A story of 2 B-29s collided over Japan

Discussion in 'Stories' started by seesul, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Hi,

    a friend of mine, Todd Weiler from Millwaukee, whose uncle was KIA few miles away from my born town, got an e-mail from Jerry Yellin who flew 19 missions with P-51 over Japan in 1945. This e-mail is very interesting and Todd agreed me to share it with you. So here is a copy:

    Dear Todd, My name is Jerry Yellin and I am an 84 year old published author
    whose book The Blackened Canteen is available at Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs more. As a P-51
    pilot I flew 19 missions over Japan from Iwo Jima from April, 1945 until
    August, 1945. On many of those missions I escorted B-29's as they dropped
    their bombs on Japan

    On one such mission on June 20, 1945, two B-29's collided in midair and
    crashed. Two airmen survived the crash. They were found by Mr. Fukumatsu
    Itoh, a 49 year old Shizuoka City councilman. The airmen, badly injured died
    before any medical treatment was provided and Mr. Itoh insisted that they
    and the remains of the other 21 receive a proper funeral. The local
    townspeople furiously protested against this, as the B-29 raid had killed
    2000 Japanese and it was against Japanese law to help the enemy or to give
    them a proper funeral. He buried them anyway, alongside the Japanese that
    died in the raid and erected a small memorial to all the people who had died
    in the bombings. A blackened canteen with the hand print of the man who was
    holding it was found in the crash. Every year until he passed away and on
    the Saturday closest to June 20th, Mr. Itoh poured whiskey over the monument
    using the blackened canteen to remember those that perished both Japanese
    and American.

    Twenty five years later, a local doctor, Hiroya Sugano, found the site and
    was so moved by it that he searched out and found Mr. Itoh, who had become a
    Buddhist monk, and discovered the story behind the shrine. After Mr. Itoh's
    death, Dr. Sugano has conducted a ceremony every year to honor those who
    died in the crash and to offer a silent prayer for peace in the world. The
    ceremony is attended by some of the top military leaders in Japan and the
    United States command from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. On June 14th, 2008 a
    marble slab with the names of the 23 Airmen was dedicated. I attended that
    ceremony, as a guest of Dr. Sugano along with the nephew of Jack O'Connor,
    one of the Bombardiers who were killed. I wrote a fictional account of the
    lives and events before, during and after the war, The Blackened Canteen,
    after attending the ceremony in 2006. It tells the story of these inspiring
    events. You can view a three minute clip of the 2008 ceremony at
    jerryyellin.com as well as purchase the book.

    Yoko Ono deeply appreciates the story as well. This appeared on her website,
    IMAGINE PEACE.

    I would appreciate it if you would circulate this email to the members of
    your association to help spread this message of good will. I am hopeful that
    this book will be a catalyst of understanding between people and Nations, a
    history lesson for young people, a reminder to us older folks what kind of
    world we lived in when we were younger and what we fought for and, most
    important for all of the WW II veterans families, a chronicle of our lives
    from 1941-1945 and beyond.

    Thank you very much

    Jerry Yellin
     
  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post seesul. Thank you.:salute:
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    interesting
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
     
  5. Flyboy2

    Flyboy2 Member

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    Very interesting
     
  6. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    great Post Roman!:salute:
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Just seen the post Roman, very good, thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    As some may know, Jerry Yellin is "p51pilot78fs" on this forum.
    He told me his combat experience with Nick(Ki-45) and other Japanese fighters. It was so real and awesome8)
     
  9. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Good post, Roman.... Thanks...

    Charles
     
  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Wow, I didnĀ“t know that. Thanks!
     
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