The Hoover Institution Library & Archives recently acquired the papers of Richard Samuel Rene Hubert (1901–82). The Hubert papers document the US anti-Japanese propaganda campaign at the strategic base in Saipan, targeting at both Japanese soldiers and civilians in Japan in the last days of the Pacific theater of World War II. The capture of Saipan by the US Army in July 1944 was a significant step toward the Japanese surrender, allowing the US B-29 bombers to obtain the reachable range to the Japanese archipelago. The US Office of War Information (OWI) in Saipan printed over forty-five million leaflets between May 20 and August 15, 1945. In addition, they printed about eight million bombing notices, warning the Japanese of the bombing plans in their cities (Images 1 and 2). These leaflets were dropped by B-29 over the Japanese skies (Image 3). These images and a number of leaflets are examples of the materials that are part of the Hubert papers.
Born in Montréal, Québec, Canada, in 1901, Hubert began his career in East Asia. His Japanese-language skills were acquired during his sojourn in Kobe, Japan while working at the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. His experience during the Second Sino-Japanese War in Shanghai in 1937–41 was devastating. Subsequently, he joined the OWI and was designated chief of the anti-Japanese propaganda campaign on Saipan. He initiated a program of information services to the Mariana Islands, including the exhibition of moving pictures, filmstrips, and photographic displays; OWI radio programs; and the distribution of printed matter, primarily in Japanese.
His papers were donated by his family who have a strong interest in learning and educating others about Richard Hubert’s wartime mission against Japanese aggression in Asia. The papers consist of rare photographs of the Saipan operation, statistics about the anti-Japanese propaganda campaign, and propaganda leaflets dropped over the Japanese mainland to ensure the end of the Pacific theater.
Selected images are from the Richard S. R. Hubert papers (Hoover Institution Library & Archives).