Online-Only Exhibit: Japanese WWII Mementos
It was on one of these trips to pick up military personnel, that Ray had a close encounter with a Japanese sniper. As he recalls: "Our ship arrived in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) to pick up more of our troops. If we had to walk around, we were assigned a Marine escort because it was still dangerous as there were snipers hiding in caves. Some Japanese soldiers didn't know the war had ended, and we still had several incidents. A small group of us were walking around with our escort, and suddenly we got shot at. The shots were coming from a wooded area ahead of us. The Marine took aim in that direction, and then there was silence. We proceeded to the area and checked the perimeter, and we found several abandoned caves. It looked like someone had been living in them for a while. At that time it was customary to take "souvenirs" so I looked around and saw several torn pages from a photograph album. There were of young men, like us fighting the war, and I wondered if they had sisters, mothers, brothers. I also found torn pages from what it looked like Japanese propaganda from magazines. The pages had been perforated with one top and bottom hole and held together with shoelaces. I was drawn to the images and I wanted to safe-keep these mementos. I held to these pages for more than 60 years. I don't speak Japanese and don't know the names of the Japanese soldiers in the photographs, but it would be good if someone knows their families or recognizes them. "
Pages from a WWII Japanese Photo Album
We are elated to announce that the pages in this Japanese WWII Photo Album have been translated thanks to Museum volunteer Bruce Fuchs, USNR. We now know the names of the Japanese soldiers in the photographs. Bruce approached the Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, and they translated the writing on the photographs. A big thank you to Veljko Dujin, Curator of collections at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens!
Download the Photo Album with translations: