An On-Line Publication of the Anonymous Anything Society
18th BIRTHDAY PRESENT
Batangas, Philippines, September 2, 1945:
Longtime Tucson radio broadcasting executive Philip (Phil) Richardson riding
a rice farmer’s docile water buffalo while celebrating the greatest birthday
present any 18-year old infantry soldier could receive: hearing about the
surrender of Japan over Armed Forces radio. This, after a nine month “bad
camping trip” across Luzon while in the 6th Army, advancing on Manila under
General Douglas MacArthur.
We were being told that we G.I.s were to prepare for an imminent invasion of
the Japanese home islands.
I’ve always figured that President Harry Truman’s decision to use nuclear
weapons to end that war saved millions of American and Japanese lives.
-Phil Richardson, Storyteller and Observer of the Human condition