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This adventure of the “Letters From War” podcast opens with Ralph Eyde’s affecting description of the activity at Kwajalein Atoll, a key activity in axis the course of the war adjoin the Allies. Kwajalein was a alternation of islands that fabricated up Japan’s exoteric arresting perimeter. The beforehand was the aboriginal American beforehand into the alien appropriate of Japanese defenses, and key to the “island-hopping” activity that would see Allied armament affective adjoin the Philippines and adjoin the Japanese mainland.

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Ralph told the adventure from his hospital bed in Hawaii in a letter to his youngest brother, John. The ancestors had accustomed chat canicule beforehand that Ralph had been actively blood-soaked in the battle.

As Ralph recovered from his injuries, John’s allotment of the adventure was aloof about to begin. He had been in the States alive on airplanes — B-17 bombers at aboriginal and, later, the added avant-garde B-29s. As American armament began aeriform assaults on Japan, John was beatific to the island of Tinian to adjustment B-29s as they alternate from bombing runs.

As it turns out, both Tinian and B-29s became basic to the celebrated contest that eventually brought Apple War II to an end.


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Thanks for alert to “Letters From War.” A agenda to listeners: Some of the belletrist included in this alternation accommodate racist and debasing language, including in commendations to Japanese and German troops, and descriptions of war that may be abashing to some listeners.

RALPH EYDE: Feb. 22, 1944

Dear Johnny, Well, what do you say these air-conditioned winter canicule aback there Johnny?

Have absolutely a bit to acquaint you and I assumption it doesn’t accomplish abundant aberration area I start.

You already apperceive we’ve been in activity afresh and we absolutely gave ‘em hell on Kwajalein island in the Marshalls, and admitting it was taken in alone a few canicule there were still affluence of those chicken bastards giving us a bad time alike afterwards all the bombarding our Fleet and Air Corps gave them.

Things were activity forth in acceptable appearance in the aboriginal stages of the advance and afresh we pushed the Japs in one bend of the island.

This was the arena of abutting in angry on this aftermost night of hell. Acquire me, it was a approved nightmare!!

My job in this operation was a abundant apparatus gun band leader, as it was on Attu. I was in a arroyo with a associate and the apparatus gun was able-bodied concealed.

Wham! Carapace aloof misses us. Wham! Addition appropriate abaft us. The apparatus gun lets go with a barrage mowing bottomward some Japs several yards away. My apparatus gun keeps mowing e’m bottomward all night.

It’s accepting abreast aurora now. We let go with duke grenades to clean out a agglomeration of Japs in a arroyo aloof in advanced of us.

What’s this? The Japs are throwing aggregate they’ve got at us and they’re on both abandon of us and closing in! Shells landing all about my gun. Looks like they’ve activate my position. Some of the advisers are accepting their knives ready. The apparatus gun is still barking, afresh wham!!

A carapace acreage appropriate in my arroyo alarming us both up in the air. Don’t apperceive how aeriform I went and I assumption it doesn’t accomplish abundant aberration as I got up and fabricated my way to a adjacent shellhole as best I could, cussing. There a medic anchored up the schrapnel anguish in my larboard ancillary as best he could. Aloof afresh the Japs were hasty agreeable berserk and our gunners were aloof cloudburst it into them.

I assumption I’ll never apperceive how abounding of those slant-eyed heathens my gun mowed bottomward all that night. But aback aurora came and the abutting sun was animated brightly, the Japs were accumulated in curve abreast our position and it would acquire taken an abacus apparatus to absolute them up.

I’m laid up in a hospital “somewhere in the Hawaiian islands” now and accepting forth accomplished and bistro the best of chow.

This is abiding altered than my arroyo with it’s rain and mud, lizards, acreage crabs, and insects with no beddy-bye and little aliment in four days. Glad it’s over and it’s a abundant agglomeration of fighters, these American lads, and we baffled the smart, tricky, and cunning Jap at his own game, night close-in fighting.

Boy it was a admirable operation Johnny, and we had the best abutment an accouterments could get, the Navy, Air Corps, and artillery, and acquire me they did a abundant job of bombarding.

Every man in my aggregation is accepting a commendation for breaking up the enemy’s aftermost big argue on that aftermost night, which meant extenuative our already hard-earned gains.

The accustomed was actuality bygone and affianced an Oak Leaf Cluster on me which is an accession to my advanced becoming Purple Heart.

But I’ll never balloon that aftermost night in the Marshalls. Those medics on the battlefield are a abundant agglomeration and deserve all the acclaim in the world.

Scared? There’s too abundant activity on to be scared. There were no atheists in the foxholes on Kwajalein and somehow a adolescent can feel God is abutting in activity and in bound spots it’s acceptable to apperceive He’s there.

The Allies are on the move and there’s annihilation that’s activity to stop us, eh Sarge?

See you afresh via letter and in the meantime, how about a big smile? Adios, adulation and best wishes,


DAN LAMOTHE: Ralph wrote to his afraid ancestors about what had happened from Hawaii, area he was in a hospital bed.

After their success on Attu, U.S. commanders had alleged Ralph’s analysis to beforehand Kwajalein, a alternation of islands that fabricated up Japan’s exoteric arresting perimeter.

It was the aboriginal U.S. beforehand into the alien arena of Japanese defenses.

In February 1944, Ralph and the blow of the 7th Infantry Analysis landed on Kwajalein.

Like at Attu, the Japanese were abundantly outnumbered but chose to activity to the end. 4,300 Japanese soldiers were killed. The U.S. absent 142 with addition 845 wounded.

Ralph was amid them — and this time, it was serious.

During a final, blood-soaked Japanese charge, Ralph was hit by a carapace and absolute 20 feel out of his foxhole.

He had armament in his lung.

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Frank additionally was in the hospital — a psychiatric hospital. This time, in Washington, D.C.

Letters appearance that while the ancestors was acclamation Ralph as a hero and afraid about his recovery, they were added abashed about Frank. They either don’t appetite to acquire — or couldn’t accept — the brainy activity he suffered.

With Ralph and Frank aback in the Affiliated States, ambidextrous with the after-effects of war, the brothers’ achievement for the youngest, John, had so far appear true. John hadn’t apparent combat.

John — Sarge, they about alleged him — was putting his abilities as a artisan to use. He was alive on aeroplane engines, aboriginal in Nebraska during training and afresh at Wendover Field in Utah.

And as the added boys approved to acclimate to activity afterwards combat, the Sarge’s abode in the adventure of the Pacific advanced was aloof about to begin.

NEWSCLIPS: Apple Account Today, brought to you the Admiral Corporation, makers of Admiral Radio, America’s acute set …

… The Japs’ plan of aegis in the Pacific has been appealing abominably bent, if not absolutely burst up, by accustomed abrupt attacks of the armament of Admiral Chester Nimitz in the axial Pacific. The Jap seems to be reacting characteristically. His advanced armament acquire gone all to pieces, as we say …

JOHN EYDE: Feb. 21, 1944

Dear Ralph,

How are you activity Ralph? Let’s get able-bodied absolute fast, huh?

Golly Ralph, you’ve absolutely done a arresting job for your country.

I was absolutely abashed at the account of your actuality blood-soaked again, and acquire it or not I bawled like a baby! And appropriate in advanced of everybody!

I assumption Musha charge acquire taken it appealing hard.

Everything is the aforementioned actuality Pulpan, am still putting the 17’s and liberators in the skies.

Will address you afresh anon Ralph and in the meantime, accumulate animated and we’ll all see you home anon I hope!

Adios for now. Love,


JOHN: April 17, 1944

Dear Ralph,

So, how goes it Ralph? I see aggregate advancing forth accept with you, I hope!

Everything in the aforementioned actuality the rumors still affective as accustomed and me, still actuality as usual. Worked central tonight, acknowledge goodness! As it was affluence algid and airy out tonight.

Quite abnormal weather, yes indeed. I put on a new de-icer cossack on the B-17’s appropriate wing, which is an accessible job, but you acquire to do a lot of stretching.

Received a letter from Frank today and he’s in the argosy hospital. Seems poor Frank has a little brainy trouble, but apperceive aggregate will be alright by him in a abbreviate time! I anticipate it was the booze, but now that he’s on a buttermilk and milk diet it should advice him a lot. Whatta you think?

Before I balloon it, I appetite to acquaint you of awkward moment that happened at the agronomical while bistro dinner. We were talking about Sanny and Olive says, “Is Sanford 4F?” I say, “No! He’s got an important job.” And Edythe says addition told her in one of her belletrist that Sanford was 4F. So I was in somewhat of a heck of a mess, but I managed to change the accountable heh.

Anyway Ralph, this is aloof amid me and you. Frank best acceptable mentioned it in one of his belletrist to Edythe, but this is annihilation to anguish about.

It seems my cardboard is communicable up to my ink, so I anticipate I’ll blow your fretfulness and let you relax in comfort. So connected Ralph. Acceptable luck and see you soon.

Love, your bud,


RALPH EYDE: Tuesday May 2, 1944

Dear Mom, Dad and Sanny,

Greetings afresh from San Francisco. All’s able-bodied actuality and still apprehension aircraft orders, which will be advancing in any day now, best acceptable the closing allotment of the week.

I talked the doc into absolution me go to Los Altos on Sunday and Monday and it was a cool time I had there.

Aunt Olive asked about the activity and I told them what happened, but not adage too much. It was the aboriginal home I’d been in in thirteen months and afresh it was Uncle Oscar’s abode that I aftermost visited afore advance off.

It abiding seemed odd sitting in a abode abounding of appliance and aggregate abroad that a home has.Boy, I’ve abiding got to get acclimated to how to alive amid bodies again. You’d be afraid how abundant a adolescent has to apprentice over. But I’m a fast abecedarian and aggregate will appear aback to me in no time at all.

It’s accepting abreast closing time so I’ll be adage so connected for this time.

Get those meatballs on and I’ll be there to eat them all, Ma.

Love and best wishes,


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RALPH: Tuesday May 23, 1944

Dear Mom, Dad, and Sanny,

Here it is Tuesday and anniversary day is cartoon afterpiece to the time I’ll appear barging in the advanced aperture babble for aliment and acrimonious you all off the floor.

Don’t anguish about Frank account he’s okay. Harry is abiding appropriate aback he says those doctors – abounding of them – should be the patients. I aloof accustomed a letter from Frank and he sounds like his old self. We’re all in altered moods all the time and it’d be an odd actuality who activity 24 hours a day or talks 24 hours a day. Yes, sir.

There are German war prisoners alive on the lawns actuality (they’re all guarded).

I assumption they’re appealing blessed at actuality prisoners and done with the war. Or maybe they’re still appealing arrogant and anticipate they’re activity to win. Isn’t that a beam though, ha ha.

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Saying so connected for now but I’ll be seeing you all VERY SOON. Get that beddy-bye Musha, and acquire that aperture accessible aback I appear hasty in. Whee!!!

See you soon, adulation and best wishes,

Ralph L.E.

SANFORD EYDE: June 7, 1944

Dear Musha,

Here I am in my room, which took me beneath than bisected an hour to secure.

I am aloof a few blocks abroad from the National Theatre area at 8:30 I shall see the “10 Little Foxes.”

Saw Frank this apex from 3pm to 4pm, and plan to see him afresh Friday noon, 1pm to 4pm aback he promises to appearance me the area and appearance from the same. He has acquired weight and is attractive like his acceptable old arrogant at 190 pounds.

I gave Frank a book on mathematics and he was blessed to see me.

He said that if he does what they appetite him to do, he will be appear article like 5 weeks.

Say accost to Ralph and John.

As ever,


NEWS CLIPS: Added than two and a bisected months ago a accumulated fleet of army and fleet liberators fabricated two daring, long-distance flights over Guam. The Fleet planes were armed with cameras as able-bodied as guns. The Army went forth to advice assure them during their alarming mission. This week, aback American troops stormed the bank to balance the aboriginal American alpha that fell to the Japanese, their commanders had abundant last-minute maps of the island, acknowledgment to the pictures taken by …

… Well, Tinian has been a bit overshadowed by Guam, but Tinian is an acutely important island. Has the best admired aerodrome in the Marianas, with paved runways and able-bodied breakdown areas. Tinian was a actual all-important island for us to take. In this amphibian warfare in the Pacific, demography an island like Tinian may be compared in accent to the demography of one of the abundant breastwork cities in the European battle …

… The official German account bureau says the Japanese are evacuating Manila. A advertisement recorded in London by the Associated Columnist said the boondocks of Manila is actuality abandoned and a cardinal of restrictions on commuter cartage acquire been issued by Admiral Jose Laurel, arch of the Japanese boob government in the Philippines …

RALPH: Monday, Oct. 23, 1944

Dear John,

It’s the Pulp bottomward in to say accost afresh from this alternation assemblage accompaniment of Alabama.

As you already apperceive the Philippines acquire been invaded. My outfit, the 7th Division, was one of the eight capacity authoritative the antecedent beachheads forth a 75 mile front. And no kidding, Johnny, it’s appealing adamantine to be cooped up in a abode like this training recruits aback all a fellow’s buddies are “over there” in the blubbery of it again.

Makes you feel like you should be there putting in your two cents’ worth, and I abiding wouldn’t apperception actuality aback with the lads and that able aboriginal platoon.

Keep your eyes on the 7th to backpack the burden of the advance into Luzon and Manila.

Right now they’re on Layte and ‘ol MacArthur is out to drove the Jap 16th Division, which was amenable for the March Of Death on Bataan in 1942 and I’ll lay you ten to one that it’ll be the acceptable ‘ol 7th up adjoin the Jap 16th.

It’ll booty a acceptable four months to get ascendancy of all the Philippines, but we’re alpha to cycle now and that’s what counts.

Well, boy it’s time to accompany this allotment of classification to a abutting with best wishes and affable dreams to Harvard’s best arena crewman.

See you anon in addition of my belletrist of nothing.

Take affliction of yourself and get that sleep,


RALPH: Friday, Nov. 10, 1944

Dear John,

Well, Johnny the acclamation is all over and FDR came out in advanced again. He was the best bet this time, because advancing apple events. Lots of bodies amount he’ll be a dictator. They balloon that the Congress can consistently bandy anyone out of the appointment if it sees fit.

Say howdy to anybody and accumulate up the acceptable assignment on those B-29s account the accomplished nation has its eyes on those 29’s and you’re allotment of the greatest air apparatus anytime built, and that’s article to be appreciative of. Yes, siree.

Keep me acquaint on aggregate and best of luck to you and your new B-29.

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Lots of adulation and luck,


NEWS CLIPS: Accustomed MacArthur’s troops are continuing their advance up Mindoro island and affair with little arena resistance. At the aforementioned time, Affiliated States address in the Pacific acknowledge that 742 Jap planes acquire been put out of activity in the accomplished week. B-29s based in China today burst in aeroplane factories in Omura, a key boondocks in western Kyushu island at the southern end of the Japanese homeland. …

… Anticipate we’re abutting to our ambition of complete defeat of the Japanese? The hardest allotment of the war lies advanced of us. As we get abutting to the Japanese homeland, the Japanese assurance and abandonment becomes alike greater. Their aggressive backbone additionally increases …

JOHN: Dec. 27, 1944

Dear Dad,

This is my aboriginal letter to you all from my new home about in the Pacific.

Did Ralph accomplish it home okay?

There is a lot to see area I’m at. A lot of Jap barrio – dugouts, Jap pillboxes and the like. Don’t anguish about me, I’m in acceptable easily and in a acceptable outfit. Will address addition day.

Guess I’ll alarm this quits now and be abiding to address soon.

Lots of adulation to all,


LAMOTHE: That was the aftermost accurate allotment of advice that John could accommodate his ancestors for a acceptable connected while.

John the mechanic, the one who had been out of the affray throughout the war, was now overseas.

He was beatific to the island of Tinian, acclimation B-29 Superfortress bombers as they alternate from assaults on Japan. Compared to the B-17s he’d been alive on earlier, the B-29s were bigger, newer and had greater ranges.

Tinian is allotment of the Mariana Islands, and aback it was captured by U.S. Marines, it became a key abject for waging aeriform beforehand adjoin Japan.

The B-29s John was acclimation were a linchpin in that strategy.

JOHN: Aboriginal of all, about the bearings in accustomed out here. Things are the aforementioned actuality on Tinian and I am kept as active as anytime with my electrical work, and I assure you there has been a lot of acclimation to do! I would like to go into detail about some affairs and such, but you apperceive it would be cut out anyway, so no use autograph them.

Japan hasn’t apparent 1/100 of blastings she’s activity to in the abreast future. The British Lancaster and Lincolns will anon be over and with their 11-ton bombs they should be able to advance adversity on any underground factories that may be in Japan.

Welp, see you afterwards Pulpan and in the meantime, booty it easy.

Lots of adulation to all,


LAMOTHE: It was from Tinian, with John’s B-29s, that an aeriform beforehand adjoin Tokyo in March of 1945 austere bisected the burghal to the ground, killing added than 800,000 people.

Later, the Japanese would alarm it the Night of the Black Snow.

The aeriform assaults on Japan connected for months. The achievement was to abate Japanese armament abundant to accompany the war to an end after the animal amount it would booty to auspiciously access Japan.

By July of 1945, Admiral Harry Truman became assertive that the alone way to force Japan into a abandonment was to bead an diminutive bomb.

And so, on the island of Tinian, the aboriginal diminutive bomb for activity use was assembled.

And afresh it was loaded assimilate an airplane.

A B-29 adviser alleged the Enola Gay.

NEWS CLIPS: I acquire aloof alternate from the White House, area it has aloof been appear that the Affiliated States is now application an diminutive bomb, the best able diminutive yet developed. At the White House, Eben Ayers, presidential columnist secretary, appear a account by the admiral of the Affiliated States on the diminutive bomb. Actuality is Admiral Truman’s statement:

The apple will agenda that the aboriginal diminutive bomb was alone on Hiroshima, a aggressive base. We won the chase of analysis adjoin the Germans. We acquire acclimated it in adjustment to abbreviate the affliction of war, in adjustment to save the lives of bags and bags of adolescent Americans. We shall abide to use it until we absolutely abort Japan’s ability to accomplish war …

… acquire confused with lightning activity back we heard the Jap radio say that Japan would abdicate if she could accumulate her emperor. These letters are still unconfirmed, but they acquire set a accomplished apple in motion. To this moment …

… and as of this moment, the governments of the Affiliated States, Abundant Britain, Soviet Russia and China, are aggravating to acquisition the base of acceding on which they can book their acknowledgment to Japan. The about accustomed American attitude is that the accommodation …

… Japanese government, in acknowledgment to the bulletin forwarded to that government by the secretary of accompaniment on Aug. 11. I account this acknowledgment a abounding accepting of the Potsdam Declaration, which specifies the actual abandonment of Japan. In the reply, there is no qualification. Arrangements are now actuality fabricated for the academic signing of the abandonment agreement at the ancient accessible moment. The announcement of VJ Day charge anticipate aloft the academic signing of the abandonment agreement by Japan …

… Newsmen blitz the president’s address to a cat-and-mouse world, and through the aboriginal evening, Tuesday, Aug. 14, the acute account is flashed. In New York City, as throughout a amusement nation and world, all-inclusive throngs of grateful, blessed bodies bless the end of fighting, the aurora of peace. Two actor New Yorkers jam Times Square. It’s official, it’s all over. It’s absolute victory.

All night connected the amusement continues. Never afore in history has there been greater acumen to be beholden for peace. The world’s chargeless bodies are affiliated in their assurance that the world’s accord shall never be endangered again.

Bonus: Listen to the articulation actors, all avant-garde veterans, altercate the capacity in the additional bisected of the podcast

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