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About the Photos

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 • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Creamer's Dream: 1945

Creamer's Dream: 1945

March 1945. Ramitelli, Italy. 332nd Army Air Forces Fighter Group. "Tuskegee airman Edward C. Gleed of Lawrence, Kansas, Class 42-K, with two crewmen adjusting an external 75 gallon drop tank on the wing of the P-51D Creamer's Dream." View full size. Medium format negative by Toni Frissell.

 

Drop Tanks

These were a life saver to the bomber crews who flew long missions. It meant the P51's could escort them there and back. Before that, escorts had to turn back before the target was reached, much to the detriment of the crews and planes.

Landing Mats

It's called Marston (or Marsden) matting or pierced steel planking (PSP).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsden_Matting

http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/M/a/Marston_Mat.htm

Landing Field

Does anyone know what the ground in the photo is covered by or called? I am thinking it is some kind of a perforated metal used to construct temporary landing strips. I was working in the field this week at a site of the same vintage and saw some twisted and rusted metal that looked nearly identical and wondered what it was and now this photo shows something similar.

Belly Tanks

Those drop tanks were used after WW2 by hot rodders to make streamline race cars. Rare as hen's teeth and worth $$$ today.

Great photo as always.

More info...

Lt. Charles White (301st FS, 332nd FG, Tuskegee Airmen) was one of the first 332nd fighter group pilots to fly a P-51D. After joining the group as a replacement pilot, he had received a war-weary P-51C. White's complaints about its unreliability led his commanding officer to allocate this early P-51D directly to Lt. White. So inspired by the allocation White painted a nude on both sides of the new fighter's fuselage, with a rear view to port and front view to starboard.

Black pilots

332nd Army Air Forces Fighter Group: the story of this unit of black pilots, as that of the Navajo code talkers, are two of the most moving stories of WWII for me. The fact that these men fought for a country in which they still were second class citizens would be enough. But they also tried to be something more than just cannon fodder, and in doing that they were hoping to improve the status of thir community.

Nice art work...perhaps

Nice art work...perhaps tastefully 'censored' by the photog's positioning. Or just happenstance. The imagination is pleasantly stimulated regardless.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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