Edward Mccarter a écrit:Mr. Giguere: your e-mail to inquire concerning the photo of the Japanese
POW bathing on the New Jersey was forwarded to me for a reply. I am the
supervisory archivist for Still Pictures at NARA.
The only information we have regarding this photograph is contained in
the original caption which is printed in our publication War and
Conflict, and is also found on line on the NARA website. The caption
does not provide any information to answer your question. Any
background information that might (though not likely, I am guessing this
was a local decision by the ship's commander) shed light on why the
POW's were required to bathe on the deck of the vessel would be housed
among the textual records of the Department of the Navy. You may want
to contact the textual reference staff here at NARA to see if they can
locate any documentation that might provide an explanation - their
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind that there may not be any information as to whether this
was a general policy by the Navy for sanitation reasons or a decision
made locally aboard the ship for some other purpose, such as those you
suggest below. If you contact them, you should provide them with a link
to the photo so they can see what image you are referring to. Please
also indicate to them that Still Pictures has replied that it has no
information available, other than the caption, that could answer your
The on line location for this photo to provide textual reference is as
ARC Identifier 520874 / Local Identifier 80-G-469956
I suppose one could argue that, given the way the photographer framed
the image (Jacobs was after all a very experienced photo-journalist in
civilian life - see a short bio at this site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fenno_Jacobs - where,
interestingly enough, you will find the author of this short bio saying
the following about the image - "On another assignment he photographed
life aboard the battleship USS New Jersey, shooting the activities of
the crew off- and on-duty. Other of Jacobs's images capture the
earnestness of young aviation cadets, the humiliation of a Japanese
prisoner of war on the deck of an aircraft carrier, and melancholy
scenes of Navy pilots on leave with their dates"), he is suggesting
something beyond merely documenting the activity. He could have taken
this image from many different angles, none of which would have shown
the activity being observed by the crew - he chose not to do that, so
maybe he had an ulterior motive or was trying to convey a message to the
viewer as many photographers do. However, that is only speculation, and
unless you could contact the photographer (he passed away in 1973) and
ask him why he made the image the way he did, anything else is an
interpretation. It is possible that some one has already done that (as
the short bio seems to note), and that information might be located in
some secondary sources on his life and career.
Sorry I cannot give you a definitive answer, but this is the best I can
do with the documentation I have available to me.
Chief, Still Picture Br.
En gros, M. Mccarter me répond que la légende de la photo est tout ce qu'il a trouvé comme information. Il ajoute un lien vers la biographie du célèbre et sérieux photographe Charles Fenno Jacobs tout en mentionnant qu'il ne pourra lui-même expliquer son oeuvre puisqu'il est décédé en 1973. Dans cette bio, le photographe explique un peu la raison du choix de l'angle de la photographie "incriminée". M. Mccarter me donne également une adresse courriel où je pourrais tenter ma chance afin de recevoir plus d'explications.