The March 11 letter, below, discusses Grandpa Knowlton’s acquaintance Julian Garrett, the author of the article “Notes on Okinawa” which is posted in this blog.
This is to children Ann, Barbara, and Henry Kaye. It contains the story “A Little Poi Dog Named Pau”. with suggested illustrations.
He was being shipped out to Okinawa, so he wrote 9 pages for his children. Not much else to do at sea.
Not allowed to keep track of “where we have been, where I am, where I am going, or what day it is.”
“The convoy from Hawaii stopped at Guam, where the field directors could file messages. They expected that after the battle, the troops would be withdrawn from that position, and consequently requested that the replies be sent to Guam. This expectation was wrong. The troops withdrew to Hawaii, which caused some delay in getting the replies.” – this is from the excerpt of Jameson, Raymond. The History of the American National Red Cross Volume XIV: The ARC During WWII in the Pacific Theater. (Washington, DC: The American National Red Cross, 1950).
This document, among other things, reveals what Grandpa Henry was doing on that ship. It was on its way to Okinawa. But on the way, the Red Cross people were being briefed and educated about the Okinawans. While that was happening, before Okinawa could be invaded, Iwo Jima had to be attacked and captured. The convoy was then further delayed until Okinawa could be “secured” — captured from the Okinawans and Japanese, who were probably expecting the upcoming April 1st invasion. The explanation for the mail mix-up may have been that troops, which had fought hard on Iwo Jima, had returned to Hawaii. Some ships, carrying mail, instead of going to Iwo Jima, Guam, or other islands, had ended up being re-routed to Hawaii.
L Day (Love Day) is tomorrow. Okinawa is invaded by US Army, Navy, and Marines. Grandpa Knowlton can’t land until it is partway secure. It will be declared secure June 30, and the battle will be over. Grandpa Knowlton will learn to occupy a foxhole in the meantime, after the Red Cross lands April 16.