World War II

NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES

Curators at The National World War II Museum solve readers’ artifact mysteries

While going through my father’s wartime memorabilia, I happened upon a notebook in which he explains that original negatives of images a U.S. Navy photographer took of the Japanese surrender ceremony aboard were lost, “probably during a gala on ship in New York Harbor.” When the loss was discovered, he—U.S. Navy Photographer’s Mate Third Class Allan Thomas Kimmell—and others working at a photo lab in the Philippines photographed prints to make new negatives. He passed copies of those negatives along to me. I have never heard about the negatives’ loss and am hoping you’ll find it as fascinating as I have and want to learn more.

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