Where is Gene Smith in this picture?

In the fall I posted this picture and asked this question and I didn’t hear anything definitive.  Maybe there’s not enough information.  But I’m trying again.  I’d be grateful for any suggestions anybody has.  Next Saturday I’m heading to the Pacific for 4+ weeks walking in Smith’s footsteps.

- Sam Stephenson.



  1. Dr J Said,

    February 12, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    Smith is in sort of the lower right corner of that picture. He’s the one wearing sunglasses.
    Glad to be of help.

  2. admin Said,

    February 12, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

    Very funny, Dr. J. I only wish you had been so good in the ’77 NBA Finals when your Sixers lost to the Blazers.

  3. Eric Legendre Said,

    February 14, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

    Dear Sam,

    I did ask a good friend of mine, who lived and traveled around that region, to tell me what this picture tells him. He kindly answered me back those comments. It’s still very broad observations and no specific location is identified. It might even be of no help, but here it is anyway:

    “The little girl looks like Polynesian, but the guys and men behind are more Melanesian. So, I’m thinking it might be from smaller islands, like those of Micronesia or maybe in the Marshall Islands, or from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (or CNMI), or maybe Guam… such islands where we encountered those two physical types. Solomon’s Guadalcanal is in Melanesia (like in the film “The Thin Red Line” by Malick); go South-East and it’s Polynesia. There were plenty of Americans in those latitudes during the “Battle of the Pacific”. New Caledonia was a large U.S. base back, also Vanuatu, but surely not Tahiti witch is in the French Polynesia, to far away I guess.”

    Good luck with your trip “in the footsteps”. I’ll surely not argue against such a trip. I encourage you in doing so – digging deeper in your search – and I’ll be one of the first to buy the results of your discoveries on Smith. Cheers to you.

  4. admin Said,

    February 15, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    Eric, thank you very much for the note. Guam and the Mariana Islands would make sense on Smith’s trail. I appreciate your kind and helpful words.

  5. ron free Said,

    February 16, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

    shouldn’t the question be: where was this picture of gene smith taken?

  6. Roger Q Callaway Said,

    February 16, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    My dad had some old war photos from New Guinea and the Philippines. The natives looked more native. I notice everybody in your photo has clothes on so the Christians have already been there. A grass skirt over cloth pants looks a little like playing to the tourists. They’re standing on a woven palm mat..

  7. Dr J Said,

    February 19, 2011 @ 1:28 am

    Sam, my shoelaces were too tight in that series. Bill Walton said I was terrrrrrible.
    Ron Free asks the $64,000 question above. That’s what I was getting at.