Bernard Akamine’s Recollection of 5/2/45:

After the successful Fukuda Task Force in May 1945, Company B was quartered in an abandoned school yard in a town near Alessandria, Italy. It was early in the morning of May 2, 1945. I was told to report to the C.O. in the courtyard. When I got there, he was giving instructions to the jeep driver about the route that had to be maintained. The instructions were to travel at 45 mph and maintain the patrol for two hours. There was another guy, too, but I’ve forgotten their names. The three of us were told to get extra ammo and we left. About 10 minutes into the patrol, a cargo plane came very low over us and a guy was dropping the “Stars and Stripes” newspaper over us. We stopped to pick some up. On the front page in large bold print which covered the whole page was the announcement, “War Over In Italy.” We gathered as many as we could and made a U turn and returned to the Company area. We spread the news and everybody was yelling and cheering so loudly that the C.O. came out and asked what happened. He was told that the war was over, and when he saw us, he got very upset. He said, “Until I receive orders from higher headquarters, go and maintain the patrol.” We really felt let down because all the rest of the men back at the C.P. were celebrating and having a good time and here we three had to go on this lonesome-feeling kind of patrol. Then I noticed that the jeep was going very slowly, only about 20 miles an hour and not the 45 that the C.O. had ordered. I asked the driver why he was driving so slowly. His answer turned our lonely feeling into something else completely—he said, “I don’t want to drive over a mine, knowing that the war is over.” Then the guy in the passenger seat asked, “I wonder if the Germans know the war is over?” I said, “Sure hope there are no stragglers who might take a pot shot at us.” So, for the next 90 minutes, there were three very nervous guys on patrol.