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okinawa scrap book

Mail Bag
Page Eleven

From: Warren Rucker [WPRUCKER(at)]
Mar 25, 2010. 8:21p.m. (EDT)

My wife (originally from Haneji, Okinawa) returned home two days ago from visiting with family there. Remembering that we knew Gordon Warner in the sixties, one of her sisters had shared with her a tiny and brief Japanese-language obituary for that giant of a man.

I've been Googling in an effort to find a more fitting obituary...without much success except on a kendo web site. I'm looking forward to spending more time on your web site, but will mention several things you may find of interest:

1. I had the great pleasure of spending an evening with George Kerr, a fifth of J. Walker, a twelve-pack of beer, and my good friend and former student, Zensei Oshiro, in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1970 or 71. I am not sure which. I had taught a class for potential scholarship students at Ryudai in 1966-67. Oshiro, a young high-school teacher, was one of my students. He was selected, earned a Master's at Emory, then went to the University of Michigan and worked in the Asian Library. I was at U of M doing graduate study when I ran across Oshiro, renewed my friendship, and our wives became friends. One day, Oshiro phoned saying that Kerr had been in the library, would be in town overnight, and was coming to Oshiro's apartment that evening. Did I want to come? What an evening! Kerr's book had been my bible concerning Okinawa since I had first run across it. He told us how he had tried to visit Okinawa pre-WW II but was denied permission and had to settle for a trip to "Formosa".

2. Ed Cooper is a good cyber-friend. We communicate frequently, and I feel that I know him though we've never met.

3. Love the music on your site. Karatachi (chi not ti) is very important with my wife and me here in central Virginia. We grow karatachi (bitter orange) and have so many plants/small trees on our five acres that the new ones are becoming almost like unwanted weeds. My wife does all sorts of artsy-craftsy things with the ping-pong-ball sized fruit. A large plant/tree bears hundreds and hundreds of golden citrus in the fall. The saying is that the karatachi makes a great refreshing drink. Twenty gallons of water, twenty pounds of sugar, and one small karatachi. The plant has vicious thorns. Birds, especially mocking birds, love to build their nests deep among the thorns where few predators would dare to enter.

4. I had a small but fairly interesting library of Okinawa-related books but have parted with most by now. Gave several to former Governor Ota when he visited a couple of years ago. Also gave a first edition Spaulding book (he was with Perry but published his book before Perry got his in print) to Kishaba's History group on Okinawa.

I'm looking forward to more wandering around your website.
Thanks. Warren Rucker (Again, the music is great.)

March 25, 2010. 7:56p.m. (MST)
Hello, Warren,

Thank you very kindly for visiting and for your most interesting message. I'm of the opinion that you, my friend, are the Okinawa expert and have met people I know only by e-mail or by having read their work. Wow! How exciting it must have been to meet G. Kerr in person!

I'm delighted that your wife is enjoying the music. I change it about once a month or so - so visit again from time to time. The title, "Karataki" was on the album, so I took it with faith and do appreciate the correction. It has been corrected on the site.

Were you on island at times other than 66-67? I'd love to hear/read more about your experiences. My first trip was for 30 months, 1972-75 and our second tour was a bit over 4 years, 1986-1990. It took me eleven years, but I finally made it back and enjoyed it far more than my first tour. Perhaps being older and having experienced the tourist attractions the first time led me to make my second tour more of an "out in the country" adventure. Of course, in '86 I went back to re-visit those places I remembered but I was soon satisfied only to get out in the sticks and visit places and people who were off the beaten path. Like most places, that is how I believe I got to know and love the Okinawan people all the more. I regret having not learned more of the native language and regret having not had another 4 years to stay on island. But regrets get us nowhere so now I'm just anticipating getting back again after 2 decades of deprivation since I left in 1990!

What began as a single feature on my "Home Page" back in 1996 (everyone had to have their little place on the web back then to show off their family, job, hobbies, etc.) the Okinawa feature grew and grew until it dwarfed anything else that was on that site so I decided to just buy it its own domain, hence the genesis of I have strived to make the website fun, informative and entertaining in hope of spreading the word and sharing what little I know of one of the greatest places, in my opinion, on the face of the Earth! Some of the features on the site were created back in the '90s and I have to confess that some of the information is dated. I do try to check and correct or eliminate dead links but some get missed. Please let me know if you find any.

Again, Thank you so very much, Warren, for visiting and for sending me your comments. You made my day.

Sun 3/28/2010 5:46 PM

It was good hearing from you. From your email, it seems that you had a bit more time on Okinawa than I did. I was there in uniform (psy ops) in 62 and 63. Then as a civilian I was there again in 66, 67, and 68. It was my great good fortune that my Army time in psy ops involved lots of people-to-people activity, some civilian-clothes duty, and travel throughout much of the island. Later, my civilian (day job) was in Army education: you know, University of Maryland, etc. Afterwards, I was in Vietnam and eventually in Korea (also Army education). Through the years, and especially through my wife, I've gotten to understand Okinawa better and to know many more Okinawans. I commented a few years ago to my daughter that her mother (Mieko) had been the prettiest Okinawan woman of her generation. My daughter corrected me with, "She still is the prettiest Okinawan woman of her generation." Her charisma has no doubt facilitated my meeting many interesting people.

The link below leads to a site that originally dealt with B&VA PAC (Broadcasting and Visual Activity, Pacific) on Okinawa in the early 1960s. You might find some of it interesting, though Tim Yoho (who put it all together) has expanded it greatly.

Best wishes....and thanks for the memories (and music).

From: msmith63(at)
Feb 11, 2010
You got me a little closer. My time was spent as a Navy brat in Yokohama, and like you, I gained a love for Yakisoba. Your recipe is very close to what I remember. Not as sweet, but I think that is my own fault. I tasted the sauce,(Otafuku), and it is dead on. I think I just need to use a little more and it will be perfect.
Thanks for posting the recipe.
Michael Smith
Gilbert. AZ

Feb 11, 2010
Hi, Michael!
Thank you very much for visiting and for trying my Yakisoba recipe. I also thank you for your "vote" and am delighted that you found it to be so close to that wonderful memory you have of yakisoba. Even though you were on the Mainland it's heartening to know that you enjoyed some terrific eats as I did on Okinawa.
Now, you have to go try the Fried Rice recipe and tell me what you think of that one!
Kindest regards,

From: Robin Morgan
Sun, 10 Jan 2010 18:10
I am just getting started exploring There are so many different paths (links) to so many other Okinawa related resources.
I think I am just starting to get a feeling that even though the people of Okinawa left me with a most appreciative feeling for their country and culture, there isn't anything I can think of that they have to be appreciative of from others, like America and Japan and China. Love for them and from them is the singular valuable attribute I can state just now.
I am and always will be dedicated to my Marine and American heritage. I am proud to say that. I would (did) place myself in harms way to defend my country. A country which through its God inspired Constitutional system of protecting the rights of all individuals, has also inspired and protected those same individual rights for millions of people around the world.
The people of Okinawa through circumstance of their history rather than by their choice, have paid a dear price for the liberties we all cherish. Apart from being governed by the legislative bodies of the nation of Japan, I feel the people of Okinawa have a connection with the people of America that only a few other peoples of the world have. Even in the closest of families or friendships, there is not always evenness in the fortunes of all sides. The price paid by Okinawa in the past and today should be honestly attributed and those of us in countries that receive benefit and greater comfort because of the reduced comfort and benefit to the people of Okinawa.
My grandchildren don't yet know that they are safer to some degree because they have friends they don't yet know. I hope to have an influence in teaching them about the people of Okinawa who have a somewhat reduced quality of peaceful life because they have endured patiently the strains of being a "Cornerstone" in Americas defense strategy.
Thank you my Okinawa Friends,
Robin Morgan
Loveland, Colorado - USA
From: Paul Carney
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 3:31 PM
Subj: Okinawa
I was an Army Brat living in Machinato in 1957 (Was in the 5th grade at that time) I tried to e-mail you from the web site but it wouldn't go through. Please e-mail back if you get this.
Thanks, Paul Carney

Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 11:01 PM
Hi, Paul, Thanks for visiting and for your message.
I was a few years behind you – I lived in Machinato housing in 1974-5 while working at Kadena then Naha clinics.
Tell me, Paul, which page did you try to e-mail me from? I haven’t updated all of my pages yet and figure to eventually get them all converted. I guess you saw my e-mail advisory comments on the front page so am glad you got through to me.
It’s a great pleasure to put up content on the website that entertains and educates readers about Okinawa . Also, I get a LOT of pleasure and reward when folks get back to me and say things about how cruising the website brought back floods of great memories, etc. I hope it worked for you!
Thanks again, Paul, for visiting and I hope you’ll come again. I always appreciate suggestions for new material/content so don’t be shy. If there’s something you’d like to see let me know. I’m by no means an expert but many features have grown out of inquiries from you guys and then research by me to get “learned up” and create new features. I also invite you to send in your own stories, memories, photos, etc. if you’d like to see your experience highlighted on the website!
Take care, Paul, and thanks again for getting in touch.
Kindest regards, Mick McClary

From: Paul Carney
Sent: Thu 10/29/2009 7:59 PM
Subj: Okinawa
Hello Mick, Can't believe I've found someone who might be able to fill me in on what happened to Machinato since I left. I'm trying to find out if the housing area surrounding Habu Hill ( I think there was only one) is as I remember it or is it all gone. We lived at 1374 Machinato Drive.
We took the USS General Mann from Seattle Wash. to Naha in 1957 -58. When we walked down the gang plank of the ship a Military Band was playing and as a 5th grader I felt like a military hero. Then I saw it...a 1957 OD Green 57 Chevy. It was then and remains the most beautiful car I had ever laid my eyes on. My Father, Mother, and 3 younger brothers piled in and we were driven to our house.
On the way our driver looked back at us and said "Now you kids stay out of the tunnels up there on Habu Hill. There are live bombs in some of the tunnels". You can guess the rest. From our house to the PX and ice cream stand, the shortest way to go was to follow the path over Habu Hill. On the way we saw what appeared to be an opening. After getting some flashlights and candles I led 4 or 5 kids including one of my brothers into the cave. It was pretty small and mostly we crawled. After 5 or 10 minutes, we were able to stand and walk, going down some narrow steps that were carved out of the rock. Then we heard the explosion and felt the earth move.....somehow we were not afraid.
After another hour or so I saw a beam of light and crawled toward it. We all crawled out of a small square hole overlooking the PX. We had crawled through Habu Hill. The square opening was one of the Okinawan tombs that the tunnel led us to. By then it was getting late so we started walking back around Habu Hill towards our house. When we got back to the entrance that we entered a couple of hours earlier we saw that it had completely caved in and there were a bunch of soldiers digging like crazy along with some Mothers and other family members crying. We all realized immediately that we were in big trouble. All I remember is running home as fast as I could.
Someone told me that Habu Hill was leveled after we left for the States two years later but I could never find out for sure.
I have a few pictures I will scan and forward later but can you get back to me and let me know if the single family houses we lived in were there when you were and can you tell me what changed?
I have more memories. I wish I could find some of the kids, Barbara Gray, Gogi (Gloria) Gray, John Gray......
Paul Carney

Nov 8, 2009
Hi, Paul!
I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so danged long to get back with you.
Please believe me when I tell you it isn’t because I found your story boring or anything like that… I’ve simply been so busy that I’ve let my emails stack up. I’m just now getting through them and am VERY happy that you sent this message to light a fire under my ol’ butt. Anyway, now that they hay is put up, the fences are all right for the time being, and the daughter’s barrel racing is drawing down – we’ve been gone every Sunday for the last three months – I can finally get around to doing something back here at the house. And that includes updating the website.
I lived at 171 Buchanon, Machinato housing, back in 1974-75. I left the island in mid-1975 and didn’t get back until 1986. By then the entire Machinato (they call it Makiminato now) housing area had been returned to the rightful land-owners. A few of the houses were still being occupied by their “new” Okinawan owners but the vast majority of them were like little haunted houses with wildly overgrown yards.
The old Chinen housing area at the southeast end of the island was in the same condition. I had some video of Machinato but about 50% of my videos were “lost” when I shipped back to the States in 1990 and, sadly, Machinato was among the MIAs. I do have video of the Chinen area though in my Tour Okinawa collection of DVDs.
About Habu Hill – Paul I can’t say that I remember there being a Habu Hill on Machinato but I am FAR from the voice of experience or knowledge about all things Okinawan. I have to confess that during my first visit to the island (1972-75) I wasn’t too much into learning about the history (local or military) or culture as keenly as I was when I went back in the 1980s. I’m hoping that some other readers will send you their knowledge of the area as it was back in the ‘70s. [Paul can be contacted at "paulcsaction(at)"]
Kadena Air Base had a rise alongside the flightline with a little parking area where we could go, park and watch the flying activities. That area was known as “Habu Hill” but, again, I can’t recall there having been one at Machinato. Because Buchanon was the first right-hand turn as I came into the housing area off HW-58 (once known as Highway One) I very rarely trekked further into the housing area. I know there was a chapel, a commissary, and I’m sure some other facilities in the area but we used Kadena or Fort Buckner for just about all shopping, etc.
Paul, I ask again that you forgive my rudeness for letting you hang so long waiting for a reply. Believe it’s not out of disinterest!! I’d love to hear/read more about your time on Okinawa and see scan of your photos. Sounds like a good basis for a new feature page! Meanwhile, please see the Mail Bag, page 11.
Kindest regards,

From: John Alexander
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:00 PM
How found ClickOkinawa: Googled "Okinawa"
I was in Okinawa with my family (Dad worked with USCAR in developing the University of the Ryukyus)from 1954 through 1958. We lived in Machinato housing - 107 Machinato St. and at 811 Washington St. during our second tour - right across from the air raid siren hill. I attended Sukiran School and Machinato School (which was in a two storey building down the hill and across the road from Machinato housing, on the beach).
We arrived at White Beach on the Pacific side of the island after 30 or so days on the Navy's finest troopships. Still had bullet hole patches from WW2. Anyone remember the USS General Patrick, Gen. Mann or the Gen. Gaffey?
As my father worked with the Okinawan civilian educators, I was in a great place to see their culture up close. There was much social interaction between our families and I learned a great deal about Okinawan life. After a few months I could go down the road from the gate and barter for firecrackers! I was a valuable friend to have in the 10 to 12 year old world.
My friends and I would catch the bus at the gate and head down to the Wheel Theater in Naha for a movie every Saturday afternoon. I think it was 15 cents a ticket! The big sport for us though, was picking up WW2 "memorabelia". Once, we were playing Army up in the heavy brush on Siren Hill - you know, digging a defensive perimeter with entrenching tools - and we found an unexploded 16" naval shell. It was BIG! Needless to say, even a 12 year old knows when to cut and run. We reported it to somebody's dad and Ordinance people removed it after getting everyone out of the neighborhod. Among other things, I brought back to the States a Japanese Nambu rifle I found in a cave, 12 50 cal. rounds still in their links, and lots of "cool" bullets and shrapnel. A few years later those "cool" items kind of lost their luster.
I guess I've rattled on a bit but finding your site shook a lot of early memories out of my head. One thing about government & military family life is, if you're a kid, there's no one to talk over "old times" with since the 18 month duty station cycle takes you or your friends away and you never see many of them again.
Anyway, thanks for the site. It was great to be back in that green, lush paradise of my youth.

Feb 23, 2009. 9:54p.m. (MST)
Hello, John!
Thank you very sincerely for visiting and for your message.
You can find a photo of the USS Gen Mann in my “9th AVRS Gallery”, photo number 197.
For those artifacts that have lost their luster, you might consider getting in touch with the Ryukyu America Historical Research Society. You can find a link to their website on my “Links” page. I am pretty certain that Kishaba-san would be very pleased to correspond with you about those items. You can read about him, Their charter is to recover cultural artifacts that were removed from Okinawa in the post-war periods. I’ve enjoyed some very cordial correspondence with this man.
It’s interesting that you spent your years of age 10-12 on Okinawa while I spent those same age years of my own in France. I wish it would have been Okinawa for me. My brother and I learned French and spoke it fluently after three years of playing in the village with French kids all the time. Sadly, through the years of not using the language my skill has greatly atrophied. If I’d have grown up on the Okinawan dialect and Japanese it would have served me so much better now in my adult years. But then… I shouldn’t envy your experience. I, too, lived in the Machinato housing area. I was on Buchanon; I believe the house number was 147. It was right up on the perimeter fence of highway 58 (then Highway One when you were there). You probably know that Machinato was given back to the Okinawans sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I lived there in 1974-75 (I had to spend a year and a half living off-base before I could even get into Army housing down there!) - by the time I got back to Okinawa in 1986 it was all privately owned. Most of the units stood vacant, deteriorating with broken glass and overgrown yards. I found the same to be true at the old Chinen base housing in the south-east of the island. Only, at Chinen, every now and then the weeds and broken windows gave way to a finely manicured yard, freshly painted windows and small gardens where a land-owner had decided to actually inhabit the house after the US gave it back. Mostly though, they were hauntingly empty, overgrown and many times vandalized remnants of the ghost town of what used to be bustling American family humanity…. Sad.
Your account of going to Naha to see a movie reminds me of growing up Air Force – like you said, it cost 15 cents to get in to see the movie and then afterwards we’d go to the rec center and get a 5-cent Coke and either a bag of potato chips or a Hershey bar and that was the end of our 25-cents-a-week allowance. Happy memories.
Well, John, I am sure happy that you contacted me and look forward to providing you with interesting content on the website. Please let me know if you were looking for something in particular but didn’t find it on my site.
By the way, I’m very happy that you, at age 12, had the wits to not “investigate” the explosives that you came across. Otherwise, we may not be enjoying this correspondence!
Kindest regards,

From: Jim Tate
Nov 5, 2008
Hi Mick,
I really enjoy your web site. I was stationed in Okinawa in 1970 & 1971. A great place to send a young 19 year old soldier, Ha! Ha! I retired from the Army after 30 years and never got to go back. What a treat it would be to take my wife of 37 years to this beautiful island.
While I was there a soldier wrote a song called "The Road to Nama Nuhie". I'd love to have the words to that song again. If you have them please email me back at
Thank you so much for the memories!
Jim Tate
CSM, Retired

Hi, Jim,
Thank you for visiting and for sending me your message. I don’t have the lyrics of that song. I have posted your request on the Bulletin Board at and I do hope that someone sees it and has them – and, of course, if they have the lyrics they SEND them TO YOU!
Please let me know.
Thanks too for your kind words about enjoying the website. I am soon to retire (my 2nd; first from the AF in 1990 and now will be really retired Jan 5th!) and hope to have a lot more time to dedicate to new content for my websites – especially ClickOkinawa.
I’ll keep you up to date. Visit from time to time, Jim, and please let me know if you’d like to see something in particular on the site. I’m always hopeful to get new ideas and inspirations!
Kindest regards, Mick

Sent: Fri 9/5/2008 3:24 PM
Subject: Okinawa adventure 1957
I have been searching the web pages the past hour to attempt locating a site that may allow me to tell my story. I found this may be my best prospect.
My father and family was stationed at one of the U.S. military bases on Okinawa from 1955 to 1958 . I was 12 yrs. old when this event occurred. Just off base was one of the numerous coral rock formations ( approx. 50 ft. high ) . A friend and I decided to sneak off base to explore this rock. As we were hiking up the base to this rock we were kicking gravel and I saw a small hole in the ground. We cleared the gravel away and discovered a steel manhole cover. We lifted this cover to find a 4 foot deep verticle hole. We entered this hole discovering a similar horizontal one approximately 15 feet long. At the end of this we could see a large underground WW11 pill box. This box was approximately 800 sq. ft. . We climbed down a ladder to the floor. Against one wall there were numerous cases of Japanese landmines, rifles, handgrenades and ammunition. We knew better than to touch any of these. There was nothing else inside other than tables and chairs in two seperate small rooms.
We spent a little time in there and then climbed back out. We replaced the cover putting the gravel back over it and returned home. We went our seperate ways after my father's tour of duty was over there. I do not know if he ever revealed this secret to anyone. I know we did not while stationed at the base. To my knowledge the pill box is still there as we found it.
After all these years I just felt compelled to tell my story.

After all these years I'm delighted that you shared your memories at!
Thank you for visiting and for choosing this website. Please let me know if any other fond memories (or maybe not-so-fond) pop up! Welcome to my little family of Okinawaphiles

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:47 PM
Subject: I want to join ClickOkinawa mailing list
Good morning, l.c. and thanks for signing up for the Newsletter.
I don’t send them out very often, so don’t worry that I’ll be clogging up your in-box every other time you download your email.
My latest addition to the website is a collection of some photos from 1945 – not war photos but more about the people, the Okinawans and their land.
So, where are you and what is your Okinawa experience?
Welcome aboard!

Sunday, 2/24/08 1:00a.m.
S.A, I am in Lawton, Ok and I have been here since I departed Okinawa in 1975.
I arrived on Okinawa in 1960 as a member of the Army band. I was ordered to play various shows for the Army entertainment branch. After 24 months of the army band I was offered a job with the Army entertainment office. I stayed in that job until 1975. After 4 years I married a Okinawan lady and we have 4 kids who are all grown and gone.
I was part of the Okinawan Jazz society and ha, I was the only American member. While on Okinawa I escorted several USO show groups, Most notable was the James Brown, Johnny Mathis shows the Tokyo symphony and too many to write about tonight. I was part of several jazz shows at the several cultural centers all over the Island. I played in the Kadena Officers lounge for two years with American and Philippeno musicians.
I would love to come back to search out all of the local musicians that I spent so many hours with but my time is dwindling.
I told my wife about the black and white pictures you have on your site. She told me that in 1945 when she was 4 years old the first American Command Center was in her house. Her father was the Central Superintendent of the school system and they lived in a large house. The American's took over most of the house and they later moved to Naha. The Army people left behind a victrola record player, the old windup and 4 classical records. She spent most of her time winding up that old player and listening to her first European music. She later went to Japan and was schooled in a French conservatory. She continues to play piano and organ. She will play, on Sunday, for a Basic Training unit, a Catholic Mass and at 11 am she will play piano for the Comanche Reformed Indian Church.
Tonight, or Saturday night I led a 9 piece band for a local dance club and I do stay active.
I e-mail 6 guys I knew in 1960 on Okinawa. Ha, we all talk about going back and relive those days.
The last house we lived in was on the long road down from the Futema Marine Air Facility...I could walked out my back door and sit and look at the East China Sea..
Two of my wife's sisters will arrive on Tuesday so we are excited to see them. We were all together in Chicago in 2003. One sister owns two pre school facilities. Her school teaches English and Math. She has traveled to Japan to receive a Medal from the Japanese Head of government. Her brother was one of the head men at the Okinawan Electric company. One brother -law is a teacher at the University and another sister is an author.
So, you can see that I am closely attached to Okinawa.
I do love the B&W photo's..I am sitting here trying to remember some of the experiences but there are too many..Take care
And, so, dear readers, we should be looking forward to reading more about this fellow, don't you think?
Mon 1/7/2008 3:38 PM
Michael Morris []
Hey Mick,
I've visited your site several times; every once in a while I need a "taste" of Okinawa, and I certainly get that at your web site. My dad was stationed at Kadena from 1962-1964 - he commanded the 67th TFS. We lived on Bong Drive, as I think you did. The house number was "2246". Were you close by?
I'm in the process of writing a book that is set in Okinawa - a generational work that goes back to the turn of the 20th century. Visiting sites like yours provide lots of color and reminds my aging brain of how awesome a place it is. I hope to visit in the next year - I also study and teach Okinawan karate, so I'll be multi-tasking on my visit. Site research, re-visiting a large chunk of my past, and train as much as possible. My dream vacation!
Thanks again -
Michael Morris
ps - the link to your guestbook didn't work for me - you might want to take a look at it.

Hello, Michael!
Thanks for visiting again and for your message. I don't remember the address on Bong Drive but it was the first house on the left as you came onto the drive from the USO - a big corner lot with a bunch of mowing to do. After living in Aza-oki for over two years with a "lawn" about 5' x 8' the yards in Stearly Heights were HUGE!. I was in that house for only a few months before getting booted out to a newly renovated one. The houses on Bong were by then due for the make-over. The new house was terrific!! Our back yard was a baseball field and many a sultry evening was spent sitting in my own "box seat" to watch the games.
I checked out and treid out the guestbook and it worked fine for me. Your comment though did draw my attention to the page that needed a new image at the top. I'm not sure why it wouldn't work for you.
Michael, let me be at least near the front of the line when it comes to purchasing your book. When do you anticipate its release? I'm humbled - and happy - to know that you are able to get a breath of air and a reacquaintance when you visit the website. You know, comments like yours make me exquisitely satisfied that the website is doing what I intended it to do when I started it some 12 years ago! I envy your upcoming return to the Island. I haven't made it back yet and have finally resigned myselfto the fact that it won't happen until after I take my second retirement. I just haven't been successful in taking the time out of a year to go back and spend time. I don't want to try to do it in a week or two - when I go back it will be forat least a month. Got lotsa things I need to catch up on! So much great food and so little time. *sigh*
Well, my friend, thank you again, Michael, for getting in touch and I hope that 2008 is good to you in every way.
Mata ato de!

Mon 12/24/2007 1:40PM
I was stationed on a Nike-Hercules missile site near Ishikawa for nearly 18 months (Apr 67 - Oct 68). Friends and I enjoyed many off-duty hours hiking and wandering around the northern end of the Island and crossing to the smaller islands at low tide. [I] enjoyed the people and learning their culture and habits.
Gene Shaw
Sat 12/22/2007 3:40 PM
From: Marc L Scarborough []
Hey Mick – thanks for the quick reply.
I lived on Okinawa as a dependent from Aug of ’68 to May of ’72. We were stationed at Naha AB. I could go on for hours about what it was like to live there during that time. Vietnam was at its peak during these years. We watched the B-52’s heading south for Vietnam from Kadena almost on a daily basis. Port Wheel – now called Port Naha - was always moving supplies to Vietnam. The Army base there at Port Wheel was nothing more than a staging area for troops heading to and from Vietnam.
My dad once took me to the hospital up at Camp Kue to meet some of the troops who were coming back wounded from Vietnam. (I probably made some smart ass remark about the fact that we shouldn’t be in Vietnam – or something.) Next thing you know I’m talking to troops who are missing body parts and only 2-3 years older than me. One other thing that has always stuck with me was the morgue we passed every day on the bus back to Naha after school. The silver caskets. Some days they were stacked to ceiling of the bay area.
In 1975 I’m in the Navy, and catching the back end of being in the military after Vietnam.
Now my youngest son is in the Navy and stationed on a guided missile cruiser out of Yokosuka.
My wife and I will be going over to visit him in May of ’08, and I want to take both of them to Okinawa. I want to show them what it is that I have been talking about for the last 30 years. Everybody should get a chance to see this island.
Obviously things have changed since 1972 so I need to do some homework before we get to Okinawa. My one challenge is obvious: I am in Houston, and Naha AB no longer exists as I knew it. I need someone on the ground on Okinawa that can get me a current map of the area that was Naha AB – to include the main water tower – so I can get my bearings and show them where we lived ‘on base’ and ‘off base’ at an area that was just outside of the south gate - #2, called Oroku.
If you know someone who would not mind helping please help me get connected.
Any help would be appreciated.
Marc L Scarborough, CITRMS

More in the bag!

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Return to Scrapbook Menu Go to the Naha Harhi Boat Races Go to Nakagusuku Castle
Koza Yaki Pottery Go to Nakamura House Faces of Okinawa
Hands Around Kadena Nago Jyo Southeast Botanical Garden
Peek at the military side Potpourri Odds & Ends

Shuri Castle site Angel of Mori-no Kawa Shi-shi Lion
Downtown, Southern Okinawa More People More Scenes
Return to Okinawa

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