Several years ago, after hearing a story on NPR about World War II veterans, I asked my father to record his memories and experiences serving the in US Army during World War II. What he wrote was quite different than the stories we read in the history books, coming from someone who lived and served our country during that important time.
That story on NPR reminded me of the urgency and importance of my fathers memoirs. Over 1200 World War II veterans die each day, many leaving their story untold. I am blessed that my father was able to write the words you read below. Many veterans, my father included, rarely talked about the war.
Here is a continuation of my father’s story:
Now onwards. We boarded another ship to sail for the invasion of Luzon. This was a quiet landing–no resistance at this point. boarded 2 1/2 ton trunks and off towards Manila. This was the amazing part, as all the way to Manila which was several hundred miles, the local people threw flowers and kisses at us. Nothing exciting happened here, except one night the driver got lost and our convoy ended-up behind the enemy lines. When we suspicioned something drastically wrong, turned around and took tail back to our line. However, nothing happened and we returned safely.
Finally, arrived in Manila. Housed in a big building in town along the Jones River. Japs on the other side and holed-up in the ice house which was being blasted 24 hrs. day. Manila was a great experience. People were friendly. invited us over for dinner. Brought out all kinds of jewelry etc to sale. Stationed here several months and then our duty with McArthur was terminated and we were flown back to our co. in New Caledonia. Shortly thereafter, our company received orders to move up to Luzon. About 50 miles north of Manila and prepare for the invasion of Japan. The move was made and we had strict orders. no leaves to Manila. However, My Sgt. buddy and I decided we would like to visit friends we had made while in Manila. We didn’t have to be at work until 5 PM so we hitchhiked to Manila, visited our friends and started back which shouldn’t have been a problem. However, we got stuck on the road and late reporting for work. Called in and we were both broken of our rank. He from a sgt. and me from a pvt. 1st class. We didn’t care at this time as the war was about at the end and we were going home.
Surrender was declared and the 230th moved on to Yokohama, Japan. We quartered in the YMCA. set-up msg. center downtown. By this time, war over and most of our company had sufficient points to go home. Most left, and I was getting close. In the meantime, I was appointed Tech Sgt. of my platoon. in charge of setting radio teletype stations, which I did and assigned the new arrivals to man the stations. I was given a jeep and driver at my disposal which I took advantage and visited Tokyo and surrounding areas. Really was enjoying myself at this time. However, my points-up and off I go to board the aircraft carrier “Intrepid”.
Departed Japan Dec.3, 1945. Crossed the international date line on my birthday Dec. 8th. Had two consecutive birthdays. Arrived in San Francisco Dec. 15th, 1945. Troop train to Fort Knox, Ky. for discharge. However, upon arrival was informed that they had lost my records and I could have a week furlough. Off I trained home and returned to Fort Knox, Kentucky a week later for discharge.
And the story of my army carrier of what my memory recollects.Many more experiences good and bad. Hope whomever has the occasion to read this in the future years won’t be too bored. Good Luck!!!! Overall, it was a good venture and only at the youth I enjoyed at that time.