Occupying Nagasaki

peo walsh pd 19.jpgLeo Walsh spent three months as a Marine occupying Nagasaki, Japan, where the second atomic bomb blast led to Japan’s surrender. (Photo used by permission of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

By George Morris

In more than 3½ years of combat, countless thousands of servicemen passed through Pearl Harbor, where World War II began for the United States.

Leo Walsh, of Baton Rouge, is in a more select company. He saw where it essentially ended.

Walsh was a private first class with the 2nd Marine Division when it was assigned to occupation duty at Nagasaki, Japan. There, on Aug. 9, 1945, an atomic bomb was used in warfare for the second and, so far, last time. Japan’s surrender was announced six days later.

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Gratitude for the fallen

Caring to remember *** Dutch family continues adoption of WWII graves

 

By George Morris

Some time after Harold Gayle’s family got the dreaded telegram informing them that he had been killed in World War II, they received a wholly unexpected correspondence designed to give them comfort.

A family that lived near the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium wanted them to know that Gayle’s grave would be cared for.

“They wrote to my mother, I guess, 62 years ago and told her that they had adopted his grave and that they put flowers on it,” said Gayle’s younger sister, Edna Kennedy, of Baker

In 2008, she learned that the care was continuing.

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‘Unbroken’ Louis Zamperini

peo Zamperini bf 0176.jpg
Louis Zamperini’s face is reflected on the surface of a table as he speaks to reporters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2011. (Photo by Bill Feig, used by permission of The Advocate.)

By George Morris

When I picked up the office phone and recognized the caller from a Baton Rouge church-supported school, I knew a story pitch was coming. What I didn’t expect was the subject.

“Would you like to interview Louis Zamperini?”

Why, yes. Yes. I. Would.

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