|An American GI and a
Fuji Camera in Occupied Japan
| Little is known about the military history of T-Sgt. Kenneth Boone Hamby, a direct descendant of Daniel Boone.
Thanks to an old Fuji camera that Hamby carried with him, and some old negatives, we are able to get some insight
into his time in Occupied Japan, while serving with the 98th Infantry Division.
| A photograph of GI's and Japanese men, appearing to be part of some kind of work party. Of interest in the
photo is that several of the Japanese men are still wearing their Imperial Military uniforms, minus any kind of
| The camera is a Fuji Lyra Flex, 6×6 TLR with automatic film advance. Various
sources indicate this camera was manufactured between 1938 and 1944. The
camera was likely obtained by Hamby after his arrival in Japan and was either
purchased or acquired through trading. With the devastation Japan was
experiencing at the end of the war, it was not uncommon for civilians to trade
items with the occupying forces for items that were much needed for basic
| Two photographs of C-46 transports, both assigned to the 317th Troop Carrier Group. Known as the "Jungle
Skippers", they were made up of the 39th, 40th, 41st and 46th Troop Carrier squadrons. They served with the 5th
Air Force in the South West Pacific Area of Operations. Flying the Curtiss C-46 Skytrain or Commando, they
transported troops, kept them suppied and evacuated the wounded. The Jungle Skippers of the 317 Transport
Carrier Group operated in harsh conditions of New Guinea and the Pacific islands. To the pilots who flew the
C-46, it was often referred to as "The Whale" or "The Curtiss Calamity."
| Two views of a downed, multi-place Japanese aircraft. From the way the aircraft is configured, it appears to be a
reconnaissance aircraft. The extensive damage and deterioration of the aircraft, so soon after the war would seem
to indicate it was an earlier loss, and not a recent victim of air to air combat or bombing.
| A group platoon photo of 2nd platoon, with their training guidon. Today, Camps Roberts is still in use and a
museum exists, detailing the history of this historic camp.
| Hamby's "Domain of the Golden Dragon" certificate. Issued to Hamby on November 4th, 1945 aboard the USS
General W. Langfitt. These cards were issued to sailors and soldiers who crossed the 180th parallel while at sea. The
USS Langfitt was a Squier-class transport ship for the U.S. Navy in World War II. She was named in honor of U.S. Army
General William Campbell Langfitt.
The date of issuance for the card shows Hamby was aboard the Langfitt when it left Seattle on October 25th, 1945, to
transport occupation forces to Nagoya, Japan.
|98th Infantry Division:
In 1945, the 98th Infantry Division was actively training for Operation Olympic, the invasion of the Japanese
mainland. With the surrender of the Japanese and the end of the war in the Pacific, the 98th changed their training
from an invasion force to that of an occupation role. The unit would have the distinction of being the only active
Infantry Division during World War II not to be committed to battle.
The 98th Infatry Division landed combat ready on Japanese soil at 0829 on September 27th, 1945. It was a cold and
rainy morning and the division proceeded to Taisho Airport, some 35 miles from the beach where they landed.
Taisho Airport was located on a broad, flat plain adjacent to the Yamato River. Once home of the 100th Sentai, the
airfield had been used for over a month and had been heavily damaged by bombing raids by U.S. Air Corps medium
and heavy bombers. Japanese labor would be utilized to clean up the airfield and make it usable.
The main role of the 98th Infantry Division was to locate, seize and destroy any and all Japanese military
armaments. The unit would complete its mission and be formally disbanded on February 16, 1946.
| Two views of the SS Marine Devil. The Marine Devil was a C4 class transport ship, utilized to
return soldiers, sailors and airmen from overseas duty, back to the United States.
| An unidentified, smartly dressed U.S. Army soldier, standing next to a
U.S. Army Recruiting Service jeep.
| Two unidentified U.S. Army soldiers, their jeep and trailer. The lack of any
visible weapons may indicate the relaxed nature of their detail.
| Four P-51D Mustangs lined up on a captured, Japanese airfield. The P-51 in the foreground sports the name of
"Butzy-Butzy." The glare of the sun off of the bare metal skin of the Mustang makes the serial number on the tail of
the aircraft unreadable.
| An unidentified P-51D Mustang sits idle on a captured, Japanese airfield. The
tail number of "77" is clearly visible, but it is not known what squadron this aircraft
| Left: An unidentified U.S. Army soldier in occupied Japan, armed with an M1 Carbine. Right:
Three Japanese women. Of note is their mix of clothing and the female on the left openly smoking
| This page is dedicated to the men of the 79th Infantry Training Battalion, the men of the 98th
Infantry Division, and the men who occupied Japan following the end of WWII. As horrible as war
is, being assigned to picking up after the war and seeing the aftermath up close is equally as
horrible. Thank you for your service.
|A platoon photograph taken during Hamby's training with the 79th Infantry Training Battalion in Camp Roberts, California.
Hamby is shown in the second row from the bottom, directly in the center.