Marines Protecting Orphan – Battle of Okinawa

Special thanks to Ed for sharing the link to this precious photo of two U.S. Marines, during the Battle of Okinawa, protecting an Okinawan child orphaned by the battle.

Marine Corporal Earl Brunitt (left) and Private Genare Nuzzi share a fighting hole and a couple of ponchos on Okinawa with a war orphan. April 1945. Sgt. W.A. McBride or Sgt. Howard S. England. (Marine Corps ) Exact Date Shot Unknown . NARA FILE #: 1127-N-118933 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 881.

Marine Corporal Earl Brunitt (left) and Private Genare Nuzzi share a fighting hole and a couple of ponchos on Okinawa with a war orphan. April 1945. Sgt. W.A. McBride or Sgt. Howard S. England. (Marine Corps ) Exact Date Shot Unknown . NARA FILE #: 1127-N-118933 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 881. Photo and caption source.

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3 Responses to Marines Protecting Orphan – Battle of Okinawa

  1. Art says:

    I have seen copies of this photo on eBay over the years and I’ve often wondered who the child and marines were. At least i know who the names of the marines. I hope someone can shed light on the child. I see the love and care of the two marines in the midst of such a horrific event. My mother remembers the dead bodies and the smells. We visited Okinawa back in the 70s and mom showed took us to the cave they hid in during the war. My aunt remembers attempting to cook with motor oil and how they got sick from the food cooked in it. I cannot find the words that would measure up to what they were exposed to and experienced.

    • loochoo77 says:

      Art, thank you for putting words to emotions that all of us experience, especially re the horrors of war that seem to bring out the worst and the best in all of us. These Marines, I’m sure, are representative of the vast majority of fighting men who retain their humanity even in the most brutal and life threatening conditions. I, too, am glad we’re able to add names — Marine Corporal Earl Brunitt and Private Genare Nuzzito — to these photos of heroes. My hope is that they survived the battle and went on to live full and happy lives. And I, too, wonder about the child. Did he survive? Did he grow up to live a full and happy life? We also owe much to the photographer — Sgt. W.A. McBride or Sgt. Howard S. England — who took the photo. The image reminds me of a womb, with a child and two young men cradled by Mother Earth, asleep and safe from harm.

  2. Fiona Alberici says:

    The marine on the right is actually named Gene Nuzzo and he is my grandfather. He is now 92 years old and we have this photo framed in our home.

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