Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Okinawa Photos

The following are photos from the Battle of Okinawa from the museum's collection.

Narrow Escape (3 May 1945). Photographed at Guam, Army Nurse First Lieutenant Mary Jensen of San Diego, California, looks up through the hole in the concrete and steel deck of the Navy hospital ship Comfort, punctured when a Japanese suicide pilot dive-crashed into the ship off Okinawa with his bomb-laden plane. Nurse Jensen, who had stepped out of the main surgery supply room less than one minute before it was completely demolished by the explosion, is standing three decks below where the crash occurred.

A Son is Buried (11 May 1945). Marine Colonel Francis I. Fenton, kneeling prays at the foot of his son’s grave. Private First Class Mike Fenton was killed in a Japanese counterattack on the road to Shuri. Bereaved friends, officers and men stand reverently by.

My Buddy (12 May 1945). A Marine comforts a brother Leatherneck who broke down and cried after witnessing the death of a buddy on an Okinawa hillside. These First Division Marines participated in the furious drive on Shuri Castle, the enemy fortress two miles east of the capital city of Naha.

Naha Finale (30 May 1945). Perched on the rim of a gaping hole in the wall of a theater in the Ryukyu capital, a Marine rifleman views the result of the American bombardment of Naha. Skeletons of structures are all that remain of the city with a pre-invasion population of 66,000 people.

Midget Warriors (17 June 1945). Marine First Lieutenant Hart H. Spiegal of Topeka, Kansas, makes with the sign language as he tries to strike up a conversation with two tiny Japanese soldiers captured on Okinawa. The boy on the left is “18” while his companion boasts “20” years.

Seeing the Light (21 June 1945). A Marine rifleman signals his companion to hold his fire as a Japanese soldier emerges from a cave on Okinawa. Persuaded by a smoke grenade, the occupants of the hideout surrendered to the Leathernecks, adding to the large bag of prisoners taken during the island campaign.

Strong Hands Uphold the WeakOkinawa photosOkinawa photos (1 April 1945). Three Marines offer their services to an aged native of Okinawa. Two aid the old man while a third carries his possessions as they make their way over the rough road to the safe areas behind the Marine lines. During the first few days of the campaign, the Leathernecks encountered only civilians as they pushed inland.

Abandoned (1 April 1945). As the Marines landed, the Japanese military fled, leaving the aged, the infirm, and the too-small children in the path of the Leathernecks. Marine Corporal Fenwick H. Dunn of Lynn, Massachusetts, shares the candy from his K ration with an aged woman.

Ma and the Kids (1 April 1945). The Marines came on shore on Okinawa in time for the blessed event in this goat family. Marine Private First Class Donald P. Chatterton of St. Paul, Minnesota, was the self-appointed guardian.

Okinawa pho