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 recently started writing this book, and I have been inspired lately. I decided to share this with you. So, without delay here is Chapter 14 of my third book:
Chapter 14 – Japanese Desperation
My dad’s fourteenth mission was over southern mainland Japan:
The journal entry he sent to my mom was another one of those: “I can’t tell you what we did, but I attached an article.” I can imagine this was frustrating for my mom:
“Sis, I got another letter from Andy.”
“And what does it say?”
“Not much, he said it was on an easy mission. From the attached article, it looks like he may have bombed Kyushu again. He says he is drinking whiskey after every mission.”
“Whiskey! For heaven’s sake.”
My mom and Aunt Shorty were teetotalers. The t in the teetotaler stands for Temperance. The term teetotaler is used to indicate someone practicing and/or promoting total abstinence from alcoholic beverages. Although, my mom did occasionally have a Tom Collins when she went out to dinner with my dad. So, she was not a total teetotaler.
I often wondered how the war contributed to my dad’s drinking. How many awful things did he see and want to forget?
I had an uncle who was imprisoned in a German prison of war camp. I remember seeing my uncle smoking in the middle of the night telling me about how awful it was. Even years after the war, his memories caused him sleepless nights and haunted him. I remember this story from my uncle:
“Once a week, we were ordered by the prison guards to take a delousing shower. My friend had been sick, and he had been in bed for a long time. I went over to get him up to take him to the delousing shower. I roused him with my hand, and he didn’t budge. I pulled on his arm and then I saw it. His whole underarm was covered in lice. Jeez! The lice were eating the life out of him.”
My dad never talked about the war. Like me, he could sleep anywhere and at any time of the day, but I wonder if his drinking helped him forget about the war. I am grateful for this journal to have a glimpse of what happened. I am almost certain the journal was candy coated and did not reveal what really happened. My dad was not going to intentionally scare or depress his newly married pregnant wife.
The newspaper article mentions the sinking of the Yamato battleship. This was a significant psychological victory for the allies. During 1944, the balance of naval power in the Pacific decisively turned against Japan, and by early 1945, its fleet was much depleted and badly hobbled by critical fuel shortages in the home islands. In a desperate attempt to slow the Allied advance, Yamato was dispatched on a one-way suicide mission to Okinawa in April 1945. The crew were ordered to beach the ship and fight until destroyed. The Yamato task force was spotted south of Kyushu by US submarines and aircraft. On April 7th, 1945, she was sunk by American carrier-based bombers and torpedo bombers with the loss of most of her crew.
The Yamato was the largest battleship of its day. It was bigger and more deadly than the famed German ship The Bismarck. The Yamato represented the paragon of Imperial Japanese naval engineering. Because of its size, speed, and power, this ship embodied Japan’s determination, and readiness to defend its interests against the Western Powers and the United States in particular. Yamato‘s symbolic might was such that some Japanese citizens held the belief that their country could never fall as long as the ship was able to fight.
With the advent of the Kamikaze bombers and the suicide mission of the Yamato, the Japanese high command was showing the world that they would do anything to not lose the war.
End Of Chapter 14
I started drafting this about 4 months ago and I still have a lot of work to do. I plan to share my work as time and resources allows. I am hoping by next Father’s Day, my new book will be completed and published.
I encourage anyone who had a parent or grandparent who flew in the B29’s from Tinian Island in 1945 to contact me. Without these heroes protecting our freedoms, we would not be able to celebrate our country’s founding on Independence Day.
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 buy it. Or you can buy 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. God bless you all.