Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Older Faces from Okinawa in 1945

In the collection of photos taken by Lt. Reinhart Kowallis were many photos of young children and young adults, but he also had several of older adults. Here are some of the older generation in 1945. None of the photos were labeled with names, but perhaps some of the descendants or relatives of these individuals will recognize them.










You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa on Wikipedia, PBS.org, and History.com.
Other good sites for information on the Battle of Okinawa during 1945 include:
And for post-war Okinawa, this is a very good site with lots of pictures from 1945 through 1972: Remembering Okinawa

Note: Be sure to visit my earlier blogs on Okinawa in 1945: 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Young faces – Native Okinawans 1945

These are the faces of children and young adults captured in 1945 by Lt. Reinhart T. Kowallis while he was stationed on Okinawa as part of a photo interpretation team attached to the 10th U.S. Army. As I look at these photos, I wonder if any of these people are still alive today and, if so, I wonder if they will ever recognize themselves in these photos.

While on girl turns to run away from the camera, another gives a big smile.

A family of native Okinawans at home.

Two young girls on the side of the road. One of them carrying a boy who was not much smaller than the girl.

A young girl getting a haircut.

Three young girls along the road.

A young boy, comfortably dressed, playing with a hoop.

An Okinawan family with their catch for the day.

A group of native Okinawans reaching for something–the photo does not say what.

Another young native Okinawan boy dressed appropriately for a warm day.

Young Okinawan boys in the back of a truck.

A pretty, camera-shy girl.

Another girl. Not so camera shy.

Two stylish Okinawan ladies at the beach.

An American serviceman (perhaps Lt. Martinson from the photo interpretation group) visiting with a young Okinawan boy.

You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa on Wikipedia, PBS.org, and History.com.
Other good sites for information on the Battle of Okinawa during 1945 include:
And for post-war Okinawa, this is a very good site with lots of pictures from 1945 through 1972: Remembering Okinawa

[Note: Be sure to visit my earlier blogs on the people of Okinawa, casualties of war, capture of a Japanese soldier, LDS servicemen and women in Okinawa, more faces from Okinawa, 10th Army Photo Interpretation Group, Surrender Day on Okinawa, and Shuri Castle.]

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Surrender Day on Okinawa – 7 September 1945

On the 7 September 1945, the Japanese forces in the Ryukyu Islands (including Okinawa) officially surrendered in an impressive ceremony on Okinawa. Prior to the ceremony, the Japanese delegation arrived on the island on the 4 September 1945 and Lt. Kowallis wrote this home:

Today was the day when all the Jap Generals & Admirals from the other islands came to Okinawa to surrender to the 10th Army. My driver has been hauling them back & forth all day. They have an old house fixed up just a couple hundred yards from my tent which they are using for a sort of headquarters. I expect they will be over there all night reading & signing documents. But I don’t see much of them. The MP’s keep every one pretty much away.

Here is a photo of Lt. Kowallis' jeep and driver with a couple of the Japanese delegation in the rear seat.

On the actual day of the official ceremony, 7 September 1945, Lt. Reinhart T. Kowallis wrote home to his wife Norma about the event. He said:

Today was the day the Japs signed the surrender papers for the Ryukyus. It took place out under the flag pole over by the General’s quarters. Tanks were lined up all along the road and over head squadrons of planes were flying over. Everyone and their dogs were there. Ray & I got a ring side seat up on the hill. As the Jap Generals were brought over the band played “The Old Grey Mare.” None of the Japs looked very happy. I wonder why.

From his ring side seat, Lt. Kowallis took the photos shown here and developed them himself.

Soldiers gather by the flag pole awaiting the arrival of the Japanese officers for the surrender ceremony. The Commanding General Joseph Stillwell's quarters are in the background in the trees. The table by the flagpole was where the papers were to be signed.

Tanks line the road way from the airport where the Japanese delegation was to arrive.

As the time for the ceremony approaches, a squadron of planes flies overhead and men stand by artillery ready to fire and announce the news.

 On the day of the ceremony, the Japanese delegation was marched to the parade grounds with American officers and MPs to keep them close company. Here are a few more shots of the march to the parade grounds.





Here the Japanese delegation and their guard approach the signing table.

These last two photos are not ones from Lt. Kowallis' collection, but are official government photos of the Japanese delegation at the signing table on the parade grounds and of the ceremony from an aerial view.


 You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa on Wikipedia, PBS.org, and History.com.
Other good sites for information on the Battle of Okinawa during 1945 include:
And for post-war Okinawa, this is a very good site with lots of pictures from 1945 through 1972: Remembering Okinawa

[Note: Be sure to visit my earlier blogs on the people of Okinawa, casualties of war, capture of a Japanese soldier, LDS servicemen and women in Okinawa, more faces from Okinawa, 10th Army Photo Interpretation Group, and Shuri Castle.]

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rising Generation: No Longer is Family History Just for the Old

 


For most of my life, I have been the "anomaly" when it comes to family history. I started when I was about 11 years old and have been doing it ever since. Then, I eventually grew up and became just one more of those old people who do genealogy. I have hope, however, that things are changing. Today the young are getting involved in family history and genealogy in numbers and ways we never dreamed of. Here are a couple of stories to illustrate what I mean.


LDS youths eagerly move family history work along 

 

 

 

Youth 'hastening the work' through family history work

 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

10th Army Photo Interpretation Group

Orders issued to the Photo Interpretation Group attached to the 10th Army during World War II. The group was a small one with Lt. Reinhart T. Kowallis and Lt. Martin M. Martinson as group leaders. The other men in the group were Sgt. Jack E. Gill, Wiley J. Langston, Frederick J. Kuchndorf, Borborian A. Borgo, and Washington I. Newman. The group departed from Washington State in January 1945 and traveled on a ship to Hawaii. After spending a few weeks in Hawaii, the group was attached to the 10th Army and departed for a couple months in Guam after which they were moved to Okinawa, arriving there just in time for the last of the fighting and the surrender of the island by the Japanese. Here are a few photos my father (Lt. Kowallis) brought home of the group and their camp area.

Lt. Kowallis (on right) with another officer on Guam in the 10th Army Camp.

In about April 1945 on Guam, Lt. Kowallis (third from left) with other officers who lived in the officers quarters. Lt. Martin Martinson, also in his photo interpretation group may be the second from left in the photo.

 LDS servicemen on Guam in April or May 1945.

Sgt. Jack Gill of the photo interpretation group at the beach. Lt. Kowallis and Sgt. Gill spent many hours of their free time at the beach collection cowrie and other shells to send home.

Lt. Martin Martinson doing his laundry in the 10th Army camp on Okinawa.

Aerial photo analyzer used during the war by the photo interpretation group.

One of the colorful signs posted around the 10th Army Camp.

10th Army Camp area on Okinawa in 1945.

10th Army mess tents on Okinwawa.

10th Army Camp area after the typhoon hit Okinawa in October 1945. Only a few tents survived the storm.

10th Army commanding general's quarters on Okinawa in 1945.

Lt. Kowallis (left) heating water for his laundry on Okinawa in 1945. I do not know who the other soldier is.

Lt. Martinson on Okinawa in 1945.

Men of the 10th Army photo group and perhaps others enjoying a steak fry on one of the rare occasions when they got some fresh meat.

Post exchange on Okinawa in 1945.

Movie night for the 10th Army soldiers.

Propaganda dropped by the Japanese into the area of the U.S. forces.

You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa on Wikipedia, PBS.org, and History.com.
Other good sites for information on the Battle of Okinawa during 1945 include:
And for post-war Okinawa, this is a very good site with lots of pictures from 1945 through 1972: Remembering Okinawa

[Note: Be sure to visit my earlier blogs on the people of Okinawa, casualties of war, capture of a Japanese soldier, LDS servicemen and women in Okinawa, more faces from Okinawa, and Shuri Castle.]