The August 1945 detonation of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki forced the Japanese to surrender. The U.S. occupation force that followed included Cpl. Grover Alton Wheeler of the National Guard's 41st Infantry Division and his camera.
This item is on loan thanks to the Oregon Military Museum. Learn more about Oregon's military history at their website here.
Hi, I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum, here in D.C., and this is YOUR Minuteman Minute! Corporal Grover Alton Wheeler carried this Brownie camera when he visited Hiroshima in October 1945 while on occupation duty in Japan. The detonation of atomic bombs by the U.S. over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 forced the Japanese to surrender. Afterward, the National Guard’s 41st Infantry Division was a part of the occupation force. Wheeler had been drafted into the 41st in 1943 and served in a communications squad. He participated in several amphibious landings, seeing combat as the 41st fought its way from Papua New Guinea through the Philippines, earning the nickname “the Jungleers.” Wheeler used this camera to snap these pictures of the devastation in Hiroshima of which he said, “It was terrible, but it saved thousands of our boys’ lives.” Come see this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial Museum. I’m Will Roulett, [Look at watch.] and that’s been your Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.