At the tail end of the Korean War, Lou Weingard left Erie, Pennsylvania and wanted to fly planes in the Air Force. But it was not meant to be. So, after getting his commission from the enlisted ranks he was sent to post-war Japan and served with the 9th Fighter Bomber Squadron minding its top secret atomic bomb arsenal. “No one knew we had these ‘special weapons,’ as we called them,” Lou confides, “not even the Japanese government. My wife didn’t even know what I did.” The Cold War was heating up.

Lou’s mission in Japan may have been covert, but he and his family openly enjoyed living there for three years, travelling, making new friends, and experiencing the culture. “The Japanese people were very kind to us,” he admits.

This interview is a production of the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative, in partnership with the Veterans Breakfast Club. It was recorded March 20, 2014 at Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tionesta, Pennsylvania.

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