Thursday, November 27, 2014

AAF at Bassingbourn - Personnel


In the basement of an "antique store" these two books of 35mm negatives were found. They were destined for the dumpster no doubt, but rescued for LOST GALLERY and the enthusiasts who treasure the history and memorabilia of the second world war.

The first book of contains 327 negatives. The photographs were scanned and uploaded to a set on Flickr in 2007 and then grouped generally by subject for the pages of LOST GALLERY. Most of the photographs in this set are of aircraft in world war two. Nothing was known for sure about the photographs but slowly over the years some information has accumulated. It was established that the date for most of the photographs is late 1944.

Most of the negatives had notations on the accompanying index pages. Mostly the photographer was concerned about the lighting and exposure of each frame but occasionally also made notes on the subject matter. Where possible these notations will be included under each picture on this page.

The 205 negatives in the other file were taken postwar, about half in England and the rest in Texas, USA. The photographs apparently show a bit of touring before leaving the England based AAF unit and the first photographs after arriving in Texas.

Negative files

This page will review all of the negatives in the set where people are the feature of the frame and the information that has accumulated since 2007.

All images are the property of
Lost Gallery
and the author. Permission must be granted for their use.
All rights reserved.


The negative file has about 40 photograph of just personnel on the base. We are starting with three shots of a man working at his desk. The photographer labeled this strip "Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data"



From Hawk914 on Flickr: On the wall behind him is a 91st Bomb Group calendar.



(Note: If the shot were clear enough the calendar would date this set of negatives quickly.)

Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data 03
Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data
Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data 01
Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data
Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data 02
Tibbons office desk brite sun out no data

T Sgt Reese in Gunn off 02
T Sgt Reese in Gunn off
T Sgt Reese in Gunn off 03
T Sgt Reese in Gunn off

The photographer labeled all three of these shots "T Sgt Reese in Gunn off"

T Sgt Reese in Gunn off 01
T Sgt Reese in Gunn off

From G. Asher on Flickr: The Thunderbolt in the background is P-47D 42-75151, formerly of the 82nd Ftr Sq, 78th FG - now a formation monitor for the 1st Combat Bomb Wing. On 15 May 1945, the ship crashed with MAJ James L. Griffin at the controls, killing him instantly. I have another image taken from the top of a hangar (to the left in the photo you have) showing this Thunderbolt with other 1st CBW 'hack' aircraft - the blurry triangle on the tail can only mean one thing.

Here's the photo I mentioned (posted on Footnote) straight from the AAF's WWII photo collection at NARA College Park:



National Archives LIne up at Bassingbourn from Footnote
Badger and Kummel 03
Badger and Kummel

Badger and Kummel 04
Badger and Kummel
Badger and Kummel 01
Badger and Kummel
Badger and Kummel 02
Badger and Kummel


Capt Jack A Fisher 01
Capt Jack A Fisher
Capt Jack A Fisher 02
Capt Jack A Fisher
Jack Fisher in jeep
Capt Jack A Fisher

These three are identified as Capt Jack A Fisher. Oddly, although the name, rank, probable date and location are known for this photograph, no additional information has been contributed since posting.


From D. Sheley on Flickr: Capt. James L. Griffin and crew from the 91st Bomb Group in front of the 322nd Bomb Squadron's 'hack' aircraft, a B-17E (s/n 41-9023) named "Yankee Doodle", taken on February 15,1944.

Griffin eventually was made a Major, he was killed while flying a P-47 (s/n 42-75151) which was used as a formation assembly monitor by the 1st Combat Bomb Wing,1st Air Division,8th Air Force on May 15,1945.

This plane was originally assigned to the 414th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group when it was part of the 8th Air Force. It took part in the 8th's first operational mission to bomb Rouen,France on August 17,1942 and was carrying as its passenger General Ira Eaker.

It was later sent to the 91st Bomb Group when the 97th went to Italy and the 15th Air Force. While with the 91st it served with the 322nd Bomb Squadron (coded LG-X) and the 324th Bomb Squadron (coded DF-X). She was scrapped on July 26,1945.

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Maj Griffin

From Peter Swanson on Flickr (not active): (Referring to photograph at left) That's a close up of my late father, Philip O. Swanson - Navigator of "Skunface II" I believe that Griffin is at his left shoulder.

Sadly, he (Griffin) was doing a celebratory barrel roll with the fighter plane (as he had completed his official tour of combat duty over Europe) when he looped too low and hit the runway. A tragic end to an exceptionally skilled and brave Fortress pilot. My Dad was back in the states when he heard of Griffin's death. He was devastated.

My Dad said that Griffin was the most gifted and 'natural' pilot he'd ever encountered. In the book "Ragged Irregulars of Basingborne" there's a shot of the "Skunkface II" with most of the rudder shot off, and some of the crew staring at the battle damage. JG brought home wounded 'birds' with a combination of skill & guts.


From D. Sheley on Flickr: General William Gross was the commander of the 1st Combat Wing,of which the 91st Bomb Group was part of. That's him on the right. A pilot from the 401st BS,91st BG sent me an e-mail telling me of flying the general over the D-Day beaches and getting shot at by the navy because they were in a restricted area. The pilot was a major at the time and ended up retiring as a Brig. General.

Gen Gross and friend col f2 2 30 brite sun outside
Gen Gross and friend col f2

From Hawk914 on Flickr: The fella on the right is a Technical Sergeant and wears what looks to be aircrew wings. I'm no expert on awards and ribbons and such but looking at his ribbon rack, it seems that he served in the Pacific before he came to the ETO... the middle ribbon on the lower row looks like the Asiatic-Pacific campaign ribbon.

I recognize the good conduct ribbon (upper right), but I find the others a bit harder to ID. The one on the lower right almost looks like a reversed European-African-Middle Eastern campaign ribbon. The one in the middle on the upper row looks to have been awarded at least four times, judging by the three devices added to the ribbon... but I'm not sure what it is. Maybe the Air Medal? The one on the upper left may be the Distinguished Flying Cross, but again I'm not sure. No clue on the lower left ribbon...

The fella on the left is a Staff Sergeant and non-aircrew. Although the specialist insignia on his lower right sleeve is not fully visible, it looks like he could be an armament specialist. The service bars on his lower left sleeve indicate two years of overseas service. (six months for each mark)

The lone ribbon above the left breast pocket looks to be the European-African-Middle Eastern campaign ribbon, and there are two devices added indicating two separate campaigns. (I think)

Above the right breast pocket is a DUC... a Distinguished Unit Citation.

Sgts Clink and Armstrong PanX lite good sun 4 5 60 02
Sgts Clink and Armstrong PanX lite good sun 4 5

From D. Sheley on Flickr: Hawk is pretty much spot-on.

The man on the left has a Presidential Unit Citation Medal over his right breast pocket and is wearing the ribbon for the European-Africa Middle Eastern Campaign with 2 stars.

Here is what I think the ribbons are on the man on the right:
Top row (L-R):
Bronze Star
Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Good Conduct Medal
Bottom row (L-R):
American Defense Service Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
European-Africa Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

Sgts Clink and Armstrong PanX lite good sun 4 5 60 01
Sgts Clink and Armstrong PanX lite good sun 4 5

From D. Sheley on Flickr: Could be a special event. The man on the left has what looks to be 3 oak leaf clucters on his Air Medal. The clusters were given for additional Air Medals received, which were usually given for the number of missions flown. It could be this man is finishing his tour, depending on how the 91st gave out the medal.


Capt Newquist f9 60
Capt Newquist f9

From D. Sheley on Flickr: Capt. Newquist was the squadron opperations officer for the 322nd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group.

From Steve Birdsall on Flickr: It seems the air force collection was put together post-war when a whole lot of material - original negatives, original prints - was gathered from various sources. The captions to the photos are sometimes unreliable too - date given can be the date the photo was taken, the date it was approved for release by the censors, or the date it was received at a given place.


From Steve Birdsall on Flickr(continued): There are even "blanket dates" - November 1944 was sometimes given for photos of aircraft that had been lost in action months earlier.

As dougsheley noted, Newquist was 322nd Operations Officer when your photo was taken. In February 1945 he was transfered to group headquarters and promoted to major, so this photo was taken sometime before that.

(The B-17 in the background of the photograph to the left) I think is 42-32083, Flatbush Floogie from the 452nd Bomb Group's 731st Bomb Squadron, based at Deopham Green in Norfolk.

The tail marking breaks down this way: black square indicates Third Air Division, the L and the horizontal bands in yellow signify the wing and group, the + following the letter identifies the squadron and the J is an individual aircraft letter.

This B-17 was shot down on the February 26, 1945 Berlin mission, so that's another definite date to work with.

An interesting sidelight is that this aircraft is just seven planes away from 42-32076, Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby, on display at the Air Force Museum in Ohio.

Just a note of caution. The nickname Flatbush Floogie is credited to both 42-97083 and 42-32083 in Ed Hinrichs' book Missing Planes of the 452nd Bomb Group.

Normally this would be nothing too unusual, but the similarity in the serial numbers does make me wonder.

I don't know which is correct as far as the nickname goes, but 42-32083 was certainly lost with Lt Allen Marksian and his crew on February 26, 1945.

From D. Sheley on Flickr: I've also noticed that "Flatbush Floogie" was given the serial number of 42-97083 and a serial number search said it was shot down on April 11,1944. The search also said she was from the 728th Bomb Squadron.

From Steve Birdsall on Flickr: The fact that 42-97083 was shot down ten months before 42-32083 would usually mean it was nothing special for them to have the same name.

But two "083's" with the same play on words . . . ?

After spending a little more time on this, I am sure that 42-32083 definitely carried the name "Flatbush Floogie" on her nose.

Maybe 42-97083 did too, but I think it's more likely that somebody was told that "Flatbush Floogie" was number "083" and leaped to a wrong conclusion. Easily done.

From D. Sheley on Flickr: I'm adding a photo of 2ndLt. Newquist and his first combat crew in front of their plane, "Chow-Hound".


From D. Sheley on Flickr: "Buck" Rogers was either a maintenance or ordinance officer with the 401st Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group. One of the original pilots from the 401st sent me an e-mail with the info.

Capt. K H "Buck" Rogers
Capt. K H "Buck" Rogers

So far, no information has been gathered about "Lt Speed."

Lt Speed
Lt Speed

And last, we have the photographer himself, according to the notes on the negative file.

myself
myself
myself 01
myself
myself 02
myself

Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 65 01
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 65 02
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt

Myself by Ray f9 60th and 100th sec, brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 02
Myself by Ray f9 60th and 100th sec, brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt
Myself by Ray f9 60-100th sec. brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 01
Myself by Ray f9 60th and 100th sec, brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt

Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 65 04
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 65 03
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt 03
Myself by Ray f9 60 100 brite sun ptly ocast yellow filt

Self mirror portrait 35mm El 3.5 40th sec
Self mirror portrait 35mm El 3.5 40th sec

This last shot is a helpful one. It is a "selfie" in today's terminology. The photographer took a picture of himself in a mirror.
We can see what camera he was using. It is a Leica

Self mirror portrait 35mm el 3.5 /40 detail

I make it a Leica 3B. What do you think?

CLICK HERE to view the
POSTWAR PHOTOGRAPHY
from the other negative file from this same photographer.

Look at the bazookas on that little honey!
multiple bazookas installed on cub 03
Click here for the whole story!

Here are more stories about the 91st Bomber Group and some of the missions flown on a fine website by
Sam Halpert

For others in the AAF Bassingbourn series see also
The P-61 Black Widow
B-17 Bomber
The Lancaster Bomber
P-51 Mustang
The Avro York
The Short Stirling Bomber
The Piper Cub with the Bazookas
The B - 26
The Aerial Shots
The Personnel (This One)
The Christmas Party
The Photographer Tours England
And Miscellaneous clouds, landscapes and snow
Bassingbourn from a Window on the base.


Bassingbourn 1944 384th Bomber Group, B17 landing Discovered! Long lost negatives taken during the winter of 1944-45 at Bassingbourn AAF base in England.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.


And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
FOUND PHOTOGRAPH
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
POSTCARDY
And see what's going on over at
Sepia Saturday!

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one.
It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"

Monday, November 24, 2014

Let's All Go To The Movies - They Came From Beyond Space


Occasionally the search for old photographs finds your LOST GALLERY curator in the darkest corner of a junk shop, elbow deep in a hat-box of ephemera. It's rare, but occasionally we see a familiar face ...

Well, I think I know who that fellow who is trying to look like he's out cold.


The 1967 film "They Came From Beyond Space" featured Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne and Zia Mohyeddin. (All of whom would probably not wish to be reminded.)

Scientists investigating an unusual meteor shower in a rural field are possessed by an alien force bent on an ulterior purpose.

They Came From Beyond Space

Can't get enough?
Try some of these other pages that feature found movie stills or "lobby cards" found in LOST GALLERY.
Ben Turpin
Destination Moon
Flight To Mars
Rocketman
The Flying Saucer
When Worlds Collide

The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group, An album of the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

Area 51 and a Half Area 51 and a Half You are probably not authorized to see these.

Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

And don't miss
Cabinet Card Gallery
One Man's Treasure
Penny Tales
Square America
Tattered and Lost
Vernacular Photography
The best
FOUND PHOTOGRAPH
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
THE DAILY POSTCARD.
POSTCARDY

All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one. It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

Dee and the Business School Dee and the Business School
The beautiful Dee. A curious story; What do you see?

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"

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