Tokyo Rose

Excerpted from Wikipedia:  

Tokyo Rose was a fabricated name given by Allied troops in the South Pacific during World War II to all female English-speaking radio broadcasters of Japanese propaganda.[1] The programs were broadcast in the South Pacific and North America to demoralize Allied troops abroad and their families at home by emphasizing troops’ wartime difficulties and military losses.

During the war, Tokyo Rose was not any one individual, but rather a group of largely unconnected women working similarly within the same propagandist effort throughout the Japanese Empire.

Tokyo Rose ceased to be merely a symbol in September of 1945 when Iva Toguri D’Aquino, an American-born Japanese disc jockey for a propagandist radio program attempted to return to the United States.[1] Toguri was accused of being the ‘real’ Tokyo Rose, arrested, tried, and became the seventh person in U.S. history to be convicted of treason.[1] Toguri’s conviction was eventually overturned due to lack of evidence and she was released from prison in 1956, but it was more than 20 years before she received an official presidential pardon for her role in the war.[1]


When we first got back to the Pacific after San Pedro, we heard Tokyo Rose come on the air and congratulate all the guys who had just gotten married while they were on leave.  Then she’d ask them, “Do you know who your new wife is sleeping with tonight?  Is it your best friend back home?”   Just trying to demoralize us.

When we went into the South China Sea in January, we were the first big ship in and the last one out.  She’d taunt us and say “Hello Boston.  We know where you are.  You’ll never see your families again.”     John Farkas*

We were going through a narrow channel (Bashi) [for Operation Gratitude].  We were the first ship of the formation in and we were the last one out.  We heard Tokyo Rose that night say “USS Boston, we know right where you are and you are never going to come back.” She said, “Turn around now and go back.”    Bob Knight*

I remember her well.  She was very funny.  Once when we were eating breakfast, she was broadcasting and giving us the news.  All of a sudden she says,  “Oh, I have to tell you this.  The fleet has lost one of its ships.”  All our ears perked up.  “The Boston is gone.”   

I guess we were ghosts.  It was actually kind of funny.  She was very entertaining!  She gave news, played music, and when we were in formation she’d say this ship is sunk or that ship is sunk.  Of course we would look out and there they were right next to us.  She was trying to demoralize us.  But she did a great job of entertaining us!   Julian Goldstein*

* Baked Beans: Life Aboard USS Boston CA-69