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US Battle of Okinawa Museum Merging with Okinawan Museum

Date Posted: 2005-05-16

The creator and curator of a Battle of Okinawa Museum housed on Camp Kinser is donating the museumís artifacts to an Okinawan non-profit foundation to better inform future generations of warís most horrific battle.

David Davenport, a retired Air Force master sergeant who created the museum more than 10 years ago, says he wants to insure that future generations have an accurate portrayal of the events that unfolded in the three-month Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The Ryukyu America Historical Research Society is the recipient of the museumís thousands of pieces of World War II history, including thousands of battlefield uniforms, weapons, diaries and documents, and countless personal items left behind by fallen soldiers.

The artifacts will be incorporated in the Ryukyu Americaís museum in Tomogusuku Village, near Itoman and the Peace Prayer Park. Alex Kishaba, Ryukyu Americaís chairman, promises to make the museum a bilingual tribute to the April~June 1945 battle, which claimed almost 300,000 lives.

Davenport, 60, first came to Okinawa in the mid 1960ís as an airman. He became interested in Okinawa and the battle, traveling and exploring the many tunnels in the southern third of the island. The decision to turn over the artifacts from his own Battle of Okinawa Historical Research Society now was prompted by Davenportís deteriorating health as he wages a battle with cancer.

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