Wednesday, August 7, 2019

MAHP: A Letter Home from Okinawa

MAHP:  A Letter Home from Okinawa, Metamora Herald

This month's Metamora Association for Historic Preservation's newsletter includes this fascinating snippet from history. Consider becoming a member of this great organization. The Stevenson House, at 104 W. Walnut St. in Metamora, will be open to the public on August 11 & 23, from 1pm to at least 3pm.

 Ed Bumeter Loses an Eye – A Letter Home from Okinawa.
 May 26, 1945. Mother Dear: How are you and the family. I to find you all fine and in good health. I bet you are pretty busy with your chickens and spring work. I haven't received a letter from anyone since April 9th. I’m O.K. I’ve been fighting in a bloody battle in Okinawa. Mother, it is terrible over here. The first night and every night I was on the front lines. I never expected to come out at it alive. I shot quite a few Japs. Pretty tough being in a fox hole. My poor buddies got shot down like flies. I help carry any wounded buddies and the dead ones back to the rear area and give the wounded first aid. I see some awful sights. Anyone over here is your buddy - black, pink or blue; t doesn’t make any difference what color they are. I never will see another battle. Mother dear, I've been wounded in the line of duty. I wasn't scared of them t dirty little Japs. I got wounded on Mothers' day at six o'clock in the evening. It takes a lot of guts to go through what us American soldiers are going through Don't mind my writing. I am a little shaky and nervous. I was digging my foxhole. My two buddies were Inside digging our hole deeper. I was piling rocks around our hole. Of course Mon the Japs saw us digging in. So they knew right where we were for the night. They started to fire mortar and rifle shells at us. I hit for my hole when the first mortar shell hit. It killed one of our gang and wounded two. I stayed in my hole for a minute and then I thought If we don’t get protection over and around our hole, we will get killed during the night The Japs like to fight at night. We kicked them off in the day time. I still can remember the first Jap I got. Then, Mom, I got out of my hole in the line of fire. There were mortar shells going off all around. I was just finished with my work My buddy hollered Ed, here comes one. I just ducked to one side and a mortar shell hit right by me and hit me in my eye. I let out a yell and crawled in my hole My good old buddies helped me into my hole. They gave me wound tablets and put a bandage on my right eye They asked me if I was hit any place else. I told them no, so they helped me to a cave and the medics gave me blood plasma. They finally got me out of the dangerous area. Then they took me to a wonderful doctor In a tent. I was suffering pretty badly. told the major I had lost my right eye. I l told Doc that I was lucky to come out alive. God was with me. They took three x-rays of my eye. Then Doc told me I'd have to go under an operation right away. He put me to sleep and took what was left of my eye out. I never woke up until morning. I was laying in a tent hospital with a lot of poor wounded buddies. The Doc asked me If could walk. I got up and walked to breakfast. I still have to go under another small operation on my eye lid. I have a temporary glass eye in now. I’m sitting In a nice little hospital in the central Pacific. I help feed my poor helpless buddies. I’m out of bed and walk around. I’m on my way to Honolulu in a couple of weeks to another hospital and from there to the states. I hope to be home by fall. I hope I can learn to shoot my shotgun left-handed. Mother dear, I’m a happy man with one eye. Please don’t worry. I still can see and have got my two arms and both legs which a lot of my poor buddies lost. We have a radio and good beds to sleep in and are in the dry. Tell Harold hello. I sure hope you and Frankie don't worry too much. The Red Cross is swell and awful nice to us. They sit by our bed and talk to us. So please don't worry. I’ll be taken to Honolulu by plane. So I’ll get my plane ride after all. Mother dear. please don't write to me till I get to a hospital in Honolulu, Then I’ll give you my new address. I’ll write this letter as soon as I get there. I’ll write again. I've been treated wonderful by all my doctors and nurses. I have some awful homesick nights and days but make out alright. Take care of yourself and Frankie. I sure miss you all and love you all. So nighty night Mom and good luck mother. Lot more to tell you when I get home. Best wishes to you. Don't worry if you don't hear from me for a while.
 With love, your son, Ed

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