Paris - This story originally appeared in Newsday on May 12, 1945
The giant program of shifting the bulk of American forces in Europe to the Pacific front moved into high gear today under the personal direction of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The dawn of Redeployment Day also found veteran Yank soldiers in every sector furiously adding up their credits allowed under the War Department’s point system in the hope they will be among the estimated million and a half Americans scheduled for discharge.
Lt. Gen. Lucius B. Clay, deputy military governor of the U.S. Group Control Council, summed up the complex American redeployment program with the declaration that it is designed to bring the war with Japan to a victorious conclusion at the earliest possible moment.
“We are faced with the problem of shifting overwhelming forces in the shortest possible time to bring the war with Japan to an early end,” Gen. Clay said.
“Gen. Eisenhower is giving his personal attention to the program and has directed his unit commanders to give the readjustment program priority attention,’ he said.
Meanwhile the veterans who fought in both Africa and Europe were frankly delighted with Gen. Eisenhower’s directive that they be excluded from further combat in the Far East.
Although 85 points on their credits cards are seen as the minimum for discharge under the Army’s plan, the veterans of the combined African and European campaigns who may not have the necessary number are expected to remain in Europe in the Army of Occupation.
Points for discharge are based on length of service, time overseas, number of times under fire, decorations and number of dependents.
An optimistic note on the duration of the war in the Pacific was sounded by Lt. Gen. Alexander M. Patch, commander of the victorious U.S. Seventh Army which ripped deep into the vaunted Nazi national redoubt in the days prior to Germany’s unconditional surrender.
Addressing a group of U.S. war correspondents about to leave his theater, Gen. Patch said he believed the war in the East would be over in less than a year.