Joe was stationed on Tinian Island as a surgical technician waiting to invade Japan when the bombing of Hiroshima occurred. He shared his memory of this today.
"It’s been 70 years now and August 6th through the 19th is deeply embedded in my memory. About this time I had been through with the venture on Okinawa for two months, and was assigned as a surgical technician at the hospital on Tinian.  Japanese consider Okinawa their home island and we learned how they could defend it. The lack of respect the Japanese had for American prisoners of war showed their resolve. I was scheduled to be part of the mobile surgery team when we would invade Japan which we all thought would be in the fall.
Then, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by pilot Paul Tibbets in the bomber Enola Gay. We didn’t know anything was planned until after the bomb had been dropped. We also didn’t know how the bomb worked. A lot of us were on the field when Tibbets returned. Then 3 days later on August 9, another bomb was dropped, this time on Nagasaki. Nine days later Hirohito surrendered.
If we had had to invade Japan, there would have been many casualties on both sides. We had fire bombed Tokyo which set off fires throughout the city. We learned from this how devastating actions using these bombs can be. Of the events from August 6 – 19, 1945 – I can’t help but think about what happened then and what might have happened if we had had to invade Japan. The A-bombs brought the war to an abrupt end."