First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As promised, I am writing this book as a sequel to the happy ending of my first book. I just started writing this book, but in honor of yesterday’s Father’s Day, I decided to share this with you. So, without delay here is Chapter 4 of my third book:
Chapter 4 – Island Life (Octopussy?)
My father’s only entry for his second mission over Japan was just a date, January 16, 1945. My father included several photographs in his journal, mostly of the life on Tinian Island.
My father’s group started in Harvard, Nebraska and flew to Tinian via Hawaii. While in Hawaii, they went to Waikiki beach.
Look at the size of that surfboard! Today’s surfboards are typically 5 to 6 feet high. This surfboard is about 12 feet high. Back then sports equipment was typically larger. When I was young, I remember having an old pair of wooden snow skis and they were monsters compared to today’s skis.
My father’s journal included several aerial photos of Tinian.
This is not a particularly good photo, but the history is incredibly significant: Here is something that I found on Wikipedia:
Suicide Cliff is a cliff above Marpi Point Field near the northern tip of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, which achieved historic significance late in World War II. Also known as Laderan Banadero, it is a location where numerous Japanese civilians, and Imperial Japanese Army soldiers committed suicide by jumping to their deaths in July 1944 in order to avoid capture by the United States. Japanese propaganda had emphasized brutal American treatment of Japanese, citing the American mutilation of Japanese war dead and claiming U.S. soldiers were bloodthirsty and without morals. Many Japanese feared the “American devils raping and devouring Japanese women and children.” The precise number of suicides there is not known. One eyewitness said he saw “hundreds of bodies” below the cliff, while elsewhere, numbers in the thousands have been cited. A contemporary correspondent praised these civilians, describing them as “the pride of Japanese women” and their self-sacrifice as “the finest act of the Shōwa period.”
Here is what Suicide Cliff looks like today:
When my dad arrived at Tinian, there was not much there except bombed out buildings:
So, they started building Quonset huts:
And they nicknamed Tinian “The Rock:”
Life on Tinian was not all work and war. When I first saw my dad’s journal, the beach photos stood out more than anything else:
This was many years before the sexual revolution of the 1950’s and 1960’s. So, I doubt that these photos were taken to send home to their sweethearts. I think the Homey side of their personalities was shining through.
Last but not least, I want to share what I nicknamed the Octopussy pictures:
Ian Fleming would not publish his book entitled Octopussy until 1966, but he was a World War II spy before he became an author. I am not sure what caused my dad to include the octopus pictures. I just thought it makes a good ending to this chapter.
Try as I might, I cannot imagine myself on Tinian at that time. With incredible bravery, they somehow coped with mission after mission. I write when I need to express my grief, my love, my feelings. My sister, the family counselor, encourages her patients to write to cope with their feelings. Maybe, my dad found solace and courage in keeping his journal.
End Of Chapter 4
I just started writing my new book and I have a lot of research to do. I plan to share some of my work as time and resources permits. I am hoping by next Father’s Day, my new book will be completed and published. I have written chapter 5, so, I will share that with you next week.
Originally, I started this blog as an eclectic mix of what I was thinking during the week and book reviews. I will do some of that too. So, you do not want to miss what follows. Follow my blog to make sure you receive it.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also purchase it. Or you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5 of Homey’s Adventures Too. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. I hope you had a good Father’s Day yesterday and God bless you all.