To the editor:
In “Unnecessary attack” (Journal-World, Aug. 12), John A. Bond made four statements about the military situation with Japan in 1945 and why we should not have dropped the atomic bombs. He failed to mention that multitudes of Americans and Japanese (military and civilians) would have been killed if the bombs had not been dropped.
I am a survivor of Pearl Harbor. However, I would not be a survivor of WWII if the bomb had not been dropped. At the end of WWII, I was the executive officer of Fighter-Bomber Squadron 16 and led a 16-plane dawn patrol flight over Tokyo on Aug. 15, the last combat flight from the U.S.S. Randolph. I became XO because my predecessor was shot down, as was my roommate, who was in the fighter squadron. Air Group 16 consisted of four squadrons. The total complement of pilots and air crewmen was normally about 150. In two combat cruises, 98 were lost. Obviously, my perspective from the shores of Japan is different than that of Mr. Bond from Detroit.
Incidentally, in Japan (as well as France, England, China, Russia), nuclear power is a primary source of power. Although we began powering Navy ships with nuclear power in the late ’50s and have more than 50 years of experience in nuclear power operation, we have not built any new nuclear plants in more than 30 years. As a French engineer told a group of us about 30 years ago, “I can’t understand why you are so stupid now.”
Vincent U. Muirhead,