Atomic Bomb

Fabulous Atom Bomb First Person Graphic Account & Archive of Hiroshima



Fabulous Atom Bomb First Person Account and Archive of Hiroshima

 

Archive of transcripts, folders and service record of a Father, who was a member of the Society of Jesus located near Hiroshima during the bombing and material and Service record of Charles George who was stationed on the USS Caliente at Ulithi Atoll. Comprising of a 9 page mimeo typscript of a first-hand account of the bombing 8.5" x 13". Browned and brittle, stapled along top edge with the first page loose. Last page has a few holes and tape repairs to verso. And a folder, with newspaper clipping and records of Charles George while aboard the Caliente, including a two page mimeo'd typescript by Comdr Eastman regarding the surrender of Japan, 8' x 10.5".

Only two others of this first-hand account are known to have survived!

 

Phenomenal first person eye witness account of the August 6th bombing of Hiroshima.  Mimeo'd in typescript by Father Siemes from the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Nagatusuka, located only two kilometers from Hiroshima at the time of detonation. His account reads chronologically, first describing his experience from within his building, inclusive of the exploding windows, building damage and burns even present at his location, and then progresses to his experiences as he ventures into the heart of the city in search of other members of the Society, and the invasion of injured and dying people seeking medical assistance. Several excerpts are shown below:

 

"The Whole Valley is filled by a garish light which resembles the magnesium light used in photography, and I am conscious of a wave of heat … I hear a moderately loud explosion which seems to come from a distance and, at the same time, the windows are broken in with a loud crash .. I am sprayed by fragments of glass. The entire window frame has been forced into the room … "

 

"Soon comes the news that the entire city has been destroyed by the explosion and that it is on fire. What became of Father Superior and the three other Fathers who were at the center of the city at the Central Mission … we did not want to go into town … because we thought that the population was greatly perturbed and that it might take revenge … " (little did they know there was no town or people left)

 

They began their voyage into town very late afternoon in search of the three Fathers and do not reach the city until dark. 

 

"Only the fires, which are still raging in some places at a distance, give out a little light. At the far corner of the park, on the river bank itself, we at last come upon our colleagues. Father Schiffer is on the ground pale as a ghost. He has a deep incised wound behind the ear and has lost so much blood that we are concerned about his chances for survival. The Father Superior has suffered a deep wound of the lower leg … they tell us of their experiences … intense light and immediately thereafter the sound of breaking windows, walls and furniture. They were showered with glass splinters and fragments of wreckage. Father Schiffer was buried beneath a portion of a wall and suffered a severe head injury. The Father Superior received most of the splinter in his back and lower extremity from which he bled copiously … fires which had begun some distance away are raging even closer, so that is was obvious everything would burn down … Beneath the wreckage of the houses along the way, many have been trapped and they scream to be rescued from the oncoming flames. They must be left to their fate. We take refuge in a park .. Very violet whirlwind now begins to uproot large trees … '

 

" The bright day now reveals the frightful picture which last night's darkness had partly concealed. Where the city stood, everything, as far as the eye could reach, is a waste of ashes and ruin. Only several skeletons of  buildings completely burned out in the interior remain. The banks of the river are covered with dead and wounded …"

 

Several pages continue regarding the aftermath of the people dying from what we now know is radiation sickness and exposure to the gamma ray;  in addition to lack of emergency care to support others who are wounded "Thousands of wounded who died later could doubtless have been rescued had they received proper treatment and care, but rescue work in a catastrophe of this magnitude had not been envisioned; since the whole city had been knocked out at a blow, everything which had been prepared for emergency work was lost, and no preparation had been made for rescue work in the outlying districts …"

 

The accompanying folder of Charles H. George of Pitcairn, PA, who sailed on the USS Caliente from San Francisco April 25, 1945, got to Pearl Harbor on May 2, and from there sailed to Ulithi Atoll. In June, July  and August the ship did not see combat but was useful in supply fuel to other ships. Includes the service record of Charles H. George in WWII and Comdr. Eastman's 2 page mimeo to those on the ship regarding the surrender of Japan.

 

An outstanding archive with the perfect tie-in from Comdr. Eastman dated 2/15/46 located at the end of the 9 page first-hand account, in which Eastman stated " I am extremely sorry that conditions had not permitted each man aboard the Caliente to visit Hiroshima …" To which he then makes note of that this account was being distributed to the men on board the ship and that Father Ruppe was going to lecture tomorrow at the Mess Hall, regarding his direct experience.

 

Only 2 copies of Siemes report are listed at OCLC; one at the Swarthmore Peach Collection and one at the New York State Library. An incredible piece, and accompanying archive!

While America was largely sheltered from the most brutal truths of the bomb — pictures taken of survivors on the day of the bomb were not published until the early 1950s — there were attempts among many Americans to support some of the victims.



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Item: 65257

Price: $2,500.00
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