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Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio 
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:42 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Northern VA
Post Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio
wpattersonjr wrote:
A more serious error was placing an incident in WWII at Iwo Jima when apparently it happened elsewhere. Again the bound galleys,Chapter 25, "Stabilizing, Somewhat," at page 342, the last three lines of the paragraph.

My reply acknowledging the error:

OK -- I've been going over sources and doing research for the last six hours, and here's what I've found about what I've been calling the "Mt. Suribachi incident."

1. It didn't happen on Iwo, which means not Mt. Suribachi.

2. It didn't happen on Okinawa. None of the civilian suicides in Okinawa are ringing bells at all. Understandable as I know I didn't research the Okinawa campaign at the time this was written.

3. I'm having the same problem James Nicoll reported re tracking down the incident and reconstructing my original sources. It's hard to find information about Japanese civilian casualties without reliable keywords to work with.

So, yes, it does appear to be an error -- and an embarrassing one. I think I know how it happened, from the fact that there is no source noted in my original draft.

The text in question was written six years ago. I used my chronology of notes (35 mb by now) as the basis for whatever I was writing, but that essentially covers only stuff that was going on in Heinlein's life and a scattering of other contextual information. In the middle of composition it often happened that I needed to look up additional contextual data using online sources. Somehow I conflated information from different sources together.

I have a vague recollection that I picked up that particular incident from a USMC history of some kind -- but it's six years ago and the page I thought I noted in the original draft is now something else, confusingly having to do with a national park.


I was just rereading your bio and got jarred when I hit this particular error - not least of all since I missed when I read the bio the first time.

The incident occurred during the invasion of the Mariana Island of Saipan. Following is an extract from the Wikipedia entry on Saipan.

"On June 15, 1944 during World War II, the United States Marines and United States Army landed on the beaches of the southwestern side of the island, and spent more than three weeks fighting the Battle of Saipan to secure it from the Japanese. Seabees of the U.S. Navy also landed to participate in construction projects. Japan considered Saipan as part of the last line of defenses for the Japanese homeland, and thus had heavily committed to defending it. Nearly all of the 30,000 Japanese defenders were killed; thousands of Japanese civilians also died, many threw themselves off Banzai Cliff.[8] This history is also interpreted on Saipan at American Memorial Park and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Museum of History and Culture. After the war, nearly all of the surviving Japanese settlers were repatriated to Japan."

I'm glad that this was one of the earliest errors in the list, and that you noted it yourself. I'll confess that I did not look further to see if anyone else added the above corrected info on Saipan.

Three further notes [Wikipedia, again] "The invasion of Iwo Jima began on February 19, 1945, and continued to March 26, 1945."

Mt. Suribachi fell on the fourth day of the invasion, Feb 23rd.

Re civilian presence during the battles on Iwo Jima "Throughout 1944 there was a massive military buildup on Iwo Jima, in anticipation of a U.S. invasion; in July its civilian population was forcibly evacuated, and no civilians have permanently settled on the island since."

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OJ III


Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:47 am
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio
Nevermind. Didn't even go far enough down the 1st page to find out Saipan had already been brought up. Gomenasai.

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OJ III


Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Errors and Omissions, Volume 1 of the Bio
Does it make sense to start collecting Errors and Omissions for Volume 2?

Has anyone conversed with the editor or publisher since Bill died?

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