C. Peter Chen file photo [628]

C. Peter Chen

ww2dbaseI am the founder and managing editor of the World War II Database, which is a website brought to you by my consulting firm Lava Development, LLC. This website came from a relational database originally designed to organize text clippings, photographs, and my own notes. On 28 Dec 2004, the WW2DB website became publicly available to achieve two goals: To share my notes on WW2 history with others with similar interest, and to showcase the technical capabilities of Lava Development, LLC. From this initiative born the website you see today. Aside from WW2DB, I am also on the staff of the website Imperial Japanese Navy Page on the topic of the WW2-era Japanese Navy.

ww2dbaseWhat is it exactly about history that intrigues me so much? Perhaps this following quote from Eric Hobsbawn's book The Age of Extremes best illustrates it.

For historians of my generation and background, the past is indestructible, not only because we belong to the generation when streets and public places were still called after public men and events, when peace treaties were still signed and therefore had to be identified, and war memorials recalled yesterdays, but because public events are part of the texture of our lives. They are not merely markers in our private lives, but what has formed our lives, private and public. For this author the 30 January 1933 is not simply an otherwise arbitrary date when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, but a winter afternoon in Berlin when a fifteen-year-old and his younger sister were on the way home from their neighboring schools in Wilmersdorf to Halensee and, somewhere on the way, saw the headline. I can see it still, as in a dream.

ww2dbaseTo our generations, that is exactly how we see World War II. In 2006 while on vacation abroad I met a gentleman who spent part of his childhood years in Shandong Province of China under Japanese occupation. He did not remember the war as a world-changing event, but to him the war was when he and his friends hid in the rice paddies as Japanese fighters flew over them, naively thinking they were targets of a Japanese offensive. To my grandmother, too; she did not care that the conflict was a World War, rather it was the air raid that separated her from several of her children.

ww2dbaseFor more information:

cpeterchen.org C. Peter Chen's personal website
lavadev.com Lava Development, LLC.'s website
dev-notes.com Lava's contribution to the technical community
CougarDB.com 1999-2002 Mercury Cougar registry, an early Lava project

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Kathleenb says:
20 Mar 2006 04:15:03 PM

Peter, great site. Im an American friend of Morgans (Mobadious) from Simaquian. Maybe when I feel like Ive mastered (or at least become competent at) Roman history Ill move back to US history and hang out here more. :-)
2. Roy Coleman says:
11 Aug 2006 06:22:17 AM

Rallis birthdate is unknown.
Filovs birthdate was Apr 10 1883 (ref Current Biography 1941)
Your take on the astute Boris III is a little biased.
3. Jack Costantino says:
18 Nov 2006 10:39:01 AM


The conundrum of war is alive and well. I am against war. Having said that if I truly believed a pre-emptive military action would permanently eliminate war and all enemies of sanity, I would close my eyes, grit my teeth, hold my breath and push the button. Unfortunately the historic evidence is that our current wars are inextricably connected to our previous wars the ones we have won and the ones we have lost.

In reality there has never been a permanent “military solution”. Rather there appears to be a series of temporary military cessations while the defeated rearm both with weaponry and elevated levels of hatred and vengeful intent.

The conundrum of war is alive and well. I am against war. Having said that if I truly believed a pre-emptive military action would permanently eliminate war and all enemies of sanity, I would close my eyes, grit my teeth, hold my breath and push the button. Unfortunately the historic evidence is that our current wars are inextricably connected to our previous wars the ones we claim we have won and the ones we have lost.
In reality there has never been a permanent “military solution”. Rather there appears to be a series of temporary military cessations while the defeated rearm both with weaponry and elevated levels of hatred and vengeful intent.
Your excellent site reminds us of the realness of war. I am touched by the number of people still looking for old friends, family members, commrads in arms and some possible answer to the unanswerable question of the efficacy of armed conflict from a vantage point 60 years removed. Keep up the good work. Jack C.

4. Glenn says:
13 Oct 2008 09:48:23 AM

There is a caption error on this Web page: http://ww2db.com/photo.php?sourceall&colorall&listsearch&foreigntypeO&foreigntype_id25

The caption states "WASP pilot Helen W. Snapp flying her SBD Dauntless aircraft over Washington, DC, United States, Jun 1944"

The aircraft is a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver.
You can verifty this at Web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SB2C_Helldiver, among others.
5. Matt says:
24 Jun 2009 08:48:25 AM

Hiya Pete-
Your site looks great I am contacting you to make you aware of a new Yank Magazine article that I've posted - no WW II database is complete without it:


6. Monika Ehrentraut says:
3 Jul 2009 09:52:45 PM

Hallo Peter Chen,
can you for me in the US-Blogs or archivs informationen about Erhard Milch (German Luftwaffe)? I'm searching long time a woman from this family. She had living in the Russian occupation zone until 1954/1955. Than a German brought this girl at relatives in the USA. Today she is 70 year. I know here in Germany not privat live from E. MIlch.
Kindly Regards
Monika Ehrentraut
7. matthew says:
26 Feb 2010 09:47:12 PM

Hi there. i am a proud New Zealander and am quite upset at the fact you have left out any mention about New Zealand's contribution to the second world war! we suffered a huge amount of casualties but also massive sucesses, particulary in the north african campaign! please add my country to your website after all we are a member of the commonwealth and fought in the war!
8. Miguel Krebs says:
29 Mar 2010 08:58:39 AM

Hello, my name is Miguel Krebs. Several years ago back I was working on a documentary one on the armored Graf Spee, for which I resorted to the military file in Germany and made a news article to Diggins commander, assistant of Langsdorf, that was in the German embassy of Montevideo.
Between the investigation materials I have newspapers the original Press and the Nation of the time (13 and 14 of December of 1939), filmic material in 8m (nonsuper 8) dumb in black and white of 15 minutes of duration on a made meeting days and 20 of December of 1964 between the survivors of the tipulaciĂłn of the Graf Spee and those of the Ajax, Exeter and the Achilles, in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, to commemorate the 25 years of the battle of the River of the Silver.
Also one copies in 16mm of the reporter Argentine Events of the time and the news article to Diggins, also in 16mm and magnetic perforated the corresponding one.
All this material I have it on sale and wanted to know if it could interest to him or if it knows somebody that to offer it.
To the delay of an answer, it greeting atte.

Miguel Krebs
9. J says:
27 Apr 2010 11:49:36 AM

I have a picture of Cpl Charles Russell at Camp Bowel Texas Oct 1942 and would like to get it to his relatives. Any idea how I can do this?
10. Leslie Suppan says:
5 Jan 2011 10:59:11 AM

Great site I found it while searching for Reinhard Heydrich photos. I did notice an error in two of the photographs of him though. At the bottom of the page of photos of him it shows Heydrich and his wife Lina attending a concert. The correct date for this is 26 May, 1942, the day before the assassination attempt.He lived for a week in the Bulovka Hospital in Prague until he died on 04 June, 1942. Also, the photo of the green Mercedes 320 on display in the Military Technical Museum in Prague probably is not the actual car Heydrich was in when he was attacked. Most historians and researchers agree that it is just a similar car that was made to resemble the damaged vehicle for the display.
11. Kate Jordan says:
20 Apr 2011 02:15:40 PM

Contributors to this site might be interested in a new WWII book that my husband has written, released by Penguin on April 5. It is called Brothers Rivals Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe. It chronicles the relationship between the 3 generals from their West Point days through the end of WWII. The book made it to #42 on Amazon (#2 among all history books) over the weekend, and was recently reviewed in both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
12. John Jessie Keller says:
24 May 2011 02:29:32 PM

Hi Peter.
Thanks for the artical on Rodney keller. Would you know if has any relatives in England?
John Keller, ( grandson )
13. Nick Rose says:
17 Nov 2011 05:54:48 AM

Just wanted to congratulate you on an outstanding website Peter!

Keep up the good work!

Best wishes,


Ex B-Coy 3-Para 1980-87. UK.
14. Geoff Harding says:
8 Dec 2011 09:16:38 AM

Can you tell me how to get a crew roster for the USS Colorado under Capt. Woodside (1941)
15. David says:
24 Dec 2011 05:59:26 AM

Hi Peter,
My dad was the 43d Division Artillery's dentist in '41-45 and brought back over 70 photos from the Solomon Islands. He also has photos from his Army traing at Camp Blanding and Camp Shelby. Would you like to add them to the collection?
You have a terrific site- the navigation is easy and clean and your commentary is simply terrific. If you ever leave IT, you'll have a great career as a militery historian.
Best Regards,
16. Robert Dix says:
12 Jan 2013 02:54:01 PM

I have a little piece of information about the battle of Hafid Ridge 15 June 1942 in which my father's tank was hit and he was captured. Would you be interested?
17. Serbian patriot says:
31 Mar 2013 03:05:02 PM

U sucks, Yugoslavia was major allied country. First of all, in Yugoslavia was first liberate place in WWII and was known as Uzicka republika. U so do not have a clue about WWII, moron.
18. Ed Santos says:
28 Aug 2013 03:46:50 PM

Great site chap! Are you related to Arthur Chen by any chance?

19. Eoin M Campbell says:
21 Oct 2013 12:19:09 PM

Hi, Peter!
Great site indeed, but I wanted to comment on the top banner image of the Spitfire you have!
This is Mk.XVIe TD248 - this was the gate guard at RAF Sealand in North Wales for over 20 years! My late father & I would stop to gaze at this beautiful machine every time we passed over 40 years ago!!
I hope to see it fly one day... ;~)
Kindest regards,
20. Michael Sun says:
15 Jul 2014 12:43:18 PM

Thank you so much for putting this site together. I recently found some interesting facts about my grand father, sun lian zhong.
21. Chris says:
17 Aug 2014 08:12:22 AM

My father, Donald J. Portman, was an Army Air Corps meteorologist in WWII and served on weather reconnaissance flights from a base in the Aleutian Islands, Pehaps somewhere in the Fox islands. Does anyone know what air craft would have been used on those flights? I would like to build a model. Thanks, Chris Portman
22. Wayne Ribbink says:
18 Jan 2015 11:44:00 AM

Hi Peter, I have a photo album of my great uncle, Karl Ribbink - later KIA, who was an air gunner in the South African Air Force during WW 2. What makes these photos very interesting is that they were taken at Kufra Oasis, forward base of the LRDG, in 1942. He was part of a flight, 15 Sqn SAAF flying Bristol Bolingbrokes, detached there for six months. Some interesting photos including one of a 'butterfly bomb' canister falling away from an He 111 at about 300 - a telegraph pole gives amazing perspective on this shot. If you want copies of the photos please let me know and how you want them sent?
23. Linda Kush says:
7 Feb 2015 06:37:30 AM

Dear Peter:
Many thanks for your kind review of my book, The Rice Paddy Navy. A couple hundred of the original 2500 SACOs are still living. 15 of them gathered with family and friends for a reunion last August as they have done each year since 1955. A delegation of 9 from the Military Intelligence Bureau of the government of Taiwan (ROC) attended.
24. Britt says:
14 Apr 2015 09:13:04 AM

How would I go about finding a history and/or a picture of a B24 Mitchell heavy bomber christened “Amicable Lodge”?
25. neil noble says:
27 Apr 2015 12:51:36 PM

am looking for any and all info on B24 bomber christened "Amicable Lodge". that is my masonic lodge. we were awarded that honor by raising the most money in Maryland for the war bond effort.
26. Indivisibiliter says:
28 Jul 2015 10:42:37 AM

Great website!
We don't have such database in China.
Waiting for detailed information.
Just keeping on please.
27. Rene Liem- The Netherlands says:
10 Oct 2015 07:54:03 PM

Dear Peter,
Good work Peter !


Rene Liem

The Netherlands
28. Susan Luckey says:
22 Oct 2015 04:32:40 PM

I absolutely love your site. My father was a navigator in B-17s
in the European theater. Perhaps you can help me. I have
all his orders which include the orders of many other men
who were going through various trainings. I have always felt
that this information might be interesting to these men's
families. If you know of any databases or Web sites that I
might contribute this information to, I would be most
appreciative. Thank you in advance for any help you might
be able to give.
29. Phil Marchese says:
27 Jan 2016 04:46:35 PM

Your article on the B-29 says Le May merged the 20 th and 21 Bomber Commands into the XXAF. This in incorrect in several aspects. At the time Le May assumed command in the Marianas the Twentieth Air Force (20th AF) was commanded in Washington. Le May commanded the XXI BC. The XX BC remained in Asia but sent its Wings and Groups to the XXI BC. THE ROMAN NUMERIALS designated the Commands subordinate to the numbered Air Forces.
30. TomK says:
13 Apr 2016 01:34:37 PM

Excellent site, great work. Have you considered two additional sections under "Weapons": Shipboard Weapons" and "Aircraft Weapons"? They are both fascinating topics.

31. Joseph Frantiska Jr. says:
23 Nov 2016 10:23:45 AM

Dear Mr. Chen;

I came across your ww2db.com site and found it to be a great resource. I am researching a book on dive bombers and I was wondering if you knew of any photos of higher resolution (300 dpi, 6 MP) than what you have currently on your site.
Joseph Frantiska, Jr. Ed.D.
32. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
23 Nov 2016 11:17:20 AM

Joseph, thanks for visiting WW2DB. Unfortunately, in almost all cases, the photos found on WW2DB represent the best quality of each in our collection. Best of luck with the book project!
33. Lim Chien Cheng says:
9 Feb 2017 11:10:02 PM

Dear Mr. Chen,
Do you have any records of the surrender of the Japanese medical corp to the Chinese medical corp throughout China and in Indochina (in particular, Haiphong). 10February 2017
34. robdab says:
9 Apr 2017 04:49:03 PM

Mr. Chen,

I was referred to the WW2DB site during an ongoing debate about the Soviet transport Uritsky being spotted by the Kido Butai (and vice versa) on Dec.5'41.

I wondered if you might tell me what the source of your assertion was ? There seems to have been much debate on the subject over the last 75 years.

Thanks in advance !

35. Bilge says:
9 Jun 2017 01:57:08 PM

Hello! Do you have any information about the soldier number?
36. Anonymous says:
22 Sep 2017 04:20:56 AM

Peter I thank you for commencing this site. My late Uncle was one of the last off the beaches of Dunkirk during WW2.
I like the quote of Patton. Apt. It is a very big subject but the truth of history must be there for the Y gens. NEVER TO BE WRITTEN out of school books but to be recorded for all time and with the earnest hope that humankind never makes the same mistakes. JAW JAW, not WAR WAR as Winston Churchill told us
37. David says:
31 Oct 2017 03:01:24 PM

Hi Peter
I have just discovered this website, and wanted to thank you for such a great source of WWII info - so, thank you sir!
38. Catherine Yang says:
29 Nov 2017 08:13:54 PM

Peter, Your site was so helpful for my just released English translation of my late father's book on his brother, who died defending Nanjing in 1937. The book is out for the 80th anniversary this Dec. of the Battle. "Yang Dapeng: Remembrance of a Martry of Nanjing 1937" is on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1973202484?ref_=pe_870760_150889320.

Blurb excerpt: "The book seeks to give recognition to Yang Dapeng, who essentially died an unknown soldier, and in doing so, to commemorate all the soldiers of China’s War of Resistance who pitted themselves against a far stronger enemy to save their nation....This book is a poignant history and a valuable primary source about extraordinary ordinary people who lived through one of China’s most harrowing eras."

39. David Miller says:
31 Dec 2017 02:31:13 PM

Thanks for your information on the French resistance, Peter. I am intrigued by one particular former member of the resistance. Her name was Andree Belay, and she married Arthur Bartrum Baker, of Cambridge, New Zealand after the death of his first wife. Apparently, Andree won three different medals, including the Croix de Guerre. In 1962, the French rugby team toured New Zealand and played against the Waikato regional team based in Hamilton. While there, the team visited Mrs Baker to pay its respects - quite an extraordinary event in its own right.

I'm not able to find any information about her war record or what her particular achievements were that warranted award of highly regarded medals.

Mr Baker was a good friend and business acquaintance of my father in Cambridge.
40. louis bennett says:
7 Jan 2018 03:26:45 PM

Sir: I'm looking for some info on a civilian pow, roy c bennett, held by the japanese at the Santo Tomas, Manila luzon,Philippines. This may be my fsther
41. Dennis Robinson says:
10 Jan 2018 11:43:23 PM

looking for any into on the OPERATION LONGCLOTH and any photographs
Any in for would be great
42. Mario Colombo says:
30 Jan 2018 10:21:13 AM

Dear Peter,
thanks for your message. I identified another person on the photo. At the right of the podestĂ  there is the Minister of Communications, Costanzo Ciano. If you give me an email address, I can send you details and picture with reference numpers.
43. razoleg@hotmail.com says:
30 Jan 2018 07:35:30 PM

A chink studying the history of European theatre of WW2. This is precious. What do you know of USSR, where did you get your data? From Cold War era american textbooks?
44. Anonymous says:
17 Apr 2018 03:47:57 PM

who puts this out to public?
45. Anonymous says:
25 Jun 2018 10:07:02 PM

Dear Peter,
Your database is helpful. I am trying to find out more about the Merano Conference in 1941 and would appreciate any leads you might have.

46. Anonymous says:
3 Aug 2018 06:30:15 AM

On the Battle of Britain Page the first photo is upside down. It shows a bomber flying (north bound) over the Canary Wharf area of London which is on the north side of the Thames river.
47. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
3 Aug 2018 10:28:01 AM

To anonymous of 3 Aug 2018: Thanks for your note. We have revised the caption to specify that the aircraft had been flying northbound. https://ww2db.com/image.php?image_id=25437
48. OverToad says:
27 Feb 2019 07:38:57 AM

I love the database, it has aided me in my research a great deal. Thank you.
49. AG2 says:
17 Apr 2020 06:08:27 AM

Found information about the WW2 submarine, SAWFISH SS-276 on Peter's website. https://ww2db.com/ship_spec.php?ship_id=261

Perhaps little known, SAWFISH was used after the war for filming the TV series, 'Silent Service'. I visited aboard her in Long Beach prior to her scrapping in 1960.
50. Roger O Green says:
2 May 2020 12:58:45 AM

This is an extraordinary undertaking. I came across it while doing a search for VE Day. Thank you.
51. John E Coraor says:
4 Jun 2020 08:27:57 AM


Great website; I've used it for many years!

However, I noticed that for the last few days one of the functions is no longer working as it used to. For years I've used the "Today in WW2 History" link to review interesting things that occurred on that date. If there are more than 4 photos associated with that date, there is typically a "See all photos dated ..." link you can use to view the whole gallery of photos tagged with that date. However, during the last few days, clicking that link takes you to a generic search page which invites you to "Browse by Time Period," "Browse by Photographer," "Browse by Location," or conduct a "Keyword Search." Did you change the "See all photos dated..." function on purpose, or has some kind of system error defaulted to this search page. I'm not sure how that searching by date is available from the general search page unless date is considered a "Keyword Search." Please enlighten me.
52. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
4 Jun 2020 06:09:25 PM

Thanks for letting us know of the issue with the "Today" page! That page received a under-the-hood overhaul recently, and this is a bug that resulted from that change. It should be fixed now.
53. Michael Phillips says:
22 Sep 2020 08:50:31 AM

I love this site. Been looking at it for days. Doing so, I ran across something you might look at. Don't know how I did it, but found the same picture attributed to action on Iwo Jima and Tarawa.


No big deal, just an FYI. I do love this site and thank you for giving it to us.
54. Anonymous says:
11 Nov 2020 10:50:40 AM

My father was 2nd navigator flying Sutherland over King George V with Churchill aboard on Jan 17, 1944. 3 destroyers. They returned to Mt. Batten Base. Your records show KGV in Ceylon about that time???
55. Sheila says:
12 Apr 2021 12:41:18 PM

My daddy Was an officer on the Essex during this time I believe this is right dates. Daddy was warrant officer I’m just not sure how to find out all the information , checking I found a mistake my father retired after 23 years in the Navy he did get a pension from the Navy although because of the mistakes in paperwork I think it cost my mother her pension she also is gone . I am 77 years old
Thank you
56. Anonymous says:
28 Oct 2021 03:11:43 PM

My Father was at Nanning on 05 April 1944. He was 1 of 5 US pilots available and they all launched. Only one was shot down, while 9 Japanese aircraft were lost. How do I send you a picture?
57. Jakes Jacobs says:
11 Jan 2022 06:28:07 AM

I have a piece of F1 Grenade WWII shrapnel. How do I determine if it is actually a piece of the F1 Grenade? I can share a picture of the shrapnel if you are interested.
58. Edward says:
3 Oct 2022 12:31:54 PM

My hobby is the history of my hometown Orsha (Belarus). I am 72 years old. Since July 12, 1941, units of the Erprobungsgruppe 210 Schnellkampfgeschwader 210 were stationed near Orsha.
Have you seen the flight logs of the pilots of these units for July 1941? Or flight reports at this time?
If you met, then please tell me where they are stored.
With respect and best wishes, Eduard Navogonsky. Orsha. Belarus.
59. David Boillot says:
7 Mar 2023 01:38:28 PM

Hi. I have photo of Battle of Dakar that I would like to send you. My grandad was on Richelieu and was a keen photographer.

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