L-day (landing day), 1 April 1945, showing the first signs of the bombing that would eventually destroy the entire structure.
You can read more about the Battle of Okinawa on Wikipedia, PBS.org, and History.com.
Beneath the castle, as in other places on the island of Okinawa, the Japanese army had constructed a system of caves and tunnels. The Americans scoured the caves looking for hiding Japanese soldiers and for any other information left behind. These next photos come from negatives found in the caves connected to Shuri Castle. Lt. Reinhart T. Kowallis (my father) of the U.S. 10th Army and his group of photo analysts found the negatives and printed up the photos. On the back of one of the photos, Lt. Kowallis wrote, "The negs of these pictures were found in the caves of Shuri Castle & we printed them up. They are pictures of a Japanese military school."
My hope is that perhaps someone will recognize one of their family members in these photos. The copies I have are likely the only ones in existence. If you do find a family member in these photos, I would love to hear from you and learn more about the men in the photos.
Other good sites for information on the Battle of Okinawa during 1945 include:
- The Hawai'i Nisei Story site
- History.net's site
- MilitaryHistory.com's site
- US Army Center for Military History site
- Marines in World War II Commemorative site