Photo Album and Collection of Related Photographs and Items Belonging to Japanese-American WWII Soldier Richard Ohashi. Richard OHASHI.

Photo Album and Collection of Related Photographs and Items Belonging to Japanese-American WWII Soldier Richard Ohashi

V.p. ca. 1944-1946. Photo album of a member of the 442nd Infantry Regiment, notable during WW2 for being one of the most decorated units of its size and comprised almost entirely of Americans of Japanese descent at a time when most "Nisei" were held in internment camps. The present collection chronicles the wartime experiences of Richard B. Ohashi (1925-2015), of Cheyenne, Wisconsin, member of the 3rd Battalion, Company K. Enlistment records indicate that Ohashi entered service in August, 1944, with the majority of the present photographs taken from 1945 to early 1946. With the exception, perhaps, of one destroyed German tank, none of the present images depict the grueling combat for which the Regiment was so highly decorated. Explaining why there is so little photographic documentation of the 442nd, Susumu Ito, another member of the Regiment, known for his prolific wartime photography, explained that "We had orders not to have cameras" (Popular Photography Magazine, August 21, 2015). As a result, most of the photographs appear to have been taken during periods of rest, predominantly featuring fellow soldiers, both Nisei and white, the former most likely all from a single camp, many of them inscribed by the subject. Perhaps the most moving among them reads "Mio carissimo--Bambino--Gee it's been swell knowing you. If you ever forget the war just look at this picture and you'll remember how gruesome it was." This may have been written with tongue-in-cheek, however, as the photograph depicts the presumed author of the note smiling broadly. A number of photographs depict geographical signage (mostly in Italy, with snapshots of the leaning tower of Pisa given an page in the album), and one sign advertises the American Red Cross "Go for Broke" Club (official slogan of the 442nd). Of the 152 photographs included in the collection, approximately 50 are taken of Ohashi's large family (according to his obituary he had 12 brothers and sisters), presumably taken in his hometown Cheyenne either during or shortly after the war. Oblong octavo photo album (15x22cm.); full green gilt-tooled morocco, upper cover lettered in gilt "Richard Ohashi / CK 442 Inf. / Italia," gilt-ruled spine in 5 compartments; [36] leaves containing 91 mounted and pasted-in photographs (83 snapshots, eight enlargements) and four commercial photographic postcards. 61 additional loose photographs (various sizes; seven in color) and 13 service medals, pins, and patches. Album boards a bit bowed and rubbed, extremities slightly faded, else Very Good or better overall.

Price: $8,500.00


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