Segment 3


Bailey had been walking around the ship [Annotator's Note: the ship that was taking him to the invasion of Okinawa]. He sat down on a spool and the wind blew the dollar bills he had just won in a poker game into the water. When he looked over the railing he lost his helmet into the water.Bailey couldn't sleep aboard ship. He would sit topside, look at the stars, and think about home and his wife. On the last night sitting up on deck he watched tracer bullets flying into the sky. It was about midnight on 31 March [Annotator's Note: 31 March 1945]. Bailey saw some planes go down. The closer they got to shore the brighter the tracers got. At daylight the Japanese fired artillery at them but no one was hit.At 8:30 the first wave of regular troops went ashore [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: 1 April 1945]. Bailey was in the 32nd replacement draft and stayed aboard ship listening to the ship's speakers telling what was going on.Bailey went ashore around 4:30 on an Amtrack [Annotator's Note: an amphibious tank/LVT, Landing Vehicle, Tracked]. When he was going over the side a sailor asked Bailey where his helmet was. When Bailey told him he didn't have one the sailor put his on Bailey's head. Bailey went ashore with a navy helmet.Once ashore Bailey could see ships burning. He could see tracers at night. He stayed in his foxhole and watched the kamikazes. Bailey learned a lot in his first six days ashore. The tracers lit the night sky up like an umbrella. During the day the tracers just had little smoke streaks.The air attacks went on for 139 days [Annotator's Note: Bailey means 39 days] from the 1st of April to the 9th of May.On his first day ashore two Japanese Zeros [AnnotatorÂ’s Note: Japanese fighter planes] flew right over him and landed on Yontan Airfield. When the pilots jumped out of their planes the Marines nearby shot them. Bailey doesn't know what happened to their planes.Bailey and Dunn were walking near the south end of Yontan Airfield and Dunn fell into a cave. In the cave, two Japanese soldiers were laying on home-made cots. Their bellies were swollen. They had been dead for three or four days. A bomb had hit the cave and there were items scattered everywhere. Bailey picked up 18 pictures.One day Bailey saw a Japanese kamikaze plane brake through the clouds. Bailey shot the plane twice and knows that he hit it. He watched as the plane flew out to a ship offshore and dove into it. The plane went in too high and hit a truck with a canvas top on it and bounced into the water without its bomb going off.The ship left two days later and Bailey could see the Japanese plane still out in the water. He tried to get out to it but had to get back in his foxhole because of an air raid. The hole was full and a guy in the foxhole with him was hit in the thigh and had to be evacuated.


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