Fifth Marine Division

Special film-strip-with-play-triangle_318-50666 Footage

5th Marine Division Insignia

Iwo Jima

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Technician 5 (Tec/5) Harry Hideo Okada
[Confirmed]

There are several indicators that the soldier in this video is, in all likelihood, Harry H. Okada on March 15, 1945 (D+24) in Iwo Jima.

1) The video description indicates that this is footage of the 5th Marine Division AND Harry H. Okada was part of the 5th Marines.

2) According to The Spearhead, there is only one soldier in the 5th Marine Division that has both a last name that contains “oka” and a first name that starts with “H” without additional letters preceding “oka” – Harry H. Okada. See the second part of the video clip below for spacing between “H” in Harry and “O” in Okada.

3) Given that the soldier is speaking with a Japanese prisoner, it would make sense that the soldier’s last name is Japanese.

4) Although the quality of the video makes it difficult to see, the writing on the back of the shirt on the soldier at the right starts with an “H.” as seen in the next, higher resolution screenshot.

According to page 232 of The Spearhead – The World War II History of the 5th Marine Division, Harry H. Okada was an Army Technician 5 in the Headquarters Battalion of the 5th Marine Division. A search of the U.S. Army records for WWII indicates that there were two soldiers by the name of Harry H. Okada. Both were Japanese and living in Hawaii prior to the U.S. involvement in WWII.

Video source: http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675063796 @ 00:08. Stills 12 through 16 and 36 are the best views of the writing on the soldier’s shirt.

Research sources:
1) http://aad.archives.gov/aad/index.jsp
2) http://wwii-enlistment.com/search/
3) FindAGrave Memorial 126497526
4) The Spearhead – The World War II History of the 5th Marine Division.

Technician 5 (Tec5) Harry Hideo Okada March 15, 1945 D+24After very close examination using an imaging application to vary contrast, gamma, saturation and sharpness, the writing on the back of the soldier’s shirt clearly starts with “H.“.

Technician 5 (Tec5) Harry Hideo Okada March 15, 1945 D+24The soldier thought to be Harry H. Okada is at the far right.

Although the quality of the video makes it difficult to see, the writing on the back of the shirt of the soldier that passes from left to right near the end of the footage starts with an “H.” and contains “OKA” as seen in the next, higher resolution screenshots.

Technician 5 (Tec5) Harry Hideo Okada March 15, 1945 D+24After very close examination using an imaging application to vary contrast, gamma, saturation and sharpness, the writing on the back of the soldier’s shirt clearly contains “OKA”.

This is a screenshot (still 36) from a portion of the previous video.

Technician 5 (Tec5) Harry Hideo Okada March 15, 1945 D+24H&S Company of the 26th Regiment of the 5th Marine Division.

Back row, left to right: Lt Corley, Cpl Johnson, Pfc Helm, Unknown, Lt Marshall (Japanese interpreter), Capt Harris, Pfc Lamb.

Front row, left to right: SSgt Chet Smith (combat correspondent), Unknown, Sgt Macer, Cpl Scheutzel, Cpl E.T. Hansen, Cpl Hutt, Sgt Okada (a Japanese-American Japanese interpreter), Unknown.

Source: Summer 2011 Spearhead Newsletter.

 

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