August 6, 1945 (8:16AM, Japanese time)

War sucks. War is hell. Every day of war is hell on Earth for someone, which makes most days on Earth throughout human history hell for someone. December 7th, 1941 was hell on Earth for all stationed at Pearl Harbor. The morning of August 6, 1945 was hell on Earth for the citizens of Hiroshima, Japan.

My grandfather’s reflections immediately after are captured in a journal entry and letter home from the next day. A bomber pilot stationed in the Pacific, as you probably know, he had no foreknowledge of the atomic bomb.

Journal Entry, August 7, 1945

We got the news of bombing with “atomic bombs” by the B29’s. That is too much power for men to have. I pray we can use it to promote peace and keep peace. Will we???

Letter, August 7, 1945

No doubt you have been reading about the new “atomic bomb.” I just heard about it myself and if it is all it is made up to be it should hasten the end of things. I studied the possibilities and mysteries of atomic power in physics and if they have found a way to release that power it is too much power for anyone to have. If the human mind is clever enough to develop something like that I should think it would be clever enough to live without trying to destroy. Why is it that people go to such extremes to kill and destroy each other?

– from Letters Home: A WWII Pilot’s Letters to His Wife and Baby from the Pacific, available in print and as an Ebook from Amazon and as an Ebook through other online retailers. I also have paperback copies I’m glad to gift to interested readers. Amazon link to book here:


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