In answer to Bernadine Van Thiel’s letter (May 2) about dropping atomic bombs on Japan, she doesn’t have the slightest idea as to what she is writing about.
I’m a World War II veteran that was there and was, along with seven relatives and many friends, getting ready to invade Japan. They told us that the job would probably take 10 years and cost Allied forces 2 million killed and wounded and cost the Japanese 10 million.
I was on an amphibious ship (an LST) that could hold many, many loader trucks and tanks above and below deck and could go right up on the beach, open the bow doors, lower the ramp, also ramp from top deck to lower deck, and have the ship unloaded in minutes. The Japanese practiced sinking them at other islands, so had been training thousands of men in underwater demolition, especially to destroy LSTs, and they had it all figured exactly where all our beach landings would take place. Plus, they were training women, kids and monks to make suicide charges with bamboo spears.
We celebrated when we heard about the atomic bomb, and the war ended in a couple weeks. The Chinese people, plus the Japanese people, thanked us.
Paul B. Dougherty