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Volume 3427
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 Edgar Rice Burroughs:
The War Years Series
ERBzine 1019

ERBzine Correspondence from Jeff Rhoads:
While going through my father's things (he was moving) we ran across a photo with a letter from ERB to my Grandfather, then Captain Forrest A Rhoads. 

The letter is dated 18 July 1945. Evidently their paths crossed during WWII when my grandfather was helping with the invasion of Okinawa.

Here is some history/what I know:

The photo was taken on Kerama Retto Island, 1945.
Edgar Rice Burroughs on the right
My Grandpa, Captain Forrest A Rhoads, (seated to his right)
Island Commander Col. Argo (at the head of the table) 
Interviewing the Mayor of one of the captured towns (Guy on left) 
Behind him is a Japanese interpreter.

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, like my grandfather -- Burroughs was a resident of Hawaii and, despite being in his late sixties, he applied for permission to become a war correspondent. This permission was granted, and so he became one of the oldest war correspondents for the U.S. during World War II.

The Capture of the Kerama Ritto Island in March of '45 paved the way for the invasion of Okinawa. During the battle for the island, the first civilian mass suicides took place. This make-shift hut was built for interrogating prisoners and is made from mortar round crates.

Located a dozen miles to the southwest of Okinawa, Kerama Retto was occupied on March 26, 1945, by elements of the U.S. Army’s 77th Infantry Division. Discovered on the island were a series of caves with several hundred boats. The boats were actually floating bombs. Loaded with explosives, they would have been used in suicide attacks against Navy vessels approaching Okinawa. Their small size and relatively high speed and maneuverability would have made them difficult to hit. Hundreds of them launched at once had the potential to cause tremendous carnage, not only to the ships, but especially to the lightly-armored and lightly-defended landing craft.

My grandfather's job was logistics and supply for the Okinawa invasion, a job for which he received the Legion of Merit medal. Although he didn't see much action being associated with supply, he and Burroughs were shot at by a Jap sniper while touring the island. Grandpa finished his days in the Navy as Rear Admiral Forrest "Dusty" Rhoads. He had quite a remarkable career meeting many famous people.

Kerama Retto Island, 1945

L-R: Interpreter, Yamashita (rear) | Island Mayor, Seiee (front) | Commander Col. Argo | Captain Forrest A Rhoads | Edgar Rice Burroughs


Rear Admiral Forrest A. Rhoads

Read more on Dusty's Navy career.
A Journey from Apprentice Seaman to Rear Admiral
His whole story can be found HERE:
Just scroll to the very bottom of the page.
~ Jeff Rhoads
Jeff Rhoads has created a tribute site dedicated to
Percy Keese Fitzhugh, author of the Tom Slade series, etc.

More Background Information On This Event
from the
ERB Personal War Years Journal
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Oldest Correspondent in the WWII Pacific Theatre
An Illustrated Time Line of Events
1945: The War Years
Collated by Bill Hillman
Volume 1038
May-June-July Excerpt
Multi-thousand mile cruise on the oiler/refueler, U.S.S. Cahaba commanded by Lieutenant Commander Julius Burnbaum. Sailed to the Carolines and other islands in the Western Pacific. They came under sniper fire, and a bombing and kamikaze attack on Kerama Retto atoll. A spoof of the visit appears in William Brinkley's satiric novel, Don't Go Near The Water.
Kerama Retto atollJap suicide boats on Kerama Retto
Kerama Retto atoll and Jap suicide boats on Kerama Retto

Start of Kamikaze MissionKamikaze Attack
Start of Kamikaze Mission and the Attack

From our ERB War Photos at ERBzine 4195

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