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"Bullets are flying in all directions… you [can] hear them but you don't know which way they're going." (Audio Interview, 15:56)

   Ralph B. Johnson
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Headquarters Headquarters, 381st Infantry Regiment, 96th Infantry Division; 2nd Battalion Headquarters
Service Location: Leyte Island (Philippines); Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands)
Rank: Sergeant
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For soldiers fighting on Okinawa in the Second World War, the first landing on the beach served as a harsh introduction to the chaos of battle. Army Sergeant Ralph B. Johnson offers an evocative description of his experiences arriving on Okinawa with one of the first waves of assault troops on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945. He was tasked with carrying a large and heavy radio, which made struggling through the volley of bullets all the more difficult.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (1 clip)
»Complete Interview 
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Download: audio(3) (85 min.)
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»Photo Album (2 photos)
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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