Aireborough Historical Society

1939 to 1945 Home Guard and Royal Navy memories. Part 3

Title 1939 to 1945 Home Guard and Royal Navy
Sam Kilburn
Gender Male
Date of Birth February 1926
Currently Residing Rawdon
"After a while in Hong Kong now that the war was ove...r we sailed North via Taiwan (then known as Formosa) to Okinawa and on to Yokohama Bay where we recaptured a First World War destroyer H.M.S. Thracian which had been in Japanese hands since the fall of Hong Kong.
The plan was to bring this ship back into commission and sail it back to Hong Kong as a victorious gesture, we managed to get the Thracian steaming full out around Yokohama Bay.
Soon she set off for Hong Kong but in the event she foundered in a typhoon off Okinawa and had to be towed into Hong Kong for salvage.

During our stay in Yokohama we were able to go ashore to Tokyo.
It was whilst we were in Yokohama that the telegraphist from H.M.S. Ariadne contacted me and said he had a friend of mine Laurence Beevers aboard who would like to talk to me, he put him on the radio telephone and we arranged a night ashore and when I knew he was coming back to the U.K. I asked him to take some things home for me which he did.

I also visited a rest camp at a place called Atami at the foot of Fuji Yama.
Soon Sir Bruce Fraser decided to fly his flag in H.M.S. Barfleur and travel down to see the Atomic fields at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and we were to accompany him.
As we sailed South past Kagoshima the volcano Sakura Jima blew its top and we had to pick up survivors as the lava flowed towards the sea.

Moving up the inland sea we saw many scuttled Japanese Warships and on arrival at Hiroshima we were met by the Yanks who took us in jeeps to see the devastation and the people who had survived.
We the sailed down to Nagasaki where the tour was repeated.
Whilst in Nagasaki I interviewed a Roman Catholic Priest who had been coming into Nagasaki when the bomb burst and I was able to record the interview on an old steel wire recorder.
He said that when he arrived and tried to help he found that all the medical supplies had been lost so he made poultices of anything suitable and put them on the worst burns, but unfortunately when they were taken off the flesh came with them so leaving people in agony and no doubt scarred for whatever life they had left".
Written 1990

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