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okinawa scrap book

Mail Bag
Page Three

Visitor: ray gillespie
Reference: your e-mail letter to me
Location: toledo ohio
WebSite: Okinawa WW Two - My grandsons made up for me.
Web Info:
Date: Sat, Aug 22, 1998 at 17:51:48 (EDT)
Comments: Hello Mick: Just a note to tell you how I enjoyed the many pages of your Web Site. You live in the village of Asa? Many friends of mine died near and in the village. I was wounded with machine-gun wounds to my abdomen across Highway One from Asa Village. We were trying to blow up caves in a ridge that was three hundred feet south of the Asa Kawa River. That day 10 May 1945 we had seven killed --22wounded in K-Company 22nd Marine Regiment. Of the original 240 men of K-Company forty-seven were killed--eight cracked up--one hundred forty two were wounded--Your Web Site brings back fond memories.
ray gillespie
Hello, again, Ray!!
I am just now finally getting around to looking at my guestbook!! THANK YOU for signing in there too!!
I am currently living in Great Falls, Montana. I retired from the Air Force in 1990 after having left my second tour on Okinawa in October of that year.
I did live in the village of Aza-oki, Yomitan-son on the Yomitan Peninsula. In the war years, it was called "Yontan" and indeed was in the area of the landings. Hagushi appears on some maps that I've seen and correlates well with the area of the Yomitan Peninsula where I lived for two years.
The 2nd Marine Division, as I'm sure you know, did a feint at the southernmost part of the island while the 6th and 1st Marine Divisions along with the 7th and 96th Divisions of the USArmy made their landing on "Yontan."
According to Colonel Hiromichi Yahara, Senior Staff Officer for the Japanese 32nd Army, the senior Japanese military leaders stood atop high ground at Shuri and, with field glasses watched the East China Sea fill with American ships and smuggly chuckled to themselves as they watched the American forces land at Yontan. Their plan was to allow our forces to land unmolested and then, as we worked our way south, the Japanese, who were buried in myriad tunnels and caves would anhialate the US forces. Well, as the world knows, it didn't quite work out that way, did it? To this day, I am told, Japanese students are still not taught the facts of World War II, let alone the true history of Okinawa. The mainland Japanese seem reluctant to acknowledge the tremendous sacrifices made by the Okinawans. Having said that, and in their defense, I understand that in recent years the mainlanders are better informed and educated.
Well, back to the question you posed.... I did live in Aza, and, like so many other areas of Okinawa, we Americans changed the names to make them easier to pronounce or spell, or whatever! For example: Yontan-Yomitan; Kuwae-Kue; Makiminato-Machinato; Futenma-Futema and countless others.
It seems perfectly logical that what you say is true; that I lived where you and your comrades landed and advanced.
I lived in a house owned by Shinjyo-san, an old Okinawan man who had a very large garden and goats! He kept his goats in a small enclosure on the hill up behind my house! He was a very friendly and gentle man who invited us into his home shortly after I had moved in. In true fashion, we removed our shoes and sat, cross-legged on the floor around a low table. He served Awamori (we lazier Americans simply refered to it as "sake") but it wasn't really sake! Sake is fermented while Amowari is brewed. Anyway, with what very little Nihongo (Japanese language) I had retained from a decade prior and with what very little English Shinjyo-san and his wife knew, we had a very charming visit. One of my favorite stories to tell is that, as we were introducing ourselves, Shinjyo would repeat the name but would add a vowel at the end. For example, I told him, "Watakushi-no namei wa Mick desu." (My name is Mick) And he responded with, "So,so,so..Mickie?" I nodded politely and confirmed that I could accept Mickey. Then I introduced my wife, "Debb." Shinjyo's wife asked, "Debbu?" Thinking again that it was more comfortable to speak the word if it ended in a vowel, I acquiesced and I was then the spouse of Debbu! They chuckled and tittered then called in their daughter. I couldn't understand what they were saying, but Shinjyo pointed to me in the midst of the conversation then pointed to Debb while at the same time loudly and articulately enunciating the word "Debbu."
They all began to giggle and chortle again and Debb and I, daring not be ungracious guests smiled and nodded. Debb was unquestionably uncomfortable and I was myself a little curious. What was so damned funny about her name? We enjoyed the rest of the visit and after an hour and three or four glasses of "sake" I was ready to go home and sleep.
The next morning, at the clinic, I recounted the previous evening's activity to Toshi, my receptionist who herself is from mainland Japan. Upon my recounting the tale, Toshi covered her mouth daintily and tried to stifle a chuckle. It didn't work.... she laughed out loud!
"All right, Toshi!! What's so darned funny?"
Toshi explained that in the Japanese language, "debu" means "Fatso!" Yeah, Ray, perhaps the peninsula of Yontan was just a little quieter for me than it was for you. Ya know what though? I'm just damned happy that you made it back so that you could share your wit and wisdom with the rest of the world! God bless you and Mrs. Gillespie!
'bye for now!

To my readers: You MUST see Ray Gillespie's website!!

Visitor: RDL
Reference: just looking around
Location: Indiana
Web Info:
Contact: corps66@aol
Date: Fri, Aug 21, 1998 at 12:14:18 (EDT)
Comments: I was stationed in Okinawa in 1955. I was a corpsman with the 3rd Marine Div.. Will be visiting Okinawa in a few months and would like to see the area where I was stationed. The problem--I do not remember where it was. Can you help me?
Thank you for any information.
Hi!! If you were a Navy Corpsman, you might have been stationed at Camp Schwab. I didn't get there till 1972, so don't know what camps were there in the 50's. Camp Hansen is another larger base... maybe even the largest now. Hmmmm... there was Camp McToureous and more recently, after the Army reduction in the late 70's, Camp Smedley Butler. I might be wrong, but I think the Navy had a clinic down at Naha Air Base and there used to be a base called Mercy. When I got there "Mercy Hospital" was a veterinary facility. The major Naval facilities now are White Beach, on the Katsuren Peninsula and the Lester US Naval Hospital at Camp Lester. Lester wouldn't have been there in the 50's since it was then Camp Kuwae (Kue) Army Hospital. It's now a joint Navy-Air Force facility. Lemme see.... I'm thinkin'!! - there's a Naval communications site out on the Yomitan peninsula called Sobe. That's been the site of a lot of political unrest in recent years. I don't know how much of a presence the Navy had at the Zukeran (Sukiran) depot or Naha Port Facility.... I think the Army ran those activities too back then. Do you remember the name of the camp you were on? Lemme know... if I don't have the answer one of our readers is bound to know!! Thank you very much for coming by to visit my Welcome to Okinawa and for writing... er, e-mailing me!! *happy, healthy handshake* Stay in touch, K? Mick

Visitor: Kazumi
Reference: Infoseek
Location: Okinawa, but now living in MN, USA
Web Info:
Date: Fri, Aug 14, 1998 at 13:26:08 (EDT)
Comments: Hello, I'm making website about my home, Okinawa and current home, Minnesota for the college assigment. I was looking for the map of Okinawa and I launched to this site. I'm born and raised by Kadena Air Base, a place called Sunabe. My family is still living at the same place. Minnesota is so much different than Okinawa, but I'm enjoy living here. This is a nice homepage. I really enjoyed My Story. I'm planning to develop my website in both English and Japanese, so that people from both countries will be able to enjoy about US and Okinawa. Keep up great work, and I'll check back later. (^_^)/ bye for now~~
Konichi-wa!! O genke desu-ka?
I'm so happy that you like my Okinawa pages! It is truely an honor for me to receive compliments such as yours! Coming from a woman who was born and raised on Okinawa it is a great honor for me! Doomo arigato!!!
I do know the Sunabe area - a beautiful view of the South China Sea! I always found the people in the Sunabe area to be kind and happy to help me when I was scouting around! Many stopped to talk with me when I would ask about their home!
I would be very happy if you will let me know when you have your website up - I'd love to see it!!
I hope you found the map of Okinawa that you were looking for! Let me know if you didn't - we can find one, I know!!
Again, thank you very much for visiting my site and for sharing your kind words!!

Visitor: Dave
Reference: Surfing Guestbooks
Location: Illinois
WebSite: Dave's Home Port
Web Info:
Date: Fri, Aug 14, 1998 at 11:46:42 (EDT)
Comments: Howdy Mick. Just finished cruising around parts of your site and thought I would leave a message. Enjoyed your stories of Okinawa. I have had some similar military experiences so had a good time reading about yours. Oki was one of the few places that I missed during my career - sounds like it could have been a hoot! I'll be back to look around some more! Best wishes.
Hello, Dave!!
*hearty handshake*
How the heck are ya? It was nice to read your comments and thank you, Dave, for taking time to sign in the guestbook!
It's really too bad you didn't get to experience Okinawa!! I'll bet you've had some great experiences in other parts of the world though, huh?
I love your "Not All That Phenomenal...." picture of the "angels" on your page!! *chuckle* Now, let's see 'em make a postage stamp with THAT picture!!! HehHehHehHeh!!!! I looked over your website and think it's pretty darned good! Thanks for making such an interesting site!! Did you know Ltjg Leland Sage personally? Have you learned anything about his status?
Your Civil War links are superb and I know I'll be back to look those over time and again!
Once again, Dave, thanks for making a visit to Okinawa with me!!
See ya!! *salute!*

Visitor: Joline I Yazzie-Oehring
Reference: Kadena AB
Location: Utah
Web Info:
Date: Tuesday, Aug 04, 1998 at 03:07:19 (EDT)
Comments: I loved all your pics, you did a wonderful job. We spent 6 years there from 91 - 97, as well as my single years back in 84-86. We loved the island and miss it like crazy. Kids are always asking When are we going to Okinawa...Keep those pics coming they're great
Howdy, Joline!!!
Hey!! Thanks loads for coming by my web site and I'm deeee-lighted that you enjoyed the tour!!
Seems like we were there at different times. I was on island '72-75 and then again just in between your two tours! You left in '86, just when I was getting back there and I left in October of '90! Sorry I missed ya!! *grin*
My kids are buggin' us too.... my sons, 23 and 25 were both born on Okinawa - at the then-Army Hospital at Camp Kuwae. Now, as you know it's the Lester Naval Hospital and, if memory serves me correctly, it's now jointly operated by Navy and Air Force. Anyway, one of these days we'll all get to go back to the place that's so dear to me! *sigh* Just love that island!!!
Well, thanks again, Joline for visiting my site and for taking the time to sign in the guestbook!
Mata ne!

Visitor: Roberta Reed
Reference: Through a search engine
Location: Austin, Texas
Web Info:
Date: Mon, Jul 27, 1998 at 18:09:16 (EDT)
Comments: Hey! This is little Hack, Bobby Reed's daughter! I just got a call from my mom telling me that late last night, my dad was on the web and found your site. What a surprise to see a picture of their first Christmas together on my computer!!! I'm sure you can picture how excited my parents were to see your site!
As you know, I don't have many memories of Okinawa being that I was only several weeks old...but I've always wanted to visit my hometown (that is if military brats actually have a hometown!) Anyway, your pictures were beautiful, and your stories were my favorite! I've always loved listening to my mom and dad's stories of those days. You have just added a new perspective for me!
My parents both say hi, and tell everyone I said hi as well! (See if you can add some recent pictures of your family to your website...the last time I remember seeing ya'll was in Vandenberg when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old!)
Hey, li'l Hack!!!!! *huge hugs*
Wow!! What a great surprise it was for me to get home from our Okinawa Reunion trip to find that while I was gone I was reunited in another way!!
Roberta, your mom and dad are by far our dearest friends from the "old days" on Okinawa and I'm just so darned excited to be back in touch again! I remember you and Barbara as li'l tiny people and then, at Vandenburg, as young girls. If I could only see you now.... I'd feel soooooo OLD!! *giggle*
As for hometowns.... being an Air Force brat myslf, my hometown was always the place where I was born too, so I guess Okinawa counts for you!! My sons, DyLon and Zachary, now 25 and 23, were both born there too, so I s'pose you and Barb and the boys could have a reunion of sorts in your old hometown!! *grin*
Li'l Hack, I am sincerely pleased.... no, I'm ecstatic that I've been able to unwittingly give you and your folks a jolt on the web! I'm told that Bobby dragged Amy out in the middle of the night to see the site!! I'm still chucklin' over that!!! HehHehHeh!!!! Yeah, I'll get some recent photos up - some from our Okinawa Reunion at Estes Park, Colorado last week. Coming soon to a monitor near you!!! *wink*
Thanks again, Roberta, for taking the time to drop me this message! God bless ya, li'l darlin'!!
Mikimoto!!! (ask your dad! *smirk*)

Visitor: Yumiko Sankranti ( Shiroma)
Reference: just sufferd in
Location: Oozato in Okinawa
WebSite: Yumiko and Rajiv's home page
Web Info:
Date: Mon, Jul 27, 1998 at 14:56:44 (EDT)
Comments: Hi,Hajimemashite! I'm Yumiko. Your web page is great. I'm from Oozato. Which is near Yonabaru. Have you ever visit Oozato? I'm living boulder in Colorado now.
Thank you. Yumiko.
Hello, Yumiko!
You're in Boulder? Wow!! I was just there last week... passing through actually, on my way to Estes Park Center for a reunion with some friends from Okinawa!! I wish I'd have known you were there!
Thank you for your kind words and I'm happy that you like my Okinawa website! I'm sorry that I don't remember your hometown of Oozato, but was in Yonabaru many times.
I feel very proud when I receive comments such as yours - to have a true Okinawan say that they enjoy my site makes me very happy and satisfied that I've done a good job! I'll continue to add to the site and hope that you enjoy it more!! Again, Domo arigato gozaimasu!!

Visitor: Bobby Mikimoto Reed
Reference: I turned on my computer ,yuk yuk.
Location: Plano, Texas 75075
Web Info:
Date: Sun, Jul 26, 1998 at 03:18:06 (EDT)
Comments: Whatsup buddy? I think your web site is terrific, especially my family of course. I still have two or three of the pictures you show in that segment. If you want the recipe for my Hack's Supersauce just ask, with a signed check to the Air Force Retired Medics Home located at the lower south side of Newark N.J. --------- Just kidding---
.I was just surfing the net like I do alot late at night and decided to take a trip to Oki and thats how I locked on to your web site. What a great way to run into old buddys like yourself. Your net brought back many, many great memories of the good old days.
We've ( Amy and I ) always talked about going back some day just to see how the place has changed, although I don't think I could afford real Kobe any more. I have talked to people who have been back since we left the last time and they say the prices have really gone up. Kadena always was my favorite base for many reasons, and I had 9 other good assignments to compare it with. Well Mick I'll be signing off for now but you can bet y'all will be hearing from us again soon.
Thanks for the memories.
Your Buddy always, BOB.
Dang!! I'm still trying to get over my surprise to have found your entry in this guestbook!!
How long's it been anyway!? When did you retire? How come we lost touch? I got an e-mail from Barbara and Roberta also signed the guestbook! FAR OUT!!! We've got a LOT of catching up to do, friends!!
Oh.... a check's in the mail, dude!! Now cough up that recipe!!! *grinnin' like a friggin' idiot*
I love ya guys!! WRITE! Call! Come over! Whatever it takes!!!

Visitor: Guy Carlberg
Reference: looked up Okinawa on Websearch
Location: Slidell, Louisiana 30min. from New Orleans
Web Info:
Date: Sat, Jul 25, 1998 at 01:13:25 (EDT)
Comments: I am 21 years old. I was a Sergeant in the Marines. I just recently got out on Jun 19, 1998. I was stationed at Camp Foster for a year and 1/2. I am very fond of Okinawa and Japan. I learned to speak some Japanese. I viewed the faces of Okinawa and the military side. I love your website. It is great to see that someone appreciates and remembers Okinawa enough to put all this hard work into it.
Thanks, Guy
Hello, Guy!! *hearty handshake*
Thanks for droppin' a line or two in my book! And thanks even more for starting your tour of my Okinawa website!!
I hope you've had a chance to go beyond the Scrapbook pages and have enjoyed all the sights and sounds that I can find: Welcome to Okinawa!
With the wonders and beauty of Okinawa still fresh in your memory you probably don't need all of that just yet.... I hope to keep it on line and growing for a long time to come - so, please, come again and again.... and, of course, send your friends! *grin*
Welcome back to the States, Guy! Are you out of the Corps now? If not, where are you stationed?
Montana salutes to ya, dude!!

Visitor: John
Reference: Surfed
Location: Sacramento
WebSite: Roadrunner
Web Info:
Date: Fri, Jul 24, 1998 at 00:12:06 (EDT)
Comments: I didn't visit all your pages (yet) but will be back. I was stationed on Oki from 65-68 and really enjoyed it. One of these days I will get back there... Would enjoy talking with you about it sometime... John
Hi John!!
I'm just returning from vacation and honestly don't remember if I replied to you or not yet!
Sorry! *blush*
You were on Okinawa during a great period before Reversion! Since then the place has grown monstrously, yet it retains it's beauty and charm!
I'm happy that you're enjoying my work and hope that you'll be back time and again as I hope to be able to continue adding new, interesting and informative (if not entertaining) stuff to the site!
Thanks for coming by and for taking a moment to sign in! I appreciate ya!!

Visitor: Linda Corpuz
Reference: Kubasaki Alumni Page
Location: Houston Texas
Web Info:
Date: Tuesday, Jul 21, 1998 at 04:01:36 (EDT)
Comments: Thank you for bringing back a lot of memories. I was born and raised in Okinawa. My father worked for the Army as a civilian for about 20 years. Just hearing the names of places like Kadena, Nakagusuku, Machinato, etc. brought tears to my eyes. Thank you again for bringin me back home.
Oyasumi-nasai, Linda!!!
I'm so happy that you got all teary-eyed!!! *smilin'* Maybe that means I did a good enough job of presenting Okinawa the way I intended to... with love and dignity for a terrific place and great people!
Linda, I invite you to take a look at some of the stories in my "MailBag" and then consider writing about your experiences growing up on island! I'd love to have such accounts of a wonderful place to share with the rest of the world! Now... the only question would be - do YOU wanna share? *chortle*
Thank you, Linda, for your kind words and for taking time to share them with me!!
'bye!! - er, Mata ne!!

Visitor: Kay Cammack
Reference: Kubasaki alumni page
Location: Denver
Web Info:
Date: Thurs, Jul 16, 1998 at 21:10:23 (EDT)
Comments: I lived on Kadena from 1964-1966 and graduated from Kubasaki High in 1966. I loved every minute I lived on Okinawa. Your wonderful pictures bring back unbelievable memories. My kids have heard me rave about my 2+ years there. Thank you for providing such a terrific tour!
I forgot to copy before I clicked send!!! *tsk!*
Oh well, Kay knows!!! *chortle*

Visitor: Angie
Reference: surfing
Location: Iowa (now)
Web Info:
Date: Sat, Jul 11, 1998 at 16:06:19 (EDT)
Comments: I loved your pages about Okinawa. I lived there 2 years and enjoyed every single min. of it! Looking at your pictures brought back tons of memories.
Hi, Angie!!
Geeeze! *grin* That makes me feel wonderful, knowing that I helped to bring a flood of good memories back! Doesn't that just feel good?
In the seven years that I lived there I can remember only 3 or 4 minutes that I didn't enjoy! Great place isn't it?
I'm happy that you stopped in. Please come around again sometime!!

Visitor: Suzie G.
Reference: Looked up pottery on lycos
Location: NY
WebSite: None
Web Info:
Date: Fri, Jul 10, 1998 at 23:34:10 (EDT)
Comments: I enjoyed the photos of your pottery tour.
Thanks for taking a moment to sign in the book!! I'm happy you enjoyed your visit and hope you'll come again!!

Visitor: John Willis
Reference: From Malisa Warner's Page
Location: Austin,Tx
WebSite: Grumpy's Playground
Web Info: General, Navy, Ham radio, Genealogy.
Date: Fri, Jul 10, 1998 at 18:25:08 (EDT)
Comments: Hello, Wish my page looked as good as yours. I guess you are a little younger than I, so you likely know more about these computers than I do. Have had some people tell me I was too old to know computers, but did build my own page. I am retired Navy. The last time I was where you are, the called the villages Village 1,2 and 3.
We came in there to white beach, and swimming was tgee only rec. we has. I am going to put a link on my page to this one, I think it is a fine oage. Keep up the good work.
USNavy Ret.
Hi, John!!
Thank you very kindly for coming by and checking out my website! I'm happy that you enjoyed the tour!
You might not believe it, John, but I really don't know much at all about computers! I can operate some programs, write my own HTML (don't believe in using page editors) and, for the most part, learn if someone shows me. I hate reading instructions/docs!! Ughhhh!
I've been to your website and had a good time there! Very nice... I was made to feel very comfortable in your "home." Thank you!
I hope you'll be back! Bet there's something there that you didn't get to see! *grin* I haven't added any new page to my scrapbook lately... guess I'll have to get to work on that!
Oh!! By the way, I'm in Montana now!! I left Okinawa longer ago than I care to remember.... almost 8 years ago!!
See you again!!

More in the bag!

Page 1 of MailBag
Page 2 of MailBag

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

Return to Mick's Big Sky

Webmaster: Mick McClary P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, Montana 59406