Atsugi Air Field had been the Japanese Naval Air Academy location as well as a major airfield. The 3rd Bomb Group occupied what had been the Academy facilities on one side of the runways and everything else was located on the other side of the field.

We had everything we needed on our side of the field; headquarters building, mess hall, offices quarters, enlisted personnel barracks, dispensary, PX,  tailor shop,  barbershop a drill field which I only saw used once, an enlisted man's club, a NCO club and a motor pool. We had a separate gate on our side of the field separate from the Main Gate on the other side of the field; both manned by 1st Cavalry.

I believe this was the biggest field I'd been on.  There were literally hundreds, not counting the Japanese planes that have been bulldozed off into huge piles. There were planes from four different countries at the ATC Terminal the day I arrived.

I was assigned to a barracks, not a place in the barracks, just to a barracks.  You just found a vacant area, put your stuff down and that area was yours to do with as you please.  Some of the guys had big Japanese beds; there were ten or twelve Japanese electric heaters and dressers of all descriptions from real furniture to tool boxes. There was a radio they say was made from five Japanese radios wired together.  There was a variety of chairs, sofas and stools; a ping pong table with only seven legs. Some men walled in their area to make a room. And some were decorated with art work i.e…

Anxious to see this foreign country I had been reading about for so long I went to Fujisawa, the nearest city on the train line. It was a very small place with dirt streets; the only sign of business I saw were small shops already offering trinkets and silk items as souvenirs of Japan.

I'll never complain about the trains in the states again. People were packed inside, on the platforms and even hanging on the handles by the doors. They stand on the couplings between the cars and even ride on the engine.  The crowding didn’t bother me as much as the odor, it is awful.  Seemed like half the people are carrying children on their backs, the other half are carrying backpacks.  It was my last train ride.
 

Japanese Children

Japanese High Speed Rail 1946

Atsugi Laundry 1946

Great Buddha at Kamakura  June 1946

Japanese Children 

Bad Roads

Post war and being on a new base, things were pretty casual and nonmilitary i.e. I signed up to take a radio course to avoid working a full day every day.

I moved to a new location in the barracks because one of the “54’s” was shipping out. A "54" is a man with 54 points; everybody knows everybody else's points.  It was really comical; most men went by the bulletin board every day to see if their points had changed.

Parties were popular and frequent. A New Year’s party was planned.  Japan must be the home of decorations, there were decorations everywhere and horns and hats for everybody.  For some reason the guys seemed to drink about ten times as much over there than they did in the states.  Mixed drinks, Japanese beer and something called eggnog supposedly made with Japanese whiskey, but tasted like aviation fuel were served. The eggnog was declared OK by the Flight Surgeon, who tested it before the party.
 

There was virtually no restriction as to where you drank beer. I saw our First Sergeant seven times in the first couple days and he had a beer bottle in his hand every time. Japanese beer bottles looked like state side fifths and their liquor bottles are weird looking little things. 

Water for bathing water was heated in a five-gallon gasoline can.  Besides being a little rusty and smelling a little like gasoline, it was OK. We just opened the window and dumped the water out when we were through.  We washed in our helmets; I knew there was a reason Uncle Sam issued me one. Unlike being the State-Side army, this was Atsugi; improvise and make do with what you had the best you could. It didn’t seem bad, everyone was in the same boat and we laughed at ourselves a lot… 

After days of being unassigned to a job I was assigned to Personal Equipment; that was parachutes, emergency equipment and flying clothing.  We issue flying clothing, checked emergency equipment and check and issue parachutes.  There were three enlisted men and one officer on this assignment. Working there appreciably increased my acquiring ability.  I soon had a pair of flying boots and a B-15 jacket.

There were extensive tunnels under  Atsugi; they were abandoned, but living quarters, shops, warehouses and several ammo dumps were easily identifiable. The air base was higher than the surrounding area allowing entrance from the side of the hill. It had been rebuilt in this manner in 1938 in preparation for air attacks. There was a tunnel entrances in many locations with one immediately behind the dispensary building. Click the image above to see what Atsugi was like in late August & early September 1945 as advance forces prepared the way for the occupation of Japan.

3RD BOMB GROUP DISPENSARY


3rd BG Dispensary 1946

3rd BG Dispensary by Toru Sone

3RD BOMB GROUP MEDICS


Sgt. Lloyd Barnard & Flight Surgeon - Capt. Jack Kirschenfeld

Lloyd Barnard & Capt. Henderson

The dispensary staff consisted of the Flight Surgeon, Capt. Jack Kirschenfeld and Irving Clements. We had a dental office and a dentist came once a week. I had a filling removed and a new one put in without the benefit of an electric drill, the dentist used a foot operated drill. I bumped into Irving Clements, who was from my home town of Norfolk, Va. At this time, meeting someone from your home town was like meeting an old friend, even though you had never met them before. Irving was a medic and the only enlisted man assigned to the 3rd BG dispensary. We became fast friends and ultimately I took his place at the dispensary.


Lloyd, Kenny & M/Sgt. Coddington

M/Sgt. Coddington

 Lloyd & Rocky

Rocky & The Fire Engine

The 3rd Bomb Group was not issued or authorized a fire engine but we had one, a Japanese fire engine, and Rocky, head of the motor pool, was the self-appointed Fire Chief. Rocky may have been head of the motor pool and probably owned the engine but it had a mind of its own.  When it would start to go to a fire the water pumps invariably would not start and when the engine would not start to go to a fire and would have to be towed, the water pumps worked fine. 

John Henry & Lloyd Barnard

Lloyd Barnard writing home

Lloyd Barnard

Mack & Ambulance

Unloading Supplies at the PX

Little Johnnie -House Boy  burning trash

Machita & The Stove

Machita shining shoes

Sgt. Joe Stroud posing in front of the B-17 Star of Atsugi while it was visiting Yokota Air Base in 1947.

Joe Stroud was a Crew Chief at Yokota Air Base from 1946-1950.


ARTWORK BY MURPHY 

The only information on the artist is that he was a grounded Co-Pilot stationed at Atsugi Air Base.


 The Day WWIII Almost Started 

                                       

Japanese Airfields

Lloyd arrived back in the United States on September 7, 1946 and discharged from Ft. Bragg on September 9, 1946. 
Lloyd went home to Norfolk, Virginia after his discharge. One might think this is the end of his story, but it was just the beginning. 
     

Lloyd entered Ga Tech in September, 1947.

 Georgia Tech