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INVENTORY OF THE OWEN M. SYLVESTER TULE LAKE PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, 1942-1943
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains one box of photographic images taken by Captain Owen M. Sylvester while at Tule Lake Segregation Center during a military occupation as a member of the 772 Military Police Battalion in 1943. Materials include: 32 black-and-white photographs.
Background
Captain Owen M. Sylvester (1895-unknown) began his military career as a private in Company A, 161st Infantry Regiment of the Washington National Guard, serving in the Mexican Border War from 1915-1917. In 1918, Sylvester transferred to the 2nd Infantry Division and served in the Army of Occupation in France until 1919. Following World War I, Sylvester was promoted to the rank of Captain and commanded the 2nd Battalion, 148th Field Artillery in the Washington National Guard from 1941-1942. Following his training at the Los Angeles Police Academy in 1942, Sylvester was appointed to the 772nd Military Police Battalion as Commander of Company C, where his battalion was assigned to the Boeing bomber plant in Renton Washington from 1942-1943, Tule Lake Segregation Center in 1943, and Fort Washington in 1944. At the end of World War II, Sylvester became a company commander and Provost Marshal at the Naval Air Station in Pasco, Washington. After the War, Sylvester went to Greece as part of the European Recovery Program (ERP) to assist in the rehabilitation of western and southern European economies. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which gave the military the authority to exclude any citizen who posed a threat to national security. As a result, approximately 120,000 Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast were removed and incarcerated in concentration camps. The Tule Lake Incarceration Center was the largest of the ten concentration camps with approximately 18,000 prisoners, and was located close to the California-Oregon border near the town of Newell, California and 10 miles south of the town of Tulelake. On February 8, 1943, the War Department and War Relocation Authority (WRA) distributed a questionnaire in order to assess the loyalty of those housed in concentration camps. The questionnaire was difficult and complex, which led to uncertainty and confusion. Failure to complete the questionnaire, as well as questions answered in an unsatisfactory manner caused a great number of incarcerees to be deemed “disloyal” and sent to Tule Lake Segregation Center- the designated location “disloyal” incarcerees.
Extent
1 box .25 linear feet
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
There are no access restrictions on this collection.