4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze


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Kundrecensioner

With each explosion, a flash of light darted behind my eyelids. The ground shook. Flames appeared one after another. As our neighbors looked outside their air raid shelters defiantly holding their bamboo fire brooms, they cursed when they saw how fiercely the fires were burning. They were helpless against the raging flames. Fire trucks, sirens wailing, were already speeding toward the fires, but what could they do in this gusting wind and intensive bombardment? Even in the eyes of a child, the situation seemed hopeless.

She was standing in front of the air raid shelter, looking around in confusion.


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I'll never forget the expression on her face. We should've eaten those extra rations this evening.

THE PRUSSIAN OFFICER

It would've been better to die on a full stomach. I went back into the house and rushed up the stairs beside the kitchen. I clearly recall being able to read the characters on the wall calendar even though all the lights were out. In the crimson sky, black smoke was gathering in a dense fog and sparks were swirling about.

It was a blizzard of sparks. Circling serenely above the pillar of flames, the B bombers continued to pour down their incendiaries. First a bright blue flash shone in the sky, then countless trails of light fell and were absorbed in the black rooftops, from which new flames rose up. Strangely I still remember that incongruous remark.

At that moment, as if to suppress my sister's admiration, a metallic explosion rang out. Suddenly I saw the huge form of a B flying very low above the rooftops. Its belly opened wide and several black objects fell screeching to the ground. I instinctively covered my face. When I looked up again flames were rising all over the neighborhood. Then I heard my father's voice from below: "Katsumoto, what are you doing? At that time, a 12 year-old boy such as myself should not have been in Tokyo. Most schoolchildren in the capital city had been evacuated to the countryside.


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But because I was born in the first three months of the year, I had been moved up to the senior class after graduating from national elementary school and became what is now called a junior high school student. As a result I avoided evacuation and was placed in the youngest class of mobilized students. Together with most of my friends, I was busy working every day making hand grenades to be thrown by Japanese soldiers in their suicide attacks. But what use could a runny-nosed schoolboy be at a military ironworks? War is so cruel. For a poor working family like mine, residing in Mukojima ward in the Shitamachi district, there was nowhere to escape to and no time to get away when the air raid struck.

Using Martinson-Nicholls Heated Stair Tread Mats

All we could do was cower in a corner of this low-lying region of the imperial capital. It was my fate to directly experience the horrors of the Great Tokyo Air Raid. However, US air raids did not begin in earnest until the completion in October of a base for launching B "Superfortress" heavy bomber raids from Saipan in the Mariana Islands.

The first mission by a B from the Saipan base was on November 1, I vividly remember that day. At the time we still had classes at school, but the raid took place while we were doing military training. Covered in sweat, we were practicing marathon running on a country road. Suddenly we heard the intermittent wailing of an air raid siren and saw a civil defense corpsman, his face ashen white, screaming, "Enemy rocket! Enemy rocket! Successive barrages of fire went up from anti-aircraft guns, but they were completely off target and obviously firing too low.

At that time, Japan's fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns were helpless against aircraft flying at a height of more than 10, meters. The anti-aircraft artillery for the defense of Tokyo consisted of seven- and eight-inch guns with a range of 5, to 6, meters, while most of Japan's fighter planes could only fly to an altitude of about 8, meters. It was not an enemy rocket. I found out much later that those streams of white smoke were vapor trails and that this B was on a reconnaissance mission. They undoubtedly took some very detailed aerial photographs of Tokyo that day.

Most of us already knew the war was going badly. Japanese troops had been decimated in suicide attacks on Attu Island, the southern island of Guadalcanal had fallen, and the Mariana Islands of Saipan, Guam, and Tinian had all become US frontline bases by the end of The US armed forces were relentlessly closing in on the Japanese mainland.

On the day of the US army landing on the southern coast of Iwo Jima on February 19, , the Japanese defenders were bombarded with as many as 8, shells in one day and driven to the north of the island. If Iwo Jima fell and the Americans reached Okinawa, an invasion of the Japanese mainland would be imminent. To camouflage the retreats, the Imperial Headquarters used the expression "change in course", while the slogan "fight to the death" was replaced by "let them cut your flesh so that you can sever their bones.

They arrived in waves, their bellies filled with explosive and incendiary bombs. Up to March 10, the Bs bombing Tokyo had flown at a height of at least 10, meters and, although they had dropped large quantities of explosive and incendiary bombs, these had been aimed primarily at military targets in the city. The Great Tokyo Air Raid in the low-lying Shitamachi district was the first time the US air force moved from targeting the main industrial districts that were the basis of Japan's military capability to low-altitude indiscriminate incendiary bombing that targeted civilians.

Those Times and These, by Irvin S. Cobb

Tragically, there was also a very strong wind that day. From around noon on March 9, a northwesterly wind blew under overcast skies, becoming even fiercer from the evening into the night. Snow that had fallen two or three days earlier still remained on the ground in places, and the sudden gusts of wind in the streets cut through you like a knife.

I rose reluctantly from my warm bed and went outside. There was a duty I had to perform as a "young imperial citizen. The telegraph wires swayed and lids of garbage boxes flew up into the air. As a precaution against an air raid, I took a fire axe and broke the ice on the surface of the water in the tanks with all my strength.

Then I took the shattered pieces of ice one by one and threw them out into the road.

It was unpleasant work, but if I hadn't done it, the water would have immediately frozen again. They said it was the coldest early March in fifty years.

High School Graduation

When I had finished this chore, I went back inside the house, blowing on my numb fingers to warm them. The only light in the darkened room came from the radio, which provided us with the latest information. The Daily Record of Air-raid Warnings later published by the Roppongi Civil Defense Corps provides a detailed account of the information announced on the radio that night in the zone under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Army.

At According to this information from the Eastern Army-controlled zone, Bs circling the Boso Peninsula had entered the air space of Tokyo from the south of the peninsula and, without incurring any damage, had changed direction and were now flying far out over the ocean. As the radio announcer repeated the message, I breathed a sigh of relief.

A moment later, my father, dressed in his black uniform, suddenly came in and muttered, "It's over. As he said this, I vaguely remember him putting down his bamboo water gun and heavy-looking steel helmet next to his pillow. It might seem strange for a grown man to have a water gun, but this type was one meter long with a diameter of ten centimeters and was issued only to the heads of firefighter groups.

It had the imperial chrysanthemum crest branded on it at the end of the barrel. My father took his water gun with him on firefighting drills. When all the participants had gathered, they would hang a red cloth from the roof of a two-story house to represent the fire.

4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze 4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze
4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze 4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze
4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze 4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze
4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze 4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze
4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze 4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze
4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze 4 Stair Heat: Surviving Baby Boomers Junior High School Daze

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