Oral History Spotlight: Virgil L. Lewis

Ruth Ann Hattori

Service members stationed in the Pacific Theater, preparing to invade Japan, were probably among the loudest to cheer when peace was announced in mid-August 1945. What must that celebration have been like? Today’s edition of our Oral History Spotlight with Virgil J. Lewis will help visualize the answer. Mr. Lewis joined the Navy in 1942 and spent more than two years as a Seabee at Guadalcanal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, and Manus islands. After spending several months back in the U.S., he was deployed to Okinawa as a member of C.B.M.U. 632. They arrived on that island on the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and, as we all know, the war ended soon thereafter. During 2009, Mr. Lewis sat down with an interviewer from the NMPW to recount his time as a Seabee.

To learn what it was like at Okinawa when it was announced that WWII would end, please listen to our recording of Virgil J. Lewis.

Click Here to Listen

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