Electrician's Mate 3rd Class John W. Parmer, U.S.N. Collection
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The grave of Ernie Pyle which is located on Ie Shima.
War correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by Japanese machine gun fire on Apr. 18, 1945, this is his original grave site. He was later moved to Okinawa and finally moved to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

A monument to Ernie Pyle raised on Ie Shima erected near the spot where he was killed.
The monument remains to this day.

August 19, 1945: Japanese delegates stop over at Ie Shima en route to Manila to meet with General Douglas MacArthur to sign the surrender of the Philippines.

The Japanese delegation.

Members of the Japanese delegation that surrendered Okinawa on Sept. 7, 1945. General Joseph W. Stilwell is seen at right.

Sept. 7, 1945: General Joseph W. Stilwell accepts the unconditional surrender of Ryukyu Islands at Okinawa.

The instrument of surrender of the Ryukyu Islands signed on Sept. 7, 1945 on Okinawa.

Okinawa burial tombs. Probably the greatest oddity to a G.I. new on the island. The natives believe in reincarnation, the dead being buried until decomposed and the remains placed in urns as shown in these pictures.

The tomb is built to resemble a womb, with oval tops to represent pregnancy and the urns within as ovaries. In this way they return their ancestors to their origin and prepare them for rebirth into a new life.

One of the urns inside a tomb.

A Shinto shrine at Awase.
(All photos by Lt. Stewart P. Robinson, U.S.N.)
Courtesy of John W. Parmer, U.S.N.

MaritimeQuest is grateful to John for making this never before published collection available for digital preservation and publication. It adds a valuable insight to what it was like in the final days of the war in the Pacific. John W. Parmer served in the U.S. Navy from Dec. 4, 1944 until Feb. 9, 1946 in U.S. Naval Construction Battalions (Seebees) 24th NBC, 27th NBC and USN CBMU 630 Maintenance unit.

The majority of the photos in this collection were taken by Lt. Stewart P. Robinson, the unit chaplin, and were given to John. It is not known what became of Lt. Robinson after the war.

The majority of the photos were taken at and around Okinawa and is presented in the order of the caption list provided by John, there has been no attempt to put them in chronological order. Additional notes appear in yellow text below the photos.

John has written about his experiences and has allowed MaritimeQuest to make this available to the public in PDF format. Download it here: John's War Years.

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Page published July 26, 2012