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Letter: Truman was right to drop the bomb

Truman right to drop A-bomb

12:08 AM, Aug. 30, 2013  |  Comments
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EDITOR: I differ with the recent letter to the editor criticizing President Harry Truman for ordering the dropping the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945.

The savagery of the Japanese Imperial Army was known years before the war. During 1937 it captured China's capital city of Nanking and murdered half of the 600,000-person population, using the cruelest methods imaginable to inflict the greatest pain. Some were burned alive, beheaded; women were raped and then stabbed to death; other Chinese were used for bayonet practice.

In 1942, Americans were in the 80-mile Bataan Death March. Hundreds of Filipinos were shot upon surrender; the marchers were not given any food; those who fell behind were bayoneted or sometimes beheaded by the Japanese officers.

That was the enemy. During 1945 the future president, George H.W. Bush, was lucky to be picked up by an American submarine near Chichi Jima. Other pilots, who were captured by the Japanese, had their livers roasted and served as an appetizer at a Senior Japanese Army and Navy Sake party, according to the book "Flyboys: A True Story of Courage."

It was estimated that an invasion of Japan could cost up to a million American casualties. As a Marine fighter pilot, after first clearing the sky, we would go down to the treetops and help our ground troops with machine guns, rockets and napalm. Maybe I would have become one of those casualties.

My only regret about President Truman's order is that I didn't pilot one of the bombers.

John W. Kelley,

Wausau

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