Enemy shell explodes on Okinawa Island, Japan, May 1945


Photograph. U.S. soldiers are seen on a beach in the foreground as a large explosion dominates the horizon. Official Caption: "Rome. 6/1/45--Enemy Shell Explodes on Okinawa--With an enemy shell exploding in the background, U.S. troops push southward from the beachhead they established on Okinawa March 31, 1945. On their first day ashore, U.S. forces captured two airfields on the strategic island. After weeks of fierce fighting, the Americans had taken Naha, the island's capital and site of a large airfield, and--by May 31--were well on the way toward development of the island as a U.S. military base. Admiral Nimitz said: 'Acquisition of Okinawa will permit us to protect our sea and air power to the China coast and to the Japanese mainland, and will greatly facilitate and speed up our future operations'.--FCG Photo--Serviced by Rome. OWI (A List Out). Approved by appropriate military authority. 6488." Okinawa, Japan. 31 May 1945

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Items from the service of Isaac "Ike" Bethel Utley, who was born in Smith Mills, Kentucky on 3 March 1920. Ike enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 19 January 1942. He was shipped overseas to the European Theatre and worked with a supply division based out of the city of Naples with an office set up in a residential villa. Utley worked with the Office of War Information and used their photographs in news articles to inform soldiers of the progress of the war. At war's end, Utley returned stateside. A trunk full of over 800 photographs from the O.W.I. arrived on his doorstep from his office in Italy, sender unknown. This collection consists of those photographs.
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