It was standard procedure to check the bulletin board every day to see if you were scheduled for duty as guard at the bomb dump, not a very popular assignment. The bomb dump was a desolate place, infested with rats.
You pulled eight hour shifts, the only structure being an abandoned shack, no lights, only your rifle and canteen. It was indeed a very eerie place. The Okinawans were not so friendly towards the bomb dump,and had threatened numerous times to blow it up. My turn as guard arrived, and at midnight a jeep transported me to relieve the man on duty.

It was a dark and rainy night, and when we got there we could not locate him. After searching for some time we finally found him in a high state of excitement. He said that the dump had been penetrated and after yelling halt three times he fired a shot. After further searching we found an Okinawan woman who had been shot in the back. She apparently was taking a shortcut through the dump to her home in the village. If my memory serves me correctly the bomb dump actually was blown up not long after this unfortunate incident.


About the only thing to do in the evening after chow was to gather at Tybase for the exciting "innertube bounce". Someone had taken a giant innertube, I assume from a B-29, and overinflated it to a humongous size. They took it on top of the building and we would take turns getting into the doughnut hole of the tube and being pushed off the top of the building. The tube would bounce at least 50 feet, with the guy inside holding on for dear life. Once was enough for me. This was of course extremely dangerous, but seemingly enjoyed by everyone.

So life on Okinawa was boring, with no place to go, and not a lot to do. It was not to stay that way, for June 25,1950 was approaching. Check the index for stories about life during the Korean conflict.


Written by Wayland Mayo, web site historian
All photos by Wayland Mayo

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