[ARCHIVE OF WORLD WAR II IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, DEPICTED IN A SAILOR'S PHOTO ALBUM OF 431 BLACK AND WHITE SNAPSHOTS, AS WELL AS A GROUP OF NAUGHTY SOUVENIR PHOTOS OF NATIVE WOMEN, AND SOME PRINTED AND MANUSCRIPT MATERIAL]
1945·[N.p., but in the Pacific theatre
by Woltman, Arthur
[N.p., but in the Pacific theatre, 1945. Forty-nine leaves, containing more than 450 photographs, as well as printed and manuscript material, detailed below. Large folio. Brown pictorial padded cloth album, tied with string as issued. Leaves somewhat brittle and chipped, An extensive photo album scrap book documenting Arthur Woltman's naval service during World War II. Arthur Woltman (1912-91) of Saugatuck, Michigan, enlisted in the Navy in April 1944, and was mustered out in December 1945. He served as a Machinist Mate aboard the U.S.S. ARD Twelve, which was posted to Espirito Santo, New Hebrides Islands, Subic Bay, the Philippine Islands, and New Guinea during World War II. The ARD was a floating "auxiliary repair dock" used to repair damaged ships while they were still in the water. They could be partially flooded to receive the ship, then emptied to provide a dry-dock platform for the repairs. Some of the photos here show the USS ARD Twelve at work, while another handful show the enterprising sailors constructing a boxed garden - complete with picket fence - for growing vegetables. The images in the album show groups of Woltman's fellow sailors aboard ship, in port, on shore leave at the beach, in the Philippine Islands, and more. There are numerous views of islanders in both western and native dress, particularly in New Guinea, with images of villages, children, naked natives, and more. There are views of ships in the harbor, local temples, bridges, damaged buildings, groups of destroyed airplanes on the ground, a photo of aerial bombing, as well as boxing matches and baseball games, and nine photographs of a USO show. The archive includes a group of approximately thirty artfully posed photos of native women - topless or nude - some in focus and others a bit grainier, which were likely available to the military personnel to purchase as souvenirs. There are also photos of naked natives which appear to be snapshots taken in the moment. Other than this small group, the album is comprised entirely of vernacular candid shots. A small collection of greeting cards from Woltman's wife and family are included near the end of the album. One envelope contains a 4pp. letter from his wife excitedly reporting on the news of V-J Day on the radio, and the reactions of their home town. Two other envelopes contain printed material. Among these are the American edition of GUINEA GOLD, Vol. 2, No. 267, a 4pp. newspaper produced "In the Field, Friday August 11, 1944," marked as "not for sale," which gives news of the Allied advances in Europe and in the Pacific. Also a reproduced typescript of the JUNGLE JOURNAL "New Guinea's Leading Newspaper, U.S. Naval Base," Vol. II, No. 32, dated Sunday Aug. 20, 1944, which is pp. on five loose folded sheets; stories include the American 7th Army advances, offensives against Japanese bases, home news, baseball scores, etc. Another 6pp. reproduced typescript newspaper is tipped onto an album page,entitled the LUCKY LAVACA, Vol. 1, No. 15, dated June 13, 1945; it reports on sunken enemy ships in Manila Bay, and includes mention of the bond drive, the celebration of Flag Day, and humorous posts on life in the service, plus notation at the bottom of most pages indicating "Not for Publication." A copy of a commendation for Woltman is also included. Altogether a wonderful representative record of naval service in the Pacific during the Second World War.
(Inventory #: WRCAM54335)
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