Private First Class Lawrence Bartlett, Niagara Falls, New York, examines the four fallen lions which once adorned the top of the Siegestor, built by King Ludwig I, in 1844-1852 in tribute to the Bavarian Army. Munich, Germany, June 13, 1945.
Shave and a Haircut…Two Bits!
“Private First Class Troy Dixon, Leadhill, Arkansas, uses a Japanese barber chair to cut the hair of Sergeant John Anderson, Anita, Pennsylvania. Both men are members of the 363rd Field Artillery Battalion, located near Shuri, Okinawa, June 10, 1945.”
“…I respectfully appeal to you requesting that you take all those measures that you may deem convenient to bring about the cessation of all such acts in violation of law and order which have caused intense alarm among my nationals…”
Alfredo Elias Calles, the Mexican Consul in Los Angeles, sent this telegram to Rear Admiral D.W. Bagley, Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District on June 9, 1943. He was especially concerned with the apparent targeting of Mexican nationals by American “sailors soldiers marines and civilians.” Those clashes are better known as the Zoot Suit Riots.
Here is the text of Bagley’s reply later that day:
I deeply regret that individual incidents of hoodlumism in Los Angeles have been interpreted as acts specifically involving nationals of either Mexico or the United States. For the very explicit reasoning of your telegram, I already have acted to cope with the deplorable situation and will continue to act within my prerogatives until matters are adjusted to our mutual satisfaction. I am deeply appreciative of your telegram because of its sincere intent to deny any individual or group an opportunity to disrupt the amiable relations treasured by our respective peoples. The frankness of your telegram assures me that you and I are sympathetic to each other’s position in a situation which should have been classified as simple rowdyism and handled accordingly at its inception. My already great admiration for Mexico, its people and its officials has been increased through understanding of the sincere motive of your telegram.
Explore the 70th Anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots through the records of the U.S. Navy. This telegram, and the Commandant’s response can be found in the Commandant’s records at the National Archives at Riverside (RG 181).
“Hundreds of service men prowling downtown Los Angeles mostly on foot — disorderly — apparently on prowl for Mexicans”
The reports of continued chaos continued to come in to the Commanders throughout the Eleventh Naval District. Reports of groups of “servicemen prowling downtown Los Angeles,” in groups of “10 to 150 men…carrying hammock clues, belts, knives and tire irons,” were disturbing to the Navy commanders. The riots were disruptive to the war effort and made maintaining good relations with Angelinos difficult as well.
Though in many press reports, the “zoot suiters” were seen as the instigators of the violence, the Navy’s records show a clear concern with the behavior of Naval personnel towards the Mexican community in Los Angeles.
Explore the 70th Anniversary of the Zoot Suit Riots through the records of the U.S. Navy. This report to the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District is from records at the National Archives at Riverside (RG 181).
Normandy Invasion, 1944
From the Moving Images Relating to Coast Guard Activities series.
See our past D-Day posts, including Eisenhower’s Order of the Day, and his hastily drafted “in case of failure” note, and a detailed sketch of a typical Platoon Leader in full battle dress.
U.S. Navy Douglas SBD-3 “Dauntless” dive bombers are launched at the Japanese Fleet during the Battle of Midway, June 4-6, 1942.
THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY, 1942
From the Navy Motion Picture Films series
Fought six months after the attack at Pearl Harbor, the battle was a decisive victory for the U.S. Navy. Four Japanese aircraft carriers were sunk, and the loss was was a crippling blow to the Japanese fleet.
Dated June 4, 1943, this Declaration of Intention is part of the naturalization record for actor Yul Brynner.
Declaration of Intention for Jules Bryner (also Youl Bryner), 06/04/1943
INDIANAPOLIS 500, 1946, ca. 05/30/1946
From the Motion Picture Films file of the Ford Motor Company Collection, ca. 1903 - ca. 1954
Dormant from 1942-1945, May 30, 1946 saw the first running of the Indy 500 following World War II at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Canadian driver George Robson finishing in first place.
(You can just make out the pace car, a Lincoln Continental, driven by Henry Ford II.)
Silhouetted in the golden glory of a Pacific sunrise, crosses mark the graves of American boys who gave their lives to win a small atoll on the road to the Philippines. A Coast Guardsman stands in silent reverence beside the resting place of a comrade. 1944
“Civil Air Patrol - Eyes of the Home Skies”, 1941 - 1945
The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was established on December 1, 1941 as the civil auxiliary to the Army Air Force, with a view to supplement America’s military operations in times of war. Following World War II, during which CAP pilots performed border and coastal patrol missions (even sinking 2 U-boats), CAP was reorganized, removing any combat role, and made permanent with Public Law 557 passed on May 26, 1948, 65 years ago today.
In the only land battle of World War II to take place on incorporated U.S. territory, American forces began the invasion of Attu, in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, to dislodge occupying Japanese Forces on May 11, 1943.
U.S. FORCES BLAST JAPANESE FROM ATTU [ETC.], 1943
From the “United News” Newsreels series from the Office of War Information
May 9, 1942: These California farm families are preparing to evacuate to internment camps, as documented by photographer Dorothea Lange.
Centerville, California. Farm families of Japanese ancestry awaiting the evacuation buses which will take them to the Tanforan Assembly center along with 595 others evacuated from this district under Civilian Exclusion Order Number 34. 05/09/1942
Dorothea Lange, photographer. From the Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority
May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. You can find our past posts on Japanese American Internment & Relocation under the #Japanese American Internment tag.