Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

September 16, 1945

Posted: September 16, 2015 in Uncategorized
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At 7:30 a.m. on September 16, 1945, we set sail on the Wantuck for Tokyo. We were at sea all day and night. In the afternoon we saw another movie and “batted the breeze” and swapped “yarns” with the crew. The canvas bunks on the Wantuck were four tiers high.

September 14, 1945

Posted: September 14, 2015 in Uncategorized
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On September 14 plans were that we would board ships that would take us to Tokyo harbor. We were told we might be flown to Guam, and from there to the States. We had the biggest food issue yet, so no more rice and soup. But man, oh man, I could hardly wait for the morrow.

September 9, 1945

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Uncategorized
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More men took off for Tokyo on September 9 as they, too, were restless. More K type rations were dropped, but we were still getting soup and rice and some canned fish which the Japs issued that even I couldn’t eat.

September 8, 1945

Posted: September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
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On September 8, fifteen of the men who left the previous day for Tokyo were over taken in Mariako and brought back. They told us that the fellows up there were not eating soup and rice there, and also, that the hospital cases are [sic] getting along just fine.

September 7, 1945

Posted: September 7, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Well, it happened on September 7 when about thirty men took off with bag and baggage, heading for Tokyo. I was just too “soft”, or I would have been with them. Still we had no news as to when we were to leave this area, and we were back on straight soup and rice.

September 6, 1945

Posted: September 6, 2015 in Uncategorized
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On September 6 we put out the last of the chow that was dropped by the planes. There was still no news as to when we were to leave and lots of fellows, including myself, thought about heading over the hill for Tokyo.

August 15, 1945 was a day filled with activity, however. That morning we went to work as usual, but had two air raid alerts before 7:00 a.m. The last all clear sounded at 8:40. At 11:00 a.m. we came in for our rice ball chow, but they didn’t send us back to work. At 12:00 noon the Jap Commanding Officer called all of the Army and Company guards out, read a long scroll o them, and then they all faced toward Tokyo and did the Saki Karay – a low formal bow to the East. The company leader then said they could not use us any more, and that the Army leader had to find some other place for us to work.

I was at the river taking a bath when the Camp interpreter came down and told all of us to get back to camp in double time. A little later we found out the reason. At 4:30 p.m. we were informed that we were to move and we had about five minutes to get our gear together. I had only my blanket and a burned bowl to pick up, so no time was wasted on my part. They then gave us our rice ball and the first soup we had had since the shelling. Next we put the patients on trucks to be moved to a new amp. The rest of us fell in and marched about half a mile where we boarded a narrow gauged train and rode to Ohiashia, about sixteen kilometers away. Here we were housed in an old theater and were still crowded as usual. The news was that the war was over, and we all believed it as the change in treatment and other things had a tendency to prove it.

No “black-outs” were observed now and that rule had always been strictly enforced up to now. Another indication was that each man in this camp was issued one new working suit, one face towel, one bar of soap, one package of hair tobacco, one pair of wrap leggins [sic], and one civilian shirt. No questions were asked, and that has [sic] never happened before. Also, we had our first hot bath since July 14, 1945.

We did not have authentic word that the war was over, but we heard that General MacArthur made a speech in Tokyo asking if the Americans were to come in by force or in peace, and that the ultimatum was up at noon the previous day. We heard that America’s combined fleet of 3,500 ships was in the Yokahoma and Tokyo bays.

The chow was still way below par, but as long as we could believe the war was over, chow wasn’t so important, as we knew it would be only a matter of a few days until we would be eating state-side chow. Three years and three months of mainly soup and rice was enough of that, and all I could think of was that “Happy days are here again.”

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.

On March 10, 1945, we were just getting to the shipyard for work when the sirens began to blow and they headed us toward what was supposed to be a shelter, but was only an open ditch. Never in my life had I seen as many planes as were in this raid. They were headed right for the shipyard, and it looked like we were going to be blasted off the face of this earth. The planes just kept coming. They seemed to use Fujiyama as a landmark for the take-off point for bombing. Every man in camp, including the guards who were in command, thought, “Man, this is it!” There was lots of anti-aircraft firing as our planes began to get closer. Aluminum foil was being dumped from the planes, and later I found out that this was done to foul up the Japanese radar and height finders. Just as we thought the end had come, they kicked left rudder and headed for Tokyo. I have no way of knowing how many planes were in this flight, but there were planes as far as the eye could see to the north and to the southwest. There were planes of all sizes, and it was not long after the first planes were past us that we could hear the heavy bombing that was taking place over Tokyo and fires started to burn. It was not long until the whole of Tokyo was ablaze.

December, 1944

Posted: December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
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We men in camp knew that the war was getting hotter and closer as scarcely a day went by but what we had air raids, and many times we could just look up and see our planes over head. I counted sixty-seven air raids in December, 1944, and most of the raids were hitting Tokyo.

There were no air raid shelters in our camp, nor were there any for us prisoners in the shipyard. If we were in camp when an air raid sounded, we were run outside the compound with guards flankingg [sic] us about every twenty men. We took with us one blanket to put over our heads for protection. We were put in a ditch, and our orders were to keep our heads covered and not look at the action that was taking place. I knew that the bombs that were being dropped would kill me the same as it would the Japs, but we would holler, “Give them Hell, Yanks.” The Japs would hit us with the butts of their rifles, but our morale went up with each raid that we saw.