Messinger Pacific Theater World War II Collection

Special Collections Department
Robert E. Kennedy Library
1 Grand Avenue
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0605
Phone: (805) 756-2305
Fax: (805) 756-5770
URL: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/
Email: archives@lib.calpoly.edu
© 2007
Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Messinger Pacific Theater World War II Collection

Special Collections Department



Robert E. Kennedy Library

1 Grand Avenue

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407–0605

Contact Information

  • Special Collections Department
  • Robert E. Kennedy Library
  • 1 Grand Avenue
  • California Polytechnic State University
  • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407–0605
  • Phone: (805) 756–2305
  • Fax: (805) 756–5770
  • Email: archives@lib.calpoly.edu
  • URL: http://www.lib.calpoly.edu/specialcollections/
Processed by:
Ken Kenyon
Date Completed:
2007
Encoded by:
Byte Managers, 2007; Carina Love, 2008; Marisa L. Ramirez, 2009.
© 2007 Trustees of the California State University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Messinger Pacific Theater World War II Collection
Date (inclusive): August-October, 1945,
Date (bulk): August-October, 1945
Collection number: MS 064
Creator: Donald J. Messinger
Extent: 1 box
Languages:

English
Repository: Special Collections, Robert E. Kennedy Library
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California 93407
Abstract: The Messinger Collection contains 100 black-and-white photographs that record one soldier's views of Japan in the closing days of World War II, including 14 aerial photographs of Nagasaki after the atomic bombing on August 9, 1945.

Provenance

Found in collection.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open to qualified researchers by appointment only. For more information on access policies and to obtain a copy of the Researcher Registration form, please visit the Special Collections Access page.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

In order to reproduce, publish, broadcast, exhibit, and/or quote from this material, researchers must submit a written request and obtain formal permission from Special Collections, Cal Poly, as the owner of the physical collection. Researchers should also consult with an appropriate staff member regarding literary or other intellectual property rights pertaining to this collection.
Photocopying of material is permitted at staff discretion and provided on a fee basis. Photocopies are not to be used for any purpose other than for private study, scholarship, or research. Special Collections staff reserves the right to limit photocopying and deny access or reproduction in cases when, in the opinion of staff, the original materials would be harmed.

Preferred Citation

Messinger Pacific Theater World War II Collection, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Biography

Donald J. Messinger was born on February 9, 1914, and died in Rochester, New York, on June 4, 1993. Little is known about his life or his service during World War II.

Scope and Content Note

The Messinger Collection contains 100 black-and-white photographs that record one soldier's views of Japan in the closing days of World War II, including 14 aerial photographs of Nagasaki after the atomic bombing on August 9, 1945.
The photographs include views of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; the sea voyage to the Sasebo Naval Base, Japan; Japanese and American ships and aircraft; Army, Navy and Marine military personnel; images of Japanese urban and rural life in and around Sasebo following the fire-bombing; and aerial photography showing the devastation after the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.
The collection is arranged in original chronological order, from August through October of 1945 and uses Mr. Messinger's original captions.

Indexing Terms

Subjects

Bombing, Aerial --Japan -- Pictorial works
Nagasaki-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945 -- Pictorial works
Sasebo-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1943 -- Pictorial works
War photography -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Archival resources
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japan
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American -- Pictorial works.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Japan -- Nagasaki-shi.
Messinger, Donald J. -- 1914-1993

Genre and Forms of Materials

Photographs

Related Material

Related Collections
Special Collections, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo:
Smith Family Papers on World War II, 1936-2005 (MS 65)
Manzanar Collection, 1942-1994 (MS 026)

Container List

 

1. Photographs 1945

Scope and Content Note

Contains one subseries: A. Photographs of Hawaii and Japan.
 

A. Photographs of Hawaii and Japan

Scope and Content Note

Contains black-and-white snapshots of military personnel from the Army, Navy and Marines, and the Japanese people in and around Sasebo; military transport by air, land and sea, and the devastation from firebombing and the atomic bomb at the close of World War II, arranged chronologically from August-October, 1945.
Box 1, Folder 1

Sad Sacks, the day of leaving, Hawaii

Box 1, Folder 1

Always trucks

Box 1, Folder 1

Convoy making up in Pearl Harbor

Box 1, Folder 1

Plenty of room to enjoy the beautiful trip out

Box 1, Folder 1

From the bridge to forward deck

Box 1, Folder 2

Real comfort below-decks

Box 1, Folder 2

Late evening, Sept. 21, 1945, Sasebo, Japan

Box 1, Folder 2

Early morning, Sept. 22, 1945, Sasebo, Japan

Box 1, Folder 2

The outer harbor looking east to China, Sasebo, Japan

Box 1, Folder 2

Sasebo's inner harbor

Box 1, Folder 3

Landing at the Seaplane Base of the great Sasebo Naval Base, Sept. 22, 1945

Box 1, Folder 3

The first Christian service to be held in this area

Box 1, Folder 3

This factory moved 95% underground

Box 1, Folder 3

A great factory for making catapults

Box 1, Folder 3

Inside said bunkhouse – former factory

Box 1, Folder 4

Mountainside entrance to underground factory

Box 1, Folder 4

Inside view of underground factory

Box 1, Folder 4

Japanese working for 98th N.C.B. cutting grass

Box 1, Folder 4

Airstrip of mowed grass at V.M.O. 5 Seaplane Base, Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 4

Typical forward area Post Office

Box 1, Folder 5

Some mail did come

Box 1, Folder 5

Sweating out the trip home

Box 1, Folder 5

Stateside hair cut???

Box 1, Folder 5

Japanese Washrack

Box 1, Folder 5

We stand in line to eat!!! We Stand in Line!!!

Box 1, Folder 6

Japanese squat facing the high end

Box 1, Folder 6

One of three Peace Planes

Box 1, Folder 6

Charcoal burners used in lieu of gasoline

Box 1, Folder 6

Typical farm wife with child on her back

Box 1, Folder 6

Little Miss, with Sasebo Harbor in background

Box 1, Folder 7

Curing rice in sunlight

Box 1, Folder 7

Even the very old did their share

Box 1, Folder 7

All except the middle-class city man — his wife his serf

Box 1, Folder 7

Not so the farmer — his wife his partner

Box 1, Folder 7

Saw a great deal of this

Box 1, Folder 8

Typical sight of loaded women

Box 1, Folder 8

As a rule, it's the women's place in front of the load

Box 1, Folder 8

Taken near Haiki, 10 miles from Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 8

Japanese police

Box 1, Folder 8

Kids — very colorful kimonos

Box 1, Folder 9

Notice the very large doll on the child's back

Box 1, Folder 9

Threshing rice

Box 1, Folder 9

Japanese bicycle-taxi near Kashima

Box 1, Folder 9

Inside shot of middle-class home

Box 1, Folder 9

It's quite humid in this area

Box 1, Folder 10

View of Sonogi, Japan, with terraced rice paddies

Box 1, Folder 10

Women carry male children until quite an advanced age

Box 1, Folder 10

Air view of rice paddies

Box 1, Folder 10

Very little land goes to waste in Japan

Box 1, Folder 10

Ten million people live on the island of Kyushu alone

Box 1, Folder 11

View of terraced fields

Box 1, Folder 11

Air view of the Kumamoto Mountains across the Shimabara Kaiwan Bay

Box 1, Folder 11

Inland waterways on air flight from Sasebo to Nagasaki

Box 1, Folder 11

Rice fields, with part of Saga Mountain Range in background

Box 1, Folder 11

Japanese plane factory, not far from Omuta.

Box 1, Folder 12

Roadside shrine hidden in the rocks

Box 1, Folder 12

Inside view of the Catholic Church, Sacred Heart, Main Street, Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 12

Entrance to Shinto Shrine

Box 1, Folder 12

These shrines were out of bounds to all troops

Box 1, Folder 12

Entrance to a Buddhist temple

Box 1, Folder 13

Country village

Box 1, Folder 13

Country estate of rich farmer

Box 1, Folder 13

Front view of estate

Box 1, Folder 13

Better than average farm house

Box 1, Folder 13

Missionary school

Box 1, Folder 14

Main street of Sasa Village, approximately 20 miles north of Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 14

Main street of Arita, northeast of Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 14

Alleys of Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 14

Three Japanese aircraft carriers

Box 1, Folder 14

Middle class city house

Box 1, Folder 15

Looking over the city of Omuta

Box 1, Folder 15

Sasebo from the air

Box 1, Folder 15

Closer view of the city showing the firebombed area

Box 1, Folder 15

Military college, 5th Marine Headquarters

Box 1, Folder 15

Closer view of Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 16

Sasebo

Box 1, Folder 16

Sasebo main street

Box 1, Folder 16

Looking across town

Box 1, Folder 16

His home

Box 1, Folder 16

Firebombing hit in spots, leaving others untouched

Box 1, Folder 17

The main theater, Sasebo, gutted

Box 1, Folder 17

Sasebo Main Street

Box 1, Folder 17

The main shopping area

Box 1, Folder 17

The air view from Omora. This section untouched

Box 1, Folder 18

Nagasaki, bomb dropped midway in the upper center, looking north Aug. 9, 1945

Box 1, Folder 18

The entire valley was a complete ruin, looking south

Box 1, Folder 18

The residential area, protected from the bomb blast to the north by a range of hills

Box 1, Folder 18

Large airplane factory. At the upper end of valley, or north end

Box 1, Folder 19

Vertical view of a string of factories at the southern end of the Nagasaki Valley

Box 1, Folder 19

Close of factories

Box 1, Folder 19

Flying over the residential area

Box 1, Folder 19

Former church located on the very edge of the bomb blast

Box 1, Folder 19

Result of blast – southern end of valley

Box 1, Folder 19

Approximately 12 miles from bomb blast, to the north, beyond the end of the valley

Box 1, Folder 20

Japanese Army-Navy hospital — southern end of valley

Box 1, Folder 20

Approximately eight miles to the northeast of the valley, only the blast reached here

Box 1, Folder 20

A few miles further on, up the same valley

Box 1, Folder 20

Church approximately seven miles down the southern end of the valley

Box 1, Folder 20

The sun has set on Japan