Second Atomic Bomb Nagasaki

 

 

And I Was There Within Months!

 

 

 

 

 

By Milton Dienes

 


Milt Dienes 20th Air Force Strategic Air Command Photo Recon and Intelligence September 1945
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"Editor's note: This is are a rare glimpse into the life and work of a renown combat photographer from the Pacific war in WWII. His work is already in the Library of Congress and is printed in many prestigious publications.
Even at 95, Milton is alert and still using his considerable skills.

Little did he realize while walking the streets of Nagasaki just months after the world's second atomic bomb that his images would one day be featured in the Library of Congress.

Like so many young men at that time, Milton was snatched from Pennsylvania State University before he could finish his pre-med degree BUT the world has been rewarded with his extraordinary talent and Milt with a life well lived.


In recent editions of the King of Prussia Courier and other area papers, there have been numerous articles written about those in the services during World War II and the individual stories of the various men involved.

With the August 2019 approaching and, with it, the anniversary of the first Atomic Bombs being used at Hiroshima (8/6/45) and Nagasaki ((8/9/45), I believe that I personally experienced a moment in history. this experience is both interesting and newsworthy which would certainly be of interest to your readers. This is a synopsis of personal experiences while on Guam from 1945 to 1946 and the dropping of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombs. I have also included some personal information and history of my background.


Argus C-3 35mm camera
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At the age of 13, I was given an Argus C-3 for my birthday which was the introduction to my life of Photography. Some years later I was one of the Photo Editors of the Central High School Yearbook in Philadelphia. Moving on to Staff Photographer at Penn State.

At Penn State, I was in the School of Chemistry and Physics which was the basis for pre-med. While at Penn State I joined the Enlisted Reserve which would, supposedly, allow the Class to finish pre-med. On May 15th, 1944, our reserve was called out at the end of my sophomore year. We were told to go home and await further orders. Several months later orders came through and I ended up at Ft. McClellan, Alabama for Basic Training, ending up as an 81mm Mortar Gunner

in the 75th Division stationed at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. While there I applied for Air Corp OCS (Officer's Candidate School) in the Photographic Squadron in Denver, CO. While I did not get into OCS, I was now a part of the Air Corp assigned to Keesler Field in Biloxi MS and then on to Will Rodgers Field in Oklahoma as part of the 9th Photo Squadron.

The 9th Photo Tech Squadron shipped to Harmon Field on Guam where we set up the largest Photo outfit in the Pacific. Our job was supplying photographs taken by Fighter and Bomber pilots on their various missions. This was a part of the 20th Air Corp Reconnaissance and Intelligence Squadron Task Force. At the peak, we processed and printed 14,000 photos per day.

On August 6th and 7th we were given film from a bombing run targeting Hiroshima, the city that was devastated by the world's first Atomic Bomb. The negatives were difficult to print because they were fogged by the radiation but the famous "Mushroom" image was saved and produced. Then on the 9th, four days later, the Nagasaki Bomb, dropped by B-29 Bockscar, destroyed and devastated much of the City. It is estimated that 120,00 were killed by the "Enola Gay" and 70,000 by Bockscar in the bombings. Meanwhile, back on Guam we were very busy processing and printing thousands of prints. When I saw something very interesting I would print a duplicate for myself.

About 100 days after the end of the conflict, I was included in a small group of Photographers sent to photograph Nagasaki, focusing on the tremendous damage to urban life. We took many ground photos of factories, office buildings, homes, railroad stations, landscapes and, in my case, a small number of people. Many were not in good shape from the radiation. We spent a little short of two days in Nagasaki, sleeping on the plane. Some of the ground photos I personally took were also duplicated for my own personal collection.


The 9th Photo Tech Squadron shipped to Harmon Field on Guam where the five of us on Guam. Picture taken New Years Day 1946. Back row - left to right - Morton Krouse, ME, Dr. Irv Arno,Captain
Front row - Marvin Inselman, Unknown

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NAGASAKI FACTORY SHOWING TWISTED STEEL DESTRUCTION FROM BOMBING - 1945
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I headed back to the States in March 1946 taking 50 photos with me that I had collected. Little did I know how important they would become - Not to my knowledge at the time. I much later found out when the 9th Photo Tech returned to the States in November of '46 and was deactivated. All the Photos, files, and equipment that was supposed to be shipped back, actually was thrown away on Guam. No record of what the 9th Photo Tech did while on Guam.

Fast forward to mid-August 2016. One afternoon my phone rang. It was Colonel Dianne Hickey, Commander of the 14th Intelligence Squadron based At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. She wanted to know was I Milton Dienes(Yes). Was I on Guam (Yes ). Was I a part of the 9th Photo Tech Squadron (Yes). She had been looking for me or any one of the 100 squad members and was only able to locate one other, Jerry Johnson. We spoke for over one hour which lead to an invitation for both of us to be feted and Honored for three days at Wright-Patterson AFB in the latter part of September 23rd to 25th. They really rolled out the red Carpet for us. We spent most of the time being interviewed, audio recorded

and videotaped about every detail we could remember. The entire Squadron of 200 greeted us with a standing ovation. They asked so many questions, asking Jerry and me to recall every detail we could remember. Saturday afternoon they held a Picnic and every Squadron wore a Photo Tech Squadron T-shirt like they saw me wearing while on Guam. The last day we visited the HUGE Air Force Museum that houses almost every type of aircraft both domestic and foreign military.

One of the last photos taken was of the Colonel, Jerry and Myself with a small group of squadron members, who came to see us off, in front of the B-29 Bockscar. Needless to say, I personally took over 200 photos of the whole proceedings

Not mentioned above, but most important of all! The original photos taken by Jerry and myself while on Guam were copied and my originals were taken home. The Nagasaki photos that I saved are the only photos that exist. All my 50 photos are now in The Library of Congress, The National Archives


B 29 BOCKSCAR, THE PLANE THAT DROPPED THE ATOMIC BOMB ON NAGASAKI AUGUST 9, 1945 WITH COLONEL DIANNE HICKEY, JERRY JOHNSON AND MILT DIENES AND SQUADRON MEMBERS AT THE AIR FORCE MUSEUM IN GAYTON, OHIO
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and the Air Force Archives.

When I returned home from WP AFB I made a PowerPoint Presentation of the ORIGINAL photographs which I have been using to tell my story at so many locations. I have received calls or emails inviting me for a "show and Tell" of my NAGASAKI BOMB DROP story. My next Presentation is Scheduled for the end of July 2019 at THE FREEDOMS FOUNDATION just outside of Valley Forge National Park.

There are a number of Videotapes that you might like to see. They can be viewed by putting MILTON DIENES-PHOTOGRAPHER in your browser's search bar. You may find them educational and interesting.


Photo Gallery


NAGASAKI STRIKE PHOTO - AUGUST 9, 1945 DROPPED BY B- 29 BOCKSCAR
WITH OTHER PHOTO SHOWING BOMB IN DISTANCE AND OTHER GROUND DAMAGE

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B-29 BOCKSCAR DELIVERER OF ATOMIC BOMB "FAT MAN" - NAGASAKI - AUGUST 9, 1945 - ON LEFT IS ' LITTLE BOY' A-BOMB USED FOR HIROSHIMA DROP
' LITTLE BOY' A-BOMB USED FOR HIROSHIMA DROP
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NAGASAKI 1945 AFTER ATOMIC BOMB DROPPED BY B-29 BOCKSCAR TOTALLY DESTROYING
LANDSCAPE OTHER THAN FEW NEWER BUILDINGS

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MILT DIENES - 9TH PHOTO TECH SQUADRON ON 9" JAPANESE COASTAL GUN - GUAM 1945
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TWO HUNDRED POUND BOMBS RAINING DOWN ON KOBE PORTS - 1945
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NAGASAKI - 1945 - MOTHER AND DAUGHTER HAVING TEA BREAK 100 DAYS AFTER BOMB
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NAGASAKI 1945 AFTER ATOMIC BOMB DROPPED BY B-29 BOCKSCAR TOTALLY DESTROYING
LANDSCAPE OTHER THAN FEW NEWER BUILDINGS
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NAGASAKI - WALKING THROUGH THE RUBBLE CREATED BY B-29 BOCKSCAR 100 DAYS AFTER THE BOMBING -1945
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NAGASAKI 1945- WALKING ALONG A ROAD 100 DAYS AFTER THE BOMBING - NOTE RUBBLE IN FOREGROUND AND NEWER BUILDINGS IN THE DISTANCE
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