The villager's note and testimony / A-bomb victims who took refuge

1. Memory of Hesaka at the Time of the A-bombing

Many were crushed under the barracks by the A-bombing on that day. We, the Seventh Corps soldiers, were absorbed in rescuing people caught in the rubble until evening. We also were searching for Master Sergeant Ogura, who was in charge of personnel of the corps. We tried hard to find him. Isamu Aoki, who was a Private First Class working at the section in charge of deciding soldier's distinguished services, remembered that Master Sergeant Ogura should have been in the room of distinguished services just before the A-bombing. Some members, who had crawled out of the crushed barracks and were fine enough to work, removed the broken roof tiles and piled pillars, heading for the room downstairs. Finally we came upon the room. We found him there as we had expected but he was unconscious with his head under a pile of debris, sandwiched between a big pillar and a long and thick crossbeam. It was an awful sight.

To rescue him, we needed to remove all the debris piled over the crossbeam on his head and the crossbeam. Seven or eight men who were not injured tried to lift the end of it but they couldn't. Finally they managed to lift it with a jack they found in a machinery warehouse, so Master Sergeant Ogura was rescued. We patted his back or called his name loudly, but he remained unconscious. A man fetched water in a broken handy cooking pot and squirted his face with it. Finally he recovered consciousness.

Fortunately his external injuries were not serious, but his consciousness was not clear even after he came to himself because his head had been caught in a pillar and a big beam. We judged him in serious condition and someone suggested that he should get urgent treatment somewhere. At first we took him to the workplace of the Engineer Corps across Kohie Bridge. However, there was no place to lay him, with the exposed and injured people from Hiroshima jam-packed in a wide grass field of the workplace and their groans filling the air.

The Master Sergeant was an important person managing personnel of the Corps, so we all wished that he should get proper treatment to recover soon.

In such a condition we overheard that treatment and medicine would be given at Hesaka Elementary School, so we decided to take him to Hesaka. We laid him on a stretcher and five or six soldiers carried it leaving Ushita around 6 p.m. We saw seriously burned people, whose gender we couldn't distinguish, staggering in a long line on the way to Hesaka.

When we got to Hesaka Elementary School, both the grounds and the school buildings were so flooded with the injured people from Hiroshima that there was no room to step into. As we couldn't find any place for laying Master Sergeant Ogura, we had no choice but to ask neighbors to let us use their house to give him treatment. That was Mr. Hagino's house, which was on the hill near the school. We were relieved that we could lay him down in a room, which Mr. Hagino was willing to offer. The other soldiers who carried the Master Sergeant left me there to take care of him and went back to Ushita for duty of the Corps.

Master Sergeant Ogura was in a coma; moreover, his head was swollen far from a human's. All I could do without medicine was cool him with a wet towel by well water. Fortunately, however, with nursing day through night, the swelling of his face gradually receded and the fever passed in four or five days, thanks to the kindness and compassionate care by the Hagino family.

When his condition became stable, I had a chance to listen to the Hagino family talk about Hesaka during the A-bombing. A flash shot in a moment, then a tremendous booming sound followed. They found all the walls on the Hiroshima City side of their house torn off by the blast. We saw the flash but didn't hear the sound in the building of the Engineer Corps. I thought it was because the barracks crashed at the same time of the sound.

While Master Sergeant Ogura was at the Hagino's home for a week, he recovered his vigor and began to worry about the Corps. Therefore, I came back to Ushita with him.

After that I was demobilized and began the hard life after the war. I'm sorry that I had no chance to visit Hesaka, and I haven't heard about the Hagino family. One reason is that my memory is related with the hard experience of the terrible A-bombing, and I'm not ready to remember it. (memoir)

Kunitada Imashiro (soldier)