Marines of the 12th Ammunition Company Rest on Okinawa

At the base of a Chukonhi (Monument to the Loyal Souls of the First Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese War) African-American Marines of the 12th Ammunition Company (attached to the landing beaches of the 1st and 6th Marine Divisions) rest between unloading supplies. They are Private First Class Floyd O. Snowdon, Sr. and US Navy Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class James R. Martin on the steps; on the monument itself, left to right, are Privates John T. Walton, and Robison T. Ellingburg, Private First Class Clyde Brown and Private Robert Brawner. This Chukonhi was sponsored by Imperial Japanese Army General Suzuki, possibly Major General Shigeki Suzuki of the 44th Independent Mixed Brigade. They were erected all over Japan to honor the war dead of 1895-1905. The 12th Ammunition Company landed on April 1, 1945 and was on Okinawa when the island was declared secure on June 22. Over 2,000 African Americans served on Okinawa. Several were killed in combat operations. After the Okinawa campaign the 12th Ammunition Company was sent to support the occupation of China. After the war, the Japanese and the Americans destroyed many Chukonhi as they were examples of State-supported Shintoism. Many were simply buried or ignored, and their public upkeep is a source of controversy in Japan to this day.
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
National Archives
Date Photographed: 
Thursday, April 12, 1945