A metal bell from a Japanese fire-cart
Japanese Fire-Cart Bell


Title: Japanese Fire-Cart Bell

Date: c. 1945

Geography: Aomori, Aomori Prefacture, Japan https://www.britannica.com/place/Aomori-Japan.


Medium: Metal (composition unknown)

Dimensions: Unknown

Classification: This artifact is best described as a metal bell.

Provenance/ Ownership: This Japanese bell was originally forged in the Japanese city of Aomori and was donated by Seaman 1st class Robert McClintock of Seattle to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Description/ History: During the night of June 28th, 1945, American B-29 bombers dropped M74 napalm-filled bombs on the Japanese city of Aomori as part of a larger strategic bomb campaign against Japan proper. Bells such as this one adorned the hand-pulled fire carts that fought the inferno and warned citizens of fire during the bombing. However, this was ultimately insufficient to save the city, as most of Aomori was destroyed and over 1,700 Japanese citizens were killed. Seaman 1st class McClintock was among the first of the American military personnel to enter the city following Japan’s surrender and aided in the reconstruction and administration of the occupied city. He was presented this bell as a result of the good relationship he built with the people of the Aomori.

Further Reading:

James Linn. “The Story Behind the Artifact: Japanese Fire-Cart Bell.” The National WWII Museum: New Orleans, 30 Aug. 2017, www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/story-behind-artifact-japanese-fire-cart-bell.

Barrett Tillman. Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945. 1st ed., Simon & Schuster, 2011. https://www.amazon.com/Whirlwind-Air-Against-Japan-1942-1945/dp/1416584412.

Authored by Megan Wilson, University of Oklahoma, 2/8/2019.