Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dad's Letter

My dad served in WWII and afterwards was stationed in Tsingtao, China. It was called Operation Beleaguer. It mainly was for the  repatriation of Japanese and Koreans who remained after WWII. Dad wrote alot about the life there.Things he saw and experienced. Very interesting reading.

I knew he spoke Mandarin Chinese but never knew how he gained  the knowledge. Turns out he learned Chinese while stationed in Tsingtao. This knowledge helped him greatly when he served later in Vietnam. He told us that speaking Mandarin raised the respect he had with the Chinese businessmen he dealt with at that time. He was in charge of supply. Most of them spoke Cantonese and to speak Mandarin was considered a great honor.

Something I noticed was that the idea of appeasement was already showing  in 1947.
here is just a short paragraph of what he experienced..

"While on liberty downtown here last week, I was unfortunately caught in a light riot involving Rickshaw coolies and service men. In the mixup one of them relived me of my Parker fountain pen!
So I borrowed a pen to write this letter. The Rickshaw coolies are becoming very bold and are robbing and beating men quite often. The policy enforced by our forces of taking most every insult without retaliating, in order to win friendship. The policy has only succeeded in making America lose face. They now believe we are actually afraid of them. I think they need to get forceful with them.
Until recently it was almost unheard of for a coolie to strike a service man. Now we have to go out in pairs for safety. The United States has certainly lost prestige."
Tsingtao, China
June 4, 1947