World War II photos featured in Brazil museum

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

An Indiana photographer who covered the World War II in the Pacific is featured in a traveling exhibit at the Clay County Historical Society Museum in Brazil.

John A. Bushemi was a good-natured, talented photographer from Gary who covered several of the island invasions during World War II in the Pacific.

This traveling exhibit from the Indiana Historical Society features reproductions of Bushemi’s photographs “from a rifle’s length vantage point,” according to his colleague and fellow war correspondent Merle Miller.

Among the magazine covers and personal photographs from Bushemi’s assignment to YANK, the weekly magazine written by and for enlisted men, are images of soldiers training at Fort Bragg, soldiers on the beach of Entiwok Island in the Marshalls awaiting the order to attack, and close-up portraits of soldiers who were featured in an article about the battle for New Georgia.

Bushemi died Feb. 19, 1944, when shrapnel from Japanese knee-mortar shells hit and mortally wounded him. As navy surgeons frantically attempted to save Bushemi’s life, the photographer gave his epitaph, telling Miller, “Be sure to get those pictures back to the office.”

Images of both his battleship funeral service and his funeral service back home in Gary are included in the exhibit.

The “One Shot: The WWII Photography of John A. Bushemi” exhibit will be on display at the museum until the end of the month. There are plans for two more exhibits to be scheduled with the Indiana Historical Society later this year, with details to be announced.

Admission is free to the Clay County Historical Museum, located at 100 East National Avenue, Brazil. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. For more information call (812) 446-4036.

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