Featured Blogger: Letter Home From Tokyo – Part One – // Pacific Paratrooper #AceHistoryDesk report

We have Mrs P. to thank for this letter. It came from her neighbor, Len G. whose uncle Joe reached Japan and wanted the family to know what it was like for him. This letter is being re-typed exactly as it originally reads.

Wednesday Evening

Nov. 14, 1945 – 9PM

Kure, Japan

My Dear Carters & Son:

Received your most enjoyable letter some time ago on Oct 18, I was so very busy ever since I landed here in Japan, that I really hadn’t much time to write, I still owe about 4 letters out and hope I can get them written in the very near future, believe me. I am on duty now, while writing this letter to you, business is very slow now, so I have a good chance in getting this letter written. I am so sorry and ask your apoligy for not writing sooner, I’ll try to answer your next letter as soon as possible. I’m certain I’ll have more time then. I will write to Mother & Dad, next first chance I get. I wrote a letter to Elaine today, shall mail both of these in the morning. I miss her and baby so very much. I love both of them more than anything in the world. I miss all of you terribly. I’m praying hard for my home coming day to come, as yet, I don’t know when I’ll ever be home as nothing has been said about discharging fathers yet. A lot of high pointers are leaving every day, the 60 pointers will start leaving next week, I only have 21 points, so I’ll never get home by the point system, my only hope is discharging fathers. I may be home in March or April, I hope it will be much sooner.

I guess Elaine has been telling you most of the news about me, so you should know, just about what I have been doing. I sure have done a lot of traveling in a short time, since I left the States I have been at the Marshalls Islands, Carolinas Islands, Leyte, Mindonao and now here in Kure, Japan. I also have been at Okinawa, passed by Iwo Jima, that sure has been a lot of traveling. Don’t you think so. Japan surrendered when I was near the Carolinas, coming from the States, I was on the ocean 50 days out of 60. I’m sure tired of ships, after I get home, I don’t care if I ever see another ship, living on those ships was terrible, we lived just like rats and were packed like sardines. I hope my trip back home won’t be that bad The food has been terrible all the way here, until I got the luckiest break I ever got before in this rotten army, about 3 weeks ago, my C O called me in his office and told me, he looked up my records and seen I was a bartender and manager in civilian life, so the F.A. Division is opening an officers club and be the bartender. there are 167 officers in this club, so I told him, I will gladly take that Job, and I’ll do my utmost best, so here I am at the officers club now, I live just like a civilian now, I live here at the club and eat at the officers mess, I eat like a king now, all I want and plenty of real fresh food, steaks, chops, eggs, butter, fresh veg. and lots of other real good food, before I came here, I have been eating C and K rations ever since I have been on land since I have left the states. I also made 2 ratings since I came to Japan, about a month ago I made Pfc and last week I made T-5 – thats the same rating as a corpal, so I am now a corporal, it means about $18.00 a month more, not that I care for anything in this lousy army, I still want to be a plain old civilian, I was given this T-5 rating because I know the bar trade and am in charge of the Bar here at the club, another fellow also lives here with me, he is the stewart, but knows nothing about the business. As long as I have to stay out here, I am very much satisfied with this bartender job I have. I also have to take care of the club in the daytime and see that the 4 Japs we have working here, do a good job in cleaning up and other things we need done, I don’t have any more inspections, formations, waiting on line to eat, live in a real cold rotton barrack, Gaurd Duty and any one to order me around, on different dirty details, I am now my own boss, dress in my uniform every day and do just about anything I please, except leave the club, I live just like a civilian, and am respected by the officers and there are quite a few Colenels and high officers here, even the General gets drunk here, they all say I’m doing a swell job and always thank me, I even make tips here not much, but about $5.00 a week, that isn’t so bad considering Im in the army.

Hokkaido on R&R skiing

Notice this paper I am writing on it is Japanese Naval business paper, the writing on it says Super fine Naval paper that’s what my Jap worker told me. The Japs are behaving very nicely and do just as we tell them to. The women do all the work and the men do nothing, these women out here do twice as much work than the average man in the states, its unbelievable the way they work, they are about 100 yrs backward, and do everything the hard way, they even carry their babies over their backs, the way I carry my pack coming over here. They still have a lot of ancient customs and very hard to understand, they also are plenty sneaky and smart. This city Kure, is a, or rather was a very big industrial War plant city, it has, bus lines, trolleys, trains, electricity, Gas, steam heat, and a lot of modern things in it, the population one time was over 300 thousand, I dont know what it is now, Hiroshima is only 15 miles from here, I visited the outskirts of it, and all I can see is dirt and more dirt, not even a house or anything for miles & miles, thats where the Atomic bomb was dropped, boy I still cant believe my eyes that one bomb can do that much damage. Hiroshima also was a big Industrial city with a population of over 300 thousand now it looks like the wide open spaces in Texas, no one would not believe it, if he were told that Hiroshima once had big factories and homes in it, and could see nothing but dirt there now. Kure has also been terribly bombed, but the magnificent part of it is that all the War plants, Airplane base, Submarine base and war tings were bombed to rubbish and the homes weren’t even touched.

To be continued …..

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Military Humor –

“Of course I speak your language — I can say Both takusan and sukoshi!”

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Quarantine Humor –

(Frankly, I’ll miss the quarantine humor when this pandemic is all over, but for ALL our sake, I hope we whip this disease soon!)

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Farewell Salutes –

Mary (Dyer) Alligood – Winter Garden, FL; US Navy WAVES, WWII

James Beggs – Bethesda, MD; US Navy, aeronautics / NASA, Administrator

William Bolinger – LaFollette, TN; US Army, WWII, PTO, TSgt., Bronze Star

John Dewey – Galva, IL; US Army, WWII, ETO, 10th Mountain Division

Hugh Fricks – Seattle, WA; USMC, WWII, PTO, Lt., 6th Marines, Navy Cross, KIA (Tarawa)

Philip Kahn (100) – NYC, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, B-29 pilot

Howard Miller – San Mateo, CA; USMC, WWII, PTO, Co A/1/6th Marines, KIA (Tarawa)

Carlos Santos Sr. (101) – Ludlow, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

Paul Stonehart – London, ENG; RAF, WWII, radar

Robert Wilson – Villa Rica, GA; US Army, WWII & Korea, Captain

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Source: // Pacific Paratrooper

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