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Artifact Friday: 1950s Okinawa Postcard

AAMM has a lot of interesting items in its

collection, and this week, we archived a postcard collection from a veteran stationed in Okinawa.

As a unique Artifact Friday and quite frankly a reminder that it is snake season in our Natural State, please see our 1950s Okinawa Postcard.

This postcard is a part of a larger set that features many other views of Okinawa including farms, fishing villages, ocean views, and animal life. These tranquil views were unknown to the island a few years earlier as Okinawa was one of the last battlegrounds for the Pacific War.

The Marines landed on the island April 1, 1945, beginning a battle that lasted until June 22.

Okinawa held many dangers to the American G.I. besides the enemy. One of these dangers was the Habu snake which is pictured on this postcard.

The Habu is a member of the pit viper family and is only native to the Ryukyu Islands in the Pacific, and Okinawa is a part of this chain.

This lovely reptile haunts the trees, rocks, and waterways of the islands. 

The men who landed on Okinawa were issued snake bite kits just in case they happened upon the serpent.

  A few years later, the U.S. military established Marine, Army, Air Force, and Navy bases on Okinawa. Those stationed there are also warned to keep their distance from the deadly Habu viper.

Interestingly, when the military bases arrived on the island, tourism also came.

Part of the tourist attraction was the unique wildlife on Okinawa including the Habu. So, to accommodate the tourists and the growing population of military personnel, base stores, and tourist sites sold postcards so that families at home could get a glimpse of what life was like there.

One of these postcards made its way to our museum!  






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