Looking for Okinawa Veterans

The Tokyo Broadcasting System, a major Japanese TV network, is currently working on a documentary program that will explore Okinawa’s history and the significant role that nuclear weapons played in East Asia, as a deterrent during the Cold War.

As part of the program, they would like to include an on camera interview with a Mace B Okinawa veteran asking questions about:

1) how the nuclear weapons were maintained at the four Mace B sites on Okinawa,
2) what the Mace B veteran’s duties were, and
3) any Mace B related stories from the Cold War that the veteran is willing to share.

If you are willing to do an on camera interview and share your Okinawa Mace B experiences, please contact George Mindling ASAP.

For additional information, refer to the following emails between George Mindling and Yasuyuki Ide (Tokyo Broadcasting System).  The emails are listed in chronological order.

Note:  TAC Missileers neither encourages nor discourages any participation in Tokyo Broadcasting System’s request.

September ?, 2010

Hideyuki Wada wrote:

Dear Mr. Mindling

I’m writing this mail to ask you to introduce us veterans who have worked in mace B in Okinawa, US base. My name is Hideyuki Wada and I work for Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, a Japanese TV station. We are currently making a documentary on U.S. millitary activities in Okinawa.
We would like to find a veteran who can help us to understand the situations back then. If he agrees, We would also like to take him to the site and have an interview there.
If you know anyone who might be able to help us, please let me know their names or email addresses.
I would appreciate quick response.

Hideyuki Wada

September ?, 2010

George Mindling wrote:

Dear Hideyuki,

I am honored to receive your request for assistance in making your documentary. I think most of the Mace-B veterans would like to assist with the documentary as long as we, as missileers, or the U.S. government, specifically the United States Air Force, are not presented badly. We served honorably as our country requested, to prevent domination by the Communists. I understand there is, and has been since World War II, an anti-nuclear weapons fervor in Japan. To inflame old emotions without logic or the political view of the world at that time would not be something most of us would care to be part of. We did what we had to do. To present our service in Okinawa as unfavorable would not be to our enefit, while at the same time, we would like to tell a story that has been shrouded in both mystery and antipathy since the end of the cold war.

Please let me know as much as possible about your documentary. I assume your goals are well intended, and to that end, I will do everything I can to assist.

George Mindling

October 1, 2010

From: George Mindling
Sent: Friday, October 01, 2010 9:17 AM
To: Joe Perkins; Max Butler; Russ Reston; Robert Bolton; Julian Esposito
Subject: Re: request for an interview

OK all,
Here is the answer from Yasuyuki Ide reference the e-mail I sent to them on clarification of the request for assistance on making the documentary about the Mace B in Okinawa. It appears to be a straight forward and sincere effort to show the Mace-B at that time they were stationed on Okinawa. Opinions? If it looks good, any chance we can get it on the TAC Missileers page?


——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: request for an interview
Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2010 20:55:35 +0900
From: ide yasuyuki

To: George Mindling

Dear Mindling

Thank you very much for replying our mail.
I’m Yasuyuki Ide and I’m a director of this special documentary program.
Firstable I would like to introduce the theme of this program.

In the main part of the program, we will shed light on “the reversion of Okinawa in 1972”. We believe that looking back on this issue once again, is very important at a time when Japanese people have to think about how to address the “next 50 years” of US –Japan relationship. We would like to gather stories about Mace B in Okinawa which took an important role at the reversion of Okinawa. For that we would like to have an on-camera interview to the people who worked at MaceB at that time. The questions we would like to ask is, where the service-area was(1.Yomitan, 2.Katsuren, 3.Kin, 4.Onna ) and what your concrete duty at Mace B was. Moreover your class and age at that time. Also under the time of cold war , I believe your duty was under extreme tense situation. We would like to hear the difficulties or how hard your duty was.

As to your concern, we have no intention of presenting the United States Air Force badly. We will present the modern history, based on facts, for beter understanding of Japan-US relationship.

We apologize for making the request at such a short notice, and thank you in advance for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further question on this request.

Yasuyuki Ide

October 7, 2010
From: George Mindling
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2010 8:09 AM
Cc: Bob Bailey; Robert Bolton; John B; Max Butler; Carlo P. Croce; Julian Esposito; Garland France; Russ Reston; Dennis L. Cralley Sr.; william simpson; dennis; Joe Weber; mamaredk@******.net; Joe Perkins; ffrederiksen@******.net; John Wood; Harry Willey; Larry Hamilton; Kent

Subject: Re: request for an interview

OK everyone,

Here is the detailed response from Mr. Ide reference the interview request for Mace-B veterans from Okinawa. I would like to ask the TAC Missileers to post the request on the web site, if that is possible. Mr. Ide assumes I was stationed at Kadena, but I was not. I do not have first hand knowledge of Kadena, only what I and Bob have researched. I did two tours at Bitburg but have never been assigned to Okinawa. I will assist him as I can, but it is first hand knowledge of duty on Okinawa that he seeks.

If anyone can assist, I would like to have them contact me or Mr. Ide to help present our history as TAC Missileers.


George Mindling

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: request for an interview
Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2010 20:15:34 +0900
From: ide yasuyuki

To: George Mindling

Dear Mr. Mindling,

Thank you very much for your response. We are grateful that you have shared your deep thoughts on this issue, and are sympathetic to your concerns that veterans and your country as a whole may be presented badly. We would like to emphasize that our intention is not to make judgment on past events, but rather to attempt to portray history as it was and give an opportunity for the young generation to be aware of it.

For your information, more details on our project are as follows;
Tokyo Broadcasting System, one of the major Japanese TV networks, is currently working on a special documentary program on modern history. In the main part of the program, we will shed light on “the reversion of Okinawa in 1972.” It is now well known that nuclear weapons were stationed in Okinawa before the reversion to Japan, and it is also well understood that the placement of nuclear weapons in Okinawa played a significant role in nuclear deterrence in East Asia during the Cold War. As mentioned in the previous e-mail, we believe it is very important for the younger Japanese generations to be aware of history and to have an opportunity to think about how to positively shape the US-Japan relationship in the next decades.

As part of the program, we would like to have an on-camera interview with you and ask more questions on how the nuclear weapons were maintained at the four sites in Okinawa, what your duties at MaceB were, and if you have any MaceB-related stories from the Cold War that you would be willing to share.

It is our mission that we pass neutral history on to the younger generation. Our focus will be on an attempt to presentation of the facts of modern history as a tool to better understand the US-Japan relationship—with a focus on the critical role that Okinawa played in the deterrence of the Communist power in the Far East.

We would be grateful for your understanding of our well-intended goals, and even further for letting us share your stories. Moreover, we very much appreciate if you could provide your contact information—your phone number and your address if possible. We will provide more details later.

The program is planned to be on air in January 2011, but detailed date and time are yet to be determined. Here is the link for our website (http://www.tbs.co.jp/eng/) and if you have any further question please do not hesitate to contact us. Contact information is listed at the end of this e-mail.


Yasuyuki Ide