Shot by an unknown American serviceman, these 16mm silent home movies show Japan during the time that it was occupied by U.S. armed forces. The film begins on the Yakoda Air Base, a military base where a Japanese aircraft is prominently displayed (:40). The base has a gymnasium, tennis courts and other amenities including a dry cleaners (1;25) and post office. At 2:10 buses are seen and at 2:17 a sign for the 98th Bomb wing and 343rd Bomb Group.At 2:40 the auditorium is visible. Various shots of personnel on the base are shown including a mail sorting room. At 5:27 a cake is presented. At 6:15 other parts of the base are seen including a mess area. At 8:30 the North Area of the base is shown. At 9:30 the guard house of the base is seen and at 9:25 a sign says "Hope You Enjoyed Your Visit." At 9:45 the film begins to show images of Japan shot from a moving vehicle. At 10:50 street scenes in an unknown city, probably Tokyo. At 13:00 the Japanese Congress building is shown. At 13:40 construction is seen in Tokyo.
The facility which houses Yokota Air Base was originally constructed by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) in 1940 as Tama Airfield, and used as a flight test center. During World War II Yokota became the center of Japanese Army Air Forces flight test activities and the base was the site of the first meeting between Japanese and Italian wartime allies. With the Surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945, a detachment of the United States Army 1st Cavalry Division arrived at the base on 4 September. The airfield's buildings were largely intact, and some 280 of the IJA's most modern aircraft were discovered in hangars.
The 1st Cavalry named the facility Fussa Army Airfield, then at the end of September renamed it Yokota Army Airfield (the name appeared on a 1944 US map, taken from a village which has since been incorporated in neighboring Musashimurayama.)
The name was to have been changed to Wilkins Army Air Base (WAAB) after Medal of Honor winner Raymond "Ray" Wilkins, but orders for this never arrived and it remained under the name Yokota until the USAAF became the USAF in 1947, at which point it became Yokota Air Base. Some metal manhole covers stamped "WAAB" remain in use around the base as of 2017.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com