Woman Asks For Help Identifying People in Internment Camp Photos - NBC Bay Area

Woman Asks For Help Identifying People in Internment Camp Photos

The photos will be on display at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose until Oct. 23.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Should You Buy a Mattress Online or in the Store?
    Hirahara Family Collection
    The black-and-white photos were taken and processed sometime between 1943 and 1945 at the Heart Mountain relocation camp in Wyoming.

    A woman is searching in the Bay Area for people who might be able to identify family members in a batch of photos taken at a Japanese internment camp.

    Patti Hirahara of Anaheim inherited a collection of more than 2,000 photographs that her father and grandfather took during World War II, and she's hoping that people in the Bay Area might be able to put some names to the faces of the people pictured.

    Some of the pictures, which she found in her grandfather's attic, will be on display at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose until Oct. 23.

    The black-and-white photos were taken and processed sometime between 1943 and 1945 at the Heart Mountain relocation camp in Wyoming, where thousands of internees were held under Executive Order 9066.

    Heart Mountain was just one of many internment camps, and it alone imprisoned more than 14,000 people during its three years in operation, according to its website.

    Hirahara said in an email to NBC Bay Area that she had already been able to identify "about 70 percent" of the collection through searching barrack numbers and family names. With the museum's assistance, she's hoping that number will grow before she retires from her search.

    "With the Japanese American Museum of San Jose agreeing to help me on this quest, this will be the last stop before I end my journey to identify the people in these Heart Mountain photos," wrote Hirahara in an email to NBC Bay Area. "I hope that the younger generation will take interest in this dark time in history and take the initiative to research their own family history."

    For information on where and when you can identify photos, check out the Japanese American Museum of San Jose’s website.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android