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Pacific War Photo Album - Kamikaze & Hong Kong

 
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Pacific War Photo Album - Kamikaze & Hong Kong by HMS INDOMITABLE (1944)

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Author: HMS INDOMITABLE
Title: Pacific War Photo Album: Kamikaze & Hong Kong
 
Year: 1944
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: Pacific, Okinawa, Hong Kong
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £2750
 
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[29x40cm] Superb photo album of the War in the Pacific taken onboard HMS Indomitable 1944-'45 including some of the most famous images of the conflict including kamikaze attacks on Indomitable, bombing raids and the Japanese surrender of Hong Kong. There are 34 leaves grey-black card leaves with tissue guards contained within a heavy red and black (Chinese?) papier-mache photo-album with brass hinges which is in fine condition. The photographs (about 80 images) vary from 24x19cm down to 10x12cm shots, most with contemporary censorship stamps to the verso noting: 'Passed by Censor suitable for transmission through the post (not for publication)' and are loosely held by transparent photo corners. The unnamed owner who was clearly onboard HMS Indomitable and witnessed the events shown has annotated the photos in white crayon to the album leaves and more extensively in blue-black ink on the verso of the photographs themselves, thus 'Lord Louis Mountbatten & Captain Eccles Trincomalee 1944'. Key images include those of a 'Hellcat crash' on the deck of the ship in 1945, two photographs (17x12cm) which show the aircraft ripped in two on the flight deck. Four photographs depict the kamikaze raids, the first described on the verso as 'Suicide bomber diving on H.M.S. Indomitable April '45 off Sakishimo Gunto 250 guns of all descriptions firing at it. The black haze is gunsmoke.' The following image shows how 'The plane bounced over the side' with another overleaf showing Indomitable ablaze and finally 'End of suicide plane' (fire-damaged image) completing the sequence. Six pages of photographs chronicle the surrender of Hong Kong including well known images of 'Interrogation of Jap. Naval Officer through interpreter Hong Kong '45', the official surrender of the Sumari sword with the ceremonial surrender in September 1945 comprising 'Signing of Peace Terms Hong Kong Sept. '45' and 'Signing of Surrender' by both Japanese delegates and Admiral Harcourt. There is a photograph of the signed 'Instrument of Surrender' before the scene shifts to Fremantle and Sydney in Australia and Indomitable's return to Britain. The first page of the album features a single large image of the ship in Hong Kong harbour at the outset (damage to top right corner) with half a dozen images of the Mediterranean, the ship's mascot 'Stupid' a macaque monkey and a couple of large images of the entire crew of 2500 on the flight deck. The Imperial War Museum has in its collections a similar group of loose photographs owned by another veteran of HMS Indomitable. Many more images on request.
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