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A-Bomb Aftermath

Heroes Remember

I went back to Nagasaki and the buildings and that had steel frames, they were just all twisted and burnt brown with the heat but I will always remember it and so did most of the other fellows. They had their toilets outside; they had a couple there that were quite modern toilets, the water flush and they were set on a cement slab, the building was gone completely and the toilet was standing there not a crack in it. Apparently porcelain is resistant to the pressures of an atomic bomb. But the hillsides where they had gone up the hill it had just taken the sods right off the hill and rolled them back up the hill.

Mr. Billson describes viewing the devastation after the bombing of Nagasaki. The only intact things he sees are few porcelain toilets. He also describes how the blast had rolled all the sod up the surrounding hills.

Walter Billson

Walter Billson was born in Lennoxville, Quebec on October 2, 1914. After completing grade six, he went to work at a local garage. He also joined the Sherbrooke Regiment so he could take rifle practice. In 1940, he enlisted with the Royal Rifles of Canada and became a dispatch rider. After training stints at Valcartier, Sussex and Gander, he returned to Valcartier and was married. The next day, he was heading for Hong Kong. When the battle for Hong Kong begins, Mr. Billson, by then a Corporal, is put in charge of a Bren gun, guarding a pillbox at TaiTam gap. After being captured and imprisoned at North Point Camp, he is sent to a Japanese labor camp near the Omini coal mine. After being liberated, Mr. Billson sees the devastation of Nagasaki as a result of the atomic bomb.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Walter Billson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Rifles of Canada
Dispatch Rider

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