My Dad the U.S. China Marine

My Dad the U.S. China Marine

Monday, November 4, 2013

Editorial: Lt. Gen. Roy S. Geiger on Invasion of Japan (July, 1945)

Greenwich Time (Editorial), Greenwich, Connecticut
July 13, 1945, page 4.

Americans are anxiously weighing the words of Lt. Gen. Roy S. Geiger, new commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific. Gen. Geiger, taking over his present assignment at the end of 32 days of continuous bombing, in force, of the Japanese home islands, said the American forces can land in Japan “any time we want to. Now it is a question of wading in and finishing this war.”

But when? Does he mean that our forces are likely to invade soon? It is doubtful that Washington will give advance press notices of the time and place. Probably this is another case of a military man saying things without thinking through to the possible effects of his words.

And while the country eagerly awaits official statements which might clear up Gen. Geiger’s meaning, it would be sensible not to jump to any optimistic conclusions. 

The bitter and tragic experience of Okinawa is still in our minds. Until we see peace on the dotted line, we had all better stay fast to our jobs. The chances are that the nation still has a long, hard spell of war ahead. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

My Dad the U.S. China Marine is on Facebook!

Good Monday Morning!

Over this past weekend I finally decided to set up a parallel Facebook site to this blog.

Please click this link or simply go to

See you here -and there!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My father's Samurai Sword from World War II

This morning I stopped by the archives of the Greenwich Historical Society. Years ago I decided to donate a special gift I received from my late-father on my 13th birthday.

Dad said that he acquired the sword in Tianjin, China. It was the day the Japanese Empire surrendered. Dad was at the train station in Tianjin.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Paying Respects

I arrived from Honolulu to Greenwich, Connecticut last night (Thursday, September 5, 2013). This is a picture of me with my father's memorial stone. It was taken this morning, Friday, September 6.

The memorial stone was placed about a month ago in the cemetery of the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich. My thanks goes to Halsey Tuthill and the staff of Peacock Memorials in Valhalla, New York.

I am staying in Greenwich's downtown area. I took the train to Old Greenwich, and a few minutes later I was at Dad's grave site. The design includes our family crest at the top.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

WWII Marine Remembers Okinawa

WWII Marine Remembers Okinawa

THEODORE, Ala. (WALA) - All this week, FOX10 News has been sitting down with local veterans who served in the Pacific front during World War II. 

 A Marine in Theodore served in one of the deadliest battles in the Pacific, the battle of Okinawa. Until recently he was tight-lipped about his memories. He says they were too painful to share. He kept them hidden for years. It's a story of fear, terror and death, stories that were all too common during that war, but stories that need to be told. Inside an old chest of drawers under forgotten papers and documents lies a heroic symbol of Jim McClure's past, a Purple Heart. The medal is awarded to veterans who were wounded in battle, but it's a past he keeps buried.

 "I get to thinking about it, get to crying. I don't worry about it, it's all gone now," World War II Veteran Jim McClure said. Sixty five years ago, McClure served in the 6th Marine Division, and took part in the last major battle of World War II, the Battle of Okinawa. The island is just south of Japan.

The Imperial forces used it to refuel Kamikaze planes. So from April to June 1945, the Americans battled to take it over, to prepare for an invasion of Japan.

"They were vicious, they were fighting for their lives, highly trained. Young, just like I was. I wasn't scared! Didn't worry me none, I never figured I'd ever see these United States no more," McClure said. 

The battle was 82 days of sheer terror. McClure delivered ammunition to fellow marines and fought along with them.

Once while in a foxhole, the Japanese fired a small rocket at him! "It comes off there a wobblin, 'we-we-wah-wah', it's a squealing, making an awful racket, and I got hit in my lap, it came in on me and it blowed me up on top of it!" McClure said.

 He survived the blast but is forever deaf in his left ear. On one mission, McClure was sent to scout some Japanese with some fellow Marines. One will always stick with him. "Johnny, Johnny Batiste," said McClure. The group started walking up the hill when they were spotted! One of their comrades was gunned down. "I dove up under them bushes. Johnny dove up under the ones up in front of me." They decided to lay low and get out in the morning.

 "The night, they come out, there hunting us. They knew they didn't send one man out by himself, so they sent them Japs on that hill, and he was hunting some," McClure recalled. But things turned for the worst. "They found Johnny! They caught him, they drug him outta there, boy he was cussing and a fighting and a raising hell, and I started to get up, open fire, but I was scared, I didn't know if my rifle was any good or not. I didn't have my rifle, I had one I picked up, I didn't know where to shoot. Anyhow, I didn't, they carried him down, I heard him hollerin' and a screaming going down that hill." 

"Nobody know where he went to. I know what happened, they carried him down and killed him and mutilated him," He looks back sadly.

 McClure later escaped, and as he ran back to the Americans, he was shot in the foot. The injury earned him the Purple Heart.

By the end of the battle, 12,000 Americans were killed or missing and McClure nearly became one of them. "I wasn't no hero, they had some heroes in there, but all them got killed," McClure said. So many men deserved to come home.

They didn't get that chance, but McClure did.

He doesn't consider himself a hero, but he was willing to sacrifice himself for his country. There has to be something heroic about that.

 McClure says after the battle of Okinawa, his division was preparing to storm the beaches of Japan and prepare for an invasion.

 But after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered and the invasion was called off.

 McClure said if the Americans did invade Japan, the casualties would have been enormous, and McClure feels certain he would have died.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Contacting Me

Is it really 2013 already? I just looked at my calendar, noting that Lunar New Year celebrations are fast approaching. Admittedly I've been so busy that I had to lay my historical blogging aside. For the near-future that will continue to be the case. Besides my teaching duties at Kapiolani Community College and History Education Hawaii, Inc., I've been hired by my accountant to work as a tax preparer in downtown Honolulu. The next few months will be busy ones. I'd like to thank those you have visited this site. Thanks very much for sharing your impressions. I enjoy it when visitors post comments in response to various postings. The best way to contact me is to send your messages to my email address: If all goes well I expect to be paying my first-ever trip to Northeast China in Spring 2013, to walk the streets of Tianjin and Beijing where so many for countless centuries have trod before. I'll keep you posted.