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History Club
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Hosted by Frank Amato
Double A Bomb Survivor - Passes Away
GSPatton
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California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,410 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 05:23 AM UTC
TOKYO -- Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person officially recognized as a survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings at the end of World War II, has died at age 93.

Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city.

He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the southwest, which suffered a second U.S. atomic bomb attack three days later.

On Aug. 15, 1945, Japan surrendered, ending the war.

The mayor of Nagasaki said "a precious storyteller has been lost," in a message posted on the city's Web site Wednesday. Yamaguchi died Monday morning of stomach cancer, the mass circulation Mainichi, Asahi and Yomiuri newspapers reported.

Yamaguchi was the only person to be certified by the Japanese government as having been in both cities when they were attacked, although other dual survivors have also been identified.

"My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die," Yamaguchi was quoted as saying in the Mainichi newspaper last year.

In his later years, Yamaguchi gave talks about his experiences as an atomic bomb survivor and often expressed his hope that such weapons would be abolished.

He spoke at the United Nations in 2006, wrote books and songs about his experiences, and appeared in a documentary about survivors of both attacks.

Last month he was visited in the hospital by filmmaker James Cameron, director of "Titanic" and "Avatar," who is considering making a movie about the bombings, according to the Mainichi.

Immediately after the war, Yamaguchi worked as a translator for American forces in Nagasaki and later as a junior high school teacher.

Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks. About 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki.

Yamaguchi is one of about 260,000 people who survived the attacks. Some bombing survivors have developed various illnesses from radiation exposure, including cancer and liver illnesses.

Certification as an atomic bomb survivor in Japan qualifies individuals for government compensation, including monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs.

Don't know if he was the luckiest man on earth - but some luck must have been with him to survive both a-bomb drops -
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 6,043 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - 01:06 PM UTC
Never knew and a good read thanks for posting it.

RIP now.

pigsty
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,226 posts
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Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 01:42 AM UTC
It wasn't that long ago that the Japanese government acknowledged that he had survived both bombs and increased his pension as a result. When that was reported, I read that he'd had to explain to his boss what had happened to him in Hiroshima - and the boss was actually saying "don't talk rubbish, no-one has a bomb that big" when the second one went off.

History doesn't record what happened to his boss ...
Spellbot5000
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: December 28, 2009
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Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 07:33 PM UTC
Man, I can just imagine this guy at the time.

Tsutomu - "Man, this is sure a great business trip! Hey, what's that sound?"
*a-bomb is dropped on Hiroshima*
Tsutomu - "Oh.... oh my god, oh my god. What was that? My god.... puff,puff, god.... at least I have survived. At least I can see my family again."
Three Days Later......
Tsutomu - "Family, my dear family, it is so good to see you! You were the only thing in my thoughts as I traveled back to see you after surviving what I learned was an atomic mob. The blast, it.... it was like hell on earth. Hey, what's that sound?"
*second a-bomb is dropped on Nagasaki*
Tsutomu - "Awwwww, MAN! What the hell?!? Can't a guy catch a god-damned break?!? This is getting re-goddamn-diculous up in here!"


Seriously though, what a survivor this guy was. Only two nukes ever dropped on an enemy populace and this guy catches both of them. Here's to him and his family.
Whiskey6
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: August 15, 2006
KitMaker: 408 posts
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Posted: Friday, January 08, 2010 - 03:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Seriously though, what a survivor this guy was. Only two nukes ever dropped on an enemy populace and this guy catches both of them.



Some folks are just accident prone, I guess.

It appears he had a good life in spite of all the radiation.

Semper Fi,
Dave