Uploaded to TARO, 2005.
Additional information may be found at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/uhsc/00003/hsc-00003.html
Clell Thorpe served as a Marine Corps photographer documenting the activities of Marines in the South Pacific during World War II. During the period [1944?]-1945, he traveled to several islands that had been taken from Japanese in earlier battles, such as Tarawa (captured in November 1943) and Kwajalein (captured on February 1944).
In 1943, Thorpe trained as a Marine Corps photographer at the Naval School of Photography in Pensacola, FL (the Marine Corps is administratively part of the U.S. Navy).
One of Thorpe's assignments involved photographing the Marine Bombing Squadron (VMB-613). The squadron trained in Boca Chica, Florida and Newport, Arkansas during 1944, then went to the home base for the VMB-613 as the squadron participated in operations in the Marshall Island throughout the war.
Thorpe took many photographs on a Pacific atoll in the Marshall Islands, which was not identified due to wartime censorship.
Thorpe also photographed on Tarawa Island in 1945.
Thorpe is known to have lived in Houston, Texas during 1947, and probably other years.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms
This collection was donated to the UH Libraries by Clell Thorpe in 1971.
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Open for research
Clell Thorpe World War II Photographs. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.
The bulk of this collection dates from the years 1943 through 1945. The collection mainly contains black and white photographs taken by Clell Thorpe, as well as some 4x5" negatives, one letter, one manuscript, and some miscellaneous items.
The material is arranged in five series: Naval School of Photography, Marine Bombing Squadron (VMB-613), Pacific Atoll, Tarawa, and Miscellaneous.
This series contains black and white photographs taken at the Naval School of Photography in Pensacola, FL. The series includes pictures of airplanes, the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, and Clell Thorpe himself.
One hundred forty-one black and white photographs document life for the Marine Bombing Squadron 613 (VMB-613), probably on Kwajalein Island. Subjects include various buildings used by the squadron, the men in various departments such as the Engineering Department and the Medical Department, and squadron sports teams. Also included are photographs of planes with their crews, and planes flying with a convoy near Eniwetok Atol.
Fifty-four small black and white photographs in this series depict Japanese soldiers surrendering to American Marines, and the daily life of island natives on an unidentified atoll in the Marshall Islands. While a number of these pictures have typed captions glued on the bottom of the print, the names of people given in the captions are mostly satirical. This series also includes photographs of dead bodies after a battle, and some negatives.
Twenty-four small black and white photographs in this series depict Japanese soldiers surrendering to American Marines, and the daily life of island natives on an unidentified atoll in the Marshall Islands. While a number of these pictures have typed captions glued on the bottom of the print, the names of people given in the captions are mostly satirical. This series also includes photographs of dead bodies after a battle, and some negatives.
This series includes miscellaneous photographs and other materials. The front sections of the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post with headlines about the bombing of Pearl Harbor are part of this series.