Xiphias Gladius (xiphias) wrote,

Wanna see the most awesome photo EVER?



You know what that is? That's four women fighting fires at Pearl Harbor after the attack. Looks to me like a black woman (or dark Pacific Islander, maybe Samoan -- hard to tell in a black-and-white photo), a Japanese woman, a Chinese woman, and a woman with her head turned away from the camera, but judging from the hair, and because I want it to be, I'm going to say she's Jewish. Because why not?

That's a REAL GODDAMNED PHOTO. WHY THE HELL HAVEN'T I SEEN THIS BEFORE? Why isn't this photo on the cover of every American history textbook ever?

Edited to Add: More details about the photo have come to light. As it turns out, this wasn't taken on Dec 7, 1942, but it was taken at Pearl Harbor, after the war had started. These women were just what they appear to be: a Hawaiian wartime firefighting brigade -- Elizabeth Moku, Katherine Lowe, Alice Cho, and Hilda Van Gieson. Ms Lowe says that this looks like a training exercise, rather than them actively fighting a fire. Ms Lowe and Ms Moku were best friends even before the war, and, after the war, Ms Lowe's kids called Ms Moku "Auntie Moku."

As for ethnicity: Ms Lowe is half Chinese and half Polynesian; Ms Moku is half German and half Polynesian. Ms Lowe wasn't as close to Ms Cho or Ms Van Gieson, so we don't have her account of what those women's backgrounds are, but judging from faces and surnames (and there are other photos where we can see Ms Van Geison's face), Alice Cho might have been Chinese, or possibly Korean, and it's hard to nail that down: Alice Cho is a fairly common name. Hilda Van Geison we can probably guess was of Dutch extraction.

Knowing all that, I find this photo every bit as awesome as I did before I knew it.
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