Voyage of Death III (USS Indianapolis)

Lead: In the closing days of World War II, the cruiser USS Indianapolis, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Most of the 1100 sailors survived the sinking only to die floating in the open sea.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Once the survivors of the Indianapolis had been rescued from their five day ordeal, the U.S. Navy had a big problem. Critics in the general public, the press, and on Capitol Hill were asking how it was that the Navy could lose a major fighting ship and essentially consign 500 sailors to a watery grave. The criticism could not have come at a worse time. The war, which began with the sneak attack on a naval installation, was about to end amid swirling controversy over the most severe sea disaster in American naval history. To make matters worse the Navy was fighting for its independence. There were forces in the Administration and in Congress who wanted to combine the armed forces into a single Department of Defense. To combat this threat to naval autonomy the Navy did not need to be fending off accusations of negligence.

 

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Voyage of Death II (USS Indianapolis)

Lead: Having delivered components of the first atomic bomb to Tinian Island in the Pacific, the cruiser, USS Indianapolis, sailed west to its duty station near the Philippines. Its sinking by a Japanese submarine began the worst sea disaster in American naval history.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After leaving Tinian, Captain Charles B. McVay, III, made a refueling stop at Guam before embarking on the final stage of the voyage. In the normal course of departing the port, McVay was not told that four Japanese submarines had been sighted in the area through which he must sail and that the destroyer USS Underhill had been sunk in an encounter with a sub in the same area. Also, General orders insisted that ships ziz-zag in war zones but since that maneuver on occasion might be more dangerous than speedy transit in a straight line, McVay and other commanders were given the option that if the weather were overcast or stormy they could choose not to execute the time consuming process of ziz-zagging.

 

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LFM – Skip Bombing

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Military innovation is often born of desperate circumstances. When Maj. General George Kenney took over allied air operations in the Southwest Pacific in summer 1942 he faced a daunting set of problems. He had to craft a working relationship with his boss, the brilliant if imperious theater commander General Douglas MacArthur, who had little respect for air power despite the fact that it was the chief offensive weapon he had at his disposal in those perilous months. He had to shape an effective alliance with the Australian Air Force whose two top Air Marshalls detested each other. Then he had to overcome a Japanese enemy whose planes outnumbered his own and up to that point were everywhere ascendant in that part of the Pacific.

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Tokyo Rose

Lead:  In 1977, one of the last acts of President Gerald Ford was the pardon of Iva Toguri D’Aquino. During World War II, her broadcasts to troops in the Pacific, earned her their disdain and the humorous name, “Tokyo Rose.”

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Iva Toguri was born to Japanese immigrants in Los Angeles in 1916. She was a graduate of UCLA and a patriotic American citizen with plans to become a doctor.  At the request of her mother, Iva visited Japan to care for an ailing aunt in late 1941 and was caught, unable to return home after the United States declared war following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She refused to renounce her citizenship and lived the perilous life of an enemy alien. Iva worked as a typist during the war and transferred in 1943 to Radio Tokyo.

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LFM – Margaret Bourke-White

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Some of the most compelling photographs to emerge from World War II were the images of Margaret Bourke-White, a woman who became used to breaking down barriers erected to keep women out. Her unconventional early career photos of industrial plants and architectural designs would have been innovative for anyone, but for a woman photographer, they were ground-breaking, not because of an absence of female talent, but because this was a field that required years of professional practice to achieve a superior insight into subject matter, angle, and lighting. In the early 20th century it was a vocation inhabited almost exclusively by men.

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Battle of the Bulge – II

Lead: It was not if they had not done it before. Each time, 1914, 1940 and 1944 the allies were unprepared for an attack through the Ardennes Forest. This time the Bulge almost burst.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts. 

                Content: In May 1940 Winston Churchill in mistaken optimism asserted that Anglo-French armies were holding against the huge German strategic bulge that had emerged through the Ardennes Forest in southern Belgium. His prediction just preceded the allied collapse. When Hitler tried it again in December 1944, Churchill’s vivid description returned with a vengeance. The trick almost worked again primarily because allied lines were stretched 600 miles from Switzerland to the North Sea and the Germans hit the soft spot, manned with American units either weary from battle or fresh from the states, right in the middle at the Ardennes.

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Battle of the Bulge – I

Lead: Determined to take back the initiative, Adolf Hitler and his generals launched a surprise counterattack against allied forces through the Ardennes forest in the winter of 1944. The Bulge had appeared once again.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: After a shaky start in the weeks following the D-Day invasion, allied armies had broken out of the Normandy hedgerows and for most of fall 1944 had battered German armies into retreat. As winter deepened, however, General Eisenhower’s 48 divisions were stretched thinly along a 600 mile front from Switzerland to the North Sea.

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Yalta Conference II

Lead: At the Yalta conference in February 1945, the soon-to-be victorious Allies struggled to determine the shape of postwar Europe and to create a mechanism to prevent future global conflicts.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the Big Three, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, met, they had to finalize the fate of those countries liberated after being conquered by Germany in the early years of World War II. Poland, the Baltic states, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania had all been taken by the Red Army at excruciating sacrifice. Stalin was reluctant to give them up. Therefore, the Western governments, who had made an alliance of necessity with the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazi Germany, were faced with the reality dictated by Russian boots on the soil of Eastern Europe.

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