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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LAKE GARDA, ITALY

B-25 Over California: 1942

B-25 Over California: 1942

October 1942. North American Aviation B-25 medium bomber 41-12823 over the mountains near Inglewood, California. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Mark Sherwood for the Office of War Information.

 

B-25 C

Apparently this B-25C survived the war and was sent to reclamation at La Junta Jul 21,1945. The airport was opened in April 1940 as La Junta Army Air Field and was used by the United States Army Air Forces as an advanced flying school operating B-25 Mitchell two engine bombers and Cessna AT-17 twin-engined advanced trainers. It was operated by the 402nd Army Air Force Base Unit, as part of the Army Air Forces West Coast Training Center. At the end of World War II the airfield was determined to be excess by the military and turned over to the local government for civil use.[(thanks to Wikipedia and jbauger's list of serials.)

B-25 Over California: 1942

I think it's highly unlikely that this photograph was made over Inglewood, California. Inglewood would have already been a large and populous suburban city in 1942. In fact, any photograph taken from the air over the Los Angeles basin in that year would have shown major signs of civilization.

It's possible, however, that North American Aviation was based in Inglewood in 1942. There were other aviation companies with facilities in Inglewood during World War II, probably because of its proximity to Los Angeles Airport.

[There are thousands of undeveloped acres near Inglewood even today. Below is a 21st-century aerial shot of the terrain just north of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, around Topanga, five miles from downtown Inglewood. North American Aviation's B-25 assembly plant being in Inglewood isn't a possibility, it's a matter of historical record. - Dave]

 
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