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WORLD WAR II // 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

From newspapers of Sept. 14, 1945: One of the war's favorite stories is dismissed as a myth by the man who was its central figure. According to the story, Lt. Col. James Devereux, commander of the Marine garrison on Wake Island when the Japanese invaded in December 1941, sent out a defiant message as his men fought overwhelmingly superior forces: "Send us more Japs." Devereux, just released from a Japanese prison camp, says that didn't happen. "We had all and more than we could handle right then and there," he says. "There were just too many of them for us to hold off any longer." But he adds that he had had to give the "cease firing" order to his men three times. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, the hero of Corregidor, is honored at a civic reception in New York City. He warns against a "soft peace" for Japan. "Japan must be made to realize on every step of her long road back to acceptance among civilized nations that a government does not indulge in the excesses she has loosed in the world these last 14 years and call it quits when her leaders have had enough," he says. The U.S. Army says it hopes to release 13,000 of its 40,000 physicians by Dec. 1.

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