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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Al Chang, combat photographer

 •  Obituaries

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

This photo by Al Chang from the Korean War was included in the book "Family of Man" by Edward Steichen, published in 1955.

Al Chang

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Al Chang

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Al Chang was a dockworker at the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor who became a celebrated combat photographer, both as a journalist and a soldier.

Chang, who was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, died late Sunday in Honolulu, his family said. He had celebrated his 85th birthday on July 13 with family and friends gathering to share memories of his life and acclaimed photography.

Colleagues remember Chang, who was wounded three times in Vietnam, with two Nikon cameras hanging from his neck and a cigar in his mouth.

He shot photos of the Japanese surrender on the battleship USS Missouri in 1945.

After a career as a military photographer in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, he shot photos during the Vietnam War for National Geographic and The Associated Press. He later returned to the Army, shooting photos in Vietnam for the 25th Division and other units.

A longtime friend, retired Brig. Gen. Irwin Cockett, said Chang followed the hottest action, calling him "the epitome of a combat photographer."

Former Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris honored the war photographer with an "Al Chang Day" and former Pacific Commander Gen. David Bramlett called Chang "one of the best living combat photographers."

His familiar photos included an Aug. 28, 1950, photo of Army Sgt. Bill Redifer comforting fellow soldier Vincent Nozzolillo, which was included in the book "Family of Man" by Edward Steichen, published in 1955.

Chang's wife, Jacqueline, said he was recently diagnosed with leukemia. "He never complained," she said, "although he must have been in pain."

Chang is also survived by sons, Hayward and Kaulana, and daughters, Cecilia Silva, Julita Chang and Paokalani Naluai.