Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Nagasaki After the Atomic Bomb Blast
Significant events in the
history of our
country and World War II—the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan
respectively on August
6, 1945 and August 9, 1945—led to Japan’s unconditional
surrender signed aboard the
Bay on September 2, 1945.
the Potsdam Conference held July 26, 1945, leaders of
the United States,
and the Soviet Union issued an
ultimatum to Japan
unconditional surrender. Japan’s
refused to surrender. President Harry S. Truman made the crucial
bomb two Japanese cities. It is almost
certain that if that decision had not been made, the United States
would have invaded Japan
more people, both American, our allies, and Japanese, would have died
bitterly-fought extended war after the peace in Europe
had been signed.
Grover D. Jones and buddies Harlor, Bridges and Jack Jones,
on a mountain outside Nagasaki,
Navy Radioman Third Class Grover
Jones and his crew were ordered to Nagasaki Bay
for occupation duty
shortly following the dropping of the bombs.
Their mission was to restore communications.
From his autobiography he wrote about this
assignment. Because of the significantly
historical nature of his (my husband’s) account, I share from it here:
“Occupation duty would be dangerous,
even though fighting had ceased. Little
did we know how very dangerous the assignment would be, for the
atomic fallout had not been studied extensively by scientists.”
Deployed from their main troop ship
from a harbor in Hawaii,
the radio crew and their officers and the radio equipment they needed
loaded onto an LST (Landing Ship Tank) and made the treacherous journey
through storms at
sea, finally arriving at Nagasaki
Grover Jones continues in his
journal: “A US Marine crew had arrived
some days before us and had established a base out in the mountains
miles from the docks. The facility had
been a prisoner of war building until the surrender of Japan.
“We were assigned to occupy what had
been the customs building about six miles toward the entrance of the
harbor. We quickly unloaded and were
able to set up quite comfortably in those quarters.”
He follows with details of how they
established radio communication. Then
about the destruction from the atomic blast in the area where the
Navy detachments were housed, Jones wrote:
“During my stay in Nagasaki,
I made only one trip into the edge
of the city. That part of Nagasaki was on
edge of the area struck by the atomic bomb.
It had relatively small damage compared to the worst-hit
sections. The people there who had
survived the blast
had unbelievably high respect for the American armed forces. They had brought an end to the terrible war
the country had suffered for several years.
“A short distance from the part of the
city we were in was utter destruction.
Nothing remained. Within walking
distance from the dock was the metal framework of a giant two-story
building. It looked as if a giant hand had
and pushed the building toward the ground.
The metal framework was twisted in every direction.
No vegetation survived near the building.
“No warning was ever given to us that
atomic radiation was there and might affect our bodies and possibly
Navy detachment was successful in
its mission to restore communication from Nagasaki
to other American forces and ships in the general Pacific area. With that task completed, Seaman Third Class
Grover Duffie Jones and his crew were sent on the long journey through
seas on a hospital troop ship back to the United States.
They landed in Seattle,
in the midst of a bitter winter storm in January of 1946.
Even his deployment from Seattle to Jacksonville, Florida
for discharge from the Navy was frought with true stories of survival
blizzard and severe winter weather in his westward travels on his way
niece Betty Wilson salutes her uncle, RSp3
was honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy on February 11, 1946. He had been inducted on December 11, 1943 and
service on December
18, 1943. His record reads that
he had a period of active service of two years, two months and one day. He wrote this at the end of his
autobiographical sketch of his Navy service:
“I returned home much older than the eighteen-year-old lad who
the midst of wartime, and, I hope, much wiser for my experiences.”
Throughout several months of 1946, he
suffered from a severe attack of painful arthritis, which rendered him
to walk and in bed most of the time. He
suspected, but neither he nor the doctors knew for sure, that the
have resulted from atomic fallout during his months in Nagasaki Bay. A
faithful family doctor in Gainesville,
where he then lived worked hard to pull him through that health crisis.
recovered enough to walk normally, but arthritis in one form or another
ailment from which he never fully recovered for the remainder of his
age 85 when he died on January 26, 2011 at Georgia War Veterans Home.
Grover Jones was one of “The Greatest Generation,” that lofty,
patriotic, brave group of servicemen whose love for God and country
as exemplary in the annals of our nation’s history.
c2011 by Ethelene Dyer
Jones; published Feb.
10, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA.
permission. All rights reserved.
Jones is a retired educator,
freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA
Updated February 15, 2011
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