Archive for April, 2015

April 25, 2015

Posted: April 25, 2015 in Uncategorized
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While on the golf course one day, I saw my only “dog fight” between American and Japanese planes. It wasn’t long until the American pilots had the three Zeros going down in smoke. One of the Zeros fell just outside the golf course. We were all “rooting” for our side, and we didn’t lose a plane in that fight.

As we went to and from work at the golf course I could not help but observe how the place was so completely burned out. For mile after mile I could see the native Japanese trudging down the road with what they could carry on their backs. Some were riding bicycles and others were pushing two-wheel carts or other make-shift transportation vehicles, hauling what items they could and making their exit to I know not where. This sight brought back memories of the early days of the war when the Philippinos had been bombed out. I knew how they must have felt.

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April 17, 1945

Posted: April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized
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The next morning we were told that we would not be going to work for Mitsubichi [sic] shipyard, and we never went back after that. I have no way of knowing how much damage was done, but looking in the direction from our camp toward the shipyard, we saw huge fires burning.

Now that the shipyard was knocked out, we did not know what the Japanese would have us do. We stayed in camp just one day, and then they loaded us on trucks. Again, none of us knew where we were going, but our ride lasted about an hour. Then they unloaded us on a real swanky looking golf course. We were each given a tool to work with, and we started to strip the sod from the fairways. We cut it in strips two feet wide and then rolled it up on a “ho” pole. Then we took the sod and covered over many ammunition dumps. We worked on this golf course until May 8, 1945.

My P.O.W. friends and I found this job to be quite an outing, as we had not seen or walked on the good earth for almost two and one-half years. We had a good time eating wild dandelions that tasted as good as lettuce to us.

April 16, 1945

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Each day the air raids became more frequent and hit closer to our camp. On April 16 a huge raid flew over our camp, the planes flying so low that we could hear the bomb bay doors open. The raid started about ten p.m. and lasted for two and one-half hours. I saw six American planes shot down, and one of the six had a direct hit in the bomb bay. I know there were no survivors, as this plane just disintegrated in mid-air. This night was like a nightmare and the planes were more like phantoms. The whole of Tokyo and Yokohama were nothing but flames. Those of us who were watching could see a reflection of the fire on the fuselage of the planes as they approached from the south. It was a real eerie feeling not knowing but what the next plane over might drop bombs on us. We were all scared, but not really afraid, as we all knew that if this was what it took to win the war, we were all for it, and the sooner the war was over, the sooner we would be rescued and returned to the States. As many bombings as we went through, we were fortunate not to have one death in camp from them. The pilots surely must have known exactly where in the area our camp was located.

April 13, 1945

Posted: April 13, 2015 in Uncategorized
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On April 13, 1945, we got the news that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had died. This made the Japanese very happy as they said the war would soon be over and that they would win, because we had no one to lead our nation in war. They did not know that we had a man by the name of Harry S. Truman who would fill his shoes, and that this war would be fought ,and that we would WIN! We were all saddened, however, over the death of our Chief.