CAPTION: Cover photo, no caption, National Archives;
Despite the risks of battle and boredom, the armed services photographers found in war a unique opportunity to ply their craft. On this page are samples of their legacy -- images of battles and, especially, the moments of peace in between.
Picture 1, On Alert, U.S. Army, 1944. "On the first perimeter set up when the troops first landed on an island in the South Pacific is Pfc. Buddie Motto. At this time no scouts had come in to report on the situation and it was necessary to be constantly on alert." U.S. Army photograph;
Picture 2, Invasion, U.S. Army, 1944. "American troops of 163rd Infantry Regiment, 41st Div., hit the beach from Higgins boats during the invasion of Wake Island, Dutch New Guinea." U.S. Army photograph;
Picture 3, Rosie the Riveter, World War 1-style, [right] The Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, 1860-1947, include thousands of photos of civilian as well as military activities during wartime, like the women above who "took places of drafted men at the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. plant, Akron, Ohio." National Archives;
Picture 4, Air Raid Drill, ca. 1918. In more innocent times the defense of Washington looked awfully uncomplicated. Library Congress;
Picture 5, Internment of Japanese-Americans, Santa Anita Assembly Center, Calif., 1942. The War Relocation Authority oversaw one of the most regrettable domestic acts or World War 11 -- the internment of Japanese-American citizens. This man signaled his protest by showing up for relocation wearing an amalagam of American Military symbols. Note also the Japanese-American taking notes -- and the armband marked "staff" he wears to prevent his inclusion in the day's round-up. National Archives;
Picture 6, Waging Peace, Cochem, Germany, 1919. "Burg Cochem, Headquarters, 4th Army Corps and town of Cochem, Germany, as seen from bend in road enroute from Cochem to Coblenz. In foreground is Cpl.J.C.Sulzer, 4th Army Corps, Photo Unit." From Records of the Chief Signal Officer, U.S. Army. National Archives;
Picture 7, Douglas MacArthur, ca. 1918. MacArthur entered World War 1 as a colonel and left a brigadier general after serving in France. He is pictured here in the clothes he wore to battle -- an outfit notably excluding a gas mask or any other protection for his head -- and is seated on a throne so tall his feet don't quite reach the floor. National Archives;
The vintage of Washington's photo archives is not only domestic: A sizable portion is foreign, too, the work of American and international photographers.
Picture 8, Tolstoy in His Study, ca. 1910. Czar Nicholas sent Sergei Michailovich Prokudin-Gorskii to photograph the Russian Empire from 1909 until 1911. The resulting 11 albums of contact prints, mainly of buildings, landscapes, street scenes and industries, and 1,937 glass plate negatives are preserved at the Library of Congress. Prokudin-Gorskii was not supposed to include people in his survey, but he did make a few fortunate exceptions. Library Congress;
Picture 9, Goldi Tribesmen, Siberia, ca. 1895, William Henry Jackson. Jackson traveled around the world in the mid-1890s taking pictures for Harper's Weekly. He crossed Siberia by dogsled and came back with a pictorial chronicle of the natives of the Amur River pictured above. Library Congress;
Picture 10, The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, ca. 1910, G. Eric Matson Collection. The Library of Congress is currently cataloguing the photos and negatives of the Matson Photo Service. The collection covers Palestine from 1896 to 1946 and, as an invaluable archaeological and historical tool, has already attracted scores of foreign and domestic researchers. Matson came to Palestine as a child in 1881. His family were founding members of the American Colony, a 100-member religious group dedicated to "simple Christian service to God and humanity." The colony pooled their resources, lived communally and served as a sort of Peace Crops, aiding the Palestinians with education and modern health care.
The visit of Kaiser Wilhelm 11 to the colony in 1898 gave impetus to the formation of the American Colony Photo Service, later the Matson Service. Terrorist incidents finally forced Matson and his incomparable collection out of Palestine in 1946. Library Congress;
Picture 11, Hawaiian Fisherman, ca. 1900. From an album on Hawaii at the Library of Congress, photographer unknown. Library Congress