Red Lion Man Photographed Nagasaki Destruction
Nagasaki Destruction, August 1945
I am continuing to read through the Red Lion Echoes newsletters from World War II. Previous posts told of two Colonels from Yoe, Red Lion man present at Tojo’s attempted suicide and the quiet heroism of a Red Lion sailor.
The photos above are four of a dozen published in the January 1946 issue of Red Lion Echoes. These scenes of the horrible devastation at Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 were loaned to the Echoes editor by Sgt. Joe Tyson, 7th Combat Cargo Sqdn., 2nd Combat Cargo Group.
I assume they were taken by Sgt. Tyson soon after the bombing. One photo seems to show servicemen riding in an open truck as a lone bicyclist passes by.
They really do underscore the hell of war.
The editor of Red Lion Echoes wrote:
“The remains of a flourishing naval port in Japan, a city of several hundred thousand inhabitants that was completely destroyed by dropping the second atomic bomb. This bomb in a single flash snuffed out the lived of 170,000 inhabitants whose seared remains were buried under the debris of buildings. The decaying bodies prevented entrance into the area for weeks and the stench could be detected for miles. We are told by eye witnesses that words could not describe the filth, destruction and utter desolation of the scene that once was the homes of many thousands.
This bomb together with the one dropped on Hiroshima were deciding factors in bringing the Japanese to peace terms. Without this deciding influence, invasion of the island would have been necessary with its accompanying blood shed and maimed bodies of our boys. We can indeed by most thankful and grateful that this enormous power was on our side instead of our opponents.
Picture if you can several of our large cities leveled to the ground, the stones and sand of the surrounding hills fused into glass by the intense heat, no living thing left for miles around, and only debris and rubble to tell where the cities once stood. Germany was near the successful control of this energy. They also had perfected the black light by which they could spot objects at great distances and yet remain invisible to their enemies. Picture if you will how close we were to being the targets for all of this. Never can we permit these weapons of destruction to be our opponents.”
We pray that weapons such as these are never used again. Scenes such as these are difficult to look at, but we should not forget the horrors of war, so that we are reminded how necessary it is to do everything possible to avert it. Edmund Burke is quoted as saying: “Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.”