Premature V-E Day Report Stirs Center

Views of Sampson's nerve centers Saturday night, 28 April, as untrue V-E Day story was received.

PHOTO to follow...Above, Lt. Comdr. W, K. Martin, Personnel Officer, gets news at O.D.'s desk, where he was Duty Commander
PHOTO     Left, Bettye Adams, Y3c, (left), and Ann Walker S1c, Go into action in Communications Office.

Men in Barracks Cling to Radios for Confirmation

Although officers and enlisted men were caught completely by surprise by the false announcement of V-E Day on the night of Saturday, 28 April 1945, they controlled their joy much better than did civilians in most parts of the nation.

While rumors flew about the Center, the enlisted men of Ship's Company scheduled for Shore Patrol duty, went to their barracks and got their leggings and seabags and lockers.  Officers and enlisted men on duty at various points in Sampson continued working as usual

Shortly after the first report came over the radio from San Francisco, at 1955 there was considerable handshaking and some shouting. But that was all. For the most part, the Sampson personnel settled down, around radios and waited tensely for official confirmation.

At Officer's Mess and in Bennion Ship's Service some men toasted their comrades overseas.
But thousands of others - cognizant of the war that lies ahead in the Pacific and the price that has been paid in Europe - took the new quietly.

About an hour and a half after the first false flash had been spread over the front pages of American newspaper, President Truman announced that the story had "no foundation."

After the first false report, with the ensuing discussion, several important developments prompted observers in Washington and London to predict that the end of the European war was a matter of days, if not hours.

The capture of Mussolini was followed by a savage thrust by the Allied forces in the northern Italy. Then on Wednesday, came the official news that all German troops in Italy and western Austria had surrendered unconditionally.

Hitlers Death Confirmed

Later the same day, President Truman told reporters at his press conference that he had confirmed the death of Adolf Hitler. At the same time it was revealed that Admiral Doenitz had organized a new German Government.

On Tuesday, 1 May, there appeared in Orders of the Day a warning concerning V-E Day rumors. All hands were urged to disregard all except official announcements. The notice read:

"All hands are warned to disregard rumors in circulation relative to cessation of hostilities in Europe or the declaration of V-E Day. The only authentic announcement of V-E Day will be made officially on this Center by the Center Commander. There will be no observance or celebration of V-E Day on this Center until the official announcement is made by the Center Commander."


Center's V-E Day Plans
Since then, it has been announced that with the exception of brief services in drill halls and chapels, V-E Day will be just another work day at this Center. No previously scheduled leaves will be canceled. If official announcement of victory is received after 1000, the services will be held the following day.

The program planned for each drill hall will include a Proclamation by the Regimental Commander, prayer by the Senior Unit Chaplain, the singing of the National Anthem, one minute of silence in tribute to our honored dead, and an address by Commodore Harry A. Badt, USN, Center Commander.