WorldWar 2 came to a close with a bang when the United States set off two AtomicBombs in Japan, one at Hiroshima and one at Nagasaki. Once Japan surrendered the United Statesneeded to evacuate the prisoners of war, provide hospital care, and survey thedamage done by the Atomic Bomb. A letterfrom Doctor Willcutts to the Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Ross McIntyre goesinto detail regarding both these endeavors.
Within ten days the United Statesmanages to evacuate all the prisoners, provide them with medical care andassist the Japanese with their medical care in the after-effects of the AtomicBomb. Theletter begins by telling us that Doctor Willcutts, had already attended aconference regarding the matter of the evacuations and had set in place a planto have two main hospital ships, the Consolation at Wakayama port and the Havenat Nagasaki with two other vessels in the backfield. The evacuation at Wakayama went quickly, asthey evacuated the Prisoners via boat as there was no dock available.
A total of 2578 prisoners were evacuated bythe Consolation, far less than expected. When Doctor Willcutts arrived inNagasaki he was greeted by a terrible smell, and dead bodies surrounded byflies. They managed to build theprocessing center and got prisoners coming in via trains from nearby areasacross Japan. Over90 percent of the prisoners were found in fair condition not requiringhospitalization even though there were still many terrible cases of Japanesecruelty.
The Haven and Consolation did efficient and quick work in dealing withthe prisoners and supporting the effort. While there was many cases of brutality and many prisoners had all sortsof infections and diseases luckily the majority did not have it as bad as itcould have been. During and after theprisoner evacuation Doctor Willcutts started inspecting the damage caused bythe atomic bombs. InNagasaki about 30 to 40 percent of the city has been decimated, and 80 percenthad at least sustained damage. All theMedical facilities had been destroyed but a temporary emergency clinic has beenopened and Doctor Willcutts began working with the superintendent to assistproviding care. He started doing medicalstudies and autopsies on those afflicted with the mysterious disease thatseemed to come after the atomic bomb, people dying and bad symptoms coming outof nowhere. After performing multiplestudies this is where the first cases of radiation poisoning were discovered inconnection to the atomic bomb.
DoctorWillcutts got the opportunity to also visit Hiroshima and noticed the same sicknessand devastating effects there. Hefinishes up noting that the fifth fleet has taken over the Japanese waters, andthey are good to go.