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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Wataru Sato (male)
'Nyushi hibaku'  / current resident of Hiroshima

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. Unforgettable Days
I was assigned to the Otake Marine Guard Training Organization as a navy medic, and I received military training for two months there. After that training, I entered the Kamo Naval Medical Academy where I received another six months training, followed by two months of nursing training at Kure Naval Hospital.

I was transferred to Otake Submarine Naval Academy's branch campus in Hirao, Kumage District, Yamaguchi Prefecture as a submarine crew member. Finally in 1945, I was assigned to Otake Submarine Naval Academy. The school had ten army surgeons, fifteen enlisted, and twenty nurses for twenty wards.

While taking a break after the morning assembly on August 6th, a sudden bright flash of light came to my eyes. We went outside, but there was nothing to be seen. Nobody could understand what was going on. Around noon, the eastern sky became dark and it looked as if it was going to rain. We were notified of a tank fire in Hiroshima, so about ten relief teams consisting of doctors, nurses and medics were organized.

We drove trucks towards Hiroshima for the relief operation, and as we got closer to Hiroshima, we saw a lot of people rushing towards water tanks and a river in search of water.

Streets were filled with people, their sex indistinguishable. They were burned black as coal. There were flames everywhere. We also saw a lot of people going for the cars, screaming for help.

We tried to find people who could walk and got them into the cars. People were brought into the infirmary, and then transported to Otake Station. People at the station were standing with their arms down, their skin hanging loosely, and only their eyes glistening. Their clothes were burned completely black.

We then directed them to Otake Elementary School. We used cooking oil for treating the bomb victims. Bleached cotton soaked in cooking oil was used as bandages, and we took off the victims'clothes and covered their body and face by cutting out parts for eyes, ears and nose.

The auditorium was very crowded with the wounded. We changed the bandages every three days, but many of the wounded were infested with maggots. The injured died in ones and twos as time went by. We spent days recording their names, addresses, and the times of death and conducting mass cremations.

I was discharged in November.
I pray for the bomb victims.

Wataru Sato Navy Petty Officer second class medic