The bulk of this collection dates from the years 1943 through 1945. The collection mainly contains black and white photographs taken by Clell Thorpe, as well as some 4x5" negatives, one letter, one manuscript, and some miscellaneous items.
The material is arranged in five series: Naval School of Photography, Marine Bombing Squadron (VMB-613), Pacific Atoll, Tarawa, and Miscellaneous.
Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.
Clell Thorpe served as a Marine Corps photographer documenting the activities of Marines in the South Pacific during World War II. During the period [1944?]-1945, he traveled to several islands that had been taken from Japanese in earlier battles, such as Tarawa (captured in November 1943) and Kwajalein (captured on February 1944).
In 1943, Thorpe trained as a Marine Corps photographer at the Naval School of Photography in Pensacola, FL (the Marine Corps is administratively part of the U.S. Navy).
One of Thorpe's assignments involved photographing the Marine Bombing Squadron (VMB-613). The squadron trained in Boca Chica, Florida and Newport, Arkansas during 1944, then went to the home base for the VMB-613 as the squadron participated in operations in the Marshall Island throughout the war.
Thorpe took many photographs on a Pacific atoll in the Marshall Islands, which was not identified due to wartime censorship.
Thorpe also photographed on Tarawa Island in 1945.
Thorpe is known to have lived in Houston, Texas during 1947, and probably other years.
This collection was donated to the UH Libraries by Clell Thorpe in 1971.
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections MD Anderson Library 4333 University Drive
Clell Thorpe World War II Photographs. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting. See the Citing Special Collections Materials page for more information. https://findingaids.lib.uh.edu/repositories/2/resources/6 Accessed April 08, 2020.