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He Thought He Had Been Hurt

Heroes Remember

He Thought He Had Been Hurt

See, we were northwest of Tokyo. I don’t know how far, maybe about 300 miles, something like that. So we had no way of getting to where the Americans were, which was, they were in Tokyo, you see, and the first thing that happened was an Avenger, one of those aeroplanes, a carrier, an Avenger, came around and it dropped a kitbag loaded with medecine and magazines I think. And it went through the roof of one of the huts. That’s how, he was very low and he just, he just dropped it and it went through the roof. That was the first thing and then not long after that, several days after that, the B-29 came around. And it came around the camp and it dropped pamphlets telling us that within an hour or two a plane would be coming around to drop food and supplies. That very same plane that dropped the pamphlets just went around, came around, and opened a bomb bays and it dropped food. So it was really very welcome, I must say. But dangerous, because we weren’t expecting it, you see, and we didn’t have a drop zone ready. After that we did. We had a drop zone just outside the camp and unfortunately one Japanese lady and her child, I don’t know whether it was a boy or a girl, but they were hit by, they used to drop the food on a platform and they’d tie a couple of parachutes and it would come sailing down. Well, sometimes the parachutes were not adequate to the weight and the platform would come down very fast and this woman couldn’t get out in time, so it hit her, and of course she was killed along with her child, unfortunately. Anyway, the food would drop when it came down that fast, and it would flatten, they were in 40 gallon drums, and it would flatten these drums. Of course, one fellow, there was ketchup, you know, it was flying all over the place and tomato juice from the tins and he thought he had been hurt. He had this all over himself, it was really funny. But, anyway, there wasn’t too much to laugh about in those places.

Mr. Babin describes the medical supply and food drops by the Americans once their Japanese captors had fled Niigata.

Alfred Joseph Babin

Alfred Joseph Babin was born in Moncton, New Brunswick, on October 15, 1921. He was one of five children. His father was a carpenter. Mr. Babin completed grade 8, but left school to work at the local 5 & 10 to help support his family. When old enough, he enlisted, citing better income as his reason. He first joined the New Brunswick Rangers, but quickly transferred to the Carleton and York Regiment. Basic training only consisted of infantry drills. He then joined the Royal Rifles, performing guard duties at the airbase in Gander, Newfoundland. After arriving in Hong Kong, Mr. Babin was volunteered as an ambulance driver, in which capacity he served until Hong Kong surrendered. Mr. Babin recalls in clear detail, life in the POW camps and slave labour in the coal yards near Niigata. After safely returning to Canada, Alfred Babin remained in the Canadian Armed Forces as a member in the military band.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alfred Joseph Babin
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Rifles of Canada
Ambulance Driver

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