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Marvin Hill, World War II Veteran prepared for battle in Japan - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Marvin Hill, World War II Veteran was prepared for battle in Japan

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DIERKS, Ar -

 

This week marks the 68th anniversary of the United States atomic bombings of Japan; a brutal end to World War II. About a quarter million Japanese died and two strategic Japanese cities were destroyed but the bombings saved untold American lives. Marvin Hill of Dierks, Arkansas believes he's one of them. 

Fighting was fierce between the United States and Japan in the islands of the pacific and in 1945, there were plans for a U.S. invasion of Japan; an offensive that could cost tens of thousands more American lives. 

"We were training for it" says Hill.

Marvin Hill was with an army engineering battalion who built airfields and bridges as the U.S. took one island after the next but the Japanese put up a bloody fight.

"You never knew when they were going to crawl in there and knife you at night or hand grenade you" recalls Hill.

With the surrender of Germany in May, the U.S. focused its atomic bomb operations on Japan and with a base six hours flight time away, the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb "Little Boy" on August 6th on Hiroshima. When the Japanese ignored terms of surrender, the U.S. rolled out a second bigger bomb called "Fat Boy" and dropped it three days later on Nagasaki. That blast convinced the Japanese to give up.

"I'm glad the war was over. That saved my life probably but not happy because it butchered women and children and everything" says Hill. 

Marvin got to come home to his wife and the darling little girl who was just two months old when he had to ship out. 68 years after the end of World War II but a big bull elk found out that he can still shoot.

"Shot him about 200 yards over there, boy, he fell" says Hill.

That was a 7x6 elk that had a seventh point on one side. The elk weighted about 800 pounds that Marvin bagged on a hunting trip to Kansas last fall. 

 

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