WWII Letter Tokyo Harbor, USS Bristol Sep. 13th, 1945


This letter was written September 13, 1945, from Tokyo Harbor, less than 2 weeks after the formal surrender of Japan, by a sailor who was serving aboard the USS Bristol DD-857. Some excerpts from the letter…………
Dearest Mother and Dad,

Here we are in the Japanese home waters. There are a million and one U.S. Navy fighting ships and fleet auxiliaries here: many battleships (BB’s), quite a few large carriers (CV’s), lots of cruisers (CA’s + CL’s), destroyers (DD’s) and patrol craft (PC’s), escort carriers (CVE’s), oilers (AO’s), cargo vessels (AK’s), transports (AP’s), LST’s, LCI’s,LSM’s, mine sweepers (YMS’s), and all kinds of other specialized ships. This is an immense harbor-Frisco is a pee-wee compared to this one………I can see many acres of burned and demolished buildings, factories, houses, pagodas, radio stations, and other structures along the Yokohama and Tokyo waterfronts. Mass destruction by the B-29’s and the American fleet…….The Iowa, Indiana, Alabama, Missouri, Wilkes-Barre, Essex, South Dakota, North Carolina, Hawkins, Higbee, and Bristol are all new ships. The Japs’ ships are at the bottom of the ocean: the greatest underseas fleet in the world! Ha, Ha!………..

6 comments:

M.C.V. Egan said...

I remember seeing the posters with the lose lips sink ships. This of course is at the end of the war and not consequential, but I wonder how often letters were checked and information suppresed? The sense of victory and jest with the underground navy! Such a short entry and it makes me travel to historical moments that belonged to my grandparents.

Anonymous said...

it is really amazing …thanks for the post ..

Kathleen Crozier said...

Hello,

I happen to have all of my grandfathers letters to my grandmother from WWII. I have been stuck with what to do with them? Any ideas?

Nature's Cool said...

Hi Kathleen,

What a wonderful treasure you have. I'm not sure I would use stuck to refer to them. It depends a little on what type of letters they are. There are many museums that would probably accept them. But please don't throw them away. They are important pieces of our history, not to mention yours. How many letters are there?

Kathleen Crozier said...

I did not mean I was stuck with them. I feel very fortunate to have them. I am just stuck on ideas with what to do with them. I want to make a book, but I only have the letters to my grandmother, not to my pop pop. I probably have 150? Dating from 1943-45 so far. I have just stated going through them and typing them.

Jim said...

Hey Kathleen. Writing from my other account now. I think that putting the letters together in book form is an excellent idea!! What a great gift to your family! So glad that you appreciate them. I think you have a great plan now. Just take your time and don't get overwhelmed. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story. There have to be hundreds if not thousands of people who are in your same situation, and you've probably don't a great service to them!

Later, Jim