An interesting account of the author’s time in the Army while assigned to the 249th General Hospital, located at North Camp Drake on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan. The 249th General Hospital was designated as a 1000 bed general hospital but seldom saw less than 2000 patients.
The author’s story covers his deployment to Japan in early December, 1965, and includes details of his inclusion with the advance party and conversion of old warehouses into a fully operational medical facility.
The author was assigned to the 249th General Hospital but was not a medic. His role with the unit was as one of two maintenance carpenters. Once the medical facility was up and running, Harland and Dwight Joellenbeck, the other carpenter, were often without enough work.
Soon the two men were given the job of burning huge amounts of medical waste in an oil fired incinerator. Eventually, Japanese Nationals were hired to replace Harland and Dwight for this task. While their replacements were welcomed, this once again left the two men with little carpentry work. This problem was solved by going into Tokyo to see the sights and sample Japanese cuisine. Items of interest in this work include:
- 249th General Hospital deployment to
- 106th General Hospital
- North Camp Drake
- South Camp Drake
- Tokyo, Japan
- Kamakura, Japan
- Mt. Fuji
It should also be noted that the idea for this book came after viewing a 3/4 size Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Grant County Fairgrounds in 2008. That is when so many memories came flooding back of his time in Japan with the 249th General Hospital.
This book deals largely with sightseeing in Japan, life in the army barracks with the men who became life-long buddies and the inspiration that led to the writing of this book. A must read for anyone deployed to Japan during the Vietnam War. Includes many color photos.