Summary and Analysis
Part IV Chapter 32: Cascades of Pink Peaches
At the Rokuroshi POW camp on August 22, 1945, Phil and his fellow prisoners find out about Japan’s surrender. The POWs promptly throw a party, demolish the camp fence, and build a huge bonfire. At Naoetsu, the POWs hold an uneasy truce with their former captors. Cowed by the presence of American fighter jets overhead, the guards bring biscuits and fruit and other rations to the prisoners. American planes also begin air-dropping supplies for the prisoners until troops can arrange for their travel out of Japan. On September 2, 1945, Japan signs the formal surrender. On September 5, Louie finally leaves Naoetsu and boards a train to freedom.
American fighter jets become a symbol of joy and prosperity for Louie and his fellow POWs. Like mighty warrior angels flying overhead, the mere sight of them is enough to cow the enemies that surround Louie on the ground. The prisoners take over Naoetsu without a fight.
The fighter jets drop an abundance of supplies for the starving POWs, but their constant presence gives the POWs more than just food and health. For the first time in years, Louie and his fellow prisoners are treated as human beings. Their conquering comrades pull them out of degradation and put them into a place of honor. Human dignity is finally being restored.