George Strock, Papua New Guinea, Buna Beach, 1943
Three Dead Americans
It was the first time an image of dead American troops appeared in LIFE during World War II without the bodies being draped, in coffins, or otherwise covered up. George Strock’s Buna Beach photo — now acknowledged as a war classic — and other equally gruesome and graphic pictures were finally OK’d by the Office of War Information’s censors, in part because President Roosevelt feared that the American public might be growing complacent about the war and its horrific toll.

George Strock, Papua New Guinea, Buna Beach, 1943

Three Dead Americans

It was the first time an image of dead American troops appeared in LIFE during World War II without the bodies being draped, in coffins, or otherwise covered up. George Strock’s Buna Beach photo — now acknowledged as a war classic — and other equally gruesome and graphic pictures were finally OK’d by the Office of War Information’s censors, in part because President Roosevelt feared that the American public might be growing complacent about the war and its horrific toll.

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