Reprinted by permission, courtesy of Mr. George "Bob" Veazey Sr.
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CHAPTER 7 - Bob Veazey's Memoirs - Page 1
On 2 August, 1952 I boarded a charter DC-6 aircraft and departed the United States for assignment to
the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing of the 5th Air Force, United States Air Force. This was to be the
culmination of the training I had embarked upon in January of 1951.
The trip to Korea from Travis AFB, CA via Japan included scheduled stops at Hawaii and
Wake Island. The DC-6 just didn't have the range to travel much further on each leg. The
DC-6 was also a fairly slow aircraft and as I recall, it took about eight hours to reach
Honolulu. There was a brief stop for refueling, giving only about an hour to stretch our legs
and allow me to take a couple of pictures with my little Bolsey camera of the control tower
with the word "Aloha" prominently displayed.
Our flight to Wake Island was a little shorter than from California to Hawaii, and we arrived
in the late afternoon. Wake Island still displayed
the effects of the war. It was just a crescent of
sand and coral with a runway on one leg of the
crescent. Behind the operations building (a
shack) there was a Japanese mini tank, and
when we were bussed around to the other end
of the island to a mess hall, we saw numerous
beached and partially submerged ships. Signs on the beaches warned that there were
unexploded mines there and the remains of gun emplacements were evident. After a light
meal we were bussed back to the other side, boarded the DC-6 and took off for the overnight
flight to Japan.
We arrived at Haneda Airport in the early morning and were bussed to "FEAMCOM Area
B", a transient administration center, located outside of Tokyo. The first thing I noticed
was that there was a strange odor in the air. It was a "wood smoke" kind of odor, but also
with a hint of incense and perfume. Arriving at the center, we were given briefings on the