I was about 10th in a long line of replacement infantry troops on Leyte the day a young Lt.(I was a couple of months away from being 19) came out of the equipment supply quanset hut and told us to go back to our tents as the shooting was over. As I recall the scuttlebutt was that our tent was being outfitted to go to Mindoro Island. Years later I was informed for certain that Mindoro was a staging place for the 96th Div. in preparation for the invasion of Japan. The 96th Div. had returned to the Philippines after combat on Okinawa. My only sibling brother had been killed on Okinawa serving with the 96th Div. The 96th Div. was cancelled from occupying duty in Japan and instead was chosen for service release. I spent several months on Leyte in an ordinance company. Ond from our camp on a knoll inthe middle of a rice paddy we could see several hundred yards across the paddy at least one Jap straggler in the mountains. Four of us got permission to go and get the Jap to give up. We never found the Jap but I did come back to camp with a big bunch of monkey bananas. There is much more to this story as well as at a later time when assigned to the Army Air Force in the Marianas to get my service time in. It was interesting and memorable to see the human remnants of the war there especially the burned out caves apparently by flame throwers.
I’m sorry about the loss of your brother.
Thank you for sharing that. You were one of the many who got a reprieve on life when the bombs were dropped on Japan.
My parents were older when they had me-—I’m in my 40s-—but I never get tired of hearing WWII stories from your generation. My parents are gone now, but I still feel the connection. God bless.