Like many young men and women from small towns in America, my father enlisted in the United States Air Force to do something meaningful for his country, to see the world, to get an education, and to be able to land on his feet when he returned. He was seventeen when he was deployed to Japan. I do not know what he did for the military or even how he felt about it. I do know that when he left he was a young boy with a big smile and eyes wide open, and that he came back a man deeply affected. I found this album of photographs after his death and began to research his time in Asia. His high school girlfriend told me to study post-traumatic stress syndrome. His sister told me that an incident concerning a seventeen-year old boy left him deeply troubled. I believe his military assignment involved communications and reconnaissance.
I still have the small analog Olympus camera he used to take these photographs. The photographs are neatly organized in an album and mounted on black paper with corner mounts. The cover of the album is painted wood with a landscape and a dragon. I first saw it as a small child when the painting and extensive inlaid mother of pearl caught my imagination. My father found me just as I opened it and told me that it wasn't for me to see. So, though it lay on a side table all the while I lived with my father, I never again looked at it until after his death. I believe the album cover is of Korean origin.
With the help of some wonderful Asian colleagues, Risa Kojo and Sisi Zhu, we have sorted my father's photographs into groups and set up this website. We think these photographs are set in Korea. Any information you have to offer is valuable to me. If you wish to share, please go to the contact page and send me a message. I will reply. Thank you.