JOHNSON AB PARADE FL0AT SUMMER 1957 PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
THANKS TO ANGEL CORTINAS FOR MAKING THIS PAGE POSSIBLE
THE JOHNSON AB FLOAT IN THE SUMMER
1957 PARADE PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
ANOTHER FLOAT IN THE SUMMER 1957 PARADE PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
JOHNSON AB, 41ST AIR DIVISION COMMANDER GENERAL CECIL P. "BRICK" LESSIG, BASE COMANDER COLONEL CASEY AND DRIVER 1957 SUMMER PARADE PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
MISAWA AND NAGOYA AIR BASES THE LAST TWO TEAMS DEFEATED BY JOHNSON ARE SHOWN ON THIS FLOAT IN THE
1956 SUMMER PARADE PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
FOOTBALL RALLY BON-FIRE 5TH AIR FORCE RICE BOWL
1957 PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
JOHNSON AB WINING TROPHY PRESENTATION HQ. SQ. 3RD AB GROUP TO SGT. JIM BOSS DESIGNER AND STARS AND STRIPES PHOTOGRAPHER 1957 PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
RALLY AND BON-FIRE 5TH AF CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
1957 PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
ANOTHER PHOTO OF THE RALLY BON-FIRE BEFORE THE 5TH AF RICE BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 1957 PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
THE NEW HAVEN BAR IN TOYOOKA RIGHT TO LEFT THE BAR OWNER MR. TANAKA, J. CORDOVA, B DOWNS AND ANGEL CORTINAS FOR A LITTLE R AND R AND A GOOD TIME 1957
FUCHU, MISSAWA, NAGOYA AND ITAZUKI AIR BASE TEAMS DEFEATED BY JOHNSON ARE SHOWN ON THIS FLOAT IN THE 1956 SUMMER PARADE
PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
VANGUARD CLUB ENTRY FLOAT JOHNSON AB PARADE
1957 PHOTO ANGEL CORTINAS
WEDDING RECEPTION FOR CAPT. RUSSEL F. LUND AND WIFE AT NICK'S STEAK HOUSE OUTSIDE JOHNSON AB DATE UNKNOWN
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY ERIC LUND CAPT. LUND'S SON
MY FATHER PLAYED ON THE CHUGGERS. CAPT. JAMES M. HOLLINGSWORTH, PILOT F-51s CO OF THE 40 FS, AUG. 1948 TO JAN. 1949. HE IS SECOND TOP RIGHT, THE SHORTER ONE. THANKS TOM
40TH FIGHTER SQUDRON MANUVERS SEP 1948 SUBMITTED BY TOM
West Chester man recalls Japanese general's Pearl Harbor tales in postwar Japan
By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
POSTED: DECEMBER 05, 2011
He was six years old then and doesn't remember that Dec. 7 in 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
Marvin Baughman later saw newsreels with unflattering caricatures of the enemy. And he witnessed a B-25 bomber crash at a cemetery near the family farm in West Chester in 1944.
Baughman never imagined that a decade after World War II, he'd be stationed at a former kamikaze base, renamed Johnson Air Base, in Japan, and that he'd get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Japanese side of the "date which will live in infamy."
As chauffeur to Brig. Gen. Cecil "Brick" Lessig in the mid-1950s, he overheard conversations between his "boss" and the Japanese military officer who planned the Pearl Harbor attack.
In the backseat of Lessig's 1950 Buick staff car was Gen. Minoru Genda, one of the first naval officers in the world to realize the potential of using aircraft carriers to project air power.
"It was a bone-chilling experience," said former Air Force Master Sgt. Baughman, 76, of West Chester. "I always remember [Genda's comments] around this time, as we get close to the anniversary of the attack."
Baughman said he "felt like Forrest Gump" with a front seat on history.
He recalls meeting or chauffeuring a host of other dignitaries from 1955 to 1958, including Cardinal Francis Spellman; variety show host Ed Sullivan; Chinese leader Chiang Ching-kuo, son of Taiwan President Chiang Kai-shek; as well as a host of world golf professionals.
"I got to see Bob Hope doing a live Christmas taping at Johnson Air Base on my 23d birthday, just before coming home in 1958," he said.
But it's the memory of Genda - with his proud manner and piercing eyes - that still stands apart from all the others.
"I'll never forget him," said Baughman, who married a Japanese woman in Tokyo in 1956. "I had him in the car three times.
"He and Gen. Lessig carried on normal conversations, like two old friends, while I took them to conferences near Toyko."
Genda "didn't fly during the Pearl Harbor attack due to illness," Baughman said, "but much of what he planned was carried out."
The Japanese officer "described the island, explained how the planes went over certain areas for strafing and bombing," Baughman said. "He went into everything in detail, what they planned and what they did."
Genda, who was commissioned a general in the Japan Air Self-Defense Force after the war, told Lessig he had hoped to take the attack much further.
He "wanted to occupy Hawaii and use it as a base to invade the West Coast," Baughman said. "He wanted to invade, through Washington, Oregon, and California."
Baughman said he never thought he'd end up in Japan.
"Who would ever think, in your wildest dreams, that I'd be living among the people we'd been taught to detest so much?" he said. "But you find out, regardless of race, creed, or color, that people are people.
"Whenever I went on trains and came across former Japanese soldiers looking for donations, I always gave whatever I could afford," he said. "They were fellow soldiers."
As a general's chauffeur, though, Baughman often saw another side of society. "One time I had Ed Sullivan in the car," he said. "He gave me a $3 tip when I dropped him off at the Imperial Hotel in Toyko."
Baughman would meet him again later.
"I wrote to The Inquirer in 1971 about his last live broadcast and one of Sullivan's aides sent me two tickets," he said. "I got to go up on stage and meet Sullivan after the show. That was a treat."
Baughman, who was an airman first class in the 1950s, also remembered shaking hands with Spellman and having a brief chat with Chiang Ching-kuo.
Chiang "was in charge of the military on Taiwan," he said. "He was one of my passengers; he came up to me and shook my hand. I was startled. He asked, 'How are you, airman?' "
Baughman also attended the taping of a Bob Hope show in Japan and met the comedian nearly 40 years later at a book-signing event near his West Chester home.
"He was less than a mile from my house, so I stood in line to thank him," he said. "I was so shook up, I gave him a kiss.
"I didn't realize what I was doing until I did it," he said. "Bob Hope said, 'He kisses good, too!' "
Baughman left active military service in 1958 and he and his wife, Haruko, had two daughters.
He was an appliance salesman, then a supervisor and office manager for the former Philadelphia Electric Co. - now Peco Energy Co. - leaving after 33 years.
Baughman worked as a bailiff for the Chester County Court and drove a van for a trucking company before retiring five years ago. He's a former adjutant for American Legion Post 134 in West Chester.
"I was lucky in so many respects to do what I have done. I was a farm boy, just average, even less than average," he said.
But of all the memories, it was the Genda's matter-of-fact description of the Pearl Harbor attack that still haunts him, especially as the anniversary approaches.
"It was mind-boggling," Baughman said. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I get chills, even now, just thinking about it."
P-51 IN FLIGHT CIRCA 1952-1954 PHOTO LT. DON MONCHIL
PILOT IN COCKPIT P-51 CIRCA 1952-1954 PHOTO LT. DON MONCHIL
P-51 AND CREWMEN CIRCA 1952-1954 PHOTO LT. DON MONCHIL
P-51 UNDER GOING MANTINTANCE CIRCA 1952-1954
PHOTO LT. DON MONCHIL
P-51 COCKPIT INSTERMENT PANAL CIRCA 1952-1954 PHOTO LT. DON MONCHIL
P-51 IN FLIGHT BELIEVE COMMING IN FOR A LANDING AS GEARS DOWN AND DUE TO THE ALTITUDE. CIRCA 1952-1954 PHOTO LT. DON MONCHIL
Angel Cortinas's story of what happened to him at Johnson AB
I had been at Johnson for only a few weeks and was assign as one of the ground school Flight Instrument Instructor for the 3rd Bomb Wing that included the 8th, 13th and 90th Bomb Squadrons. One morning I heard some murmur and heated discussions in the office among a couple of NCO's about a Japanese man in military dress that was from the Japanese Defense Force. He was handsome in appearence, clean cut, slender build and a little taller than normal for a Japanese. I was called in and told to be his flight training instructor for the day. That surprised me and caught me off guard, because I was new and the man had 3 silver stars on his collar (obviously a General in rank). This was very unusal, since as far as I know, he was the only Japanese military person to attend our Flight Instrument Training school. I figured, since I was low man on the totem pole, I was picked for non-USAF personnel. I signed him in and took notice of his name, but at that point in time, it didn't mean much to me. Everything went well, we finished and he thanked me for the help as his instructor and aslo saw him a few times after that day. It was not until much later, that I found out what the commotion was about this man. It became known to me later, that the NCOs who normally took charge of everything had refused to deal or talk with the general and had actually shown animosity and bitterness toward him that they didn't hide. This is the only occasion, that I can recall, of this type reaction shown by our people toward the Japanses. The NCOs later told me, and I felt enmity as they spoke about this man, but being young and full of life at that stage, it went in one ear and out the other. It was only later when on studies of WWll and Japan that I realized who this man was. He was of course, non-other than Minoru Genda, the Naval Cmdr that helped plan the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7,1941. It seemed some of our people had not, at that time forgotten it. A few were WWll veterans and that conflick as well as Korea was still fresh in their minds. I understand that later he was promoted to 4 stars and made Chief Commander of the Japanese Military Force as a seperate entity from the US Government. I never saw him again after those few times and he has since passed away. I never knew or spoke with Commander Fuchita who led and participated in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, who spoke at nearby Yokota AB while I was at JAB.
Best Regards- Angel Cortinas JAB 56-58
PHOTOS OF THE FLIGHT INSTERMENT UNIT JOHNSON AB JAPAN
SUBMITTED BY ANGEL CORTINAS
PHOTOS FROM THE BIOGRAPHY OF MINORU GENDA
MAIN GATE JOHNSON AB PHOTO SUBMITTED BY MIK SKIDMORE
THANKS TO BILL HELM FOR THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS
HYDE PARK HOUSING JOHNSON AB PHOTO BILL HELM
HYDE PARK PLAY GROUND PHOT BILL HELM
CHERRY BLOSSOMS JOHNSON AB PHOT BILL HELM
NIKI AJAX MISSEL NEAR THE BASE THEATER PHOT BILL HELM
ABANDONED BASE HOUSING 1990'S PHOTO BILL HELM
TEA FIELD ACROSS FROM JOHNSON AB PHOT BILL HELM
IRUMA AIR BASE JAPAN AIR FORCCE (FORMERLY JOHNSON AB) REAR GATE PHOTO BILL HELM
JOHNSON AB COMMISSARY PHOTO BILL HELM
JOHNSON AB GYM LOOKING TOWARD THE FRONT GATE 1988 PHOTO BILL HELM
JOHNSON AB BASE GYM 1988 PHOTO BILL HELM