August 6, 1945, Sentimental Journey by Les Brown was topping the charts and the war in the Pacific was lingering on, but on this day it would take a historic turn. A lone B-29 bomber named the Enola Gay would release a single bomb nicknamed “Little Boy”. The ensuing blast would virtually destroy the city and thousands and thousands of its residents. President Truman would make an announcement later that morning that the United States had used a new weapon, an “atomic bomb”. The devastation of Hiroshima and 3 days later of Nagasaki quickly brought and end to the war and a new era of weapons of mass destruction.
The pictures in this post were taken by my father who was part of the occupation forces in Japan. He and his fellow soldiers were on a train that passed through Hiroshima and he managed to snap a few pictures. The picture above shows the magnitude of the destruction. One lone building and twigs sticking out of the ground that I imagine were once trees.
This next picture shows the remnants of a tank near the railroad tracks. What is notable about this picture is what is absent. There is nothing in the background.
In the picture below we see several men from the Australian military at the train station in Hiroshima. Waiting to leave? Pondering what they have seen?
As they travel to their next duty station the train would take them to scenic parts of Japan, untouched by the war. My father took this shot as they crossed a river and it is one of my favorites. I often look at the young man with his head resting on his folded arms and wonder what thoughts are going through his mind.
Peace & Solidarity,