A letter home from Japan

Air Mail
From USS LST-562

Offshore, Yokohama, Japan 1 October 1945
Dear Mother,

I wrote Jo a letter this morning so while I am waiting on us to anchor I will write you a few lines. We are just coming off the beach we are unloaded now and I wonder where we go from here. We are just off the shore from Yokohama. The weather is the coldest I have encountered in over a year and it sure feels good to me. I want to tell you of my trip in to Tokyo yesterday it is something I will always remember. I never in my life saw a city of people in such a shape. We (that is twenty of us fellows aboard ship) left yesterday morning about eight o’clock on an LCI to spend the day in Tokyo. We arrived there about 10 and started for the heart of Tokyo. We walked over three miles to get to the uptown part of Tokyo.

On our way in you could see the damage that the bombers have done to that city. There were thousands homeless. They were trying to make themselves some kind of a place to live in and their buildings were destroyed. It looked this way all the way in. Once in a while you would see a building that wasn’t hit. Factories are all at a standstill. There isn’t enough food for them to eat. They were very friendly to us and would do anything for food.

Their women looked funny to me for they didn’t dress like our women back home. The children don’t have proper clothing. I can see now why Japan wanted to give up. They have a lot of people and they are as thick as flies, but they don’t have supplies to back them themselves up. I wish you could see the ships that we have here. Our Convoy was forty LSTs. There are all kinds in here.

We didn’t have anything to eat or drink all day in Tokyo for we were afraid to drink the water and there wasn’t anything to eat that I could see. We saw the Emperor’s Palace which was beautiful. We came back to the ship around seven in the evening. I was tired and hungry, but I am glad that I went so I could see for myself what was really done to Tokyo. I don’t feel sorry for any of them, in fact, I would like to see them get a little more. They started this and I want them to get what’s coming to them. I have seen all I want to now and I want to come home. I heard awhile ago we were to make another round trip to the Philippine Islands. I don’t like that trip for it was sure rough coming up here. I though, several times, that this LST was going to fall apart. It is no funny feeling. We even had some of the old navy men get sea sick and that is bad. The soldiers were about all sea sick, it sure was a mess.

When I got back to the ship last night I had two letters, one from you and one from Jo. I should have more mail someplace but I don’t know where it is. I was to go after mail this morning but they told me a few minutes ago that it would be this afternoon. I am hoping they will lower the points for us so I can get out of this navy, I have had enough. How is everybody around Ingalls? Have any more boys come out of the service around there? That is all for now.

Love, Donald

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