Fred Remembers-Part 14

25 Nov


Judy Wills


We also used to make trips into Tokyo itself by either car or train.  One interesting thing about the train ride was that – of course the Japanese could always tell who the Americans were, and we could tell who they were – the students, because they were always in uniform.  All the school children wore uniforms.  For some years they had been studying English in school.  One of the fun things was that some of the little school kids, some of them pre-teens or even teenagers, would come up and ask us to help them with their pronunciation.  They knew the grammar better than I did, but they needed some help with their pronunciation.  They never could get the “L” and the “R” sounds.  It just wasn’t in their language, so it was foreign to them, and they had lots of struggle with those sounds.

Back in those days, Kobe beef was the rage which, if I remember right, was beef that had been fed beer to drink, and when they slaughtered the beef, aged it with potatoes and carrots and other vegetables for quite some time, which made it very tender.

There was an interesting restaurant called Suehiro’s (advertised as the World’s Largest Steakhouse with the World’s Best Beef), which was our favorite restaurant.  This was back in the days when, in most restaurants, you could get a steak for $1.25.  We used to pay $3.00 or $4.00 for one of those fairly big T-bone steaks at Suehiro’s. It was a real treat – you could cut it with your fork it was so tender!  I think that now that same beef would be over $100 for the meal.

There was a Tea House in Tokyo that was a multi-storied building.  Each story served a different type of tea.  Green tea in one, and very sweet “black” tea on another floor.


Fred’s Mother, Kitty (in white top, center), performing a Japanese Tea ritual


There was a theater on base that was round, with an opening in the roof that could be opened in good weather.

Charles wrote:   Since this was a flying outfit, I also flew with our pilots, sometimes in the local area cruising around Mount Fuji or crossing the Sea of Japan to take passengers to Korea.  On one of those trips I flew over with 169 people on board, and on the return to Tachikawa, sat in the cabin with the pilots and the engineer.  On that flight our number 1 engine developed a fire. The engineer, a Master Sergeant, took his tool box and made his way out through the wing, passing through the number 2 engine nacelle and out to the number 1 engine which had been shut down. There he removed the generator which had caught fire, anchored it to the wing and then returned through the wing to his station in the cabin. During this time we were at 9000 feet and the plane, under three engines, had lost only ten knots of speed!


Tachikawa AB Chapel

Billy Graham visited Tachikawa AB in 1956.  Charles is on the right

Sometime in the summer of 1956, my Dad was transferred from the chaplain’s office at Tachikawa to the chaplain’s office at Johnson Air Base. Actually, it was a pretty good promotion for him.  So we moved across from one side of Tokyo to the other to Johnson Air Base, which was a beautiful facility.  We moved into a three-bedroom, four-plex there, where we had a little more room to spread out.  The middle two houses were two-story.  The second story had three bedrooms and one bath.  There was a large storage closet.  It was big enough for only one twin bed – that was my bedroom.

Credit Google Search and bobp31-Homestead-FHA


The Wills Family, Base housing, Johnson AB, Japan


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~




JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

One Response to “Fred Remembers-Part 14”

  1. divoran09 November 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    lots of good stories


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