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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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Off We Go: 1942

Off We Go: 1942

August 1942. "Aviation cadets in training at Corpus Christi, Texas, Naval Air Base." Kodachrome by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. View full size.

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That photo has power

That's a fantastically done photo. I can smell the slighty funky smell coming off the sodden, wilting Gulf breeze (what there is of it). Smell and feel the heat on that duralim skin, spiced with the trio of lube oil, sweat and sickly 180 octane av-gas. The impatience of these three as they endure the photog setting up the shot instead of being up in the cooler skies. The paint,even then,looks baked and finger smeared, reminiscent of beaters drove too long without a wash 'n' wax.
Damn fine work.

A floatplane

In shipboard operations it landed on the water and was winched aboard. The wheels we see are beaching gear, attached in the water so the machine can be brought ashore and removed, also in the water, prior to a water takeoff. There was a landplane version without the float.

The Curtiss (AV-4)

The Kingfisher was used extensively on Seaplane Tenders such as my father's ship, the USS CURTISS (AV-4). The Curtiss held two of these float planes in a hanger. The planes were set into the water using one of the Curtiss' huge cranes which were also used to raise and lower anything from supplies to PBY's for servicing, fueling and to retrieve film from the PBY's after they overflew islands. My father's ship had admirals quarters aboard and saw the likes of "Bull" Halsey, Chester Nimitz, Secretary of the Navy William Knox and Lt. Col. Evans Carlson legendary leader of "Carlson's Raiders" of the USMC. The Curtiss served as flagship for Commander, Naval Air, South Pacific.
The Curtiss received seven battle stars for service in the Pacific theater starting with the attack on Pearl Harbor where she was damaged and including Tarawa, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam and Okinawa where she was hit by a Kamikaze killing many men. My father was one of the "Plank Owners" or part of the first crew on the Curtiss when it was commissioned out of Philadelphia shipyards in 1940.

More about the OS2U

see the site:

Maybe the "Jeep" of the WWII aircraft?


Vought OS2-U Kingfisher. Instructor pilot is in the rear gunner's station. These planes usually flew off cruisers and battleships and were launched by catapult.

Let's see how long

it takes to identify this unique amphibian, probably not very long.

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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