My Dad the U.S. China Marine

My Dad the U.S. China Marine

Monday, October 19, 2015

In our hearts, we thank your father..." from Beijing Sihai Confucius Academy

This morning's email brought a smile. 

I received a special message from Beijing Sihai Confucius Academy. I was there last month for the 70th year events commemorating the end of World War II in China as a guest of the Chinese government and the Academy.

"In our hearts, we thank your father and all the people who had helped China in the war. We also hope for peace all over the world today and that war stops forever. 

"People should get to know each other and spend sometime together, then understanding, communication, cooperation, happiness, harmony, friendship...all the good things we hope will come."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dad's Jade Broach Gift from China

At my Greenwich Library lecture on Sunday my eldest sister brought with her a most-prized she received long ago. It was this Jade broach necklace her brought back from China in the mid-1940s:

I must confess that I am not very knowledgable of Chinese charms and symbolism, at least not to the extent of ascertaining the meaning of this broach.

Jadeite is also known as imperial jade in China. Those who know more about such things told me that Jade has been available in China four thousands of years. 

What symbol is featured here? It certainly appears to be a bird. But what kind? I'm not at all certain. I suspect that it might be a heron or an egret which represent a "path" or a "way." 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lecture Announcement: Jeffrey Bingham Mead to Speak at Greenwich Library, Connecticut

Just before former Greenwich CT resident Herbert Bingham Mead passed away on his 86th birthday in 2010, he asked his son Jeffrey Bingham Mead to research and publish a book about the time he served in postwar Beijing and Tianjin with the 1st U.S. Marine Division. 

With pictures and stories his father left behind, Mead has been researching 
those post-World War II chaotic, tense times. His history blog, My Dad the U.S. China Marine, has attracted the attention and interest of other China Marine descendants and others interested.

As a result of his interest and work, the Chinese government extended an official invitation to Jeffrey Bingham Mead to attend the September 3 Victory Day commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the surrender of the Empire of Japan in 1945. He represented his late father and the 'U.S. China Marines.'

With other invited dignitaries including the renowned Flying Tigers, Doolittle Raiders and others from around the world, Mead attended the military parade in central Beijing, the luncheon and speech by President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People, and the evening gala at the Great Hall broadcast live on CCTV in China.

He was also a guest of Beijing Sihai Confucius Academy.

Mr. Mead will be speaking on his experiences in Beijing, various
commemoration events and showing photos from those events. 

Mead is a native and descendant of the founders of Greenwich,
Connecticut. He earned his B.A. in Communications from Pace
University, and continued his Master’s studies in Education at
Manhattanville College. Mead is a former trustee of the Greenwich
Historical Society, an author, educator and historian, the co-founder
and president of History Education Hawaii, the official council of the National Council for History Education, a former instructor at Hawaii Tokai International College and the Honda International Center of Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu. Mead is the president of The Pacific Learning Consortium, Inc. He makes his home in Greenwich, CT and Honolulu, HI.

Greenwich Library, Second-floor Meeting Room, 101 West
Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830.

Sunday, October 11, 2015, starting 1:30 p.m.

Free. Limited seating. Advanced registration/rsvp

Call 808-721-0306 or email

Note: This event is neither sponsored nor endorsed by Greenwich Library.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

China Press: Son of China Marine follows father's steps, visits China 70 years later (Sept. 2015)

Son of China Marine Follows Father's Steps,  Visits  China 70 years Later

By Liming Guan/China Press (Translated with Google Translate)

Born and raised in Greenwich Connecticut, living in Hawaii for 20 years, Jeffrey Bingham Mead had always hoped one day to go to China to see where his father Herbert Mead 70 years ago as a U.S. Marine lived. 

But he never expected that, when the dream comes true,  it would be in such a dramatic way.

A year ago, this newspaper reported on Jeffrey's father during World War II and his experiences in China. Jeffrey always wanted to organize a recent Marine Corps veterans or their families plan to visit China. 

Fortunately, two months ago, Jeffrey received an invitation from the Consulate General of China in New York and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and he went to Beijing to attend the 70th anniversary of World War II and the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese War Victory parade. He finally got a chance to look for the father had visited the place. 

"I stood over his father 70 years ago to take pictures (Temple of Heaven) before whispering gallery, I could not help but excited, I face in front of all visitors to Hawaii folk singing a song!"

For Jeffrey, the surprise first trip to China from the moment he arrived at Kennedy Airport began. Just arrived in the airport, there will be staff of Air China came up to assist him in check. He was even more unexpected is that after boarding, originally Friendship Order for his good economy is upgrade into first class. He could not help but be excited in the cabin immediately pulled out a cell phone to call a number of relatives and friends, to tell them the good news.

14 hours later, the plane arrived in Beijing. As guests attended the parade, he came to the reception staff were arrangements Friendship rapid clearance. And so got into the front insert a small red flag limousine, Jeffrey feel like in a "007" movie. He said with a smile, "I did not think I could have the opportunity to experience a head of state treatment!"

And so came to stay No. 1 East Chang Grand Hyatt Beijing, World War II veterans to see the cafeteria from around the world, even before the Flying Tigers, the longest serving Congress (40 years) of the Republican Honourable Steven Mori (Ted Stevens) widow Catherine Stevenson, see everyone happily chat and enjoy a variety of Chinese and Western cuisine, "I think heaven is probably also the case!"

On the third day after arriving in Beijing, Jeffrey and many guests from various countries together to watch the grand parade, twice a day and have the opportunity to attend the Great Hall banquet. During Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the luncheon speech, Chairman Xi Jinping second occurrence during the dinner, and the guests watched the 70th anniversary of the victory of Anti-Japanese War theatrical performances. During World War II veterans who participated and their families on behalf of, was awarded the gold commemorative medal. Jeffrey also received the honor for his father one.

But the most emotional Jeffrey, after that visit Beijing time, the Temple of Heaven Park, he recognized his father had filmed according to the place - Whispering Gallery. "I remember my father saying he never expected this place to the sound travels so far. These places he had seen countless times in his father left to old photographs, and now finally have the opportunity to set foot on this land, the excitement and emotion sometimes unspeakable. 

"I feel myself sitting in a time machine, back to 70 years ago, one by one searching for his father's footsteps, I believe he passed away, to see it all, must be smiling."

Also let Jeffrey memorable, is the Chinese people's friendly. : "I think the American media did not live up to their responsibilities, do not tell you the real China."

In the three days after the end of the parade, the Jeffrey by New York friends, Laurelton Branch Queens Library curator
王小良 introduction, get Beijing Sihai Confucius Academy founder Feng Zhe assistance and arrangements, have the opportunity to visit in Beijing Xishan Xiangshan universal Confucius College, where ancient Confucian tradition saw a distinctive educational tradition of college life, over a hundred students from all over China together, reciting Confucian classics, studying ancient dealing with people's behavior. The Beijing Xishan idyllic and every morning, "rooster" of life but also to Jeffrey feeling seems to be living in a "National Geographic" documentary.

Just a few days time, Jeffrey and CPAFFC reception people Pakistan Tracy, universal Confucius Academy and assistant dean Feng Zhe and other friends also forged a friendship puzzled. Their selfless assistance made him grateful. Jeffrey also hope that the future to organize more World War II veterans or their descendants to China to look for.

70 years ago, Jeffrey's father, Herbert Mead as a US Marine Corps soldiers at the front, and his comrades of the bloody end of a rare battle of Okinawa in Japan, was sent to China, he is responsible for receiving the surrender of Beijing and Tianjin Japanese and stabilize the situation in China. Jeffrey remembers his father years later still remembered in China has experienced two and a half, it was his "best time of life."

Jeffrey's father had had a wish, is the year for those who had been stationed in China Marines out of a book, let the world know their stories, so that they are no longer just a silent, black and white photographs on the presence in groups. His father, Herbert, died five years ago, at the age of 86 years old. After the war he spent most of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (Bristol-Myers
Squibb) is located in Connecticut and New Jersey subsidiaries through.

Jeffrey also kept his father left behind some old photographs in China. He remembers his father to one of the photographs is feeling -
It was a street in Tianjin, a Chinese young man sitting in the carriage wedding photos, a US soldier standing next to greet them. "Of all the haze was caused by the war, and this young man is still full of life, longing and hope, decided to hold the wedding for their own future, it is hard to forget the scene."

Herbert Mead also to visit around Beijing, in front of the Forbidden City and other sites to take pictures. "My father there's a whispering gallery (within Tiantan Park) is very interested in, he felt that something really weird, how sound can be transferred so far?"

Jeffrey said that in addition to China's memories, father had rarely mention his family suffered during the war in Japan. Only in the last years of life, he mentioned at the beginning of the year on the battlefield experience fear. "It was the nearest place from hell."
Hometown newspaper, "Greenwich Times" (Greenwich
Time) on October 23, 1945 published Herbert Mead's letter home. The letter said: "I'm glad when I was in Okinawa when the war you do not know what I'm doing ... I'm starting from April 8, at the front end of the fighting has been to stay (June 22) a head. May we and different Army units work together. God, my life has never been so fear ... in front of our people, fifty percent of the people will eventually sacrifice or injured, I several times hanging by a thread, So I think I can survive purely a fluke. "

US forces lost the Battle of Okinawa in 2500, more than 10,000 soldiers, while tens of thousands of people were injured. Japanese death more than 11 million people. Battle of Okinawa cruel to make decision makers aware of Japanese military landing operations may have to pay a heavy price, which is one of the reasons later prompted the US decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan.


20年的杰弗里·米德(Jeffrey Bingham Mead)一直希望有朝一日能去中国,看看父亲赫伯特·米德(Herbert Bingham Mead70年前作为海军陆战队员曾经生活过的地方。只是他没有想到,梦想成真时,会是以这么戏剧化的方式。












—— 那是一张在天津大街上,一对中国年轻人坐着马车结婚的照片,一名美军士兵站在旁边和他们打招呼。在当时战争所带来的所有阴霾中,这对年轻人仍旧满怀对人生的憧憬和希望,决定为自己的未来举办婚礼,那是让人难以忘怀的一幕。


杰弗里表示,在中国的美好记忆之外,父亲生前很少对家人提起在日本打仗时的遭遇。只是在生命的最后几年,他开始提到当年在战场上所经历的恐惧。那是离地狱最近的地方。家乡的报纸《格林威治时报》(Greenwich Time)在19451023日刊登了赫伯特·米德的一封家书。信中写道:我很庆幸当我在冲绳打仗的时候你们不知道我在做什么。。。我从48日开始,在前线一直呆到战斗结束(622日)。头一个月我们和陆军的不同分队协同作战。老天,我一辈子从来没那么恐惧过。。。我们在前线的人,百分之五十的人最终都牺牲或受伤,我好几次都命悬一线,所以我觉得我能活下来纯粹是侥幸。


CCTV English: September 3 Grand Military Parade Celebrates Victory Day

While I was preparing for my upcoming lecture on the September 3 Commemorations in Beijing that I attended I found this link to CCTV's English language coverage of the military parade.

The narration is in English. Click here.