That’s my father in the middle. He was born in Central City, Colorado one hundred years ago today. He died on 14 August 2007. / I think I might have posted this photograph some time ago, but it is an image that is on the wall in my studio and I am really drawn to it. The original is a 4″x5″ contact print and it is beautiful.
Apparently, the photographer was someone called Noyes and I assume he was using the standard Navy issue camera which was most likely a Graflex. His pals were “Kinch” Kincheloe and Chuck Louin (not sure of the surname, it is hard to tell from the writing).
The date here is interesting as the Japanese surrendered on the 2nd. My dad was on a ship next to the USS Missouri on that day. Two days later he was in Yokohama Harbor, and shortly after that he and his pals were the first Americans on the island of Hokkaido. The Navy had taught his to speak, read, and write fluent Japanese in about 18 months. He was pretty good at languages.
Thinking of you today Dad.
My dad, seen here in the middle, died 8 years ago today. I have always meant to write a long post about him, but the time never seems quite right. He was a really interesting guy. As he was about to be drafted into the Army, he heard about a US Navy Japanese language program at the University of Colorado. He applied, got accepted, and learned to read, write, and speak fluent Japanese in less than 18 months. He came out as a naval officer and spent the rest of the war translating intelligence intercepts. He was on a ship next to the USS Missouri when MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945.
This photograph (a 4×5 contact print) has been on the wall of my studio for a really long time. I am sure at some point I turned it over, but the date on the back never registered with me.
Yesterday, I was looking at it and realized that he arrived in Yokohama just 2 days after the surrender. And very soon after that, these 3 guys were the first Americans to arrive on the island of Hokkaido to begin the occupation. I remember him saying that they didn’t know how they would be received, but that the Japanese were very welcoming and seemed to be greatly relieved that the war was over.
Click here and here for a couple of links about that time. It seems almost surreal to me to have such a direct connection to something that happened almost 70 years ago, and seems so far removed from my own experiences.