The dashing gentleman in the photo above is my husband’s grandfather, James Webb. Born November 3, 1927, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps just after graduating high school in 1947. The Air Corps stationed him in Japan, as part of the occupation forces. This photo was taken in their camp at Okinawa.
The United States led the allied forces in occupying Japan from 1945 to 1952, hoping to stabilize the Japanese economy after the war, to create a democratic government, as well as to prevent Japan’s re-militarization. With the signing of the Treaty of San Francisco, the occupation of Japan ended in 1952, as well as signaling the official end to World War II.
James only stayed in Okinawa for a year or two, returning to the States afterwards to pursue Business at the University of Georgia.
I really like the background in this photo. I’m not exactly sure why, since it’s an indiscriminate and unidentifiable area. I think I like the haphazard way the barrels have been aligned and the rustic look of the fence. James looks carefree and happy, with his windswept hair and casual stance.
Buono, Stephen. ‘Commission and Omission of History in Occupied Japan (1945-1952).’ Binghampton University Department of History. 16 June 2011. Web. 4 August 2013 http://www2.binghamton.edu/history/resources/journal-of-history/stephen-buono.html
Molasky, Michael S. The American Occupation of Japan and Okinawa: Literature and Memory. New York: Routledge, 1999. Print.
Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs. ‘Occupation and Reconstruction of Japan, 1945-1952.’ United States Department of State. 2013. Web. 4 August 2013 http://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/JapanReconstruction