TOKYO ROSE FROM WWII......

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by rooter, Jul 9, 2020.

  1. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    25,601
    Location:
    Glendale Arizona
    PART (1)
    Remembering Tokyo Rose
    - by John Esposito -
    My unit was the 6th*Special Naval Construction Battalion and our job was
    unloading ships, in combat areas. In early September 1944 we left Bougainville,
    B.S.I. The scuttlebutt going around the ship was “McArthur’s hitting the
    Philippines before Christmas.” I recall my famous words to my buddy Tony. “I
    pity the poor bastards who are making that landing.” We stopped at Manus
    Island. The Marines had recently captured the island and turned it into place for
    an R&R (rest and relaxation) day. About a week later, we arrived in the harbor of
    Hollandia, New Guinea. Everyday warships of every description began arriving
    as far as the eye could see. About a week later we awoke one morning and all the
    Navy ships were gone! A day or two later we set sail, but we still did not know
    where we were going. I’m not sure how long we were at sea when we pulled into
    a bay and the ships P.A (Public Address System) began squawking, “NOW HEAR
    THIS, NOW HEAR THIS. We just dropped our anchor, the island you see is
    Samar in the Philippines.”
    After dinner Tony and I went topside to look at the new island we were going to
    attack the next morning. When we heard the roar of airplanes we looked up and
    we saw an American P-38 shooting at a Japanese fighter. Within seconds the
    Japanese fighter’s wing was ablaze and flew off the plane and it came spiraling
    downward aiming straight for our troop ship. We watched and kept telling each
    other it’s going to hit us, everything was calm there was no wind. When by some
    miracle from above the burning wing veered toward our merchant ship berth a
    short distance away the entire ship was ablaze. Meanwhile our men along the
    beach where tying up our landing crafts for the next mornings invasion. Seeing
    the ship afire they thought it was our transport troopship and they came on the
    double and discovered it was the merchant ship ablaze, men were on fire yelling
    screaming with pain as they jumped into the bay, it wasn’t easy watching this.
    Arriving below us one of our men in the landing craft lowered his ramp to sea
    level and pulled 22 men from certain death, then the P.A System ordered us
    below deck. The next morning in the landing craft I heard enemy planes flew very
    low and began strafing the men in the water!
    One Navy P.T. boat arrived and their officer asked our captain to build a dock for
    many more boats to arrive. The request was granted and the dock was built.
    Word got around that a woman from Japan was broadcasting beautiful “Big
    Band” music. I couldn’t wait to hear the music. Every so often after when we had
    a few hours off Tony and I would walk down a long dusty road to our dock. As I
    climbed aboard the P.T. boat I heard, “This is Tokyo Rose and how are all you
    G.I.’s today.” I understood every word she said. I asked of a P.T. sailor, “Is that
    Tokyo Rose?” He said, “Sure is!”
    Regardless of how many times I walked down that dusty road it was worth it.
    Tokyo Rose to me did more good than harm. She brought back wonderful
    memories of beautiful music. After playing three or four records of Glen Miller,
    Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Freddie Martin she would begin her spiel or her
    propaganda. I never heard any sailor disrespect her. I think she made light of her
    spiel when she’d say “G.I. why are you fighting for a government like yours, they
    send you off to be killed. Surrender to a Japanese soldier. You will be respected,
    honored, and treated well”. Perhaps because of my young age that didn’t bother
    me and from what I heard and saw of the men on the P.T. boats they all loved the
    music and her propaganda was we price paid to hear the BIG BANDS. No one
    ever took her seriously.
    The next time I walked down, to the P.T. boat, I heard what I considered a
    beautiful soft voice then she began, “Do you know while you’re out here far away
    from home your girl is going out with a guy who’s a 4F?” (To be a 4F meant you
    failed the military physical and you couldn’t get into the service). Then she
    played four more records. The last one was Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” Then
    she’d come on again and really dig deep by saying, “You G.I’s, you’re girl is
    going to send you a Dear John letter. (Dear John letter meant your girl was
    leaving you). You don’t want that! You love her and plan on marrying her! Give
    up you will be treated well why die? Surrender!” This was again followed by
    more music.
    Her voice could have been any American girl’s voice. Then she went on to say,
    “You know America is losing the war don’t you?” Many men laughed and
    jokingly said, “If we’re losing the war why are we in the Philippines?” Every point
    she brought out they had an answer for.
    Several days later, in the late afternoon with a few hours to spare I again walked
    down that long dusty dirt road to where they were listening to Tokyo Rose. After
    more records there was more talk about our girls back home going out with other
    men, but that never bothered me. At the end of the last several records she
    played she said, “I have good news for you G.I’s, let me tell you the latest news
    from the Philippines!” A merchant ship with two brand new P.T. boats aboard
    arrived several days ago. The Army said unloading these fine boats could be
    damaged, so they requested a Seabee Special unit to do the job.” Tokyo Rose
    then exploded a bomb!! She said, ”I am pleased to say Commander Dunbar of
    the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion will take on the job of it’s unloading,
    Commander Dunbar you should be proud of young men of the 6th Special Naval
    Construction Battalion.” When I heard that it sent shivers up and down my spine,
    how could she know of this small unit we were only 537 Officers and men? I said
    out loud, “How does she know?” One of the P.T sailors said “Is that your unit?”
    I said, “It sure is!”
     
  2. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    25,601
    Location:
    Glendale Arizona
    PART (2)
    TOKYO ROSE
    Regardless of how many times I walked down that dusty road it was worth it.
    Tokyo Rose to me did more good than harm. She brought back wonderful
    memories of beautiful music. After playing three or four records of Glen Miller,
    Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Freddie Martin she would begin her spiel or her
    propaganda. I never heard any sailor disrespect her. I think she made light of her
    spiel when she’d say “G.I. why are you fighting for a government like yours, they
    send you off to be killed. Surrender to a Japanese soldier. You will be respected,
    honored, and treated well”. Perhaps because of my young age that didn’t bother
    me and from what I heard and saw of the men on the P.T. boats they all loved the
    music and her propaganda was we price paid to hear the BIG BANDS. No one
    ever took her seriously.
    The next time I walked down, to the P.T. boat, I heard what I considered a
    beautiful soft voice then she began, “Do you know while you’re out here far away
    from home your girl is going out with a guy who’s a 4F?” (To be a 4F meant you
    failed the military physical and you couldn’t get into the service). Then she
    played four more records. The last one was Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” Then
    she’d come on again and really dig deep by saying, “You G.I’s, you’re girl is
    going to send you a Dear John letter. (Dear John letter meant your girl was
    leaving you). You don’t want that! You love her and plan on marrying her! Give
    up you will be treated well why die? Surrender!” This was again followed by
    more music.
    Her voice could have been any American girl’s voice. Then she went on to say,
    “You know America is losing the war don’t you?” Many men laughed and
    jokingly said, “If we’re losing the war why are we in the Philippines?” Every point
    she brought out they had an answer for.
    Several days later, in the late afternoon with a few hours to spare I again walked
    down that long dusty dirt road to where they were listening to Tokyo Rose. After
    more records there was more talk about our girls back home going out with other
    men, but that never bothered me. At the end of the last several records she
    played she said, “I have good news for you G.I’s, let me tell you the latest news
    from the Philippines!” A merchant ship with two brand new P.T. boats aboard
    arrived several days ago. The Army said unloading these fine boats could be
    damaged, so they requested a Seabee Special unit to do the job.” Tokyo Rose
    then exploded a bomb!! She said, ”I am pleased to say Commander Dunbar of
    the 6th Special Naval Construction Battalion will take on the job of it’s unloading,
    Commander Dunbar you should be proud of young men of the 6th Special Naval
    Construction Battalion.” When I heard that it sent shivers up and down my spine,
    how could she know of this small unit we were only 537 Officers and men? I said
    out loud, “How does she know?” One of the P.T sailors said “Is that your unit?”
    I said, “It sure is!”
    As Tokyo Rose was in Japan the only way she could know this information was
    from possible spies. Our unit took extra precautions not to cut, disturb,
    remove branches from any of the trees hiding our base from enemy aircraft, which after
    they bombed the airfield on Tacloban the Japanese fighters would fly directly
    over our base! We did successfully unload those two new P.T. boats. Many
    years later I heard Tokyo Rose was put on trial in the United States I never heard
    what the court did to her.
    Regardless of what she said, there was never any talk or thought about giving up.
    Our concern was our moral and listening to her wonderful music. To me and all
    the men of the P.T. squadrons based at our docks we enjoyed her records. To us
    she did more good for our moral than harm. We seldom, in 28 months in the
    Pacific, had “Hollywood Entertainment” type people at our base. So she lifted
    our moral and just arguing with her while she was talking was great fun. We
    forgot the many raids and destruction around us for those few minutes.
    I heard she was educated in a College in California her father fearing a war with
    Japan left the United States for Japan that’s how and why she became Tokyo Rose.
     
    ral357 likes this.