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On the Ground: 1942

On the Ground: 1942

May 1942. "Running up a barrage balloon. Scene at the U.S. Marine Corps glider detachment training camp at Parris Island, South Carolina." Photo by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Till I saw Perpster's comment I assumed the shadow at left center was a partially inflated balloon, and the upturned sacks surrounding the Marine handler were the ballast sandbags like you would use with a manned balloon. However, that shadow is definitely human-shaped on closer view, and that just makes the entire operation hard to understand.

If the sacks are deflated balloons, where are the manifold and hoses for inflating them? The handler has his arms outstretched like he's signaling someone we can't see or about to pick up one of the sacks. This one could use comments from someone who has actually deployed barrage balloons -- I know what they look like when they are airborne, but they were way before my time.

[The balloons were bigger than a breadbox. - Dave]

Photographer at 12 O'Clock High

Looks like the photographer was up in the lines and caught his own shadow in the picture. It appears to have been taken around noon.

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