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 decided to share this with you. So, without delay here is Chapter 18 of my third book:
Chapter 18 – The Queen Is Back; Long Live the Queen!
The bloody battle in Okinawa was still raging and my father’s 18th mission was again bombing the airfields in Kyushu:
Kamikaze bombers damaged 200 allied ships during the Battle of Okinawa. The Kamikaze was the most effective weapon Japan had at this point in the war. My dad and the hundreds of other B29 warriors made it their main goal to destroy the Kamikaze by bombing their airfields.
During the Battle of Okinawa, Japan flew 3,700 sorties from Kyushu. Most of these sorties were Kamikaze. Thousands of Japanese volunteered to commit suicide. They did it because they believed the emperor was God.
Emperor Showa, also known as Hirohito, was in power during World War II and controlled both the sovereign of the state and the imperial forces. The role of the emperor as head of the State Shinto religion was exploited during the war, creating a cult that led to kamikaze bombers and fanaticism.
In contrast, my dad had the Island Queen. She was more than just another B29. On Tinian Island there were hundreds of B29s. They all flew about the same. They all had the same potential engine problems.
I noticed that they only replaced 3 engines on the Island Queen. The other engine was replaced after failing on February 19th when my dad’s heroic creative actions saved the plane after engine failure.
I do not think my dad loved the Island Queen because of the naked beauty painted on its hull. He was 24 years old. When I was 24 years old, I had gotten over idolizing naked beauty. My uncle told me once that my dad had many women back in his hometown in northern Oklahoma. So, he was not a wide-eyed kid looking at his first centerfold out of Playboy magazine.
I believe that the Island Queen was a symbol of everything that Americans valued most, family, freedom, and individualism. I do not think any other army in the world would allow the solders to paint a giant naked lady on the side of its most effective weapon. The Germans and the Japanese fought because of fanaticism. The Americans fought for freedom and individualism and love of America.
There are countless World War II stories of the American soldier taking the individual initiative and winning the battle. I do not mean they were undisciplined rabble. I mean they channeled their discipline in creative ways. The Germans and Japanese were infamous for their fanatic self-sacrifice. The American solder is famous for exercising individual thought and creative ways of staying alive and winning.
The British have a tradition of fighting for King and country. The Americans fight for family, freedom, and love of country. I believe that symbolism is more powerful than fanatical idealism. The best example I can offer is the cross. The cross represents God’s love for his children. God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only begotten son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost and have eternal life. This symbol has survived for over 2,000 years and it is the basis for the world’s largest organized religion.
My dad’s beloved Island Queen was back. She was not just a plane. She was not just a naked lady painted on the side of a plane. She was what he was fighting for: Love, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The American way. Long live the Queen!
End Of Chapter 18
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.