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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • HIS MASK KEEPS HIM ON THE JOB
 

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Up in Ypres: 1917

Up in Ypres: 1917

October 27, 1917. "Western Front (Belgium), Ypres Area -- an observation balloon about to ascend." Glass negative by James Francis Hurley. View full size.

 

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Balloon School

My grandfather was stationed at the Army balloon school in Arcadia, CA during WWI.

A few years ago we saw a one man play in NYC about an Army Balloon school.

Ypres

Which the Brits took great pains to pronounce "Wipers," was the scene of much carnage during the Great War, especially to the poor sods in the trenches, but obeisance to the sacrifice of the unfortunate balloon observer must also be paid. Save for a rifle, perhaps, the poor chap sat defenseless under a big bag of hydrogen and was a favorite target for any enemy fighter plane in the vicinity. On the plus side, you could consider such men to be the forerunners of today's airborne forces, being the first to parachute into -- or away from, rather -- combat.

Pleased to see you

Is what this balloon is.

Frank

James Francis "Frank" Hurley, was an Australian photographer and adventurer. He participated in a number of expeditions to Antarctica and served as an official photographer with Australian forces during both world wars.

What's that

hissing?

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