Writer of The Longest Day may hold key to linking James Thomson to Tojo’s Capture
I haven’t done much on the investigation into the sword lately, or the blog for that matter, but my daily eBay update picked up a new picture of Tojo’s capture /suicide attempt that I haven’t seen before.
The description read,” War Correspondent Ryan Holds Memento Of Attempted Suicide Of Japans Premier Tojo When Officers Came To Arrest Him As War Criminal- Ryan Got Tojos Cigarette Case With “Hope Virginia” Cigarettes”
In the picture, on the wall in back of Ryan holding his memento cigarette case, is a photograph of Tojo unconscious from his wound, with several army men beside him that I haven’t yet seen in photos. One of the men is tall and blond, which fits James’ general description, but it’s too small to make out from the image on eBay.
In hopes of finding out more about the image, I wrote the seller and inquired about Ryan. He didn’t have much information. Some further investigation on the web, however, reviled that the Ryan in the picture was actually Cornelius Ryan, an Irish born war correspondent and author of The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far.
I began looking for a means to get my hands on the photograph within the picture for sale, and I uncovered that Ryan’s widow (Kathryn Morgan Ryan) had donated much of his personal WWII artifacts to Ohio University.
The University houses the collection at the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections. A description can be found here, Cornelius Ryan Collection of World War II Papers. Most of it is unpublished, so it looks like I’ll be scheduling a trip to Columbus sometime within the next few months to see where this path leads.
I also bought the picture for sale on eBay. I’m doubtful that the picture will yield anything definitive once in hand (seller’s picture is below), but for $4.99, it’s worth having it just to help document the journey. Besides, I think it would have been a bit more expensive if the seller had known it was Cornelius Ryan in the picture.