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The Trip Home

Heroes Remember

We went to Tokyo and to Yokohama, they processed us on the docks. We went through a warehouse, we had a medical. They sprayed us and we had a shower and they sprayed us again and they give us clean clothes. I had an American marine outfit, green pants, green jacket, shirt, everything and they put us on a, got on an LSV, landing ship vehicle and they had that loaded with beds all the way around and then on the upper decks had more beds. It was loaded with prisoners of war. And the next morning the PA system came on, “Now hear this, now hear this!” And they called out 25 American names alphabetical and ten Canadian names alphabetical; Atkinson 1A, 4B's and 5C's and right away I thought oh we're back in the army, here comes a fatigue job and it said, “Pack your kits, you're leaving for the airport!” I left Japan on the 6th or 7th, the Jugi air strip on the 6th or 7th of September and I was home in Winnipeg on the 16th of September.

Mr. Atkinson describes being taken to Yokohama by the Americans. There he is deloused, showered and given a new uniform. To his surprise, he is selected to fly home, a trip that only takes ten days.

Harold Atkinson

Harold Atkinson was born on February 14, 1922 in Selkirk, Manitoba. He had three siblings. His father, a First World War Veteran, died when he was nine. His family lived on relief, seven dollars a week, and he helped by delivering papers. He finished grade nine, and then in 1940 enlisted. Mr. Atkinson was eighteen when he joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers. He served in Jamaica, guarding German and Italian nationals at an internment camp. He returned to Canada and then went to Hong Kong with his unit. Mr. Atkinson fought against and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. As a prisoner, he heard several comrades bayoneted to death. Mr. Atkinson worked at Kai Tak airport and in North Point Camp's diphtheria ward. In Omini, Japan he worked as a stevedore at the shipyard. When the war ended, Mr. Atkinson was fortunate enough to be flown home.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Harold Atkinson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Winnipeg Grenadiers
Machine Gunner

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