3374 Signal Photographic Service Company

Serving with the 3374 Signal Photographic Service Company in China during World War II,
Staff Sgt. Arthur Rothstein trained combat photographers and rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He went on to cover the war as a combat photographer and photo officer, and received the Bronze Star while in China.

(Information about Rothstein was submitted by his daughter, Annie Segan.)

Although apparently never assigned to Signal Corps Photographic Center, Rothstein undoubtedly contributed to the training of Army photographers who did serve there, his photographic contributions would have been an invaluable part of the war record used in SCPC productions, and his work was an important example and influence on combat photographers.

From 1935 through 1940, Rothstein and the other photographers working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) Photo Unit shot some of the most significant photographs ever taken of rural and small-town America. In 1940, Rothstein became a staff photographer for Look magazine, but soon left to join the U.S. Office of War Information.

He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corp in Asia. After World War II, he took a limited assignment as chief photographer in China for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.

Returning from China in 1946, he rejoined Look where he became Director of Photography until the magazine ceased publication in 1971.

He went on to hold the same position at Parade magazine.

Throughout his career, Rothstein served as a staff columnist for leading photography magazines and The New York Times. He was a faculty member at several universities and mentored a number of younger photographers including Stanley Kubrick, Charlotte Brooks, Doug Kirkland, Chester Higgins Jr, and John Shearer. Rothstein published nine books on photography including textbooks on photojournalism and documentary photography.

Arthur Rothstein was the recipient of more than 35 awards in photojournalism. His photographs are in the permanent collections of museums throughout the world. At the U.S. Library of Congress thousands of his images are freely and permanently accessible to the public.

Bronze Star Citation for Arthur Rothstein

First Lieutenant Arthur Rothstein, 01698343, Signal Corps, Army of the United States, is awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during the period 1 July 1945 to 20 October 1945.  As Operations Officer for the 3374th Signal Photographic Service Company during the above mentioned period, Lieutenant Rothstein was responsible for the assignment and direction of all Signal Corps photographers in the China Theater.  Despite the vast distances involved, difficulties in transportation and a shortage of equipment and supplies, Lieutenant Rothstein obtained excellent photographic coverage of the activities of United States Forces in the China Offensive Campaign.  Frequently the only motion picture and still photographs of this campaign available to the newsreels and press of the world, were a result of Lieutenant Rothstein's foresight, initiative and efficient efforts.  It was largely due to Lieutenant Rothstein's sense of historical values and outstanding service that a valuable documentary record exists today of the activities of United States Forces in China during and preceding the capitulation of the Japanese.  Lieutenant Rothstein's exceptional devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and upon the Army of the United States.

(Posted January 17, 2021.)

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