Letter To The Editor: About That Divine Wind

Los Alamos   

We lived in Iwakuni, Japan from 1956 to 1958. I was a meteorologist in the Navy for Fleet Air Wing Six.

Iwakuni was about as far from Hiroshima as Los Alamos is from Santa Fe – we traveled there often. We also visited Nagasaki.

Working for me was a Japanese PhD meteorologist. He plotted weather observations from China and Russia that we received in Morse code. He was vastly over qualified but it was the best paying job available. 

We worked from 1600 to 0800 because that was when FAW-6 planes went on patrol. We became good friends and I took advantage of his expertise, especially when typhoons threatened, because I had to make the decision of flying our planes out or having them stay in Iwakuni.

One night we were talking about the atomic bombs. He said that in the war with Russia in the early 1900’s, a divine wind (Kamikaze) helped the Japanese Navy defeat the Russian Navy. In 1945 the Japanese leaders were waiting for the “Divine Wind” to come and save them again. It came but it wasn’t on their side so the leaders could save face and surrender. One Japanese man’s opinion. 

We learned to love the Japanese and greatly admire their culture: baskets, pottery, flower arranging, etc. We are thankful that the bomb saved many American and Japanese lives.


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