pacific, General Douglas MacArthur, aided by Admiral Halsey and his naval forces, began a process of jumping from point to point, from objective to objective, trying as best they could to skirt those that were very heavily defended, and to concentrate on seizing ground that afforded the U.S., and potentially its allies then, with an advantage. In fact, we were looking for bases from which we could build up more supplies to continue this leap-frog approach, drawing closer to Japan.

In fact, we reached the line of the Japan inner defenses by mid-1944. In the summer of 1944, U.S. forces pushed through Japanese defenses to take the Mariana Islands, and then the Palaus. With the construction of airfields in the Marianas, the U.S. Army air forces, with their long-range bombers were within striking distance of the Japanese home islands, really for the first time. And combined with attacks by U.S. long-range bombers, the new B-29, from bases in China, we were then finally in a position to begin attacking Japan's industries at home.

Of course, General MacArthur's return to the Philippines fulfilled his prophetic proclamations of early 1942; secured our relationship with the Filipino people; and put U.S. forces in a position to materially damage, to cut those Japanese sea routes into Southeast Asia, with all those resources moving back to Japan.

Let me talk for just a moment about Iwo Jima, a tiny island, volcanic cone of Mount Suribachi, known to most of us as the scene of the most famous photograph in World War II -- Joe Rosenthal's picture of the Marines from the 28th Marine regiment raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi. It was absolutely critical to our planning.

If you look at Iwo Jima on your maps, -- you can't see it here, I know, it's just a dot -- but it lies on a straight line between the Marianas, with our bases for those bombers we were talking about, the B-29s, on Saipan and Tinian, that were flying long legs to attack the home islands of Honshu and Kyushu, and then returning.

The Japanese obviously were doing everything they could to shoot down or damage those bombers. And many were in very bad shape on the way back. Projections were that we would lose many highly-trained crews unless we could have a place for emergency landings. And Iwo was just about halfway. So that was the basis for it, and that's what the Marines who assaulted Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945, went after, is space for airfields.

On the 23rd, four days after landing, the 28th Marines did see Suribachi, and some weeks later, the island was secured at a very heavy price -- nearly 7,000 Marines died; 21,000 wounded. The Japanese defenders died almost to a man. But over 2,400 crippled bombers were able to land on Iwo Jima, coming back from Japan on bombing runs. So there was a reason for that assault.

The last major battle in the Pacific was on Okinawa. As early as September 1944, our planners had looked at Okinawa as the natural target for a final staging base in conjunction with the Philippines for an assault on Japan itself. Of course, the Japanese fully expected an assault there, and they positioned over 100,000 soldiers to defend Okinawa in the Ryukyu Island chain, just to the south of the Japanese home islands.

They constructed deep defenses, caves, bunkers, interlocking fields of fire. They were almost impervious to naval gunfire. You had to put troops on the ground. You had to support those troops from sea lanes of communications, hauling supplies, ammunition, medicines, and food all the way from the last set of operating bases. And so with Marines and soldiers of the 10th U.S. Army fighting for Okinawa, having landed on April 1st, Easter; and then for three months, fighting to subdue those rugged defenses on Okinawa. They were supported by a large naval fleet just off shore.

And that naval fleet became the target for thousands of sorties from principally Japan's home islands against our naval shipping. The merchant shipping, the aircraft carriers that supported the fleet, and any naval vessel, in fact, that was part of the U.S. fleet off Okinawa.

We know that over 2,000 kamikaze flights, with the object being for the pilot to crash his aircraft into an American vessel, and over 4,000 conventional bombing attacks took place against the U.S. fleet. I suppose one of the most difficult operations at sea is to save a ship when it's both burning and sinking. But in four years of experience, the U.S. Navy had created a number of new innovations that allowed those hardworking sailors to keep their ships afloat and limp off to where they could be repaired to fight again another day.

We had gasoline powered pumps. We had metal cutting and improved torches. We had the ability to take foam for firefighting and shoot it through major hoses throughout the ship. None of those had existed in that form at the time of Pearl Harbor. It all came about during the course of the war.

Organized resistance to Okinawa ended on June 23rd. Ground casualties for the U.S. -- 7,000 killed in action, to include General Simon B. Buckner, our U.S. commander on Okinawa, a three-star general. The Japanese losses, staggering, of course -- 110,000 combatants, and certainly well more than 40,000 civilians -- Okinawans who were killed in the cross-fire between the armies or, in fact, took refuge in some of the same caves the Japanese soldiers were fighting from, and died as a result of their closeness to Japanese troops.

Let me just close at this point by talking a little bit about the attacks initially by both air and naval forces on Japan's home islands. The initial U.S. bomber runs against Japan used the same kind of high-altitude precision bombing tactics that were used in Europe with great effect. But a combination of bad weather, Japanese defenses and so forth mandated a new set of tactics and techniques. And so the commanders of those long-range bombers elected to use low-level attacks and principally incendiary bombs, as opposed to high explosive bombs. The Japanese construction at the time in many of their population centers, which were also their industrial centers, were susceptible to fire.

Between February and June 1945, U.S. air forces attacked most of Japan's major industrial sites. To give you an example of the destructiveness of these raids, on March 9 and 10, 1945, Tokyo itself was attacked. In one night, U.S. bombers -- over 300 attacked -- killed upwards of 100,000 people. This is the most destructive air raid in history. It burned nearly 20 percent of Tokyo's industrial capacity -- 267,000 buildings destroyed.

And this went on through the summer. For the remainder of the war, the U.S. Army's air forces continued that bombing campaign. By July of 1945 Navy carrier-borne aircraft joined the long-range Army Air Force in attacking Japanese sites, and very soon U.S. Navy ships, warships, were bombarding Japan's coastal ports from just offshore.

The air and sea blockade of Japan may have eventually caused Japan to collapse, but that's a very difficult question for us even in hindsight to determine. What we did know at the time that we were planning for the final invasion of Japan was that the Japanese were hard at work getting prepared to defend their home islands.

And I would like to introduce now Dr. Edward Drea from the Center of Military History, an expert on that area, to talk to you about Japanese defensive preparations.

DR. DREA: Good afternoon. Serious planning for the invasion of the Japanese home islands commenced shortly after our invasion of Okinawa. American planners in the spring of 1945 envisioned a two-stage operation to subdue the Japanese. Planning was conducted under the overall code name of Downfall. The first stage of Downfall was Olympic. This was the invasion of the southern-most main island of Kyushu. It was set for the first of November, 1945. A follow-on operation which we believed would be the decisive battle necessary to defeat Japan was code-named Operation Coronet. This operation was scheduled for the first of March, 1946.

Planning for Operation Kyushu envisioned the U.S. Navy transporting 14 divisions -- 11 Army and three U.S. Marine Corps divisions -- to the southern-most island of Kyushu. Of these units, nine divisions -- six Army and three Marine -- would make amphibious assaults at three separate points on the island of Kyushu.

Planners made three basic assumptions about the nature of Japanese defenses. The first assumption was that the Japanese could sustain logistically no more than eight to 10 divisions in all of the island of Kyushu. The second assumption was that the Japanese would not know where we intended to land; thus these eight divisions would have to defend all of Kyushu. In other words, the Japanese would have to defend everywhere; thus they would be weak everywhere. If these two premises were true, then the syllogism concluded wherever we landed we would outnumber the defenders three to one. And that is and was the classic formula for a successful amphibious assault.

The reason we used these assumptions was in large part based on our ability to read Japanese codes, and here I'm speaking specifically of Japanese army and navy messages. By reading the enemy's secret communications we were aware of the enemy's preparations and his dispositions for the major battle of Kyushu. So it is with these assumptions and with intelligence from Japanese messages that the Joint Chiefs of Staff came to this building on the 18th of June, 1945, to obtain President Harry Truman's approval for Operation Olympic. At that time we estimated there were 281,000 Japanese troops on the island of Kyushu.

The President asked the Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall how many Japanese we could expect by our target invasion date, first of November, 1945. The General replied 350,000 would be the number of Japanese we could expect. However, as events proved, he was terribly mistaken. The President approved Operation Olympic and the planning went forward.

However, particularly through the month of July, what we discovered from our ability to read Japanese codes was a massive Japanese buildup on the southern-most island of Kyushu. By the 21st of July there were 455,000 Japanese troops on the island and, more significantly, they were crowding into the very invasions beaches that our troops would have to cross during Operation Olympic.

By the seventh of August these figures had jumped to 560,000 Japanese. And, again, if you note where they are they are all over the invasion beaches. What this means is our assumptions were incorrect. Instead of eight Japanese divisions on the island, we now faced 10 to 14. We know there are at least 13 there and possibly 14. Instead of the Japanese defending the entire island of Kyushu and being weak everywhere, they're defending the exact invasion beaches we have to cross. Instead of having a three-to-one superiority on the beaches, we face a one-to-one equality. In other words, all our planning assumptions are incorrect.

Besides this type of order of battle information we also knew Japanese intentions. Again, from reading their secret military messages, we understood that suicide weapons were the centerpiece of the Japanese defense of Kyushu. They planned to use kamikaze aircraft, they planned to use crash boats and they planned to defend the shores of their sacred island with a suicidal fury.

This state-of-the-art intelligence was available to senior American decision-makers. From that perspective, far from being defeated, the buildup augured yet another bloody ground battle in the war against Japan. From that perspective, President Truman had much to gain and little to lose by employing the atomic bomb.

I'd like to now turn it over to General Goodpaster, who already has been introduced to you, and he'll speak to you about his experiences 50 years ago in the Pentagon.

GENERAL GOODPASTER: Thank you. May I say at the outset, it's a little weird to be here in this room. I served with President Eisenhower 40 years ago in this building and this was a swimming pool at that time. You can draw your own conclusions as to the significance of that transition.

What I would like to talk about is the planning and preparation that was underway at the close of 1944 and through the first half of 1945. There were five main lines of plans and preparations going on and two ongoing operations. First, as to the planning there was planning for the use of the atomic bomb. I was not privy to that nor did I know of the existence or development of the atomic bomb until it was finally used.

With regard to the other four, those were the plans and preparations for the final operations against Japan which Dr. Drea has already discussed. Then planning for the redeployment of major forces of the United States from Europe to the Pacific. The third was planning for actions in case of sudden collapse or surrender of Japan. We had no such plans until about April of 1945. We had had a plan for such actions in case of collapse or surrender of Germany but, of course, that plan was never put to use. But it was very fortunate that we had this plan for sudden collapse or surrender when indeed the atom bombs were used.

And, finally, we were planning for the occupation of Japan. This would be occupation by force. And it involved in the concept that was presented to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it involved the division of Japan into four occupation zones. The Soviet forces would occupy Hokkaido the northern island and Honshu down to about the level of Sendai. The Americans would occupy almost all of the rest of Honshu. The Chinese would occupy the island of Shikoku and the British were to occupy the island of Kyushu. Fortunately, that did not become necessary. Instead of putting into operation the plans for the occupation of Japan, we were able to put into operation the plan for actions in case of sudden collapse or surrender. This was being prepared in General MacArthur's headquarters in late June and early July.

I myself, as a staff officer serving in the Pentagon, went out to MacArthur's headquarters at that time. He had not yet approved the plan, but I was allowed to see it and take copious notes and come back and transmit those to Potsdam where our chiefs and President Truman and Marshall Stalin were meeting at that time. Our planners -- Army, Navy and Air -- were there with them.

Those were the four plans with which I was associated. In addition, as Dr. Drea brought out, air attacks, submarine operations, other naval operations against Japan were going on constantly at that time.

Also, there were responses from our government to highly secret peace feelers that had been coming from within the Japanese government for a matter of several months, particularly after the attack on Okinawa, when the Japanese -- many of the Japanese -- could see what lay ahead of them in the future.

As indicated by Dr. Drea, by early 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had settled on a concept for the final operations. They would hold Luzon and Okinawa -- attack those islands rather than Formosa, which was seen to be a harder nut to crack.

The air and sea operations would continue. Planning was authorized for landings on Kyushu and Honshu. And finally in June, President Truman approved the launching of those operations if that became necessary. But there was very deep concern over the heavy losses that were anticipated after our experience on Okinawa.

With regard to redeployment of forces from Europe, remaning, reequipping, retraining of units was underway. The shipping was underway; some direct, some via the United States. Bases and supply depot were being prepared in the Philippines and in Okinawa. And we were building up and repositioning our air units to support that final operation.

Before I conclude, I'd like simply to emphasize the stress and the burden that was being put on our soldiers who had fought in Europe. Having completed that operation successfully, accomplished the defeat of Nazi Germany, they were now being called upon to go and conduct these final operations, bound to be very costly, against Japan.

When the atomic bombs were dropped and the Japanese finally sued for peace, one of the actions that had come out of our plan for sudden collapse or surrender of Japan was to transmit messages to all the ships that were on the way out to Japan. And the story is told on one of these ships that the Captain, having received the message, called out over the loudspeaker to all hands on the ship, "Watch the sun." And as they watched the sun, it made a 180-degree turn. And after a few moments, the soldiers on that ship realized what it meant: They were no longer heading west, they were heading east. And that was the significance of the atomic bomb.


In an effort to make sure that you have a chance to hear the personal accounts of each of these veterans here today, let me just go quickly through some of the high points of the final assault with the two atomic weapons against the Japanese home islands.

I'm sure you know from background reading, the Manhattan Project, in process for over two years, 120,000 people working at 37 different sites, $2 billion expended in 1940's dollars -- be tremendous now -- developed a test conducted in desert test sites in southwest United States, followed up then by the movement of the first of two bombs to the Mariana's by the U.S. Navy.

The first bomb dropped was code named "Little Boy." That was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 8:15 a.m. in the morning on August 6th by the B-29 Enola Gay.

The permission to drop the bomb had been sent from Potsdam by the President, through his military staff who were traveling with him, General Marshall, to forces in the Pacific and they executed the mission.

We know that in Hiroshima over 50,000 structures were destroyed. More critical perhaps to the people then and now around the world are the 70,000 to 80,000 people killed by that bomb.

Three days later, at 11:02 a.m. on August 9th, a different bomb, different manufacturer, different type, know as the "Fat Man" because of its round shape, was dropped on the seaport of Nagasaki. There, 35,000 to 40,000 people were killed, another 40,000 injured.

The Manhattan Project had another bomb ready to go within a week or two and expected to produce seven more bombs prior to this November-planned invasion of Japan if they'd been needed.

The Japanese government, on August the 10th, after the Nagasaki bomb, but not before the Nagasaki bomb, announced its acceptance of the Potsdam declaration that the allies had sent out in July, with a proviso that they be allowed to retain the Emperor. President Truman and his Secretary of State and Secretary of War went to work here very quickly at the White House after receiving that word and then went back with the reply that said, in essence, we'll uphold the Potsdam declaration, be advised that the Japanese government and the Emperor will have to accept the authority of the supreme allied commander, who would be General Douglas MacArthur.

Although there was some attempt in the Japanese home islands to fight the inevitability of surrender, after the Emperor himself, for the very first time, heard by the Japanese people in a radio broadcast, announced on the 14th of August that the Japanese people would surrender. That took place and U.S. forces began to arrive in Japan where they did not meet any resistance.

President Truman declared September the 2nd as V-J Day -- Victory over Japan. General MacArthur took the Japanese surrender that day in Tokyo Bay on the USS Missouri. And then throughout the broad reaches of the Pacific, hundreds of thousands of other Japanese troops and naval forces began to surrender. Over the next two weeks, the Russians taking the surrender of Japanese Manchuria, Australians and Americans taking the surrender of Japanese in the southeast Pacific, and throughout China, Japanese troops in large numbers were surrendering and then moving back to Japan.

That concludes, sir, my briefing. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to turn it back to General Kicklighter so that we can introduce our veterans.

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: Our first veteran that will come up and talk about his experience and his feelings as the war came to an end, again, is Colonel Don Lopez, who was a fighter pilot serving with the Flying Tigers in China -- one of the "Aces" in that theater.

COLONEL LOPEZ: Good afternoon. I served in China from October of 1943 until March of 1945, with the 23rd Fighter Group, which was formed when the American volunteer group, the Flying Tigers, were disbanded. We took over their airplanes, their missions and their teeth on the airplanes, which we all liked very much. (Laughter.)

Our mission was attacking the Japanese ground troops and their supply lines, supporting the Chinese ground troops -- there were no American ground troops in China -- and guarding, protecting the airfields that we were stationed at.

The Japanese had two main interests in China. One: As a source of raw materials, primarily rice. They really had to feed a lot of people and they came and tried to capture the Chinese rice crop every years. And to eliminate China from being a base to attack the mainland of Japan. Of course, that did happen finally later in the war when the B-29s got there.

Our efforts, though, were quite limited because of our supply line. We were at the very end of the supply line, there was no access to China, except by air, and all of our supplies were brought in over the Himalaya Mountains, the Hump, by transport pilots. And we had the greatest respect for them because that was some of the worst weather in the world, and the absolutely roughest terrain you could possibly imagine. It was said that if you bailed out over the Hump, your chances of survival were just about equal if your parachute opened or if it didn't open. So it wasn't the best place to have that happen.

How valuable was what little we had over there, what we did for the war effort. It had two main things, again. It tied up almost a million Japanese troops that had to protect all their ground terrain that they had captured earlier. And they could have been used to great advantage against our troops in both parts of the Pacific where the island fighting took place; and also, our bombers, our B-24s, primarily, would go out and attack -- sea sweeps, attack the Japanese shipping that they depended on so much. The U.S. submarines had driven them in shore to the shallower water, and then our bombers would attack them and either sink them or drive them back out again where the submarines could go after them again.

I went back to the States after doing some instructing in India, fighter instructing, went back to Miami for reassignment, and I was told that I could expect to go back into combat in about a year. I was sent to Eglin Field as a test pilot in the fighter squadron there. Of course, at my level and many levels above me, no one knew anything about atomic bombs. And when we learned that they were dropped and the war ended, we were absolutely delighted that the end of the killing and dying had finally come.

But I had been fully prepared to go back into combat again. At that time my guts-to-brains ratio was considerably higher than it is now.

Thank you all very much.

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: Colonel Ruby Bradley, who was a nurse in the Philippines and who saved many lives but herself, spent the war in a prison of war camp. When that war ended, even though she was administering and serving others, she came out of that camp a little over 80 pounds. Colonel Bradley.

COLONEL BRADLEY: Good evening. It is my pleasure to take care of the best patients in the world, the American soldier. When the war started, of course we didn't expect it any more than anyone else, we were surprised at how the response came from American people. I stand here very much in debt to our soldiers, to the American people, for their preparation in getting us out.

I can tell you a little bit about our interment. It's no place to spend a war, within a prison camp. There's no future in it and it's very little fun and there's no food -- very little food. We went to bed hungry and we got up hungry. So that's what happened.

But I want to tell you one thing about being a prisoner, being taken a prisoner. It doesn't hurt to be a little kind to your enemy. We had a few Japanese as our prisoners in the hospital, they were sick when they came in. We took care of them as well as we could. I learned a long time ago to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That stood me in good stand because of the very few days we were prisoners. And to then that I came down over the mountains that we fled to, and the Japanese came up -- because we were in a truck -- said, "Where's the two Army nurses?" Well, here we were. We weren't sure whether we were going to have our heads chopped off or not, because you certainly can walk very fast when you have someone behind you with a gun and a spear on the end of it.

Well, it was then that they took us off the truck and put us in a limousine and we rode in style back to the compound where we were all gathered. It was then that our internment really began. We were taken to the cave -- and if you ever heard a speech made by a Japanese, you know it's long and it's very concise. They made rules and regulations. One of them was that we were to bow to all people; any soldier or anyone else, we were to bow to them.

And then the other thing was that if any of us tried to escape there would be five people shot for every one that escaped. Of course, the first thing, the thought that two Army nurses probably would escape. Well, after you're there a while, if you happen to know who these people are that would be shot, you might consider jumping over the fence because we really got kind of tired of each other after a while. (Laughter.)

But after the years went by, thinking of all the things that had happened, really thinking that this is going to haunt us for the rest of our lives, its's not bad at all. We're very good friends.

Now, a news conference like this I've never been to before. And we heard a great deal with the Japanese. The news that we had came over a radio that was hidden in a chandeliers at Santa Tomas and the ones we had at Begue, where I was first interned, was under the stairway. This was fixed up very well by the people we had in -- bringing little pieces in at a time to put it together. Of course, the news was never good. Of course, we didn't believe that it wasn't good, we thought it would be good. But if we could listen to the Japanese account and you could get very well what is happening.

It was later in the -- when we were in Santa Tomas, that we learned about lady. You couldn't get people to take their vaccinations like we'd like to -- the same as it is here. They wouldn't come in and take it. Finally, on a loud speaker they announced, "Please get your vaccination immediately. It's better lady than never." (Laughter.) Well, that's one way of getting it.

But our capture was really something, our long internment. We made some very good friends. Then I want to tell you about our liberation. As I told some of our friends this evening, Bob Hope couldn't have put on a better show if he had tried. It was on an evening of the 3rd of February, 1945. We had heard about the release of the prisoners in the other camp. We had very good chain of command around there, finding out how things happened, by the Filipinos putting things under the -- little notes. And then in the afternoon the planes flew over. We could tell by the sound of them that they were American planes. They weren't like the ones that came over in the beginning.

And then all of a sudden, all this paper began to fall in this little compound and there were notes there that said there will be a hot time in the old town tonight, get ready for a big day. And we thought that the Philippinos were trying to make us feel good by writing these little notes. They were always trying to make us feel good, which was fun. Then along about 7:00 p.m. we begin to hear the rumble of tanks coming in. Of course, in the meantime everything was quiet in the camp. Everybody was anticipating something happening. Then we heard the noise at the gate. But the thing that really changed the whole thing was the smell of American gasoline. Then we heard someone yell out why don't we get going.

Of course, our soldiers in the tanks on the other side didn't know what they were going to find when they came in but they came in in a very -- way and they looked so good and they looked so young and they were young. But they waited at the gate a minute and finally this sergeant who had gone in on every invasion had been the first one in on this tank was determined to be the first one this time. But he decided his luck had probably run out.

So he was the third one back. But all of a sudden he said why don't you move and with that nobody moved but he pulled out of line and was the first one in again. And it was wonderful to come in. You see all the people shouting, they were very happy and when you think there were only 122 people, they came from Lingayen Gulf down to Manila. Even the Japanese said you must be crazy that only that many would go in and try to take a building right in the middle of a city.

But, of course, the Japanese thought that we had a tremendous force in back of us, that no one would be that crazy. But this is the way it happened and it was a glorious day. And it was a very happy time. And the best of all they gave us food. Well, we ate until we couldn't eat anymore. We just kept eating. But we were very grateful to those who had made it possible and for the good leadership that we had at that time General MacArthur, as you know and for our President. I thank you very much. (Applause.)

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: Next you'll hear from Mr. Uedoff who was a 19-year-old seaman aboard the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill when it came under attack from kamikazes.

MR. UEDOFF: Good afternoon. I was aksed to give you my personal account as one of the survivors from kamikaze attacks on the Bunker Hill in World War Two. Let me first set the stage. On the morning of May 11, 1945, the essex-class carrier Bunker Hill, flagship of Vice Admiral Mark Mitcher's famous task force 58 was mounting airstrikes on Okinawa some 70 miles away. This task force made up the greatest naval armada ever assembled. Against them the Japanese flew 2,000 kamikaze sorties and more than 4,000 conventional air sorties.

At 1005 hours on that morning, 25 of the Bunker Hill planes were returning from flying sorties. Thirty-three stood ready on the flight deck, another 48 were being armed on the hangar deck. Just the day before the ship had refueled at sea. Her tanks were filled with aviation gas and nearly 2 million gallons of oil. After being in action for 58 consecutive days, the carrier was set at conditions one-easy. That meant the elevators were open to let fresh air come in and give the crew a brief rest.

I was a 19-year-old radar man in CIC coming off duty and determined to jot off a letter to my mother at home in Baltimore. It went something like this, dear mom, it's a quiet peaceful day out here. The placid sea resembles a finely polished mirror and the sky -- and I never did finish that sentence. Without warning we were attacked by two kamikazis and a third that was shot down. Below decks I was thrown from my chair and lay sprawled amid a cluster of letters. Others around me were stunned. We were caught away from our battle stations. I kept thinking Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor, it's happened to us again, a surprise attack.

A group of us began heading for a rear passageway when a Marine fighter pilot shouted to us, we've been hit aft go forward. The passageway quickly became filled with frantic bodies pushing forward hoping to get topside. Suddenly the ship quivered with the second explosion. Later we learned the second bomb struck the pilot's ready room. All 18 pilots were killed. Many of those in the forward section were burned alive or suffocated from the thick smoke resulting from this hit. Now, we were trapped.

Soon, the smoke became too dense to breathe. Men began passing out. Someone shouted let's get out of here or we'll all choke to death. A line formed and moved slowly aft. There was no panic, no hysteria. Actually there was no safe place for us to go. We could not go topside to the hangar deck, the fire was still raging above us. And the exploding ammunition made it worse than no-mans land. Five hours later with artificial breathing equipment, men found us and guided us through the smokey darkness and debris. Later I learned that the compartment adjoining ours held 40 men. All had perished.

Later that day when the major fires were under control, I went topside to the flight deck. The ship was a twisted mass of metal. I learned the toll much later -- 396 crewmen dead or missing; 264 wounded; 30 planes on the flight deck and 48 on the hangar deck destroyed. The next day we held burial services for 350 men. None of us who survived will ever forget what may have been the greatest mass burial at sea. This was the Bunker Hill story. From the airmen who fought the war in the skies to the sailors and Marines who manned the many divisions of this ship, each has his own dramatic story to tell.

I was just one lucky survivor of the kamikaze attacks that took thousands and thousands of lives in the battle of Okinawa. Thank you. (Applause.)

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: Listening to and getting to know these veterans gives you a good indication of why our nation is commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War Two. We now come to the last World War Two veteran. Dr. Frank was a young Marine, a young corporal, fought in the largest amphibious and the most destructive amphibious operation of the war.

DR. FRANK: I'm to tell you of the experiences of a young Marine in the battle for Okinawa. It's difficult to remember or even realize that I was young at that time. But first I would like to start off with a few notes. The magnitude of the Marine Corps participation in World War Two is not fully appreciated. From a Corps of 18,000, about the size of the New York police force in 1939, we rose to 485,000 at the end of the war. We fielded two amphibious corps, six Marine divisions, four Marine aircraft wings. We had 20,000 women, we had 20,000 African Americans.

One of these corps would have landed at Kyushu and the other one would have landed at Honshu. The war had cost the Marine Corps 87,000 dead and wounded and there were 81 Medals of Honor, 58 percent, or 47 of them awarded posthumously.

Now, I'll always remember Okinawa, dawning April 1st as a bright, clear, sparkling day. One cannot imagine the immensity of the ships, the number of ships around us. I had been a veteran of Peleliu, my first Marine division had been in the Pacific since 1942, first laying in at Guadalcanal. In our division we had many who had served on Peleliu, we had a lot of new people. We had people who served in two operations, Peleliu and Cape Glouster, and we had a number of veterans who had served -- when we were done in Okinawa we would have served in four operations.

I had considerable trepidation about landing on Okinawa. I knew what the landing in Peleliu was like. However, we went ashore feet dry. No opposition whatsoever. One Army private from the 24th Army Corps was quoted as saying that, "I never thought I'd be alive this long." The Army landed to the right, or south, of the Third Amphibious Corps on the western beaches of Okinawa, and went across the island. First Division went across the island, also; and the 6th Marine Division headed up toward the northern part of the island.

The first part of the operation was with hardly any opposition whatsoever. I was the commanding general's shotgun for the first two weeks of the operation. I accompanied him everywhere. I even accompanied -- the plywood toilet seat was known as the general's super-duper pooper, it had two stars on it -- (laughter) -- made of plywood, fitted over a 50-gallon barrel. The general was Pedro A. Devalier, a very fine Marine, class of 1915 at the Naval Academy, of Puerto Rican descent, but coming from fine Spanish family.

Initially, we did not find much opposition. There was some guerrilla activities. The center of the island, the Ishikawa Peninsula, is pretty level for the most part. It's up in the northern part that it gets more rugged; and in the southern part, undulating valleys and high cliffs. The 1st Marine Division was committed to the southern attack on the 1st of May. The 24th Corps had begun its major operation on the 19th, and had run into heavy opposition of the well dug-in Japanese defenses.

I must say that General Ushijima was a true professional. I have to give him all the credit in the world; took every opportunity to use every bit of the land and natural defenses of the island, digging in caves, using caves. When we went down south we went into the right hand side of the line. We went into the Awaji Pocket. The 5th Marines on the right had been ambushed, and we were called up to do stretcher bearing. As a matter of fact, I remember going forward to the lines to get bodies, to get the wounded, as the lines were withdrawing.

As a matter of fact, Paul H. Douglas, Senator Douglas, was a speech writer for President Roosevelt. And he volunteered, went through boot camp at the age of 50. The President learned about it, got him out, got him commissioned. Somehow Paul Douglas came out to the Pacific and wound up as adjutant of 5th Marines, did a good job and there's this old man by all our measurements -- I mean, we were 18, 19, here's a guy of 50, ancient.

Anyway, they made him division adjutant, and when the 5th Marines became ambushed at Owatcha Pocket, he asked for volunteers to go up to go stretcher bearing. I was with him when he got hit badly by machine gun fire. He was carrying machine gun barrels up to the lines. I don't know what he was doing there, except that he was a very brave and courageous man, and a very gung-ho Marine, always was until his death.

We went stretcher bearing and the weather turned very, very bad. I can remember sleeping in a shell hole for three nights filled with water, and the crumpling of the mortars coming in. It caught your attention quickly.

The rest of the operation was not easy. The Japanese were very tenacious foe. They had no place to go. They were fighting for their lives, but they knew that the lives wouldn't last too long.

I have a couple of notes here just to remind myself. As I say the nature of the Japanese defenses and the opposition of the Japanese, it was awe inspiring. And, certainly, what was experienced by American forces on Okinawa must have stuck in President Truman's mind as he reviewed the operations in the Pacific and his decision to drop the bomb -- I won't go into that. But, certainly, the fighting on Tarawa, fighting across the Pacific, in Saipan and Guam and Tinian, and certainly Peleliu and, finally, Iwo Jima and, now, Okinawa indicated that it was not going to be an easy way to end the war. We were not going to defeat the Japanese easily.

The Army fought very bravely. We were alongside the 96th division and the 77th division had initially landed at the -- took those islands and safeguarded them so the Navy could have an anchorage for repairing its ships. Then it went over to Iyoshima, where they had a bloody, bloody battle, and then came into the line.

To the left of us, as I said, was the 96th Division. The 77th Division had fought on Guam and they were known as the 77th Marines. I think maybe they were a little proud of that, too. But good troops.

Thank God Okinawa was the last battle. I remember being in the battle for Okinawa was over but we were in a rest camp up near Matowba Peninsula. We could see Iyoshima from where our bivouac was. We had heard what was going on the radio. We heard that there was a truce team, a parlay team, going from Japan to Manila to discuss the truce terms with General MacArthur, that the plane was green, would have white stripes. And sure enough, we were watching Iyoshima and in came this plane, this transport, marked with green and white stripes to be refueled and to go on to Manila to talk with General MacArthur. And we knew the war was over.

For the troops of the 1st Marine division, the division had been in the Pacific, as I said, since 1942. We had not -- Okinawa was the first time we'd seen any civilization in the war, except the division went to Australia after Guadalcanal, so we were looking forward -- we figured we'd be going home, or we would be going to Hawaii to see some nice Hawaiian pines and pineapples and everything else that a liberty port promised young marines and sailors. And no, we were going to go to China to take the -- surrender the Japanese in China. And I must say that's another experience which we'll save for another time.

Thank you.

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: The last portion of this briefing will be a very quick update on the events that will take place to commemorate V-J Day in Honolulu, by Colonel Kevin Hanretta. And then he'll be followed by Colonel John Sullivan, who will talk about the V-J commemorative events that will take place all across America as we come to the end of the war.

COLONEL HANRETTA: The United States international site for V-J Day is Honolulu, Hawaii, 1-3 September, 1995. You have in your packet a handout that looks very much like this or like the map, which gives you the details of what I'm going to cover very, very quickly.

The theme for Friday, the 1st of September is remembering the war in the Pacific. We have worked hard to ensure that our Wold War II Pacific veterans truly realize that they are VIP's and the nation truly remembers what they did 50 years ago. We are going to issue, as we did with D-Day, special badges so that everyone will know who our World War II veterans, their family members and those who served on the home front, are.

The morning begins at 0900 -- 9:00 a.m. -- with a joint service review at Wheeler Army Air Field. This event is open to the public and we estimate 10,000 to 15,000 in attendance. The President will give the keynote address, remembering the air, land and sea battles of the Pacific. Approximately 6,000 members of the armed forces will be on the reviewing field representing all of the services.

Following the joint service review, the President will go to lunch with some World War II veterans.

That afternoon, the Secretary of Defense will host the parade of ships and aircraft, which can be viewed almost anywhere along the beaches of Waikiki. The USS aircraft carrier Carl Vinson will act as the reviewing platform.

Saturday, 2 September is V-J Day. A memorial service for World War II veterans and their families will be held at 9:00 a.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl. The President will address the end of World War II, peace at last, and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and the cost of this freedom. We estimate a capacity crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 at the Punchbowl.

Following the Punchbowl ceremony, the President will travel to the naval wreath laying on board the USS Carl Vinson, where the President will remember all the losses at sea.

The President will then have lunch with World War II veterans and move at 2:00 P.M. to the Arizona Memorial for a brief reflective moment.

Saturday afternoon, the Governor of Hawaii, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs will review the Veterans Parade, which will be in downtown Waikiki. The President will join the reviewing stand at approximately 3:00 P.M. World War II veterans are the VIP's and they will be offered the opportunity to march, to ride or to sit in the reviewing stand. And that day, hopefully they will be easy to be spotted because we will offer all of the World War II veterans a special cap so they will stand out no matter where they are that day.

Saturday night will be full of World War II music and dancing, with hangar dances in three locations. The Army will host a hangar dance at Wheeler Army Air Field. The Air Force will host at Hickam Air Force Base. And the Navy and Marines will host at Pearl Harbor, on board the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier. We think that the hangar dances will be a fun night for the World War Two veterans.

Sunday, three September, will focus on peace 50 years after the war in the 21st Century. The President will attend a 10:00 a.m. interfaith service at the Waikiki Band Shell where Apollo 13's astronaut Jim Lovell will give the keynote address and the President will give closing remarks. We estimate that there will be between 5,000 to 6,000 in attendance. Honolulu is but one site commemorating V-J Day. And I would now like to introduce Colonel John Sullivan who will talk about the V-J Day events nationwide.

COLONEL SULLIVAN: Good afternoon. Between today and the end of this World War Two commemorative period, November 11, which is Veteran's Day we have coordinated to conduct more than 60 commemorative events around the United States. Half of these events specifically honor the veterans of the Pacific campaigns and are going on today through three September.

Using these charts and the ones that you have in your packet, I would like to highlight a few of the key events. On this first chart Freedom Flight America, this is an event that is going on right now today where 200 World War Two commemorative aircraft have flown across the country from California to Washington, D.C. The aircraft right now are actually departing Andrews Air Force Base for McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. The aircraft will fly by the statue of Liberty today as they make that trek. They'll be on display through the weekend and then on Monday they'll return to their home.

On the next chart, New York City is hosting a V-J Day remembered musical gala in Times Square this Sunday, the 13th. On the next chart I'll highlight three events. The Vice President has agreed to host a full honors wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday the second of September at 7:30 a.m. in the morning. This will be at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We expect a small group of veterans to join the Vice President for that event. Later that morning Vice President Gore will also host a joint ceremony honoring V-J Day veterans at Fort Meyers at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, the second of September. This ceremony will include the Vice President trooping the line with veterans, a complete parade and then a fly-over. We expect more than 5,000 veterans and family members to join this event.

On the West Coast at Bremerton, Washington, also on the second of September, at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time a memorial service will take place on board the battleship the USS Missouri. More than 13,000 veterans, crew members and family members will join in this event.

On my next chart, back here on the East Coast at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time, a memorial service will take place aboard the battleship USS North Carolina at Wilmington, North Carolina. We currently understand that more than 7,000 veterans and family members will attend this event. In Omaha, Nebraska a four day event will take place, the first through the fourth of September, include a troop train, a parade and a gala with more than 20,000 veterans and family members in this event.

On my final chart, I would like to bring to your attention the 50th anniversary of the peace accords at the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas. It will be on Saturday, the second of September, where a hall of presidents will be dedicated to all former U.S. Presidents who served in World War Two.

In addition, the dedication of the Bush Gallery will take place. We understand former President George Bush will be in attendance for this event.

As you can see from these charts we have an extensive program to thank and honor the veterans of the Pacific campaigns and V-J Day. I'll be followed by General Kicklighter who will take the questions and answers.

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: This brings us to a close of our overview. We have produced for you a film talking about V-J Day and the world as it was 50 years ago. So, if you need that, if you'll see Specialist Lee to my left and Colonel Light in the rear, we'll make sure we provide that film to you.

Q Could you tell us, are any other foreign leaders or dignitaries going to join the President in Hawaii for these observances? And can you talk specifically about -- is there any symbolism to the places where the President is going to be in Hawaii, where he makes the addresses?

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: The number of delegations are not known at this time but I would say it would probably be an estimate of 40 national delegations coming from the nations in that theater and some other parts of the world. And I would estimate in those delegations would be an average of three to five people would be in the delegation. Leaders at the minister of defense level, that level. And in that delegation will be World War Two veterans that nations are sending back as well.

Let me just finish the second part and we'll come to you. The places that have been selected out there are places -- we wanted to have a joint review of all the forces. The place that we've selected did come under attack at the beginning of the war. Wheeler did, Wheeler Army Airfield . And also, it's a large area with a lot of parking and can accommodate a lot of people. So that was one of the forces.

Certainly, we wanted to go to the cemetery. We want to remember all those who gave all their tomorrows so that we could enjoy this great and free America today. And we certainly want to remember the battles at sea, and that's why we wanted to have the parade of ships.

And then the closing ceremony, we tried to find a location that would accommodate a Sunday morning service, an interfaith service. And the Shell was a location that would provide the size that we needed and comfort for the veterans.

Q Was Wheeler hit on December 7th?


Q Do you know how many people who were killed that day are in the cemetery?

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: I don't think we have those numbers, but we can get those for you. If you'll let us know where to send that, it would be very easy to run that down for you. We'd be glad to do that. That's a good question.

Q I understand perhaps all the national delegations haven't been checked in yet, but can you tell us a little bit about the Japanese participation?

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: I think the Japanese have indicated that they are coming. And I think there's been some indication that some Japanese veterans will also come. This is not the first time that Japanese veterans have come and participated with U.S. veterans. It's happened several times throughout the theater.

Q How big will that delegation be, do you know?

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: I don't know that. I would say probably several hundred could be, counting family members. But we'll certainly be glad -- as those numbers firm up, we'll certainly be glad to provide those to you.

Q The parade of ships and the aircraft review are all going to be modern aircrafts, or will there also be --

GENERAL KICKLIGHTER: The parade of ships will be modern ships, but there will be some aircraft in that -- that fly over that parade of ships that will be vintage aircraft from the World War II era. That's a good question.

I'm sorry that our coach has said we're out of time. But all of us, including these great Americans that we honor and who are with us today and gave their time to be with you, we'll be glad to stay around and answer questions or provide any support that we can. We appreciate the opportunity of being with you today.

And before we close, I think it would be good to give these veterans a hand for their participation. (Applause.)

Thank you very much. We hope to see you in Honolulu.

END 3:35 P.M. EDT