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Photos of Misawa AB and Japan, Past & Present


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1945_Major_Richard_I_Bong.jpg
1946 Major Richard BongMost GI's didn't know - or care - why the base theater was named the Bong Theater. They just thought it was a strange or funny name.
1945_Major_Richard_Bong.jpg
1946 Major Richard I. BongIn 1952, the Bong Theater was named after WWII fighter pilot, Richard Bong, who flew P-38 Lightnings in the Southwest Pacific. His 40 kills made him the highest scoring ace in American history.

Besides earning the Medal of Honor, Bong was also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Stars, 7 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 14 Air Medal awards.
1940s-bong-theater.jpg
1950's Bong TheaterThis is the earliest known photo of the Bong Theater. Although this photo was supposedly taken sometime in the 1940's, it is more likely from the early to mid 1950's. No privately owned vehicles in this parking lot - mostly jeeps! And, all the trees are still pretty small.
1956_Bong_Theater.gif
1956 Bong TheaterBy 1956, it looks like the base landmark may have been in a state of disrepair with several broken window panes in the front entrance. Even the front steps look like they need some work!
I think this is the oldest photo showing the decorative flagstone along each of the outside handrails. Watch for it to disappear in later years.
1957_Bong_Theater_Giberson.jpg
1957 Bong Theater
1957-08_Bong_Theater_Craig.jpg
1957/08 Bong TheaterA sunny August afternoon view of the Bong Theater captured in a rare 1957 color photo. Note some of the vintage autos in the parking lot.
1958_Bong_Theater.jpg
1958 Bong Theater aThis is the earliest photo showing the presence of the canopy covering the stairs leading up to the entrance. It offered welcome shelter during rain storms and periods of freezing winter winds.
Now playing: Touch of Evil
1958_Bong_Theater_Stroud.jpg
1958 Bong Theater bNow playing: Imitation General
1960_Bong_Theater_Tate.jpg
1960 Bong TheaterNow playing: Torpedo Run
1960_Bong_Theater.jpg
1960 Bong TheaterA mild winter day on base - hardly any snow! Let me know if you can read the marquee and tell me what's playing.
1961_Bong_Theater_Tate.jpg
1961 Bong TheaterNow playing: Grass is Greener
1961_Bong_Movies-rv.jpg
1961 Bong Theater Movie Schedule
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