This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Preparation for the invasion of mainland Japan in World War II

The war of the United States against Japan ended so abruptly, in 1945, after the dropping of the two atomic bombs on mainland Japan, that it's easy to forget what could have happened. We are all familiar with the battles of Iwo Jima or Okinawa, but we rarely think about what the initial plan was, that is, the military invasion of mainland Japan. My father was one of the young men sent to Okinawa, known as the Ryukyu Islands. That's his enlistment photo at left. He is 18. It's hard for us to imagine it, but this was just the preparation for a larger invasion of taking the fight directly to mainland Japan.

But, of course, the invasion never happened because it wasn't needed. Like most men who experienced this, my father never talked about it. What I do know I've pieced together from what his mother kept, or what my mother knew. And, of course, there is a lot of written history of the war in the Pacific. I never really gave it much thought until I started my work on the family history. What I do know is that my father was typical of the men who lived through this. He was anxious to put it all behind him and get on with his life. He used the GI Bill to get a college education, and got a good job. He did shed blood in combat, but he joked about, because it was only his big toe. But he was there in Okinawa, and he lived it.

In 1996, while visiting my parents, I discovered a small cardboard box which had my father's Purple Heart and his original letter. I opened it, and it seemed like it had never been touched. Here it is (at left). That was when I decided to start learning about this. We live in the world that people like my father made possible. Go ahead and take it for granted, we all do. Trying to understand it is the least that I can do.
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