Harry Hollis

SeaBees on Okinawa

Harry Hollis
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 6:22 AM
Pardon my intrusion without invitation, I am searching for a way to find out information about my father who was in the Seabees during the Okinawa invasion and discharged in 1946.
I have been doing relentless research on my namesake's Seabee deployment during the invasion of Okinawa.
He was in CBMU 624. He talked of typhoons, everything but the war. I have numerous letters from there.
Please take a look at some of the original letters from CBMU 624 he sent back.
How can I look up and find any survivors from the unit?
I appreciate your help.
Harry Hollis
Bennettsville SC

Friday, November 17, 2006 4:22 PM
Hi, Harry!
Your messages are NO INTRUSION AT ALL! I appreciate your visit to ClickOkinawa.com and for sharing some of your father's documents.
I was floored when I read the first fewlines of Col Maas's address to the troops at Awase! Let me tell you why.... Since I posted my website, back in 1995 or 96, I have come to "know" a few people quite well via e-mail correspondence.
One of those people was Buddy Howard. Buddy died a few years ago and I put up a tribute page to him. One of the features of that tribute is THAT LETTER from Col Maas!
You can see that - go back to my opening page and click on the "TAPS" logo. On the next page click on E.F. Buddy Howard. At the end of that is a link to the letter. With your permission, Harry (and with due credit attributed to you and your dad) I'd like to post the "real deal" copy of that letter! I think some of my readers will also get a big kick out of reading the other documents you sent. Again, only with your consent, and with proper credit to you and father, I'd like to add those to my site.
Now... to your mission, Harry... you have raised my curiosity. As with many inquiries I've received, you have given me a new project! I promise to let you know everything that I am able to learn as I do the research.
Harry, I sincerely appreciate your messages and, if you insist on considering your inquiry an intrusion then let me assure you that it is a very, very welcomed intrusion!
I'll "talk" to you again soon.
Kindest regards,
O ya-sumi nasai!

Friday, November 17, 2006 6:25 PM
By the way, Harry...
I wonder if your dad knew Buddy Howard!?
If you come across anything that references any of your dad's mates and/or friends, see if there's any mention of a guy called "Buddy"
This is so much fun - making connections with the past and with a generation of such terrific warriors!

One more thing - I NEVER get the job done in a single message - is it okay with you that I list your e-mail address in my guestbook? I don't like to put it up without a guy knowing about it.
The advantage of putting up an e-mail contact is that you might get a "hit" from someone who knew your Father or otherwise knows someone else who was in the same unit.
Thanks, Harry,

Harry Hollis
Friday, Nov 17, 2006 4:51pm
The original letter I also have the one from the Major on Okinawa with the "the drinks will be on me" line. My uncle saved everything from his time in the Seabees. I have pics from Okinawa and even little things such as a plastic wrapper from the USO club in San Diego.
I guess he knew that being from a small town this was his one and only time he would see the world knowing he would return to the family business and reside in smalltown USA for the rest of his life.
I do have a tremedous amount of Seabee related items.
Feel free to call me at [phone number deleted]. I have all the time in the world regarding this.
Also, I have a Japanese diary from Okinawa that he brought back. Whether by his hand or war souvenir, I dont know. I have tried to have it translated, and the USC professor of Japanese translated some but was not interested ( i dont know why) and mentioned it was in a dialect that was difficult to translate. The soldier was a headmaster in Japan of a school and his writings are not of hatred, fanaticism, or whatnot but of his longing for his home, family and children, his school. His writings are very descriptive, about the beauty of the skies and the surroundings. I have longed to have it translated.
I will forward a letter I wrote to prominent citizen regarding the diary.
Ready for a project? I have been working on this for years.
Harry Hollis

Harry Hollis
Friday, November 17, 2006 4:54 PM
I am thrilled! Share with or without credit, this is THIER material. [and, HERE they are!]
Run with it all the way. I give you full permission. I have no restrictions on anything for the CAN DO warriors.
Thanks again,

Friday, Nov 17, 2006
Edgar Howard of Forsyth Georgia?

That I don't know.
He lived in Forsythe, Georgia. I don't know if that was his birthplace though.
I got a mass of hits on a search for "Edgar Howard."
Thank you for your blessing on posting your materials. They'll go up this weekend - probably even tonight.
I'm confused - in one of your messages you mentioned that your FATHER is the subject and in another I read you wrote something about your UNCLE.
Did I gaff?

Friday, November 17, 2006 6:02 PM
"Buddy" might well have been Edgar Howard.
According to the e-mail message I received back in 2001, " "The family of Buddy Howard would like to advise everyone on his e-mail list that he passed away this morning (1/23/01). "
I found an obituary notice at www.Macon.com that reads:

"Area funeral homes reported these deaths Tuesday. Middle Georgia Carolyn Brown, Sparta Florence Carter, Thomaston Hazel Holder, Eastman Edgar Howard, Forsyth Jimmie Moore, Helena Gerald Morse, Harrison Joyce Poole, Cordele Martha Reagin, Eastman John Smith, Montezuma Dottie Stanovich, Juliette Mary Stephens, Wrightsville Dorothy Thigpen, East Dublin Dallas Young, Fitzgerald Macon/Bibb Martha Carlyle, Macon Alma Hunt, Macon..."

Published on January 24, 2001, Page 3, Macon Telegraph, The (GA)...
I think it couldn't be sheer coincidence that such notice would appear in his community's newspaper obit the day following the day that Buddy died.
So, my vote would be, Yes, E. F. "Buddy" Howard would be Edgar Howard.
Do you know of his family?
If so I'd love to know that their family would be able to visit the feature on the site. I'm pretty sure that I must have replied to the e-mail notice that I recieved about his death but have since toasted TWO hard-drives having lost many, many old e-mail addresses - so I've lost theirs.
I think it would be even a greater thing that you would be able to contact their family if you did indeed know Edgar.
I'm addicted, Harry, to these kinds of correspondences (is that a word?) - like the exchanges that you and I are presently enjoying.
Fired up in Great Falls, Montana,


Wednesday, November 29, 2006 8:44 PM
Hello, Harry!
I thought I'd send you a message to let you know that you are not forgotten!

I did several hours of "Googling" (and Ask.com) over the past week and, my friend, I haven't come up with much at all. Makes me feel very fortunate that I didn't choose to become an investigator or researcher.

Actually, if I had any formal education related to research techniques I might have been able to get further along.

What else can you tell me that might help?

Once again, I don't propose to be any better than the next guy and have probably been looking under rocks that you turned over months or years ago... but it is still fun to meet the challenge. It'd be alot more fun if I could come up with something that would really get you fired up though!!

Nothin' new going on here in Montana. Just another day of below-zero temperatures and blinding snow. I like winter but I sure do like summer better!!!

Stay in touch, tomodachi!

Harry Hollis
Thursday, November 30, 2006 7:47 AM

Wow! Montana! I have a brother in law that lives in Lolo. We were out there and loved it!

I have some combat images from Okinawa along with some pics of the locals from the invasion my uncle took.

Let me get through the month ends madness at work and I will scan and send.

Like you, I have fallen upon dead ends.

I do have a Japanese diary taken off a dead soldier from the island and had the USC professor in the Japanese dept translate some of it. The soldier was a headmaster in Japan and writes of his longing for home, family, the school. I have also run into dead ends with trying to find someone who would even try to translate it. It is sad knowing what volumes of insight are in this diary and I cant find someone who is even interested in taking the time to translate. I would like to try to find any relative of this soldier and try to give it back. Now that would be an honorable task given the sacredness of the diary and how important it is to someone. Someone out there I honestly believe exists that this is important to.

Please share any thoughts on this.


Friday, December 01, 2006 5:18 PM
Re: ClickOkinawa - touching base


Small world, eh? Lolo is a beautiful area of the state. If you're ever coming out this way again, to or near Great Falls, let me know and I'd be delighted to meet you!

Thanks for your reply, Harry. I posted your comments in the MailBag and look forward to continuing commentary. I'm sincerrely looking forward to whatever you send in way of photos from those "old days" on island(s).

I'm going to check with some of the universities here and see if they have any resources, and an interest, in doing some translation for you. If so, I can put them in touch with you. Wouldn't it be just fascinating to know the heart that went into that soldier's writings? And, Harry, I couldn't agree more with you that there is indeed a family member somewhere in Japan who would give anything to have that manuscript!!!

So, let me do some digging around - and I hope that I can be more successful in this crusade than the last.

Kindest regards and hoping good things to you and your family,


Thursday, March 29, 2007
Hi Harry!
I have spoken with a new technician on our Physical Therapy staff who is Okinawan and reads/speaks Japanese fluently. I thought of you after she and I had been talking a while. I asked her if she'd be interested in corresponding with you about the project and she sounded very enthusiastic about it.
I told her about the diary that you have and how you'd like to get a translation and ultimately get it back in the hands of the owner's family.
If you care to give her a shout, she can be reached at e-mail: shizukasanford@yahoo.com
Please let me know how it works out!
Kind regards,

Thursday, March 29, 2007 10:54 PM
Thank you and yes, lets proceed with the translation. I have exhausted all avenues, even our Japanese owned and operated industry here and unfortunately nobody seems interested. So sad. If they only would realize how just a little effort may mean so much to someone.
Okay. Where do we begin?
Perhaps we could chat about this.
My work number is 843-xxx-xxxx.
Harry Hollis

Friday, March 30, 2007 8:58 PM
Very good, Harry!!
Tell me, have you been in contact with Shizuka yet?
I can call you after the weekend at the number you provided.
If you'd like to talk about it sooner, send me a phone number I can use on the weekend.
I'll be happy to phone you during the week too if your work number is what you're comfortable giving me.
Harry, I have a sense of excitement and great enthusiasm for this project!
Thank you sincerely for your trust and confidence!

Sunday, April 01, 2007 12:50 PM
First and foremost, thank you for not forgetting about me during the last few months.
Yes, I am available at home 843-xxx-xxxx. Given the fragility of the diary, I can photocopy each page as warranted as the book is the size of a Readers Digest yet thick as a Bible.
By doing this, as the diary cannot handle very much handling, this will make transference of the pages easier.
I await your reply and again, I cannot thank you enough for finally being able to rekindle this project that has eluded my efforts for so long.

I had a telephone conversation or two with Harry about this diary translation project. He said he would scan then e-mail me a couple of pages to see if we can decipher any of it. If that worked out then I think the plan was to just keep receiving pages and translating as we can.

Saturday, August 04, 2007 10:45 PM
Hello, Harry!
Just thought I'd frop you a line or two to let you know that we're still alive & well out here in Big Sky Country.
Despite what they're saying on national news, less than 1% of Montana is currently on fire!! Man! Some nights, after the winds shift, the entire county smells like a big campfire!
Any progress on getting the diary translated?
Kind regards, and hoping all is well, Harry!

2007 Kichigai-noWebDesign
P.O. Box 6245, Great Falls, MT 59406