WELCOME TO JAPAN:
The Japanese occupation in 1949 was more plush than the Korean occupation the year previously in several ways. We had more room in our barracks. A little more privacy. There were some disadvantages. We had to do our own washing. They would not allow natives on base to help us out there.
I also was awarded the rocker strip to my insignia which meant that I was now a Staff Sergeant. It was great to see summer coming to the island of Hokkaido. I could start exploring the island with some of my buddies.
On weekends most of the fellows would go into town but a few of us had no interest in drinking and meeting up with the geishas. We could take hikes up into the mountains for about 3 hours, cook our lunch over a camp fire and hike back.
I was getting a little home sick but felt that I could make it into 1950 without much trouble and make my rotation back to the good old USA. My enlistment would be up on October 9, 1950. Don’t miss the change in plans in future chapters.