Alone Among a Sea of People

On this day seventy-five years ago, Dad was in Yokohama, Japan. Much of the world was at war now, and on this day, he was a twenty-two year old young man on his way back to New Jersey without his family.

He had purchased his ticket for travel on the Japanese ship, the Kamakura Maru, which would sail across the Pacific, stopping first in Honolulu where it remained for three days while the shipped restocked its supplies. It would then continue on to its final destination of San Francisco.

I often wonder how my father must have felt during that time. He must have felt fear for himself and his family, who were still trapped in the Soviet Union. I am sure he also felt overwhelming loneliness as he prepared to embark on this trip alone, despite so many people who would be on that ship with him.

How did he do it? I guess you figure out a way when you have no choice.

Ship Dad traveled on between Yokohama, Japan and San Francisco, CA June 1941

Ship Dad traveled on between Yokohama, Japan and San Francisco, CA June 1941

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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