More photos and stories are coming in from fellow ASAers once stationed at ASAPAC in Tokyo in the late 1950s. Here are some:
The above view of "Oji Campu's" front gate was sent by Glenn Kunkle.
Looking away from the front gate. Click here to see what it looks like today.
Noel Garland sent information he received from John Milmore, author of #1 Code Break Boy - Communications Intelligence in the Korean War. This book provides insights into the history of the post, from which the following is derived:
What we and the locals called "Oji Campu" was officially known as the First Tokyo Arsenal by the Imperial Japanese Army as far back as the 1880s. Its Headquarters Building was erected in 1930 for the Japanese Ordnance Corps and survived the heavy bombings of World War II. During the Occupation, in 1947, a section was taken over by ASA and the "Technical Intelligence Detachment," but the name First Tokyo Arsenal was kept for security reasons so as not to advertise the secretive ASA. In fact, ASAPAC's athletic teams competed under the name "Arsenal."
During the Korean War, a sign bearing the name HQ ASAPAC was put on the building, and a third flagpole was added to fly the UN flag, under whose auspices that conflict was fought. This was removed after the fighting stopped.
As the name Arsenal fell into disuse, the locals began calling the place "Oji Campu" after the neighborhood it was located in. HQ ASAPAC made no sense to them. Soldiers stationed there soon picked up on the new name, and it stuck. Apparently, an historical marker at the corner of Hongo and Meiji Dori streets still bears the Oji Campu name.
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Some more photos:
View of a distant Mount Fuji seen across the adjacent Topo installation, sent by Glenn Kunkle.
Interested in photography? Check out my "Assisting Avedon" blog.
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