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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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War Machine: 1942

War Machine: 1942

October 1942. "The careful hands of women are trained in precise aircraft engine installation duties at Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif." Kodachrome by Alfred Palmer, Office of War Information. View full size.

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Blade Types Identify it

The registration numbers identify these as Hamilton Standard Hydromatic Propeller Blades Type 6353.
Those were used only on PBY Catalinas and A-20 Havoc/Bostons.
B-26's used Type 6359, B-25's used 6359A, and B-17's 6477.
(Ain't the internet an amazing thing?)

Douglas A-20

FlyTexas nailed it.

It's not a B-26 as those planes had Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines.

It's not a B-17 as they has single row Wright R-1820 engines centered in the wings.

The A-20 had twin row Wright Cyclone R-2600 engines slung beneath the wing as shown here.

The North American B-25 was similarly powered, but I believe they never built those in Douglas plants. Production versions of the B-25 also had a wing that was kinked at the engine nacelle.

Douglas B-26

This is a Douglas B-26 Marauder. My dad was a flight engineer on them during WWII. The B-17 was made by Boeing in Seattle.

Douglas A-20 Havoc

Pretty sure this is a Douglas A-20 Havoc.


Since it says Long Beach I suppose it's a B-17.

What you miss of course is the new airplane smell.


That's because these pictures were posed. They were all done for the Office of War Information and were used as as the basis for posters for recruitment, bond drives, etc. The reflex cameras and large-format (4x5) Kodachromes that were used to make these pictures are at least the equal of today's professional camera equipment, and superior to any consumer digital camera.

This picture looks posed.

This picture looks posed. Also, The color photography looks very modern?


That was when we were one nation, indivisible, fighting for our freedom. Perhaps Congress should give some thought to that considering todays worldly forays.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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