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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Assigned to bomb Hiroshima — the day after the A-bomb

FATEFUL DAY *** WWII airman recalls mission to Hiroshima, NagasakiStan Shaw holds a photo taken of him in a bomber cockpit during World War II. (Photo by Patrick Dennis, used by permission of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

By George Morris

On Aug. 7, 1945, Stan Shaw was like any other airman on a combat mission — prepared, yet wondering what to expect. Certainly, Shaw didn’t expect what he saw when his bomber arrived at its primary target.

For all practical purposes, it wasn’t there, replaced by a rust-colored stain — Hiroshima, Japan, a day after the first atomic bomb attack.

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