The Bloody Night

Jay Jay Moon, Guest Writer

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It was coming to an end! The Great Depression was finally ending and I was fresh out of high school. I was 18 and with a dream to get a stable job and move right on with my life. Mom and Pop said it was an excellent time for finding a job and a chance at success in the brand new economy. I was excited beyond words. There was just one problem,though: there was war breaking out all across Europe, and this news put everyone into a state of unease.

Time had passed by and I ended up deciding to go to law school which was very beneficial to me. Soon, I was ready to start my job being a lawyer. I was to work in the Empire State Building of all places and was excited to begin my career. As Lawyer John Stevens, This is all I wanted. I thought to myself, eventually I’ll work my way up and be the best lawyer in all of New York. Sadly, though, harsh news came that left my country in shock. On December 7, 1841, just before Christmas the nation learned that the U.S. Navel base in Pearl Harbor had been bombed by the Japanese. We were going to war.

This didn’t bother me too much; I knew I had to register for the draft, but the chances that I would go to war weren’t too big because I was a top priority New Yorker. Apparently, i was not as much of a priority as I thought. The U.S. didn’t just join the war in the Pacific but also in Europe. Before I knew it, I had been drafted and my cocky ego could not change the fact that I was going to a navel base in North Carolina for basic training. Training began with huge amounts of endurance training along with shooting courses and swimming programs. It took a total of six months that felt like six years all I could think about was pushing on and ending this miserable situation.

***

The day that training ended was one of the happiest days in my life. I had earned two weeks to go home and be with my family before I was going to be shipped out. None of the soldiers in our division knew where we were going, so all we had to hold on to was the training we had received. Two weeks flew by fast and the next thing we knew, we were boarding the USS Bunker hill. Once boarded, we were told by command that we were headed to the island of Okinawa. Everyone was informed that there was a major battle ahead of us and that we were to take Landing crafts to the island,  and take force on the ground while our battleships gave us cover. As we approached the shore we were  expecting a huge resistance from the Japanese forces, but there was nothing. Our unit felt completely safe; all we had to do was transfer all our supplies onto the shore. High command was in shock; expecting the attack to be much like D-day in Europe, no one expected this outcome.

Once we had gained the shore line, we pushed on inland, gaining two air fields in one day and giving our planes the ability to land there. All was going well, almost perfectly, but for some reason it didn’t feel right. We set up camp that night knowing we were moving further into the country side the next morning. Once we had awakened the next morning, we pushed in and found another place to set up our company’s headquarters. Little did we know that this would become high commands office and med center for all of the battle of Okinawa.

***

A month flew be fast,  along with the death toll of more than 80,000. So far nobody expected this between the sea warfare and the battles on ground my country had taken an abnormally large amount of deaths. What once was a peaceful entry turned into one of the biggest blood baths in the pacific. Luckily I was the guard for high command so I had not witnessed much of the battle yet, but with the battle raging and the fight for hacksaw ridge about to began I learned the next day I would be sent out to fight.

We began by marching up to the base of the the ridge where we would wait until night fall to ascend. My commanding officer came to me and said “we have a strict plan that will result in death but will you follow it for your country?”This haunted me and was the only thing I could think about while climbing the ridge. Once I had reached the top it’s like everything stopped in slow motion. Man by man I saw fall,  ripped to shreds by the turrets hidden behind the great barricades the Japanese had. The only thing I had left in me was my rush of adrenaline, Along with the gaint rock sitting in the middle of no mans land. I started running to the rock as fast as I could only hoping I would not get hit by the wising bullets flying all around me. The rock was right there momentary safety until a mortar blew it to shreds. This sent shrapnel flying all throughout our remaining regiment that had made safely to the rock. The next thing I knew I was laying on the ground gripping at my leg that was hanging by what threads of my tendons I had left. All I could do was cry medic and pray to God. The rest of it was like a whirlwind, and the only thing I saw between the blacking in and out was the name patch DOSS!

 

 

 

Bibliography

Empirestatebuilding, https://www.esbnyc.com/.

Kent B, Judge. “Landing Craft.”The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia, http://www.pwencycl.kgbudge.com/L/a/Landing_Craft.htm.

History, Editors. “Great Depression History.” https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/great-depression-history.

History, Editors. “D-Day.” https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/d-day

William L. O’Neil. World War II a student companion. “Okinawa, battle of”. Oxford University Press. 1999. 198 Madison Avenue, New York 10016.

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