At the beginning of WW II men who had children, born before the attack
on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 were not being drafted into Military Service.
Since I was born in 1938 and my brother in 1940, my Father Raymond G. Smullen, did not receive his
Draft Notice until his 28th Birthday on January 31, 1945.
He was sworn in on March 15, 1945 at Johnstown, N.Y. He received his initial training at Samson Naval Base
in Upstate New York.
His Discharge Papers list the following service (vessels and stations served):
NTC Sampson NY RT
NCTC Davisville R.I.
CBRD Parks, Calif.
He was discharged on March 13, 1946. During those eleven (11) months
and twenty-nine (29) days, he found himself thousands of miles from his
home town of Gloversville, N.Y., in Nagasaki, Japan.
There were many letters written from Dad to our Mother (Alice C. Foland)
and his family during that time. However only a letter and a post card
have survived these many years. Both were written to his parents Harry
(Sr.) and Ida Smullen.
Written on onion skin type paper has several Japanese symbols written under the date. It begins:
"This paper is some Jap writing paper we picked up. (RGS explanation of paper):
Tuesday Oct. 2, 1945
Dear Mom & Pop & family
I did not get any mail today but I guess they had a little mix up in the mail, so I imagine I will get some in a day
or two. I don't think you should send me a Christmas box because no one thinks we
will be here that long. We are getting things fixed up for the Army and then I don't think there will be anything for us to do after that. The
Marines don't think they will be here very long either. So maybe we will be in the States by Christmas.
Some of the toilets are not the kind we have back home and they have
to be cleaned out by hand, so they have Jap men and women do that and
draw it away in their own trucks. The women dip the sh-- out in buckets
and the men dump it into the trucks. Yesterday a couple of the women had
to go to the toilet so they fast took down their pants and went right in
front of 15 or 20 men. You can't imagine how filthy these people are
until you see it for yourself.
I took a walk up into the hills today and the mountains are filled
with caves and trenches. I'm sure glad the war is over and we did not
have to get them out of these mountains. We would have had a time of it.
I hope this finds all the folks back home well.
Has a beautiful picture of a pagoda in the background with a pond and gardens surrounding it.
January 1, 1946
Hello Mom,Pop & family
I don't want you to think I am any place as nice as on this post card, because I am in mud 6" deep. We have
moved down where the 72nd Batta(lion) is and I don't like it worth a damn. I celebrated New Years Night with 2 cans of beer, big
time huh? It has been nice here today so I got a big laundry done and got most of dry. This is the Jap Christmas and also
everyones birthday and it brought the Japs out in their bright kimonos. I hope Alton is still at home, have him write me before
he goes away. I hope I can get out of this mud hole before long and get back and roll in the snow.
The reader should take into consideration that these
were written at a time following the war with the Japan, which began on
December 7, 1941 when they attack Pearl Harbor until the formal
Unconditional Surrender on September 2, 1945 aboard the battleship USS
Submitted By: Jeanne S. Galway,