A Marine in Okinawa in World War II
My dad, like most men of his generation, never talked about his "war days". So, the information that I have about him comes from the same types of sources that I have used to research other members of my family - original documents, photos, and interviews.
George Hall was 17, just out of high school, when he enlisted. His older brother was a Marine, and I'm sure that he encouraged George, my father, to do the same. I know nothing about how enlistments worked then or now, but apparently it took more than just going down to his local enlistment office to become a Marine. I have the letters of recommendation that had to be submitted. And he must have been quite a guy. Athletic, devilishly handsome, and a Marine. The stories that I remember from my mom is that the moment she saw him, she knew that she wanted him.
George Hall fought in Okinawa. He shed blood there and got the Purple Heart. He always made light of it, saying that it was just his big toe. But I often think about what he saw there, and it must have been horrific.
The war ended after he had served his first year, with the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Japan. The chances that he would have survived the original plan, which was the invasion of mainland Japan, were very slight. His chances of surviving Okinawa were pretty slim, too, but he did, and that's why I am here writing this today.
In my opinion, you don't have to say thank you to him, or shake his hand. I'm sure that he would advise you to get on with your life, and enjoy the freedom.
Posted by Brad Hall