Lewis's Seabee Scrapbook - page 8
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Upon leaving Iwo Jima, we boarded the SS Blue Runner and joined a flotilla of what appeared to be hundreds of ships and the convoy sailed for the Japanese mainland.
We still listened to and were amused by the daily radio broadcasts from "Tokyo Rose". By that time, we were very close to Japan and proceeded to anchor in Japanese territorial waters quite close to the Islands of Honshu and Shikoku.
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Although we were assigned to the 6th Marine Division and destined to be on an occupational assignment, after being anchored for several days, we were advised that we would go ashore, but not as a military unit. Relatively small groups were loaded into boats and ferried ashore at Matsuyama on the Island of Shikoku.
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Upon landing, we were welcomed by seemingly happy Japanese civilians, mostly women and children, all smiling, waving hands, and looking for a handout. Most of the CB's had brought personal items ashore - shaving lotions, deodorants, chewing gum, cigarettes, and soap. I had a bar of unwrapped Lux soap, which all the women were reaching for. I said, "I want a Japanese Flag". A small girl, no more than 5 or 6 years of age, darted between the women's legs and in a few minutes returned the same way, with a Japanese flag, which I still have today. We made the exchange and I'll never forget the excited expression on her cute little face as she cupped the bar of soap in her hands and inhaled the fragrant odor.
We strolled around, made a few purchases (I bought the two rag dolls shown) and tried to make the most of our short visit prior to returning to the small boat for the return trip to the ship at the pre-set time for our group.
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In addition to the rag dolls and the flag, I still have Japanese paper money from the trip. Here are 20 Yen, 10 Yen, and 5 Yen notes.

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