Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the U.S. Navy - 1890s - World War I



Asian and Pacific Islander Americans served on board many U.S. Navy ships during the mid-to-late 19th Century. Due to the expanding Navy needing personnel to perform tasks such as steward and laundry duties, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese Americans were brought on board to perform these functions. Of note, several Japanese Midshipmen were trained at the U.S. Naval Academy as transfer students after the Civil-War period. The students then returned to Japan and served as Japanese Naval officers.

The Photographic Section does not have images of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans that pre-date the 1890s.

Continue here for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the U.S. Navy, 1920s and 1930s

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Photo #: NH 106861

U.S. Naval Academy Graduation Class 1873

Midshipman Zun Zow Matzumulla is pictured mid-row, far right. Matzumulla was a transfer midshipman from Japan. Upon graduation, he returned to Japan and served in the Japanese Navy, retiring as a Rear Admiral. He is misidentified as "Zum-Zow" in the list.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 117KB; 900 x 645

 
Photo #: LC-D4-20243

USS Brooklyn (CA-3)

Japanese stewards on board USS Brooklyn during the late 1890s. Photographed by Edward H. Hart.

Collections of the Library of Congress.

Online Image: 162KB; 900 x 700

 
Photo #: NH 43215-KN (Color)

USS Olympia (C-6)

A Chinese Steward pictured on board Olympia, circa 1898. In May 1898, Olympia was Admiral George Dewey's flagship and participated in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
Cynotype print, photographed by George Grantham, New York City, New York.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 215KB; 640 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106862

Ship's Steward Sasaki Torajiro

Ship's Steward Torajiro joined the U.S. Navy in 1900 and served on board the auxiliary cruiser USS Buffalo, USS Scorpion (PY 3), USS Dubuque (PG 17) and USS Abarenda (AC 13). A veteran of the Philippine Campaigns, Torajiro also served during World War I as the receiving steward for the Commandant of the Philadelphia Naval Home. In 1919, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. After thirty years service, Torajiro retired and returned home to Japan. Photographed in 1954 during one of his visits to the commissary at Iwakuni Naval Air Station, Honshu, Japan.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the "All Hands" collection at the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.

Online Image: 81KB; 530 x 900

 
Photo #: NH 106863

U.S. Naval Base, Guam

U.S. Navy Nurse instructs trainee nurses on Guam during World War I.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 80KB; 900 x 685

 



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To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





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