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Friday, April 4, 2014

Photographer Roger Smith Captured Iconic Images of Montford Point Marines

Happy Friday Readers! Things are moving along at Montford Point Marines and Honor Blogspot. Additional people are committed in helping me spread the news about these remarkable men and my dad's story. I will explain that in detail soon. 

In today's world we have the Internet, where information can be transmitted with the touch of a button. However, in the 1940s, there was no Internet. Televisions were years away from being a permanent fixture in Americans homes. As a result, the primary way to get visual images out to the masses was print media.  

Magazines and newspapers contained photos to get Americans behind the war effort. These images were well conceived and powerful. Who was responsible for creating these images that motivated people to enlist in the armed forces? 

The Office of War Information was established six months after Pearl Harbor on June 13, 1942. The goal was to drum up support for the military and document members of the armed forces. It used propaganda to "inspire patriotic fervor in the American public." The OWI also covered social change such as women in the work force and the inclusion of African Americans in the military.

 In the case of the Montford Point Marines, Office of War Information photographer Roger Smith was responsible for many of the photos during World War II. You have seen these iconic images in most of the Montford Point Marines stories in the media. The photos have been continuously posted here on this blog.

Now you know the name of the man behind the lens. Here are some of Smith's images below:

Montford Point Marines in front of Barracks at Boot Camp

Montford Point Marines leaving chapel on the base.


Montford Point Marines in training.
51st Defense Battalion

Montford Marines in formation.

 Thousands of Smith's photographs can be found on the Internet today. Others are physically stored in archives such as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Roger Smith captured some of the most enduring images of African Americans during the war. His works have been displayed in exhibits and reproduced in books and other Montford Point Marines materials. He is clearly a photographer that I will explore in the future.

 So if you run across a photograph of a Montford Point Marine during World War II, it is more than likely taken by Office of War Information photographer Roger Smith. Now I am off to show my father pictures of his boot camp.

 Would any of these photos inspire you to join the war effort? Have you heard of Roger Smith before? What about the Office of War Information?

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