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  • Okinawa World War II Photographs, 1945
    Oubre and his unit traveled into the northern sector of Naha without resistance Then on May 25 the reconnaissance company of the division penetrated the western section of the city near the canal that bisects the city north south Two days later troops approached the Ona Yama Island in the middle of the KoKuba Channel located at the south end of the Naha Canal The attack failed because heavy machine gun fire killed the platoon leader yet Marine forces continued to attack the port of Naha Finally on May 30 the troops seized the last hill number 27 on the east side of the city According to Marine observers at the time the city held no tactical value other than to afford the Americans a route of travel south to the next battle American forces completed the capture of the island in June of 1945 Shortly thereafter the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to bomb the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima which ended the war in the Pacific After the capture of Okinawa Sgt Willie V Oubre was assigned to clean up detail on Guam where he found aerial photographs of Okinawa taken after preliminary bombings and decided to keep them as mementos He stated that while he fought in the city of Naha P 38 s flew over the battle lines at 1100 1200 and 1300 hours daily According to Oubre it is believed that the photographs in this collection were probably taken by those P 38 s However no documentation was found to indicate that the U S forces in the Pacific used P 38 s to photograph Okinawa and these photographs may predate the land battles of late May In September 1993 Oubre donated the photographs to the University of Southern Mississippi Willie V Oubre was born on July 1 1914 and grew up in Scooba Mississippi Throughout his childhood and early adulthood he was interested in law enforcement However when he enrolled at the State Teachers College now the University of Southern Mississippi a program in criminal justice did not exist so he majored in business education Shortly after graduation from USM in 1939 Oubre entered the U S Marine Corp After basic training he was commissioned Staff Sergeant and was assigned to the infantry division of the 22nd Marine Brigade 6th Marine Division At that point Oubre received orders to board a vessel bound for the Pacific Theater of War and saw action at Guadalcanal Guam and Okinawa After the war Oubre returned to Mississippi and pursued a career in law enforcement serving as a highway patrolman and then as a deputy with the Forrest County Sheriff s Department In 1965 Oubre became Director of Public Safety at the University of Southern Mississippi USM where he remained until his retirement in 1980 Of note is the fact that Oubre assisted in beginning the criminal justice program at USM The first year the program existed 250 students enrolled and Oubre served as an instructor At

    Original URL path: http://www.lib.usm.edu/spcol/collections/manuscripts/finding_aids/m283.html (2016-02-17)
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