happy Independence Day 2022 / Andrews Barracks in Berlin


For readers of wwiiafterwwii in the United States, I would like to extend wishes for a happy July 4th, our nation’s 246th birthday.

Below is a quite unusual Independence Day scene, taken in Berlin on 4 July 1945 – the first Independence Day after the European part of WWII ended and while combat in the Pacific was still underway.

The damaged building which both the Stars & Stripes and Hammer & Sickle are flying above, was the WWII headquarters of the 1st Waffen-SS Panzer Division, the LSSAH  (Liebstandarte SS Adolf Hitler) as can be seen on the cornice of the building atop the four columns.


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So long, Woody


Marine Corps retired CWO4 Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient, passed away early this morning, June 29, 2022. Woody was surrounded by his family at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, West Virginia.

According to the National WWII Museum, there was 473 Medal of Honor recipients from the war. Of these, 333 were in the Army, 82 in the Marines, 57 in the Navy, and one in the Coast Guard.

Born on October 2, 1923, in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, Woody enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 26 May 1943 and advanced to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 before his retirement in 1969 after 17 years of service. During WWII, Woody served in New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, and Guam before landing in Iwo Jima where his actions on 23 February 1945 earned him a well-deserved Medal of Honor.

His Citation

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The Pursuit of Happiness

A few months ago we and a caller who was of the opinion that “only a few” guys actually “did anything” at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. The idea is one that many people might have, simply because they just don’t know anything about anybody except the few names that bubble to the top of the historical bottle. But if you uncork that bottle, you get a wonderful bouquet of ideas and of people that you have never heard anything about before.

Sitting in that room in Philadelphia was a man who was one of the calming and guiding hands on the tiller. When the “four masters” gathered as the committee of style*, it was this man, William Samuel Johnson, who chaired the committee that would oversee the final draft of the Constitution.

He was a man who had come late to the American Revolution. In fact, he had once been arrested by the Patriots for communicating with the enemy. Once American Independence was declared, he was fully  on board with his new country. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. He came from a legacy of inventing new ways of doing things.

In fact, you could make the argument that it was his father who actually invented America…

*Gouverneur Morris, James Madison, Rufus King and Alexander Hamilton

America Begins: How Samuel Johnson Created America (JAR)
Life and Correspondence of Samuel Johnson, D.D.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress