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Jacob Vouza holding the severed head of a Japanese soldier, Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Dec 1942

Caption     Jacob Vouza holding the severed head of a Japanese soldier, Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, Dec 1942 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Marine Corps via Pacific Wrecks
Link to Source    Link
More on...   
Henderson Field   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Jacob Vouza   Main article  Photos  
Photos at Same Place Guadalcanal, British Western Pacific Territories
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Joe Shoff says:
1 Dec 2010 07:19:31 AM

The Japenease deserved everything they got from us.
2. Anonymous says:
9 Mar 2011 03:12:04 AM

How brutal people you are
3. Anonymous says:
16 Mar 2011 07:41:35 AM

Joe -- atleast learn how to spell Japanese before you say anything
4. Anonymous says:
26 Apr 2011 06:52:27 AM

where is the rest of the body? i think, it might have been eaten by that caveman holding the head in his hand. who knows..
5. Anonymous says:
14 May 2013 11:50:01 AM

My Great Grandfather took this pic, my Gramma has the original negative still. It was WW2 in the Phillipines (sp?).
6. Christy says:
14 May 2013 11:59:28 AM

My Great Grandfather took this photo, he was a WWII photographer in the Philippines which is where this was taken. My family still has this original negative from his collection.
7. Anonymous says:
8 Mar 2014 08:46:01 PM

first he is "sir" Jacob Vouza. war hero and english knight. he is stabed by japanese(his neck,arm,leg,stomach,face etc) and left to die. but he survived and reported back to marine. so they could prepare for attack. show respect to man who deserve.
8. Anonymous says:
30 Jul 2014 04:42:42 PM

That man holding the japanese head is my Grand Father he is the Hero on WW2....... the body was eaten by Dogs....and not by the person who is in that photo. oky.....
9. Anonymous says:
30 Jul 2014 04:45:21 PM

keee sory boko
10. Anonymous says:
17 Oct 2014 06:29:09 PM

I grew up with picture. My father had It in his WWII picture album from when he was in the south pacific. I always ask him about it but he really never gave me a direct answer. Never talked about the bad times just about the good times with his team. Always wondered about the history of this photo.
11. Anonymous says:
20 Nov 2014 05:24:41 PM

Sir Jacob Vouza saved countless American lives at the risk of his own! Truly a mans man,a Marines Marine and if Patton had him for 1 day the war would have ended in Bastogne within 24 hours after the Nazi counter attack! Don't ever attack this non-American, he is more American then most of us could ever hope to be!! Bless you Sir and all your proud descendants!!!
12. Anonymous says:
22 Mar 2017 07:48:42 PM

How come i have the same picture in my dads album???
13. Anonymous says:
22 Jul 2017 06:53:10 PM

Hubert William Rader was my father and I am the one who wrote in about the photo and even offered the negative of it that I still have.
I was told it wasn't needed.
14. Anonymous says:
27 Sep 2017 01:17:04 PM

I have what looks to be an original of this but from a slightly different angle. I just did an image search on google because I found a newer picture of Vouza and just thought it was crazy how similar he looked to this guy from my grandpas picture. Upon researching the past 30 minutes which I've never done I am finding all this information and my mind is blown right now! ha
15. Anonymous says:
19 Apr 2018 05:05:55 PM

I bought an Instamatic photo that must've been taken at the same time. It's taken from another angel.
16. Bill says:
2 Jul 2018 06:07:26 PM

I also have this photo. It was in my grandfathers photo album. Do you have anymore information on it? It seems that quite a few people have it. I am curious why so many have it and why my grandpa would have it in his photo album. Thank you
17. Anonymous says:
13 Feb 2019 09:09:07 AM

I also have a photo of Vouza squatting, while proudly showing off the same severed head -- slightly different angle. I read somewhere that the presentation of the head was made in front of a lot of guys -- anyone with a camera must surely have taken a snapshot. Extra copies may or may not have been made for buddies, etc.. One way to know if each pic is an original taken from a slightly different angle would be to submit all the photos here for comparison.. I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that some enterprising soldier made a 100 prints and sold them to fellow G.I.s.. again, only by comparing all known instances of the Vouza-brandishing-severed-head shot can we know. Fascinating!
18. Anonymous says:
13 Jun 2019 11:18:34 AM

I have the same photo taken by my grandfather who was a marine photographer in the 3rd marine division. My grandfather took this picture and told us stories about Jacob Vouza. It is possible that my grandfather made duplicates of this because he had a dark room on Guadalcanal.
19. Dan says:
13 Jul 2019 05:39:27 PM

If a German soldier had done this, this would have been a war crime.
20. Anonymous says:
27 Feb 2020 05:25:47 AM

To Dan: Yes, it would have been a war crime had a German soldier perpetrated this exact same deed (i.e. decapitated an enemy soldier and then posed for a photo with the severed head). However, Mr. Vouza was a member of the Solomon Islands Protectorate Armed Constabulary, and the Solomon Islands were not a signatory to Hague Convention of 1907. In other words, Vouza was not beholden to any laws concerning conduct during armed conflict. On the other hand, Japan was a signatory to that same treaty, but they beheaded their enemies on a rampant and widespread basis.
21. Anonymous says:
12 Jun 2020 02:12:03 PM

The severed head may in fact be the head of the Japanese soldier whom he decapitated in the struggle to break free after he was captured, when he took the soldier's machete from him and killed him, by using it as a sword, decapitating him the process. War crime? I think not, he killed the man in the performance of his duty, a duty which he did very well, above and beyond the ability of most, don't forget, Japanese troops tied SGM Vouza and bayonetted him, leaving him for dead at one point in his service to the Crown and the USMC. Man gets my vote for Courage with a capital C.
22. Kenneth A Gonda says:
16 Jun 2022 04:33:01 AM

I have the same picture, a numbered version, and it's for sale on eBay as of 6-16-2022. Just search his name.

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WW2-Era Place Name Guadalcanal, British Western Pacific Territories
Lat/Long -9.4281, 160.0547
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