I had never thought I would become a blogger, as my son described himself, but it is quite an interesting medium of communication. We have had a rather startling update from Japan. Lieutenant Shinoda, the man who was with my son from their time at the SDF base until the end was kind enough to write an English version of his report concerning Charles and his friend Alex. He was able to get in contact with Ayako, who forwarded the letter to us. I will copy it here, as I am sure there are people who would like to know about the reports contents. We have still not been able to get in touch with Alex’s family, but if anyone can forward this report to them, I am sure they would appreciate it.
Combat Action Report
Lt. Shinoda, Keisuke
At 0730 this morning, a detail of men including myself and four others boarded an American UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from our temporary base on the island of Tomogashima. We traveled to Mie prefecture, where we returned to the site of the attack that claimed the lives of Pvt. Yamada and SSgt. Barnes. Our group consisted of myself, Pvt. Uehara, Pvt. Onishi, TSgt. O’Connor from the US Air Force, and Captain Robinson from the US Army. Captain Robinson insisted on making our request to return a reality, as he claimed to have been personally acquainted with SSgt. Barnes.
We landed in an open field near the edge of town approximately three kilometers from our previous encampment. We spent the next two hours making careful maneuvers through the urban area. We encountered no hostile targets. We did make contact with numerous survivors and provided them with limited assistance. Their names, birth dates, and MyNumber information has been attached as an addendum to this report for census reporting.
We approached the building from the north, taking note that our vehicles remained out front. They’ve been marked for future recovery. Inside the lobby and reception area we noted twelve corpses – one of which belonging to Pvt. Yamada. His remains were successfully recovered and returned to the helicopter for extraction. In the stairwell, we discovered two corpses that both myself and Pvt. Uehara confirmed as his two kills from our previous operation. We also noted three other corpses that were unaccounted for, all dispatched with entry wounds consistent with bullet damage. Neither belonged to SSgt. Barnes.
On the roof, we found five corpses leading from the door to the retaining wall. None belonged to SSgt. Barnes. They’d been felled in a semi-circle pattern from gunshot wounds. Around the retaining wall, we noted the presence of bullet casings, confirmed by Capt. Robinson to be standardized NATO 5.56 ammunition used by the M-16 assault rifle. We followed the trail of casings as it led us around the roof like breadcrumbs. The trail stopped on the western face of the building, overlooking our previous escape route. In total, we recovered forty-two casings from the roof and eight from the ground next to the building underneath his firing positions.
To be continued…