Okinawa barracks, 1947


Here’s another photograph of my husband’s grandfather while he was stationed in Okinawa in 1947.  Another candid photo, I love that it captures their living quarters.  James’ bed is all tucked up, with barely a wrinkle in the sheets.  The intense mosquito netting encloses the bed.  I’ve read that standing water, especially in the rice paddies, as well as pig farms, act as mosquito breeding grounds in Okinawa, so I guess the reasoning behind that netting is quite valid!

The bed looks thin and hard, lacking any sort of luxury.  At least the pillow looks somewhat fluffy.  I’m also surprised at how bare and devoid of personal possessions the room is.  There is something hanging on the back wall from the string rigging the mosquito netting up, but I can’t tell if it is a case for something (binoculars, camera, goggles), or if it’s a camera.

Captures moments like this are great because they not only show us life in a different time, but also illustrate military life, as well as the hardships of being stationed overseas.


1 Comment

November 26, 2013 · 8:00 am

One response to “Okinawa barracks, 1947

  1. Lovely photo, Ashley. A dear friend and mentor I called my “adopted grandpa” passed away last year. At one point I tried to help him write his memoirs of his military career. He rambled off a bunch of map locations and dates. One of these was for the ship that took him and others “overseas.” Trying to make it a better reading experience, I asked, “What did it look like, Grandpa?”

    To this he said “It was dark. We didn’t see anything.” LOL, but he went on to say how secret it all was. Technology of the time was such that if you didn’t want someone to see you, then you couldn’t see much yourself either. He described hastily devised “tunnels” of sorts, enclosures the men walked through to board the ship.

    Getting equally sparse detail about the voyage, I asked, “What did it sound like? What did it smell like?” Ha! Did that ever get a reaction!
    Anyway, thanks for reminding me of a truly special person. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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