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Up Camp "Chick" Dependent Travel Post Facilities Armed Forces Day Thanksgiving Christmas '55 Christmas Party Spring Festival Off-Base Housing Beppu Bay Family Home Toys Donated

508th IS FIRST LARGE UNIT TRANSOCEANIC DEPLOYMENT BY AIR

Beppu is on the northeast coast of Kyushu, the most southern of Japan's main islands and has approximately 100,000 inhabitants.  It is is a 20-minute train ride from the provincial capital of Oita. Interactive map


Beppu Great Buddha
was the 2nd largest in Japan and was forty-fifty feet tall and contained a number of funerary urns containing human cremains. The statue was demolished  in the 1985.

Bi-Lingual Brochure
employed by US Forces in 1955.
  (Click photo to view PDF file)

The 508th was the first large Army unit to experience a consolidated move crossing an ocean by air as it flew to Ashiya Air Base, Japan.  The Red Devils then went southeast by rail to Camp Chickamauga near Beppu.  The movement was documented on film and can be viewed here

508th Airborne
Settling Down
At Chickamauga

   BEPPU, Japan (AP) --- The first elements of the army's 508th Airborne Combat Team, from the United States, started settling down today at Camp Chickamauga, largest of three camps which the crack paratroop organization will occupy on a three-year tour in Japan.
   The new arrival voiced high approval of the living and working arrange-ments, even though Japanese carpenters are busy tearing out the termite-ridden bases of most of the administrative build-ings and replacing

 them with new supports.   The big, attractive post was erected by U.S. forces some years ago with untreated lumber on what formerly was a beautiful park in this famous hot springs resort city of more than 300,000.   Beppu is 500 miles southwest of Tokyo and 70 miles southeast of Ashiya Air Base where additional units of the 508th are arriving from Fort Campbell, Ky.
   Reunion For Brothers
   The mass troop movement provided three brothers from Selma, Ala., with an opportunity for a brief reunion.  
    Pvt. Robert C. Sanders, 19, landed  at Ashiya

Sunday night with the 508th.  His two brothers, William H, 28, and Clyde T. Sanders, 21, got permission from their commanding officer to go to see him.
   William and Clyde are with the 387th Airborne regiment, which will fly back to the United States in the same planes that brought the 508th here.
   The choice of living quarters here is based on points determined by a man's rank and service seniority.  Most families prefer to live on the base but many will have attractive Japanese-style homes in Beppu suburbs near the walled camp.
  One who has installed his family

off the base and says he likes it is MSgt Leroy Brasseau, West-wego, La.  His wife, Velma, has parents at 411 St. Mary's Rd., Columbus, Ga.  The Brasseaus have two children.
   MSgt Harford Edenfield, Rocky Ford, Ga., and his wife Charlotte, pay $96 a month, utilities included, for a two-bedroom house.  They have two small children.  They have as neighbors MSgt Thomas W. Wiggins, Lyons, Ga. and his wife, Lillian, and three sons.

The Tuscaloosa News - Jul 11, 1955

 

Mori DZ
outlined in red by MSgt William Blum, lies within the Hijudai Maneuver Area.  An area with two target houses is circled in blue at the upper right of the DZ. Other buildings labeled as target houses can be seen near the DZ


Green Light
a silk print with an artist's concept of a mass drop over the Mori DZ

Dependent Travel
Do's and Don'ts were all laid out for the families in Travel Authorization Number 7, dated 21 May 1955.
   Info included shots and forms required, amount of luggage, household goods and privately owned vehicles.
[courtesy of Fitz Blum]

(photos courtesy Fritz Blum unless otherwise cited)

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