On this day: the last Japanese Wolf

Wôkami_-_Carl_Hubert_de_VilleneuveThe Japanese wolf is considered to be extinct as the last specimens were recorded at Higashi-Yoshino village in Nara Prefecture, Japan in January 23, 1905.

Carl Hubert de Villeneuve’s 1820s sketch.

The last sighting of a Japanese wolf – a subspecies of the grey wolf – was recorded in Nara Prefecture on the 23rd of January, 1905.

In the century before, during the Meiji Restoration, killing the wolves had become a national policy.

A memorial statue now stands in the village of Higashiyoshino, where the last wolf was seen.

The animal is now considered extinct.

On this day: a memorial service in Korea

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA: KOREAN WAR/DEATH & DESTRUCTION

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3rd December 1950: A wounded chaplain is photographed conducting a memorial service over the snow-covered bodies of dead US Marines.

The image was taken during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War.

On this day: a film premiere in 1900

 Embarquement_d'un_bœuf,_Gabriel_VeyreEarly French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre premiered (Through Indochina (1st series). Bull being loaded on a ship) in Lyon on the 18th of November.

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Early French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre premiered À travers l’Indochine (1° série). Embarquement d’un boeuf à bord d’un navire (Through Indochina (1st series). Bull being loaded on a ship) in Lyon.

It was part of a series recorded in Tonkin (present-day Vietnam) between 1899 and 1900.

On this day: Australians in Borneo

Australian_2-31_Bn_parading_through_Bandjermasin_17th September_1945 Enthusiastic welcome after Japanese occupation. Second World War Two..

17th September 1945: Soldiers of the Australian 2/31st Battalion pass through Bandjermasin in Borneo as they take responsibility for the island after the surrender of Japan in the Second World War. It was reported they were given an enthusiastic welcome by the locals.

The island of Borneo was under Japanese occupation from the end of 1941. Bandjermasin is now part of Indonesia.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Danger Close

Danger Close Long Tan Movie Vietnam War Travis Fimmel Australian Army 1966

I had the opportunity to attend a special screening of Danger Close – The Battle of Long Tan last night with some Vietnam veterans (including my father) and other members of the Australian Defence Force. They actually had a counsellor there just in case, and now I understand why – it was quite the experience.

Long Tan is the best-known battle Australia (and New Zealand) fought in the Vietnam War, but I was still amazed both by the quality of the movie, and the actors in it. The “face” of the movie is Major Harry Smith, played by Travis Fimmel, of Vikings fame.

In the 1960s my father was an armoured personnel carrier driver stationed in Nui Dat, which is the base under attack in the movie. He later fought another major battle only a few kilometres from the base: Binh Ba, which had its fiftieth anniversary this year.

It was amazing to see people my father knows portrayed on the big screen, and to know people who consulted on the film.

I would strongly recommend this movie, as long as you’re prepared for it. It’s very confronting, and that much sadder because none of it is fiction.

On this day…

Freed Korean “Comfort Women” – women forced to work as sex slaves for the Empire of Japan during the Second World War – talk to US soldiers in a photograph dated the 14th of August, 1944.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of women from Asia, as well as several hundred from the Netherlands and Australia, were treated this way.

Captured_comfort_women_in_Myitkyina_on_August_14_in_1944 Comfort Women - women forced to work as sex slaves for the Empire of Japan - after being freed by US soldiers. 14th August 1944. X

Here is the official caption of the photograph:

“Three Korean “comfort girls” (captured in Burma), photographed while being interrogated by Capt. Won Loy Chan (San Francisco, California), Tech. Sgt. Robert Honda (Hawaii) and Sgt. Hirabayashi (Seattle, Washington), all of the G-2 Myitkyina Task Force of the U.S. Army.”

On this day: Air Raid Damage in Australia

2nd April 1943: A house in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory is severely damaged by a Japanese air raid.

Australia was bombed in about a hundred separate air raids between 1942 and 1943 during the Second World War.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Damaged_house_(Darwin)A house in Darwin damaged in a Japaneses Air Raid. Northern Territory, Australia. Second World War Two. Bombing of Darwin.