Letter Home, From Tokyo – conclusion

Here is the conclusion of the letter Joe Teri wrote home as he settled in during the Occupation of Japan.  Please do not be offended by any slang that was used back in the day.  The pictures are examples, none accompanied the letter.

Our airforce has done perfect precision bombing, they only wrecked just what they wanted to, the train system is perfect, the trolley line is in good condition, but the War plants are a mass of rubbish.  The Japs have had more equipt than our eyes can believe, even our General here said, we under estimated the Japs at the time of our arrival here, by 60 percent and thats an awful lot, we had planned during the War to make an invasion here, if we had to we would have never got here it would have been suicide for every man and ship.  The land out here is all Mts and islands and in those Mts the Japs have hundreds and hundreds of dual 16 inch guns, those guns are about the most powerful guns any one can have one alone is as big as the biggest one on our ships, so you can Just imagine what 2 of them together can do, they have a channel here about 50 miles long all surrounded with islands, and the ships have to travel about 2 knots an hour in order to get by the islands.  The Japs have caves, miles long with enough equiptment to have a war for at least 10 years they even have complete factories never touched yet in the caves, it must have taken 50 years to get all this accomplished we are destroying the Jap war equipt every day.  I hear a lot of exploding all day long every day.  General Eichenberger says it will take years to destroy all the Jap war equipt and he is right as no matter where you look theres thousands of tons of equipt.  My Colenel says we haven’t discovered half of the things the Japs have yet, they have everything hidden in caves, and perfectly concealed, we have to go hunting for all there things each day. so it will take months and months to find them as the Jap civilians don’t even know where all there loaded packed caves are, every day a bunch of new ones turn up.  Can you imagine these Japs having all that.  What I have been writing is no rumor, it is the actual truth, if it wasnt for the Atomic bomb, this war would have lasted for years to come, as the U.S. has underestimated the Japs by a very long margin, that Atomic bomb is a miracle sent down from heaven.  Well enough of this war talk as the war is over now.  Tokyo is about 400 miles from here, the trains run to there, I sure hope I can get to see that city before I come home, I have been looking for souveniers, but as yet, havent found anything, the japs havent any thing at all except the War equipt and thats in the U.S. Army hands now, they don’t even have enough clothes to wear, they dress in rags, the weather here is pretty cold just now, they have a big snow fall each winter so I guess Ill see a very very lonesome White Christmas.

This club I am working and living in is a very, very beautiful Jap home, a Jap General used to live here, it is in perfect condition and a pretty new home, it has 18 rooms in it with sliding panel windows and doors, over 100 of them the whole house can be opened on all sides, it has beautiful furniture in it made very low, as the the Japs sit on the straw mats on the floor, also take their shoes off when entering any home, their is a jap phone here, still working, servants quarters and a push button bell system, that shows the no of the room at the back hallway for every room here, just like we have in our hospitals, electric system, with electric heat, all marble fire place, Gas for cooling, 2 beautiful lavortories with running water, the Japs dont use stools, they squat, a real big wash room, laundry room, an extra serving kitchen next to the dining room, thats where I built my nice little service bar, only done a little fixing up as the room is almost perfect for a service bar, we have real good U.S. radio here, fire extingishers and beautiful carvings all the sliding doors in the house are made of wood lining with paper frames they sure are delicate, have of them are ripped already, a beautiful terrace, and a real beautiful entrance with a drive way to the entrance, hard wood beautiful floors, 2 real nice hall ways, with all the rooms in between them, the lawn is beautiful it has build in little hills with real old flat big stones to sit on around them, grass, and a lot of real ancient beautiful trees even a lamp post made out of a tree in the lawn, it has wooden shutters all around the house, the house is mostly made out of wood and sand cement, it could burn up in 20 minutes, they have a real nice hot steam bath room, but no running hot water, it is all to beautiful to believe and I am living here, it is my home, while out here, isnt that swell.

Well I have to close the bar now as it is 10:30 PM, so will close this letter now, I hope you have enjoyed reading this letter, I have tried to it interesting, I could write for days, but havent the time, Im praying all 3 of you are in the best of health.  I am in good health and getting along fairly well.  All my Love and best Regards to all of you, Write soon.  Kiss Don for me.

Your Brother in Law                         G.I. Joe Teri

Im sending you 5 yen, 1 yen and 50 sen.  One yen is 16-⅓ cents 100 sens make 1 yen – 15 yen make dollar

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  Military Humor –   Reader’s Digest style – 

“No Ferguson, the military does Not have Casual Fridays!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quarantine Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Paul Bloom – Boston, MA; US Army, WWII, Africa, Meteorologist

Christopher Curry – Terra haute, IN; US Army, Iraq, Sgt., 3/21/1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team/25th Division, KIA

Richard Hunt – Pittsburgh, PA; American Field Service, WWII, India

Robert D. Jenks – Sutherland, IA; USMC, WWII, PTO, D Co./6th Marines, KIA (Tarawa)

Frederick Kroesen – Phillipsburg, NJ; US Army, WWII, ETO; Korea & Vietnam, General (Ret. 40 y.) / Army VChief of Staff

J. Howard Lucas – Dogwood, AL; US Navy, WWII

Matthew Morgan – East Islip, NY; US Navy, WWII, USS Fiske

Austin Newman – Oneida, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII

Don Shula – Grand River, OH; Ohio National Guard, Korea / NFL Coach

Florence Wilhelmsen – Brooklyn, NY; Civilian, USO entertainer, WWII

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 7, 2020, in First-hand Accounts, Letters home, Post WWII, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 88 Comments.

  1. By Japanese standards, he was pretty rich sending back a ten yen note. If they still have it, it should be “red marked”, a circular stamp in red ink. The Occupation currency hasn’t been issued yet, I believe.

    Caves? In hindsight, I forgot he was in Kure. Yes, it is a hilly region. You do pass through long tunnels now; I passed through quite a few on our drive there from Hiroshima coutesy of my second cousin (Masako’s oldest son, now retired.) on our way to the Yamato museum. His son is now a veteranian. He would be the 4th doctor in the Kanemoto family, descendants of my grandparents who immigrated to Seattle in the 1880’s.

    In my old age, I have forgotten where exactly, but there was a HUGE cave complex near Tokyo designed to house the Emperor and thousands of soldiers. It was a “last stand” complex. I believe it is open for those who are curious.

    Yes, I believe the atomic bombs CONTRIBUTED to the surrender in spite of the experiences of my precious Hiroshima family from whence my grandparents came from. I say contributed as Japan was already defeated with its civilians suffering the most.

    I realize this letter was written by a corporal. Having said that, his letter sings of his joy in his being spared combat. As for the Japanese soldiers being underestimated in force, I will remember what my mom yelled at my dad (a Nisei who served in the US Army post hostilities) quite frequently at night. “If you invaders (i.e., Americans) didn’t kill all the young (Japanese) men, I wouldn’t have married you!”

    BTW, my aunt (mom’s sister) also married a US Army Nisei that decided to stay in Tokyo after discharge. They were both G-2, Military Intelligence Service.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew there was one in Tokyo!! I just couldn’t relocate where I saw it. Thanks for confirming that for me, Koji. I so enjoy your stories, though yelling, “If you invaders (i.e., Americans) didn’t kill all the young (Japanese) men, I wouldn’t have married you!” was rather mean.
      Thanks for taking the time to share with us, my friend.
      Stay safe!

      Like

  2. I didn’t realize that such precision bombing was possible then. Of course they selected their targets carefully, but it sounds like they were better at it than I realized. I laughed at his comments about bar-tending, too, and someone’s comment up above that he probably had more stories to tell. There always are those “other stories” — I make it a practice even in my work to live by the rule “Eyes and ears open, and mouth shut.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Of course I had to come back for part 2. 🙂 And I loved the cat & toilet paper joke. Happy Caturday! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well worth reading the end of Joe Teri’s letter home, his words paint a rather luxurious lifestyle in his employment after his previous duties, great first hand letter of post war days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Details always bring things to life, G. For example, all of the war machinery the Japanese had available. It’s almost like they knew they would eventually lose and started preparing early on for invasion. A letter packed with information and obviously written and mailed after the time of strict censorship. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As I read the letter for the second time it finally dawned on me the information he must have been able to acquire being a bartender at the officer’s club…I’d bet he has more stories to tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll bet he does too. I spent quite a while being a bartender – and oh I could have turned the towns around here upside down with what I knew.
      I hope Len is feeling better. I wonder if he recalls any stories his Uncle told him.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Once again, extremely interesting. Before television came along I suspect Joe Teri would have had no idea at all about what Japanese houses were like. His comments about the A-bomb are also very illuminating and show what would assuredly have happened without it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My father tried to describe their houses, but what kid can picture a house partially wood the rest paper!?! My first real view of what he meant with the sliding walls and all was the movie, “Sayonara”.

      Like

  8. It surprised me how well prepared the Japanese were for war, even to factories in caves! G.I. Joe certainly had a pleasant ending to his service there. Always so nice to hear a first-hand report.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I found the comments about all of the war equipment the Japanese had amassed and hidden particularly interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel honored and humbled to read these letters. I was teary-eyed by the close of this letter.
    I still have the letters my oldest brother wrote to me from when he served in Vietnam. He was only 18 and I was just a little girl.
    (((HUGS)))
    How are you doing today, GP?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow,. The letter reveals a lot! Thanks so much for sharing the letter. It helps my research out, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Super piece of history, GP. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Excellent thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good finish. It’s nice that even back then, the military considered precision bombs.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Never thought about them having factories in caves. Awaiting that repost. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It turns out I have to put it together, Don. My spaghetti-strainer of a brain remembered a post, but it turns out I have bits and pieces in a few posts. I’ll get it together as soon as possible. I really appreciate your interest!!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great to see first-hand confirmation of what my dad told me, and what I have always believed.Japan was well prepared and stocked for a protracted land war if the allies had invaded. I have constantly read that Japan was on its knees, incapable of resisting an amphibious invasion, so the atom bombs were unnecessary. That was just untrue, and now another eye witness has debunked that myth.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. These letters really fill in the blank pages of the war. Thank you, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Love your toons and memes!!🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great post. My Grandfather met and became friends with a couple of Japanese businessmen who owned some kind of hot springs resort in the mountains. Several times he and a couple of buddies took the train to visit the hotel as guests of the businessmen. The Japanese businessmen were hoping to get their resort going again by catering to the American military personnel overseeing the reconstruction of Japan.

    I guess they figured my Grandfather had some pull since his office was just down the hall from General MacArthur’s. Not sure how it worked out for the resort in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. A mountainous terrain with a massive amount of war material hidden in caves and bunkers would have made a formidable nut to crack for the American invasion forces.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I so enjoyed this letter, both posts. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. At last a taste of the enemy’s luxury

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Glad the war ended when it did. I could not imagine how many Americans would die including Matt perhaps. Instead, he lived to 93. Thanks for including Matt in the Farewell Salute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No need for thanks, Rose, none at all!
      And yes, many would not have come home. I know exactly where my father would have gone into Japan – his odds of coming home would have been nil.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. That was a fun, entertaining letter. I did not realize how materially prepared the home islands were–it would have been a blood bath if we had ever had to invade. Thanks for adding to my WWII sum of knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Somehow I missed that one, so yes please, a repost would be very welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I’d like to read that, too. So thankful we didn’t have to invade. Struck by the line “They only wrecked just what they wanted to.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I recall when there was a lot of controversy because the Smithsonian Museum planned an exhibit on the atomic bomb. The curators followed the “blame America first” theme we have seen among some politicians and media for sixty years and wanted to say it was unnecessary. Of course, those same type people have blamed us for bombing civilians as if no one cared from Vietnam to Afghanistan. They always fail to examine what the enemy is/was doing.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Wow….my father was on a Navy ship in the Pacific. This was disturbing information to read although I knew an invasion of Japan would be disastrous for the invaders. At the very least a horrendous loss of life.

    Liked by 2 people

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