A Date with the Lonesome Lady…by Tom Cartwright

INTRODUCTION:  When President Obama visited Hiroshima last May and laid a wreath at the Peace Memorial there, my mind flashed back to an evening more than 25 years ago, during a pack trip into Dark Canyon with Ken Sleight.

It was autumn, the air was crisp and clean and the real world seemed very far away. One night, around a crackling fire, my friends and I huddled close together as the night air cooled and we talked softly through the darkness.

Sitting across from me was Tom and Carolyn Cartwright – they lived outside of Moab in San Juan County and had long been two of my favorite people. They don’t come any better than the Cartwrights.

The Cartwrights

The Cartwrights

Also in the group was Dr. Lynn Edwards. Earlier in the week, Dr. Lynn had saved me from certain abandonment and death when a new pair of untested hiking boots left my feet ravaged with blisters. She bandaged my dogs tightly with mole skin and tape and so far, her doctoring had worked.

The fire began to die and the conversation waned, when Lynn, whose mother is Japanese, asked Tom if he had ever been to Japan. Tom Cartwright gazed softly into the fading flames and nodded.

“When?” Lynn asked.

Still staring intently at the fire, Tom Cartwright replied, “July 1945…at Hiroshima.”

Hiroshima…1945.  The group shuffled quietly. Someone, I don’t recall who, threw several large logs on the fire. This was a story we wanted to hear. It is one of the most extraordinary stories you will ever hear and it is Tom Cartwright’s story to tell.  In the years after that night around the campfire, he put his memories of that awful time to the printed page. His book is A Date With The Lonesome Lady: A Hiroshima POW Returns.

His account first appeared in The Zephyr, in December 2003.

Tom Cartwright died on January 11, 2015. Here is Tom’s story…


AUTHOR’S PREFACE: Characteristic of WWII veterans is that after the war they tended not to talk about their experiences in combat. Now that they have retired and think more about their mortality, they have tended to record for their families and others some of their experiences as well as return to places where they been stationed. I am one of those veterans. The following was condensed or excerpted from the book of the above title..TC

Based on Okinawa at Yontan Airfield, which had recently been taken by U.S. forces, I was the pilot of a B-24 bomber. It had a sufficient range from Okinawa to bomb the main islands of Japan and some coastal cities of China held by the Japanese. My crew members were all very compatible and we enjoyed each others company with little regard to military rank. We had become close friends––not an unusual thing where each often depended on the other for their life.

On July 28, 1945 we were posted to fly a mission to bomb the Battleship Haruna which was anchored in Kure Harbor—a major naval base on the main Island of Honshu. Our crew was assigned a B-24 nicknamed Lonesome Lady. We took off early in the morning as part of a formation of six flights of six planes each with several slots missing. Our flight had only five planes. About noon we arrived at the target area and the lead plane of our flight spotted the Haruna. We had been briefed that the Kure Harbor Naval Base was heavily armed with anti-aircraft installations and that the Haruna and other naval craft in the area were also heavily armed. An old adage among pilots was “never fly over a battleship.” We had orders and followed them.

B-24 in the air.

B-24 in the air.

Just after we dropped our bombs, a B-24 in our flight nicknamed Taloa, was hit and went down quickly. A second plane of the five was hit but was able to fly to an Island short of Okinawa. In quick succession my plane was hit but we could still fly. I did not realize how badly we were damaged and planned to head for the open sea where there was hope that our Naval seaplanes would spot us and pick us up if we ditched and survived. We started losing altitude and the controls were becoming less responsive and I could not head out to sea—the plane flew back toward land on it own.

The Engineer came up to my position and said that our right inboard engine was on fire. He was soaked with hydraulic fluid that was spouting from a broken line. The inevitable became obvious and I ordered the crew to bail out. Pete Pedersen, our navigator, came to my position and reported that the bomb bay pullquote1doors, the exit point for all the crew on the flight deck, were stuck closed. I ordered that he kick them out which they were designed for in emergency. Pete was a stout, capable fellow and this would be scary but no problem for him.

We were getting close to the ground by this time, and the Lonesome Lady was completely out of control. I looked around and saw that the flight deck was clear so I ordered the copilot to bail out. I then left the controls, scrambled on my hands and knees to the bomb bay and bailed out. After a very short time hanging in the chute I hit the ground pretty hard.

All of the crew were able to bail out and were scattered for miles along an area south of Kure Harbor in a mostly wooded, sparsely populated area. We were all captured and after some harassment taken to a city (later identified as Hiroshima). We were always blindfolded when out of a prison cell. I saw all of our crew there except Pete and Bill Abel, the tail gunner. We were not allowed to talk but all of the crew looked in good to fair condition. I learned later that the tail gunner had been taken to a military base in the city of Kure. Months later I read Japanese reports that Pete went down with the plane—this worried me very much because I was sure that the flight deck was clear of people when I bailed out. There were some Navy fliers and at least one of the Taloa crew there also. It is not clear but several of the Taloa went down with the plane. Those who successively parachuted were apparently killed either by civilians or the military.


Hiroshima was a major military center but the military officers were not trained as interrogators. At that point in the war we were briefed, that if captured by the Japanese, to tell them anything that we knew because they would already know it or it would not aid them. I told the truth in answer to rather simple questions, but I was told that they knew that I was lying and would be shipped out to the interrogation center (the Imperial General Headquarters at Tokyo I learned later). As I left my crew in Hiroshima on about August 1, 1945, I felt a bit sorry for myself.

During a couple of days of a stop and go train ride, I was delivered by my escorts to the Interrogation Center. After questioning for several days with threats of various sorts, it became obvious to the interrogators that I knew nothing of importance. However, on August 6 or 7 I was rushed out of my cell to the interrogators and questioned intensely about a new kind of bomb.



Of course I knew nothing about it. I guess out of frustration and hate, I was sent back to my cell where a very large Japanese soldier brandished a sword at me. Then I was taken out, blindfolded as usual, and judging from the noises in front of me there were some troops present. I was pushed down to my knees and then my head was pushed down. Beheading was a common fate of many U.S. POWs in Japan. After some shouted commands, I was jerked up and prodded back to my cell. For some strange reason after this obvious threat, I was not interrogated again.

After a few more days in my solitary cell surviving on one rice ball a day, I heard music come over the PA system. The music sounded to me like a funeral dirge and the first thing that I thought of was that the Emperor had been killed in a bombing raid—that would be bad news for POWs. I learned later that the music was the equivalent of the Japanese National Anthem. After about 20 minutes a very modulated voice came on and spoke for a few minutes. All of the guards that I could see stood at rigid attention. I learned later that it was the playing of the recording of the Emperor’s Rescript in which he stated in part “enduring the unendurable and suffering the insufferable” which translated into announcing the surrender of Japan. (This was the first time that the Japanese had heard the voice of their Emperor/God).

I suspected something when the next day one of my guards solicitously asked about my parents. Then my rice ball arrived larger than usual and with some dried fish added. I was convinced that Japan had capitulated, but I was still wary. Fifty American POWs were beheaded at Osaka after the news of surrender was announced.

The next day I was shipped out a short distance to a marked POW camp. It was the small island of Omori in Tokyo Bay. There we could move about and talk and got a bit better ration. I met B-29 airmen who had been terribly abused, emaciated and some were on the edge of death. Also there were Australians and others who had been POWs for several years.tom3

We could see U.S. warships in the bay and U.S. planes flew over and dropped all sorts of supplies by parachute. On August 28 before the surrender was signed and official, Marines came in with two landing craft and liberated all of us. This was a wild and hectic scene; the crafts were met by every able bodied POW so exuberantly that the craft almost could not dock. We were taken to various Navy ships (I was dropped off at a destroyer), given showers, clean cloths (all seamen outfits), and good food. Many of the emaciated could hardly eat. I ate too much but adjusted in a day or so. I had lost a pound a day but had been a POW only thirty days.

In the process of being repatriated, I was sent to Okinawa to await suitable transportation to the U.S. I made my way to my old outfit where I was at first not recognized in seaman’s cloths and then incredulously as I was presumed dead. Reports from companion aircraft indicated that the anti-aircraft hit on us went though the pilot’s cabin when in fact it was just to the right going through the wing.

Shortly after I arrived at my old outfit, Bill Abel, my tail gunner, walked up, also in Navy garb. We ran to each other and hugged and shook hands repeatedly. While keeping a lookout for our other buddies from the Lonesome Lady to possibly show up, we exchanged stories of our capture and internment. Bill had been badly mistreated. We had to part ways and make our way back to our different ships without seeing our buddies but with high hopes of them showing up somewhere soon.

After arriving in the U.S. and being given physicals, getting medals and a promotion, I made my way back home to see my parents and friends and especially my girl friend, Carolyn, who I later married. I kept waiting to hear about the remainder of my crew and no word came. I wrote the War Department requesting information but got no answer. A few weeks after I got home a book came out with pictures of Hiroshima and it dawned on me that that was where my crew had been interned. I contacted the War Dept again detailing all of the limited observations that I had made while interned with my crew indicating that I thought that it was Hiroshima. For example the interrogator there asked me why this important city had not been bombed. Also I could tell from the noise and streets that it was a large city and that I was taken to a second floor for interrogation.

Hiroshima, Atomic explosion on 6th August, 1945

Hiroshima, Atomic explosion on 6th August, 1945

Some months later the families of the six member of my crew were informed that their sons were had been killed in Hiroshima. I was never informed about the fate of my crew. It is still unclear how many American POWs were killed in Hiroshima, but there were at least 17. The atomic bomb was never mentioned in the letters to parents, and the public was never informed that there were Americans killed by our atomic bomb.

I believe that it was a real disservice to the families and to the American public for the military officials in command to have kept this information secret. Whether it was a deliberate cover-up or an insensitive oversight in the ecstatic days following peace, I don’t know. Years later under the freedom of information act, a documentary film producer uncovered the truth and made a film about it. Still it seems to be a little known fact.

My first trip to Hiroshima was, to say the least, unpleasant. I entered and left with hands tied and blindfolded and saw little more that the inside of a prison cell and interrogation room.

My next trip to Japan was in 1983, when I was invited to give a paper at a beef genetics conference in Kyoto. I took advantage of this trip and went to Hiroshima to visit where I had been interned and where my crew mates were killed by the atomic bomb. Later I went to the Peace Memorial Museum where, after viewing the gruesome depictions of victims of the atomic bomb, with my mind full of memories of my comrades who died there, and perhaps feelings of survivor’s guilt, these displays were repulsive to me.

Also, the presentations seemed to be unfairly accusatory of the U.S. without any background information or rationale for the atomic bomb being deployed. I could not bear this scene any longer and left early.

I had always felt a void about my crew, my friends, vanishing (except for the other survivor Bill Abel) with nothing to connect to them. One day in 1985 I got a letter from a Japanese man, Mr. Keiichi Muranaka, who had lived close to where the Lonesome Lady crashed. He had been stationed at an anti-aircraft battery at Kure Harbor and had witnessed our attack and saw my plane heading down, trailing smoke. A few days later after witnessing the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima he asked for leave to check on his parents. When nearing his home he saw the wreckage of the Lonesome Lady and sneaked a piece of the torn aluminum as a “reminder of the war.” He wrote, “Forty years have passed since the crash of your plane. The U.S. and Japan has overcome the difficulties caused by the war. This pleases me greatly. I could not imagine the peace we enjoy today when I was in the Navy. I always relate my sad experiences regarding WWII and A-bomb and the crash of the Lonesome Lady. Now I would like to give you this article which I have kept all these years as a reminder of the sad experiences that we shared during that terrible time in history. By remembering we shall be able to maintain this peace we enjoy now. This is our responsibility.”

I was emotionally overwhelmed. Though meager, this twisted piece of aluminum was something solid, palpable related to memories of my crew that had been lacking—they had vanished, with only speculation on my part for so long. I corresponded with Mr. Muranaka for several years. Mr. Muranaka initiated an effort to raise funds to place a monument at the small village of Ikachi, close to the crash site of the Lonesome Lady, in memory of all military who gave their lives in the war and to specifically honor the memory of the airmen of the Lonesome Lady.

Mr. Shigeaki Mori was an eight-year old boy in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. He survived as a “hibakusha” (a Japanese term translated as “explosion affected person”) and has health problems associated with radiation effects. As an historian he had become very interested in the historical record of the crew of the Lonesome Lady and other U.S. airmen interned in Hiroshima. He has traveled extensively to crash sites and interviewed people who were eye witnesses as well as digging through archives for long forgotten records. He continues these activities and I am told that he is the most knowledgeable person about these events. He wrote to me in 1995 and we have continued an active correspondence.

Mr. Mori has clarified many things that were incorrect in the records and detailed much information that was not previously recorded. After he had written me about a number of points important to me about the crash and fate of my crew, I asked him specifically about my Navigator which the records reflect went down with the plane. If his remains had actually been found in the plane, it is likely that he had been captured, tortured, killed and his remains placed in the plane. Mr. Mori’s initial reply was that of the official record. I wrote my concern and reason for not believing this report. I have no idea how much effort Mr. Mori put into this question but he finally wrote that he had uncovered in a remote village the record of a woodcutter finding the remains of a body in a dense forest in 1947. A report of the inspection of the scene and of the body was made by a British doctor and a Japanese official. Parachute remains were close by the site, dog tags on the body were for Roy Pedersen, etc. Examination of the bones indicated that the body crashed to the ground breaking many bones. This clarification, though gruesome, was a relief in the sense that he had not been tortured. Also it vindicated my feeling that he had left the plane before I left. It is clear that his parachute had failed to open properly; perhaps this failure was related to Pete’s kicking the bomb doors open.

Mr. Mori also erected a plaque, at his own expense, on the building that stood at the site of the old Chugoku Military Headquarters building where my comrades were held when the atomic bomb was dropped. It was dedicated to the American airmen killed in Hiroshima. He had a proper dedication with appropriate American and Japanese present. A marine, Major Keefe, Information Officer at an American base in Japan, participated and brought a Boy Scout troop with him when the U.S. Consulate refused to participate.

Gradually the thought of returning to Japan became appealing to me in order to visit the sites of the memorial plaque in Hiroshima and the memorial monument in Ikachi village and to meet Mr. Muranaka and Mr. Mori. Travel plans were made and my wife Carolyn, son Dr. Pat, and Matt Crawford, President of our Bomb Group veteran’s organization asked to join me. The purpose of my visit was to meet and thank the people who had erected a plaque and monument acknowledging my crew and other U.S. airmen. Also, at the appropriate places and times, we wanted to pay homage to my comrades who died there. We expected to be involved only with those with whom we had become acquainted through correspondence.

We flew from the U.S. to Kansai Airport at Osaka. We were surprised to have been met by a TV crew from the NHK, the national TV network for Japan. This crew was very polite, considerate and helpful, escorting us to Hiroshima by train. However, by this time we became aware that, as they posed me by the window of the bullet train flashing through the country side at 120 to 150 miles per hour, that our visit would not go unnoticed by others than our hosts.

However, we were not prepared for the reception at the Hiroshima train station. As we stepped off the train we were greeted by our hosts, but there were also TV cameras, photographers and reporters making up a crowd of a dozen or so hovering around us. We were ushered through this melee to our hotel. After checking in and having a cup of tea, we went for a short walk to the location where the Chugoku Military Headquarters Building had stood and Mr. Mori had placed the memorial plaque.

The Plaque area was tastefully decorated with the American and Japanese flags and flowers. We placed flowers at this shrine and turned for the throng of photographers to take pictures. The plaque, all in English, listed the names of all of the American fliers killed by the atomic bomb. Later we returned unaccompanied to quietly in our own way pay homage to our comrades.

Next we visited the crash site of the Taloa where we talked with an eyewitness. Then we walked to the point under the hypocenter of the bomb, and on to Aioi Bridge which was the sighting point of Bombardier Maj. Ferebee of the Enola Gay. This bridge was also the place where one of my crew had been tied to a lamppost after surviving the fire of the bomb and beaten to death and after death. We were invited to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum—the place that repulsed me in 1985. The Director greeted us and invited me to make a statement at a press conference. I read An Open Letter to the People of Hiroshima that I had prepared.

I have come to Hiroshima to pay homage particularly to our friends and comrades who died here in August, 1945. These included six of my bomber crew; I was spared by being transferred to Tokyo. We come to thank and pay respect to those of you who have recognized these comrades and erected memorials to them.

At the same time we recognize that our comrades are a few among many who died here in August 1945 and pay respect to the memory of their souls. Everyone in Hiroshima at that time was directly affected themselves or through the loss and injury of family and friends, as did many other Japanese. I am one of relatively few Americans who lost personal friends and comrades in the atomic holocaust. Perhaps this closeness aligns me more with the feelings of you, the citizens of Hiroshima. No one can know what the fate of each of us might have been if the fury of atomic fission had not been unleashed on Hiroshima. What we do know is that this force, which is so powerful that it powers the sun, and has an array of effects that even transgresses generations, should never be used to again to vaporize human life in wholesale and then to seep into survivors to kill or maim them, some quickly some slowly, and still affect generations yet to be conceived. I know only the heartache—you know the heartache but also the nightmare memory and insidious residual effects.

We appreciate the reception and hospitality that has been extended to our small group—the memory of which we hope will be passed to the next generation. All of us should certainly desire to keep our family and national pride and loyalty; these are core to our human dignity and instinct. At the same time we must continue to learn how to embrace and enhance our common well being, happiness, and understanding. Whatever the results of this trip might bring I hope that it will contribute, even in an ever so small way, to continued peace and friendship.

We have learned that war brings hatred, suffering, destruction, and waste and that peace can bring happiness and prosperity. Let us each teach this to our sons and daughters.


Thomas C. Cartwright

The next day we went to Etajima Island by ferry. On the way we spotted the point where the Haruna was sunk (now cleaned up for scrap metal). On Etajima Island a monument had been placed by the survivors of the Haruna honoring their ship mates who had been killed while on duty. There we met two of the former crew who had shot at us as we bombed them. We had a very compatible meeting congratulating each other on the accuracy of their anti-aircraft and then on our bombing accuracy. One of the men told us that the Haruna had transferred all of its fuel to an aircraft carrier months before we bombed it and had been harbor bound for months.


We left Hiroshima by train and then transferred to a van headed to the village of Ikachi, the place where the Lonesome Lady flew herself into a rice paddy. On the way we stopped at the Iwakuni U.S. Marine base to speak to Major Keefe. He was every inch a model Marine and we were all proud to be represented by him. He hosted us to coffee and told us that our trip was very helpful to Japan/U.S. relations.

The next stops were along the path that my crew bailed out. The first was a farm house overlooking a small cultivated valley. Mrs. Mika Marumo, about our age, lived there alone. She was a bit overwhelmed by all of the visitors and a TV crew. She sunk back on her heels and could hardly talk to us at first. As she opened up, she told the story of living there with her father during the war. Her husband was in the army and her brother had been killed as a kamikaze pilot. She related seeing one of my crew parachute into the field in front of her house. Her father grabbed his rifle and proceeded toward the “soldier” as did other farmers. He was bitter about his son having been killed by the Americans and intended to shoot the “soldier.” Instead the “soldier” shot her father and killed him. I had never heard this story.

I was incredulous so I asked Atsuko, a young lady with us who spoke perfect English, if I had heard this story correctly and she confirmed it. I do not know which of my crew this “soldier” was but he shot in self defense. He was captured and later joined with other crew members and taken to a police station. This humble lady was not hostile and invited us into her house and showed us her Buddhist shrine. I later wrote Mrs. Marumo thanking her for her hospitality. She wrote back saying in part “I didn’t bear a grudge against the Americans. It was my honest feeling.” Your letter “was guided to the tomb of father. I don’t hate American. Father should have run away early from enemy who had a pistol.”

The next stop was to see a farmer who related that when he was a boy he saw our smoking plane flying in an arc and four parachutes coming out. We interviewed other people and learned of some serious hostility but none of my crew was killed by civilians or local police. The next stop was close to where I came down. I talked to a woman who saw my “captor” (I turned my self in to him) coming out of the woods followed by me.

Just as we were trying to digest all of this information about my crew and myself our van pulled up by a small community center at the Village of Ikachi. There was a small crowd of local people there who very politely greeted us. I turned to look at the monument that they had erected honoring my crew and saw a sign in large red letters:

“Dr. T. C. Cartwright Welcome to Ikachi.”

After shaking hands around we were escorted a short walking distance to the site where the Lonesome Lady crashed. A number of men wanted to tell me all of the details such as where the engine came loose and crashed through a shack, where a wing catapulted to the next field, etc. All of this was very interesting to me. After this short excursion we all sat in front of the Center for a few sort speeches, and traditional tea. I then read my Open Letter to the People of Ikachi.

My name is Tom Cartwright and I was the pilot of the Lonesome Lady, a U.S. B-24 Bomber that crashed at your village on July 28, 1945. Having parachuted before the crash, my copilot, Lt. Durden Looper, and I were taken prisoners here. I am privileged to be welcomed back to your village. Could anyone have imagined in 1945 my returning here, welcomed in peace?

You may not be aware that, in retrospect, I feel fortunate that our fateful mission, after our plane was damaged beyond continued flight, it brought us to your community. We were at war with one another and we represented the enemy. Except for our Navigator, Lt. Roy Pedersen, whose parachute failed to open, our entire crew survived heavy anti-aircraft fire, parachuting out of a burning plane, and being captured in enemy territory. None of us was seriously maltreated. I am fortunate that the Lonesome Lady, damaged and uncontrollable, flew toward this area and maintained sufficient altitude for me to bail out in your community. After I retired the one thing that I most wanted to do was to return to this village.

I wanted to return because of a longing in my heart to see the crash site and where I was captured. I was overwhelmed to learn that you erected a monument as a memorial to those killed in the war and specifically recognized “the Dreadful Accident” of the Lonesome Lady listing the seven airmen of her crew who died and stating that, “These soldiers gave their lives for their country.” The character of this community is embodied, I believe, in the above and in the following inscription on the monument:

Appreciating today’s peace we erect this monument.

We heartily hope that happiness will continue forever, from father to son, from son to son.

I am pleased that my son joined us so that, as the inscription admonishes, the next generation will take notice and remember. We are honored to be your guests, have a chance to meet you, thank you in person, and to pay homage to our fallen comrades at this most appropriate place by your historic monument.


Thomas C. Cartwright

After the ceremonies a lady came up to me and gave me a piece of paper on which she had written the following:

“It was hot in Summer vacation afternoon. I felt like war was coming to an end even ones child heart. Sudenly one bomber crashing under fire and disappeared western over the hill. What happened! cried my mother. I saw that moment when I was 6 years old. I never forget that moment, but you still alive in front of me I cant believe. In those days we ate grass and leaves of trees. After a while Japan was defeated by the United States. There was a lot of different kind of sacrifice each other [both sides]. I am thinking that if we had been defeated by the U.S.S.R. we would not live. Thank you United States finally. We pray the partnership between the U.S. and Japan will last forever.”


After this trip I felt comfortable about coping with memories confronted at Hiroshima. Our itinerary included only Japanese who were friendly. The fact that the documentary of our visit made by NHK was shown twice in the Hiroshima area and once nationally was an indication of general interest in Japan.

tom2My return to memories in Japan also reinforced two old resentments. One was the failure of our highest officials, even up to the Commander in Chief, for not reporting, recognizing or admitting that American POWs were killed by our atomic bomb in Hiroshima. This negligence, or cover-up for whatever reasons, was a great disservice to the families of the POWs and to the American people.

Another event that I resent is that the highest military officials in the Pacific theatre ordered Air Force and Naval air strikes to bomb the Japanese Naval fleet anchored and stuck inoperative in the Japanese Inland Sea, especially knowing about the extremely heavy anti-aircraft firepower from both anchored ships and shore installations. The incentive for ordering missions to attack these targets, which were known to be costly of lives, appears, from the evidence, to have been based more on the egos of commanding officers than on strategically important purposes.

Our crew was always loyal and carried out orders without question. We were proud to be Americans in the Air Force and probably had the best, most considerate officers of any armed force. I just feel that mistakes were made and that it is appropriate to record them.

Although we did not meet any Japanese who were openly hostile to us as visitors coming to Japan to open old wartime memories, there are no doubt Japanese who hold hostile feelings. Also, even though our small group came in peace with an open mind, there are Americans, especially those who were badly mistreated and brutalized, and the families of POWs who were executed, who will never forgive the Japanese for their atrocities.

I do not presume to suggest that these people should be forgiving or attempt to convert them. I only wish to convey that we met Japanese who have given a great deal of effort to finding and recording the correct history of WWII and, more importantly, having it taught to the current and future generations of Japanese.

Tom Cartwright.

Tom Cartwright.

During my return trip to Japan reporters would ask me, often while standing beside a memorial dedicated to my comrades just after seeing it for the first time, “What are your feelings now?” There was no way that I could express feelings of gratitude while mixed with memories hoarded for fifty-five years. I would try to say something appropriate, but always felt that it was inadequate. Now trying to summarize “how I feel now,” I still feel inadequate. I had never thought that I would be invited to a guided tour of places in Hiroshima and Ikachi of historical interest to me plus new monuments created as memorials to my comrades. Also I had never thought that I would have Japanese friends with whom I would correspond and share thoughts. Even though my visit to Japan did not result in total “closure” of my feelings about the fate of my crew, I did feel more comfortable about many things including making new friends in Japan.


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2 comments for “A Date with the Lonesome Lady…by Tom Cartwright

  1. Darlene Van Sickle
    August 19, 2018 at 10:36 am

    War is hell and there are no winners, only losers. This was an amazing story. I appreciate knowing the facts. I, too, deeply resent the American government not being forthright that American POWs were also killed by the atomic bomb over Hiroshima.

  2. Spencer Goodro
    January 28, 2020 at 9:39 am

    What a great story and perspective. Redrock country characters like Tom are my heros.

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