On Aug. 9, 1945, Satoru Miyashiro drastically changed the course of history.
Miyashiro was a steel mill worker in the city of Kokura, now present-day Kitakyushu, Japan, which sits on the country’s southwest coast. On that morning, American B-29 bombers were flying toward Kokura carrying a second atomic bomb — the first had been deployed over Hiroshima a few days earlier, killing an estimated 135,000 people and destroying 6 square miles of the city.
Miyashiro had heard from co-workers about the “new bomb” that destroyed Hiroshima. They had traveled through there on their way back to the steel mill. He believed his city would be next because there were arms facilities nearby. When air raid sirens went off on Aug. 9, his boss ordered him to turn on the incinerator.
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