Remembering the End of WWII

The following excerpt appeared Saturday, August 29, 2020 in Florida Weekly. Read the full article here.

“I was assigned to the receiving station at Okinawa, and we were getting prepared for the invasion of Japan in November (1945),” Mr. Cortright said. “Thank God we didn’t have to invade because the (Army) Air Force took care of bombing Japan, so that wasn’t necessary.”
Because information was tightly controlled on military bases, Mr. Cortright did not learn of V-J Day when it happened.

“Our regular softball game was being played the night of the armistice,” he said. “We didn’t know until the following day at our Naval base on Okinawa that the war with Japan had ended. ‘Home, home, home’ was all you heard, and everyone became optimistic about the future.”
All of the men began calculating their service points to see if they qualified to go home, but there was still work to be done to close down the base. In November.

Mr. Cortright went home instead of going to Japan.

“Since I was not involved in the bloodiest battle of the war, I can’t relate to any war stories, and it’s the reason I’m here today,” he said. “The true patriots remain on the island.”

Left: Charles Cortright wearing his ensign uniform. Right: Charles Cortright volunteers as a docent at The Naples Museum of Military History at the Naples Airport.

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