January 26, 2011 – Jim Champagne
WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - Behind every good fighting army is a support team, like the one Jim Champagne served in during World War Two. He was stationed in the Philippines during the later days of the war.
"We built a base," recalled Champagne. "We were preparing to leave the base and invade Japan. I thought we were invading China. I was in the tool room. Of course, I was getting all the equipment ready in wooden boxes."
Champagne says he and his fellow soldiers feared an invasion of Japan and were relieved to hear of the dropping of the atomic bombs.
"When they dropped the first atomic bomb, we got excited for sure. And for the second bomb, we were ecstatic. All of us knew we were gonna go somewhere and invade something."
Champagne says hundreds of thousands of soldiers could have lost heir lives had there been an invasion of Japan.
"As it happened, we didn't invade anything because of the dropping of the bombs. To this day, I don't let anyone tell me how that was terrible that we dropped those two bombs on the people. I feel terribly sorry for those people."