Pacific Combat Photos--A Living History
Images by Jim Heupel,
J Heupel Photography
This photo gallery is devoted to World War II, specifically combat in the Pacific theater of operations, as depicted through the National Museum of the Pacific War (Admiral Nimitz Museum) and simulating combat patterned after the Battle of Tarawa through the Museum’s living history program. Some of the images have been converted to black and white, to simulate the photographs of combat photographers and correspondents in World War II.
The photos depict the educational, living history program which and includes authentic American Marine and Japanese uniforms and accessories, weapons, heavy combat vehicle, and which concludes with a combat simulatetion of Marines landing on a small, fortified, Japanese held island including flame thrower and special effects. On about one acre of land is recreated a portion of the Japanese-held island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll, with cement block command bunker, buttressed seawalls to prevent LVT’s from crossing the shore line, Japanese howitzer and anti-aircraft emplacements, and a sunken Japanese pillbox with adjacent firing positions—giving a complete field of fire against any enemy trying to attack the island.
It is here that WWII combat is recreated in Fredericksburg, Texas, on 7 weekends a year, with 5 to 6 shows each weekend, lasting about 1 1/2 hours. It is a true living history--providing sight, sound and smell that bring the viewer closer to reality of that experience than film can portray, educating thousands of people each year. WWII veterans are welcomed--and honored--during the program.
This gallery, as with the National Museum of the Pacific War, is intended to honor those men who served and sacrificed for America in the Pacific Theater during World War II. I also want to honor the Museum, its staff, and the myriad of volunteers who make this living history program a success, helping to educate and inspire the generations of men, women and children that have come after the heroic men of World War II.