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Seeking info on Occupied Yokohama

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by brat, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. brat

    brat Member

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    My grandfather was a Chief Warrant Officer in the US 8th Army, Transportation Corps, and member of the Japan Logistical Command after the Korean Conflict broke out. He was stationed in Yokohama from 1947 to 1952, with headquarters in the 2nd T. Med. Port. (489th T. Port Battalion) He died in 1952. I am not a military man, so I don't really have much knowledge of the duties of a WWII/Korean Conflict-era CWO.

    My father and grandmother traveled to Yokohama as dependents and lived there for over a year. Both are now deceased, and I have been trying to find info on Occupied Yokohama, specifically on operations conducted from the 2nd Transportation Medium Port, and what roles my Grandfather might have had.

    As dependents, his family lived in (I think) Negishi Heights, and my father attended YoHi elementary school when he was 8-9 yrs old. Now that my connections to that era have been severed, I am simply trying to gain some insight into what times were like back then in Yokohama, and hoping to contact anybody out there who may have had family with a similar story.
     
  2. gslats

    gslats recruit

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    I was in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps stationed at the 489 Port Battalion, Second Transportation Major Port in Yokohama, Japan during 1951, 52, and 53. It was major port, not medium. I can fill you in with just about anything you want to know about where we were located, what we did, etc. I was 21 years old then and am 80 now. Maybe I will remember your Grandfather, but I was a Corporal and worked on center pier 4 which was a short walk from the 489th camp. I have tons of pictures of the place and also lots of memories and pictures of Occupied Japan. I will be happy to hear from you or anyone else who might have been at the same location during the Korean Conflict.
    gslats
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Care to post some of those pics for us?
     
  4. gslats

    gslats recruit

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    I will do that, but it will be a few days as I need some instructions on how to do it.
     
  5. Arli

    Arli recruit

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    Hello everyone! I am a newcomer here. Wish all of You the best! Arli.
     
  6. calvin

    calvin recruit

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    I was stationed there as well. We were located on the main pier where the Port commanders office was headquartered. The barracks area for the port detachment was located on lower Fifth Street, and it was a short walk to the pier until the peace treaty was signed. We then moved to an old prison camp some distance from the port facilities. I was there from November 1951 until November 1952. Our duties included troop movement in and out of the port. Arriving was routine, leaving required custom checks and shipping home household items for first three graders and officers.Our main goal was to offload the troops, send them up to Camp Drake for processing, and then loading the ship for those returning back to the States. I too was a corporal and ran the office responsible for customs, shipping and receiving of autos, pets and household goods for those stationed in Japan who were authorized to have dependents with them. Lt Lassiter was the officer in charge of our unit. I do recall some names of those who worked in the same office, but I do not recall a CWO being there. Most of our staff were Japanese as were the stevedores who did the actual work.

    We greeted the ships arriving with a brass band playing patriotic music, all designed to boost morale of those arriving. After the ship was unloaded, very early in the morning we then loaded the coffins of those who had died in action and taps was played. I recall some arriving ships carried troops other than Americans, some were Canadians, some from Ethiopia and other countries. In fact a brother in law of mine was a merchant seaman and he arrived one day on a merchant ship and we had a family reunion.

    Often merchant ships came in with cargo for Japan or the war effort. A few piers away some cruise ships made port as well.

    I dwell on the fact we were in direct support of the troops fighting in Korea, yet my duties were so detached from that. Troops yes, but somehow, shipping and receiving autos, pets and household goods seemed a world away from what was happening not so many miles distant.

    I remember those days when the fighting became intense in Korea and we were told to fall out. Our officers then ordered every other man to pick up his rifle, and get on the waiting trucks. It didn't matter whether you were a clerk, a cook or a candlestick maker, warm bodies were needed. Those trucks were then driven to Tokyo and the men were flown up to the front lines.

    Do you recall Club 45?

    The only battle I was in I characterize as the Battle of Fifth Street. Anyone who was stationed there will recall the teeming masses of people on upper Fifth Street hawking all sorts of items making it difficult to get to the railroad station or some other location.


    I noted you have pictures but have not posted any as yet. I am now 82 years of age and technologicaly challenged. Hope you can figure it out as it would be interesting to see them. I have a few taken with a small camera and few details show.
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Hi Calvin.

    Back in the 90's, I frequently stayed in Yokohama. I have some wonderful pictures of the Yokohama area I took from the hotel I was staying in. It was a skyscraper of a building and the views was quite nice. Want me to post them for you?

    Did you ever go to Motomachi street? Chinatown?
     
  8. calvin

    calvin recruit

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    It would be interesting to see the changes I am sure have occurred since I was there. Much of the city had been leveled during WWII and they were in the process of rebuilding. I recall the infrastructure being rebuilt, a truck would go by and roll off large conduits,( sewer pipe), and immediately 1 or 2 families would move in. Just hang a curtin over the ends and voila a home was established. That is until the pipe was inserted into the ground.

    No I do not recall the China town area. I had a Chinese man working for me at the port, but knew of no others.

    I remember the many canals that wound through the city and the lighters used to unload freight from the ships moored out in the harbor. they were open sewage areas as everything was dumped into them. A familoy living on a lighter would often be seen dipping a pail of water up to wash clothing etc. They had little choice in those days.

    calvin
     
  9. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I realize this is one of those 'older' threads but I just found this slideshow and thought I'd post it here;
    Should mention there are pictures of the occupation many may have not seen. Like the disposal of stockpiled bombs and ammunition.

    Photos - Post World War II Japan - The United States Army



     
  10. Eilonwy

    Eilonwy New Member

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    My father was the Transportation Corps Port Master (Capt. Maleady) somewhere between1946 & 1948. I know that he was exceedingly proud of running the fastest port in the world at that time. He always praised the men in his unit. My mother and my oldest brother were dependents there. They all loved Japan and only left because of the polio epidemics. I don't know much more than that. He did tell us about a couple of admirals racing their ships across the Pacific to set a new speed record: unfortunately the front runner steamed into the harbor at full speed and ran aground. There are a few pictures but they are in another state; i will post them when I get a chance.
     

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