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Tribute to Gordon Prange

img_0836A tribute to Gordon W. Prange is now prominently displayed on a wall in the lobby of the 4th floor of Hornbake Library North, just outside of the Prange Collection.  The following quote appears at the top of the display:

“…I owe the Japanese people so much for broadening my intellectual horizon, for enriching my life, and for helping me see history in the long perspective of the years.  To this great and noble people, I give my word, that I shall do all in my power to help promote and develop Japanese studies here at the University of Maryland.” — Gordon Prange at the dedication of the Gordon W. Prange Collection, May 6, 1979

Gordon Prange was Chief of the Historical Section of GHQ/SCAP during the Occupation of Japan.  He was responsible primarily for the writing and preparation with editors of General MacArthur’s Reports on the War in the Pacific.  His 5 1/2 year stay in Japan (December 1945 – July 1951) proved pivotal for him professionally and personally.  Though originally a German scholar, Japan captivated him and he ultimately became known for his work on the War in the Pacific, including Tora! Tora! Tora! and At Dawn We Slept.  His foresight to ship the file copies of the Civil Censorship Detachment to his home institution, the University of Maryland, has cemented his legacy.  And as he wished, the University has become a center for the study of the Occupation of Japan.


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