This digital exhibit shows rare examples of propaganda leaflets that Allied forces dropped over the Pacific during World War II. Many of these leaflets were created in order to demoralize the Japanese troops as American military forces advanced from the Philippines northward towards the main islands of Japan. Each one is accompanied by a typed translation of the text into English. An instruction manual for the Allied troops, " Paper Bullets ," is also included.
All of these leaflets were found pasted into a scrapbook which used to belong to Colonel Karl F. Baldwin, the U.S. military attache to Australia. Fluent in Japanese, he had helped establish the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section of the Southwest Pacific Area for the Allied Forces.
This scrapbook was made for Baldwin by the Psychological Warfare Branch of the United States Armed Forces. This was a military unit that created and distributed propaganda during the Second World War. The Southwest Pacific office, which was located in Australia, dealt with the Phillippines, Japan, Southeast Asia and other nearby areas. They printed millions of propaganda leaflets and had them air-dropped into conflict zones. Many of the leaflets targeted Japanese readers, though some were created for other local civilian populations. It operated from 1944-1945.
The Office of the Military Secretary in the Psychological Warfare Branch had this scrapbook created as "a permanent record of proclamations and leaflets" that his section had created, and mailed it to Baldwin. Baldwin's descendants donated the scrapbook to the Pacific University Archives. We are glad to make its contents available to the public online here.