Paul Tillery's Photo Album
Page 2

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Filipinos with their little carts being pulled by Carabaos. This domesticated animal was used quite extensively in Mindanao in 1945. I don't know to what extent, if any, they are used today.

An example of one of our truck convoys. In New Guinea & Morotai a truck convoy would be a rare thing but on Mindanao much of my time was spent running convoys, up and down the Sayre Highway, hauling supplies and troops.

Note the dust from the trucks. Rain would cause so much mud that it was a most difficult task to get trucks moving. With pushing one truck behind another we would get as many through as possible. Then pull or winch the others through rough places in the road and there were many. Then after a couple of days with no rain it would turn to thick heavy dust which would clog up the truck's Air Cleaner causing it to completely shut down it's engine. After servicing the Air Cleaner it would be ready to go again.

Dead Japs - It's either us or them - fortunately this is them.

The Japs in their retreat up the Sayre Highway blew up about 75 bridges which
caused us many problems. At times a by-pass could be built if the stream banks were shallow but often a bridge had to be erected. This is a picture of a bridge known to us as a "Bailey Bridge", which our Engineers erected in many places and quickly too.

  This is a shot of one of the towns that had just been liberated as we moved on up the Sayre Highway driving the Japs backward.

Moving after the retreating Japs along the Sayre Highway. Note the foot soldiers with their rifles walking along the roadside. Don't know what that vehicle was doing there but he will have a most difficult time on this road.

This is one of the rivers we had to contend with in driving the Japs back up the Sayre Highway. At times we found them refreshing to bathe in as the guys on the right of the picture are doing. Note the Bailey Bridge in the background.

This is our gasoline dump. A hand pump is inserted into a drum and each driver pumps his own gasoline. I call it, the beginning of self-service.

MacArthur accepted the Japanese government's surrender in Tokyo bay. Here in Mindanao the Jap commanding general surrendered to our 31st Division commander. This next 5 photos, which were given to me are of this proceeding.

This photo shows Jap General Morozumi coming in to surrender.

Official Photo

Official Photo
General Morozumi of the Jap 35th Army is escorted to the U.S.Army's 31st Infantry (Dixie) Division Headquarters to sign surrender papers.

The surrender document is signed by Gyosaku Morozumi, Lieutenant General, Imperial Japanese Army, Commanding, in front the 31st Infantry (Dixie) Division Commander, General Joseph C. Hutchinson.

Official Photo

Official Photo

General Hutchinson with his signature accepts the surrender.

When the first large group of Japs came down from the mountains, I was there that day with a truck convoy thus the pictures. This one shows them loading one of our trucks for a ride to a compound where they awaited transportation back to Japan. Our guards at the compound were not there for the purpose of keeping the Japs from escaping as they were not prisoners, as the war was over but to protect them from an angry Filipino population.

I believe this Military Cemetery was in New Guinea. I often think of guys from my hometown who didn't make it back. Then others whom I served with here in the States who for various reasons were scattered all over the world and didn't make it back. Many of these had become close friends who had been sent out from the 124th as cadres to form new Regiments. I was one of the very few who was with the 124th all the way but I came to know a lot of these guys real well. A lot of good men from the 124th didn't make it back and some of these I knew. I suppose all of us who made it back often wonder just how we happened to be the lucky one.

Photo of the actual surrender document.
I went over this photo with a magnifying glass and typed the words up for clarity and have this in my scrapbook. If you want this I can send it to you.

Official Photo

[Click here for actual text of document]

The Golden Gate bridge, in the early morning light is truly a beautiful sight to those of us returning home after almost 2 years overseas. We were at Camp Stoneman for about a week then boarded trains to go our separate ways. Mine was back to Camp Blanding where this part of my life began .


 After the War

There are memorials to the 9 Infantry Divisions & 1 Parachute Regiment that
trained in Camp Blanding during WWII. I am standing, in 1994, with my Grandson Warren Tillery (age 6-1/2) by the 31st Infantry (Dixie)Division Memorial which was my Division. In addition to these units the Infantry Replacement Training Center is honored along with Memorials to holders of the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart and former Prisoners of War.

With Grandson
Click picture for larger view

Paul Tillery with grandson, Warren Tillery

After my discharge (27 Dec 1945) I returned to the job I took in 1937 at a truck,tractor and farm equipment dealership in Pahokee, Florida in the western part of Palm Beach County on Lake Okeechobee. In 1947 a beautiful and talented young lady named Ruth Wroten came into my life and six months later we were married. We have been blessed with a son , daughter, grandson and a wonderful, happy and serene life. Even after these 52 years of married life I still call her "Sugarlips". I retired in 1984 then worked part time until 1989 after 52 years with the same company. We moved to Lakeland for about a year but city life was not for us so we had a house constructed for us in Melrose, Florida where we still live. I've enjoyed fishing, golf and checking into family history but not any fishing lately. However I do still play golf but not as often as I once did. With the internet, family history is still very much in my life. To sum it all up I'm a survivor - I survived the "great depression" and WWII. My life has been and still is a joy as I look forward to what the days will bring.


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