“SOME OF MY MEN THERE WAS NEVER A FINER BUNCH OF MEN OR BETTER FIGHTERS IN THE WORLD” – Photographic archive of a Marine Corps Officer’s service from pre-World War II enlisted recruiting duty through leadership of a combat command in the Marshall Islands to occupation duty in Northern Chin
Various locations: 1941-194. Disbound. This archive consists of 17 loose album pages with about 75 mounted photographs, 35 loose photographs, a Marines’ Hymn postcard, Captain Bryant’s ticket for a Lahainaluna School luau, and a booklet, North China Pictorial U.S.M.C., that chronicles the III Amphibious Corps’ occupation duty.
The loose photographs were removed from a soiled envelope marked “Capt W. Bryant”. The photos range in size from 2” x 3” to 11” x 4.25”. About half of the loose photos have “It is absolutely forbidden to reprint, reproduce or publish this photograph without the express permission of the Public Relations Dept. U.S. Marine Corps” on the reverse.
About a dozen of the loose photographs are scenes of Bryant’s unit while in Hawaii, and the remainder show Marines in a jungle combat zone, presumably the Marshall Islands.
One identifies Lieutenant Damrow who online records show as being wounded while assigned to Company A, 10th Amphtrac (Amphibious Tractor) Battalion, 4th Marine Division during the invasion of the Marshall Islands.
One dramatic image pictures Marines in bay of an amphibious tracked landing vehicle (LVT) and headed to the beach. All are wearing full combat gear. Most are armed with rifles, however some appear to be carrying flamethrowers. Despite a few smiles, the tension in their faces is palpable.
Others show a destroyed LVT, a unit photograph, many small group photos including one captioned “Some of my men There was never a finer bunch of men or better fighters in the world”, cooks with field ranges, a man taking a field shower, a corpsman treating a patient, communications operators, a sleeping tent, the recovery of a jeep that was stuck in the mud, etc.
The album pages are captioned in white ink. Several of the loose photos are captioned on the reverse or in the margin; about ten officers are named.
About half of the album photos show family members. The rest are 1941-1942 photographs of NCO recruiters, presumably one is Bryant, while assigned to Macon, Georgia. Again presumably Bryant received a commission as the Marine Corps expanded with the onset of World War Two.
The 1945 luau ticket features a reproduction of an 1842 print showing the Lahainaluna School and Hale Pei, the first printing shop in Hawaii.
The 1946 III Amphibious Corps pamphlet, North China Pictorial U.S.M.C., documenting the occupation of Northern China is complete with a sound binding.. Very good. Item #009725
An excellent first-person, on-the-ground photographic account of island-hopping warfare in the Pacific during World War Two.