On August 31, 1945, my father Chief Petty Officer Ken Mead and two other sailors got off on Okinawa in hopes of returning to Hawaii and then back home. Unfortunately, with the Japanese treaty signing all the ships were going toward Tokyo instead of Hawaii. They were stranded on Okinawa Island without food or shelter. The Navy and Marines were gone and only the Army was stationed on the Island rounding up Civilians and remaining Jap soldiers. The Navy did not inform the Army that they would be dropping off three sailors and as a consequence the Army would not give the sailors any food at first.
The first day on the island a Sniper almost killed the Sergeant, but Ken Mead knocked him down just in time to avoid a bullet. Owing Ken his life the Sergeant decided to go to his Captain and ask for food and a tent for the sailors until they leave on a ship. Permission was granted.
The three sailors endured two major typhoons which destroyed over 100 ships and killed 150 people. Jungle disease was everywhere and Chief Petty Officer Ken Mead lost his teeth to a jungle disease. The sailors had to play poker to win food and drink beyond the Army dry rations. Their survival came from instinct and after jungle diseases, Jap Snipers, two typhoons, and a shortage of food they finally got a ride on a Destroyer headed to Hawaii after a month and 1/2 on Okinawa.
Read my novel on Amazon.com “Autumn Winds over Okinawa 1945.”
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