Jacob Vouza displays head of
a Japanese soldier at Henderson Field
Likely this is one of the Japanese surrounded at The
Gifu in December 1942 and the head was brought down for publicity purposes to Henderson Field.
John Innes comments:
probably the most famous photo in the Pacific that was not published. It was considered
to show us in a not nice light. The story I heard from Vouza's family is that
Vouza and a younger boy had been caught by this Japanes officer and was being
taken back a Japanese camp. During the walk to the camp Vouza pointed up to a
cocoanut tree and gestured that he would send the boy up to get some nuts. The
Japanese officer agreed. After the boy climbed the tree and sent down some nuts Vouza
used his machette to open one and offered it to the jap. When the Jap officer
tilted his head back to drink it Vouza sliced his head off. I do not know if the
story is true. It is however what they told me. Another story is that late in
the campaign Vouza had warned the Americans to be more vigilant because there
were still Japs around and to prove it he went out and brought back the head.
Martin Clemens comments:
I asked Martin Clemens and he said that somebody
else must have brought it in,as he didnt think Vouza would have done that. Vouza
did slice a Japs head off in combat, but didnt bring it back. Martin said "...not
that old Vouza had any love for Japs of course!".
Credit: USMC Date: December 1942
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