The Paul E. Purk World War II Photograph Collection was accessioned into the Flesh Public Library Archives and Special Collections on 1 November 2007 as a donation from Piqua Assistant Fire Chief Mike Rindler.  Chief Rindler acquired the collection from Mrs. Dorothy Purk, wife of Paul E. Purk.


The collection contains photographs taken on Luzon Island in and near Manila, Philippine Islands.  The photographs were taken in late 1945 and early 1946.  From the photographs and other information it appears that Paul Purk was in Army Basic Training in March, April, May 1945 at Camp Blanding, Florida.  He appears to have been sent to the Philippines in late summer 1945 and assigned to garrison duty serving in the 1st platoon Company A, 706th Tank Battalion.  Apparently the 706th was involved in guarding a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp in the vicinity of Manila.  The 706th was also involved in moving supplies by truck in the area of Manila and from the Port of Manila.


The photographs were housed in one Hollinger box containing 38 files.  The collection contains 239 original photographs.  Approximately 30 photographs copied from the internet have been added to the collection for purposes of clarification.  There are no known restrictions on the use of these materials, however, because of its content, access to File 30 is limited to serious research only.


Paul Purk returned from the Philippines and became a brick mason in Miami and Shelby Counties.  In 1948 he married Dorothy Body and they made their home on Van de Mark Road in southern Shelby County.  Mr. Purk died in January 1981 at the age of 57 years.




The Paul E. Purk World War II Photograph Collection is divided into the following seven series:


SERIES I:       Military personnel, 1945-46 – Philippine Islands

Files 1 – 7


SERIES II:      Military Facilities and Equipment

Files 8 – 15


SERIES III:    Filipino people and others

Files 16 – 22


SERIES IV:    Structures and buildings in the Philippines

Files 23 – 28


SERIES V:      The effects of the war on Manila and Luzon, Philippine Islands – Files 29 – 31



SERIES VI:    U.S. Navy ships of early World War II

Files 32 – 36


SERIES VII:   Paul E. Purk, personal information

Files 37 and 38






SERIES I:  Military personnel – 1945-46 – Philippine Islands



          1        Paul Purk in T-shirt and other individuals not identified next to

                                                a sign reading “1st Platoon APO 75 Co. A 706th Tank

                                                BN” (4 photos)


          2        Japanese prisoners of war washing pots and pans beside the

                                                kitchen (3 photos)


          3        Soldiers photographs

                   3.01 – Paul Purk driving an Army 6x6, a 2½ ton truck

                   3.02 – Paul Purk and other individuals not identified outside a

                                                                barracks building.

                   3.03 – Paul, a soldier from South Carolina and two Filipino

                                                                shoe shine boys

                   3.04 – Paul and three other individuals not identified outside a

                                                                mess hall getting ready to dip their mess gear into

                                                                cans of boiling water.

                   3.05 – Charles Rahmeyer of Mexico, MO standing next to a

                                                                row of trucks (2 photos)

                   3.06 – Paul E. Purk – left along with three other individuals not

                                                                identified standing in front of tents

                   3.07 – Ellis Purcell [from Illinois], Charles Rahmeyer

                                                                [Missouri], Elza Rakes [West Virginia] and Morris

                                                                Yaris [Michigan] along with Paul [back center of



          4        Unidentified photographs of individual soldiers (14 photos) –

                                                all photos are taken on the Army post.


          5        Unidentified photographs of two soldiers (11 photos) – all

                                                photos are taken on the Army post


          6        Unidentified photographs of three soldiers (5 photos) – all

                                                photos are taken on the Army post.  In photo 6.05 the

                                                picture is of one soldier and two Filipino shoe shine boys.


          7        Unidentified photographs of four or more soldiers (9 photos) –

                                                photo 7.09 is of a military parade.


SERIES II:  Military Facilities and Equipment



          8        Military Police Company Stockade photo and photographs of

                                                tents.  It is possible that this facility was to house

                                                Japanese prisoners of war in mid to late 1945 and 1946 (6



          9        Fort Drum, Manila Bay, P.I. – called the “unsinkable battleship

                                                of Manila Bay”.  Included in this file for information

                                                purposes is an online article about the fort from the

                                                Philippine Daily Inquirer.


          10      Photographs of Jeeps and trucks used by the Army in the

                                                Philippines (12 photos)


          11      Road building equipment – “Mississippi Wagon” scrapers (4



          12      Crane photos unloading a bulldozer (6 photos)


          13      Unloading and loading ships at the Port of Manila (9 photos)


          14      Photos involving ships and boats

                   14.01 – Men on a ship watching a U.S. Navy PBY Catalina

                                                                aircraft which has landed near the ship

                   14.02 – Ships anchored off of a shore line

                   14.03 – U.S. Navy landing craft sailing under Jones Bridge near

                                                                the Manila Post Office


          15      U.S. Military Cemetery, Philippine Islands (4 photos)


SERIES III:  Filipino people and others



          16      Baseball game photographs (6 photos) – The game may involve

                                                Filipino teams, American servicemen, and/or Japanese

                                                prisoners of war.


          17      Photos of Filipino people

                   17.01 – Four shoe shine boys on the military post

                   17.02 – Mess hall servers and attendants

                   17.03 – Three ladies bathing in a river

                   17.04 – Ladies washing clothes in a river

                   17.05 – Man carrying two large baskets of clay pots suspended

                                                                from a pole over his shoulder

                   17.06 – Ladies carrying bundles on their heads (2 photos)

                   17.07 – Two Filipino young ladies seated in a rice field just

                                                                after harvest.  The ladies are nicely dressed.

                   17.08 – Two Filipino ladies pounding out fish fillets with a

                                                                wooden club and washing the fillets.

                   17.09 – Two Filipino ladies standing in the rocky area of a

                                                                river, probably washing clothes


          18      Photographs of rice farming in the Philippines.  Note the use of

                                                water buffalo in the process and hand planting rice plants

                                                in a flooded paddy.  Notes on the back of the last two

                                                photos tell how at harvest the rice is cut and stacked. 

                                                Then, when the harvest is complete, the rice is taken

                                                from the stack and the grain is separated from the straw

                                                by beating it with wooden clubs.  (9 photos)


          19      Photographs of general agriculture and rural life in the

                                                Philippines c. 1945-46.

                   19.01 – Carabao (water buffalo) in an old gun emplacement,

                                                                Manila – the old emplacement has filled with


                   19.02 – A coconut plantation

                   19.03 – Plowing with water buffalo (2 photos)

                   19.04 – A two wheeled cart pulled by two water buffalo

                   19.05 – Native ox carts, Luzon, P.I.


          20      Shopping at an open air market for fish and vegetables (2



          21      Fishing in the Philippines (2 photos)


          22      Street scene photographs – Manila, P.I. c. 1945-46 (20 photos)


SERIES IV:  Structures and buildings in the Philippines



          23      Christian cemetery in Manila (3 photos)


          24      Chinese cemetery in Manila (3 photos)


          25      Two churches in Manila (3 photos) – For purposes of

                                                information, accompanying each church photo is an

                                                internet print-out stating the significance of the church.

                   25.01 – San Sebastian Church – made of a steel frame and steel

                                                                panels – it is the only neo-gothic steel church in

                                                                Asia – located in the Quiapo district of Manila.

                   25.02 – Quiapo Church, Manila – also known as the Minor

                                                                Basilica of the Black Nazarene, and the site of the

                                                                annual January Black Nazarene procession.

                   25.03 – Large church pipe organ – Manila [the specific church

                                                                is not identified]


          26      Houses in Manila area – houses are raised on poles with

                                                thatched roofs (2 photos)


          27      “Welcome to the Philippines” arch – probably at or near the

                                                Port of Manila – c. 1945-46 (6 photos)


          28      Public buildings in Manila c. 1945-46 (7 photos)

                   28.01 – Rizal Stadium

                   28.02 – Malacanan Presidential Palace

                   28.03 – City Hall

                   28.04 – U.S. High Commissioner’s Residence

                   28.05 – Roosevelt Club (former Jai Alai Club)

                   28.06 – Two buildings which are not identified (2 photos)


SERIES V:  The effects of World War II on Manila and Luzon, P.I.



          29      Buildings showing evidence of war damage (24 photos)

                   29.01 – War-damaged Business District, Manila, P.I.

                   29.02 – Legislative Building, Government Center, Manila (3


                   29.03 – Agriculture and Commerce Building

                   29.04 – Post Office

                   29.05 – San Luis Terrace – apartment building

                   29.06 – Coun. Eng. Building – title on picture is difficult to


                   29.07 – _____ Bank – name of bank is not readable on the


                   29.08 – Wreck of a Japanese ship in Manila Bay

                   29.09 – Topside Barracks from Corregidor Hospital

                   29.10 – Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor

                   29.11 – Wrecked Mortar Battery, Corregidor

                   29.12 – Corregidor Barracks looking toward Bataan

                   29.13 – Workers cleaning up rubble

                   29.14 – War damaged buildings which are not identified (8




                        RESEARCH ONLY.  RESTRICTED DUE TO THE

                        CONTENT OF THE FILE.



          30      Human remains – dead Japanese soldiers (9 photos)

                   30.01 – Gen. MacArthur looks down on the remains of dead

                                                                Japanese soldiers after the re-conquest of Bataan.

                   30.02 – The severed heads of Japanese soldiers displayed by

                                                                smiling Filipinos (3 photos)

                   30.03 – Skeletal remains of Japanese soldiers (5 photos)


          31      Philippine monkey sitting on top of a damaged wood tower.


SERIES VI:  U.S. Navy Ships of early World War II

                                                [The photographs

                                                in this series were taken before the outbreak of the war in

                                                the Pacific.  Attached to each photo is an internet print-

                                                out giving the specifications and other details of each

                                                ship along with another photo of the ship and the final

                                                fate of the ship.  These print-outs are for informational

                                                purposes only and are not part of the collection.]



          32      Carriers (CV)

                   32.01 – USS Lexington (CV-2) – sunk at Battle of the Coral


                   32.02 – USS Ranger (CV-4) – scrapped 1947

                   32.03 – USS Yorktown (CV-5) – sunk at Battle of Midway

                   32.04 – USS Wasp (CV-7) – torpedoed and sunk off

                                                                Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands


          33      Battleships (BB)

                   33.01 – USS Wyoming (BB-32) – scrapped 1947

                   33.02 – USS Arkansas (BB-33) – sunk during atomic bomb test

                                                                “Baker” at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands 1946

                   33.03 – USS New York (BB-34) – sunk by naval gunfire and

                                                                aircraft off the coast of Oahu, HA 1948 – was a

                                                                target during atomic bomb test “Baker” in 1946

                                                                and survived but was unusable afterwards.

                   33.04 – USS Texas (BB-35) – preserved as a memorial, San

                                                                Jacinto Battlefield, LaPorte, TX

                   33.05 – USS Idaho (BB-42) – scrapped 1947

                   33.06 – USS California (BB-44) – sunk at Pearl Harbor, raised

                                                                and served from 1943-1945 in the war – scrapped


                   33.07 – Photo of battleships firing broadside – also an internet

                                                                photo, which is not part of the collection, of five

                                                                battleships steaming in line.


          34      Cruisers (CL/CA)

                   34.01 – USS Omaha (CL-4) – scrapped 1946

                   34.02 – USS Houston (CL/CA-30) – sunk at Battle of Sunda

                                                                Strait – 1942

                   34.03 – USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) – scrapped 1959

                   34.04 – USS Quincy (CA-39) – sunk at Battle of Savo Island –


                   34.05 – USS Brooklyn (CL-40) – transferred to Chilean Navy –


                   34.06 – USS Saint Louis (CL-49) – transferred to Brazilian

                                                                Navy – 1951


          35      Destroyers (DD)

                   35.01 – USS Manley (DD-74/AG-28/APD-1) – scrapped 1946

                   35.02 – USS Long (DD-209/DMS-12) – sunk by Japanese

                                                                Kamikaze Aircraft in Lingayen Gulf – 1945

                   35.03 – USS Wasmuth (DD-338/DMS-15) – foundered in a

                                                                storm and was destroyed by its own depth charges

                                                                exploding off the Aleutians – 1942

                   35.04 – USS Farragut (DD-348) – scrapped 1947

                   35.05 – USS Balch (DD-363) – scrapped 1946

                   35.06 – USS McCall (DD-400) – scrapped 1947

                   35.07 – USS Eaton (DD-510/DDE-510) – sunk as a target off

                                                                Florida – 1970


          36      Auxiliary Ships (3 photos)

                   36.01 – USS Whitney (AD-4) – Dobbin Class Destroyer Tender

                                                                – scrapped 1948

                   36.02 – USS Henderson (Transport #1/AP-1) – in 1944 was

                                                                decommissioned, refitted and re-commissioned as

                                                                the USS Bountiful (AH-9) a hospital ship –

                                                                scrapped 1948 


SERIES VII – Paul E. Purk



          37      Obituary and Ohio Death Record for Paul E. Purk


          38      Copy of a card sent to the Home Town Bugle dated 5 April

                                                1945 – he was in basic training at Camp Blanding,

                                                Florida.  The original of this card is in MS-19, Box 5,

                                                File 45, #50.