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A-Bomb Dropped on Hiroshima

August 09, 1994

Re "War Anniversary Hard to Celebrate," by Greg Mitchell, Commentary, Aug. 3:

The annual bleeding-heart derby of one-sided tunnel-vision history revisionists has once again begun. They can never convince me that it was wrong to drop the bomb. I'll tell you why.

Yes, the attack on Hiroshima was devastating. Yes, there were some 100,000 civilian dead. But it, together with the follow attack on Nagasaki, ended the war in the Pacific. And it prevented, by various military estimates, at least 400,000 American casualties.

When the news that an atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima was reported, because of my point-count status, I was aboard a transport ship en route back to the States for "temporary rest and recreation." I had come off of Iwo Jima and had fully expected to return for the assault on Japan. Instead, I was briefly assigned as a separations counselor at Fort Dix where we began discharging thousands of low-point soldiers who were being transshipped from Europe to the Pacific theater in preparation for the expected bloody invasion of Japan.

No one who has seen actual Japanese bunkers and the thousands of American graves on the Pacific islands and who knows the ferocity of the Japanese defense regrets dropping the bomb. It spared the lives of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, allowing them to come home, have families and participate in the normal activities of life.

IRV JUSTMAN

Los Angeles

Columnist Greg Mitchell is yet another example of a revisionist's view of America's participation in World War II. Whether he believes it or not, America's strategy to end the war in the Pacific by dropping atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, as a last resort to obtain Japan's unconditional surrender, enjoyed the total support of the American people. Indeed, those of us who had fought our way from Leyte Gulf to the shores of Japan hailed the bombing of Hiroshima. The contemporary saying among us GIs was "home alive in '45."

Unfortunately, our young people today are being taught by revisionists that "America has never come to terms with the atomic bombings." Nothing could be further from the truth. My generation understood what had been done and we never looked back. We knew the bombings saved hundreds of thousands of young American lives for which we were thankful.

EARL BARACKMAN

Fullerton

Because my life was probably saved by bombing Hiroshima, I celebrate that event every year. Further, I believe my friends who made the Bataan death march and who were in Japanese prison camps also celebrate it.

My ship, the North Carolina, was to be the second through Sagami-Wan Bay in the invasion of Japan and was expected to take 100% topside casualties, had the atomic bombing not forced the Japanese to surrender. My battle station was nine decks above the main deck, topside by any definition.

Further, I expect all of those Asians whose countries were brutally conquered and occupied by Japan also celebrate the bombing of Hiroshima.

Until Japan faces up to the carnage for which it was totally responsible, there are still millions of us living who thank Harry Truman for having saved us by using the atomic bomb.

DAVID W. HARLOWE

Tarzana

At least Hiroshima was no Pearl Harbor! As a widow of a Japanese language officer who went ashore with the Marines, I can tell you that I was overjoyed at the news of Hiroshima and of Japan's subsequent surrender. Better Hiroshima than a special telegram delivered at the door!

MARGARET W. ROMANI

Los Angeles

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