Bonnie Wiley

Bonnie Wiley

Bonnie Wiley was born in Portland, Oregon. After high school she joined the Yakima Daily Republic. Later she worked at the Portland Oregonian and the Seattle Times.

During the Second World War Wiley joined the Association Press in California and in January 1945 was sent to report on the Pacific War. This included the fighting in the Philippines and Okinawa.

After the war Wiley returned to the Portland Oregonian before joining the Washington Morning Herald. Later she taught journalism at Washington University and the University of Hawaii.

Primary Sources

(1) Bonnie Wiley, Associated Press report (7th July, 1945)

This is a tour of the Okinawa battlefield after the guns have fallen silent-a battlefield where many valorous young Americans fell but carried with them into eternity an even greater number of Japanese.

The jeep bumps along - moving slowly through the dust clouds to keep from running down Okinawans - past the ruined and deserted villages into the rubble heap of what was once Naha, the capital of Okinawa.

Then up the hill to Shuri Castle, where the Japanese had their headquarters until the shells and bombs pulverized the walls, five feet thick.

There was Chocolate Drop Hill, where the wreckage of 15 American tanks stopped by Japanese shells are mute monuments to the valor of the men who fell in the battle to conquer it.

It is peaceful now on Conical Hill, where the Americans fought up and were driven back and finally went up to stay.

Not far away is a cemetery where many of those who fought on Conical Hill lie buried. Helmeted soldiers are painting white crosses.

In the center of one cemetery was a low picket fence around the grave of Lieut. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., commander of the U.S. Tenth Army, who fell just as final victory was in view.

The sporadic fire of Japanese snipers from distant Hill 89 reminds the visitor that men still are falling although the campaign has long since ended.