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World War II Special Feature
The Willie Starnes Photo Collection
Willie Starnes who served aboard the USS Hyman (DD-732) in WWII recently died, leaving his niece Jana Reid with his photo album. She graciously forwarded scans of all the images to NavSource. They do not have notations of exactly what is being depicted but we know you will enjoy them.
Much of this collection shows Lieutenant General Masao Watanabe of the Imperial Japanese Army and his aides arrive aboard the USS Hyman (DD-732) to negotiate the surrender of Ponape Island on September 11, 1945.
Willie didn't speak of his war experiences much, and he didn't want to go to reunions or Honor Flights to DC. He hated leaving his home, and Jana knows that colored his war experiences. He did speak of them later in life and was aboard the ship when it was hit by kamikazes in WWII. He was at Iwo Jima when the flag was raised and saw it. But he only spoke of these things in the last fifteen years or so. When he entered the navy, they insisted he have a middle name, so he adopted his hometown's name for his middle name. He was Willie West Starnes of West, Texas.
The images are presented as they appear in Willie's scrapbook and are obviously not in chronological sequence.