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[Dr. Paul Leahy]

Tells of 25 Months in Japan

Port Washington[, WI]


If you want a tooth pulled, please don't go to Dr. Paul Leahy. He's on vacation after 25 months with the Navy in Japan.

Cdr. Leahy, a navy dentist, is spending a month's leave with his family at his home at 116 W. Pierre Lane before reporting to his next base at Great Lakes.

A native of Random Lake, Dr. Leahy had a dental office in Port Washington until he was called back into the navy in 1950. He had served during World War II, entering the navy in 1942.

Cdr. Leahy spent his two years in Japan at Yokosuka naval base near Yokohama. An old Japanese naval base, the U. S. has a 99-year lease to the base and uses it for ship repair and [as a] supply station. Almost all the employees on the base are Japanese--between 15 and 18,000.

Dr. Leahy says there is no comparing Japan and the United States. "There's more room here. Japan is so crowded," he reported. He pointed out that if you put half the people in the United States in the state of Wisconsin you would have an environment similar to Japan.

"The Japanese people are very nice--and hard working," Dr. Leahy said. "They are not asking for anything. We're giving it to them because we know we have to have them on our side." He added the Japanese had almost rebuilt all of the World War II damage.

Mrs. Leahy added that after a few days in the country the Japanese eyes don't even slant any more. Mrs. Leahy and their son Skipper spend three months in 1953 visiting Cdr. Leahy in Japan. They were fortunate to be there when their son-in-law Pat Monahan and neighbor Jimm Duff were also there.

During their visit they lived in a Japanese home in Kamakura, about 10 miles from the naval base. Skipper attended school at the base and had several Japanese teachers. He best remembers the Japanese fairy tales one teacher told the American students. Dr. Leahy was impressed by the Japanese education system. Children attend classes six days a week and have only a month of vacation in the summer.

Living 10 miles from the base resulted in several expert observations of the Japanese transportation system. Dr. Leahy believes the Japanese electric train system is the best in the world. "The trains are clean, fast, on time, and there are a lot of them."

Road transportation, however, is a very different story. "In Japan, you don't ask how far it is, you ask how long it takes," Dr. Leahy reports. It often took the Leahys several hours to travel the mere ten miles from the base to their home.

"There's so much traffic, so slow moving, people crossing all around and a lot of three-wheel motorcycle trucks."

When Cdr. Leahy arrived back in the U. S., he reports, his biggest adjustment was to the speed of the American traffic. It took several days to get used to U. S. traffic habits. He did it by driving home to Port [Washington] from California.

Shown here [see buttons below--if pictures have been uploaded] are several pictures Dr. Leahy took and brought back with him from his 25 month stay in Japan. He's glad to be home--it gave him a chance to see his….[clipping ends here]


Source: Newspaper Clipping
source unknown
saved by Mrs. Anne C. Leahy


Page Created for The Leahy Family Tree/27 April 1999