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Ralph Contreras - World War II

Ralph Contreras, the son of a Mexican-American living in Dixon, Illinois, was sixteen during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He immediately wanted to get into the Marines, but was not able to do so until 1943. His unit, the 6th Marine Division, saw action in Guam in July 1944 and in Okinawa in April 1945.

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Photos

Caption

Ralph Contreras following boot camp in San Diego late 1943.

Where:

San Diego, California

When:

late 1943

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Private Ralph Contreras in late October 1943 following boot camp.

Where:

Unknown

When:

October 1943

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Ralph Contreras and his brother Nelo Contreras (who is in dress blues he got at the photo shoot) on right, when they met up with each other near Hawaii in early 1944.

Where:

near Hawaii

When:

early 1944

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



Caption

Ralph Contreras at the end of the war. He wore corporal stripes in the photo but was still technically a PFC.

Where:

Dixon, Illinois

When:

end of the war

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Ralph Contreras at Guadalcanal before the unit shipped to Guam in June of 1944.

Where:

Guadalcanal

When:

June of 1944

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Contreras, on right, stands next to the sign of the 1st Battalion 22nd Marines while at Guam after the land was secured.

Where:

Guam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Pvt. Evans and Ralph Contreras, the only survivors of their action at Guam, taken while they were at Guadalcanal.

Where:

Guadalcanal

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo


Caption

Troops on the march in Summer 1945.

Where:

Okinawa

When:

Summer 1945

Ownership:

Official Marine Photo. This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Ralph Contreras with a samurai Sword taken from a Japanese he killed outside his fox hole during combat on Okinawa.

Where:

Okinawa

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ralph Contreras, on right, with brother Nelo Contreras, on left, display another souvenir, a captured enemy battle flag after killing two Japanese outside his fox hole.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ralph and Nelo Contreras in a Jeep in the spring of 1945 on Okinawa.

Where:

Okinawa

When:

spring of 1945

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Nelo and Ralph get their picture taken while in Okinawa.

Where:

Okinawa

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Official Marine Corps photo of combat in Okinawa.

Where:

Okinawa

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

May Lee, Ralph’s Chinese friend he met while the unit was on occupation duty in Tsingtao, China.

Where:

Tsingtao, China

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

May Lee and Ralph, taken while he was in the occupation force in Loingtoa, China on December 22, 1945.

Where:

Loingtoa, China

When:

December 22, 1945

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Wayne Dempsey (also of Dixon) and Ralph with a Chinese friend in Tsingtao, China.

Where:

Tsingtao, China

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ralph Contreras’ Honorable Discharge Certificate from the Marine Corps.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

Dixon Marine Corps league detachment, Installation of officers in 1957. In front: Tom Buckingham, state commandant (unknown), Neal Walker, Fred Tetrick. Top: Joe Dempsey, Russ Tetrick, Lou Jones, Ray Johnson and Ralph Contreras.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1957

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



Caption

Ralph Contreras in Dixon circa 1991.

Where:

Dixon, Illinois

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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