The Oliver L. Austin Photographic Collection

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Occupation of Japan, 1946-1950

Dr. Oliver L. Austin headed the Wildlife Branch of the Fisheries Division in the Natural Resources Section (NRS) for SCAP from 1946 to the end of 1949. He was honored as one of only two members of the US Occupation of Japan who received a personal commendation for meritorious civilian service by General Douglas MacArthur. During his nearly four years in Japan, Austin produced almost 1,000 well-preserved color photographic slides of postwar Japan under reconstruction: highlights include American expatriate life, rare photographs of Crown Prince Akihito as a child, ordinary Japanese families in Tokyo and the countryside, and Japanese veterans purveying street entertainments. The images reveal high artistic quality and composition while they provide a glimpse into an important era in US-Japan relations. His son Tony, who served as the conversational English partner of Crown Prince Akihito, the current Emperor of Japan, donated this remarkable collection.

Operation Deep Freeze, 1955-1956

Operation Deep Freeze I took place in 1955-1956 during a moment of Cold War period intensification for international scientific rivalries, but also rare cooperation in the Antarctic context.  Led by Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, the expedition conducted preparations for the US role in the 1957 International Geophysical Year while examining areas for potential US research bases.  Dr. Austin served as a US Air Force scientific observer with the US Navy, and also researched Adelie penguins and other wildlife during his tour.