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Squeaky Clean: 1943

July 1943. "Greenville, South Carolina. Air Service Command. A scene in one of the barracks. Enlisted man playing the flute after he has taken a shower." Photograph by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.

July 1943. "Greenville, South Carolina. Air Service Command. A scene in one of the barracks. Enlisted man playing the flute after he has taken a shower." Photograph by Jack Delano for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Neither flute nor piccolo

It's not a flute or a piccolo, it's a fife!

The Tooter

That's not a flute, you fools! It's a piccolo.

Another rake

Don't forget to add this one to the new Handsome Rakes category!

[Not really new, but will do. - Dave]


Those are some interesting window fixtures. Cheap and simple solutions for cheap and simple structures, I presume.

Rolls His Own

In front of the striped Mennen talcum powder is a pouch of cigarette tobacco and, probably, rolling papers.

That cot

looks really uncomfortable to sleep on. Do they still use cots like that? I guess I imagined they would have metal bed frames with springs below a mattress made from blue and white ticking. That cot looks like you'd have a backache from the sway of it.

But I love the leg, and exposed thigh. Very suggestive. With the flute, and reclining, he's rather like Pan.

Don't Ask

I wore a gold band in Basic. Kept the girls from bothering me and the guys from asking too many questions.


If the Master of the Pan Flute looked this good, I'd consider becoming a Zamfir Groupie.

He doesn't and I won't. All flutists are not made alike.

Forget it girls

This guy's married, check out the ring. Or maybe that makes him more appealing

Precarious Towel Placement

Well. Well. Well! A little beefcake to counter all the cheesecake we've seen on Shorpy.

On behalf of us woman folk who truly ah-dore Shorpy, thank you Dave for satisfying all us ladies once again.

[It's exhausting work. Got a light? - Dave]

Sometimes a flute

is just a flute.

Wonder if he is thinking about

the lady in the photo "Nighthawk - 1943"

I love this site!


I grew up a mile from the old air base. It was turned into an industrial park in the 1960's and has been called Donaldson Center ever since. Some of the companies on the base are Michelin Tire, 3M, Lockheed and I worked in the old Procter and Gamble plant there. My family moved to Greenville in the early 60's after the base closed and houses were very cheap.

Mr. Peanut

Interesting use of the newspaper as a bath mat.

Interesting also is the Planter's can at right -- before plastic lids. It appears that it was one of those key-open cans which, while you could reclose it (provided you didn't bend the can or the lid too much), almost certainly left a pair of sharp steel lips which could give ya a nasty salty cut if ya weren't careful.

About 14 years later, my dad was stationed at this same location after it was renamed Donaldson AFB. It's where he met my mom in between the nightly boredom of guarding the flight line.


That can of Planters looks like it was purchased yesterday. Nice to see some things never change.

Charms to soothe the savage breast

Given the setting — an un-air-conditioned South Carolina barracks in the middle of July — his serenity is pretty remarkable. No tweetled arpeggio could soothe ME.

In addition to a flute, he's got peanuts, white petroleum jelly, and a fly swatter. Can anyone identify the tall bottle and the striped jar on the left?

[The one with the stripes is Mennen talcum powder. - Dave]


This reminds me so much of that famous image from "East of Eden" where James Dean is sitting shirtless on the bed, playing the recorder.


ooh la la

Donaldson Air Force Base

This was probably taken in one of the barracks at Donaldson Air Force Base. Bomber crews trained there. The runways and many of the buildings are still standing, including some of the old barracks, and some are even used today. Lockheed Martin has an aircraft repair facility out there, and the big planes still take off and land.

Why hello there handsome rogue

I wonder if he survived the war.


Looks like he's playing a fife. Might even have a "cheater pipe" on it.

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