Thursday, December 18, 2014

AAF in Bassingbourn - The Christmas Party

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 that feature photographs labeled "X-mas Party" and 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.

xmas party 05
xmas party
xmas party 02
xmas party
Xmas Office Party 1 75w bulb over f2 25sec 03
Xmas Office Party 1 75w bulb over f2 25sec

The end of World War Two is near. The last bombing runs from this AAF base in Southern England are happening now. It has been a long and difficult ordeal. Men and women worked tirelessly together. There were sacrifices. There were bonds.

The notes on the negative indicates this was taken at a Christmas Party, probably 1944.

The war on the European front would be over in just nine months: September 2, 1945.

From Hawk914 on Flickr: Both of these fellas are Captains... the one on the right is a Flight Surgeon, I believe. He wears two ribbons... on the right is the European-African-Middle Eastern campaign ribbon ( I think), and on the left... I dunno. He also has a Distinguished Unit Citation over his right breast pocket, and a glass full of what is undoubtedly an intoxicating beverage in his left hand. LOL

I find it interesting that there are photos of US Navy aircraft on the wall behind them... perhaps one of these AAF fellas had a brother in the Navy?

xmas party 01
xmas party

Fisher's girl 02
Fisher's girl
Fisher's girl 01
Fisher's girl

xmas party f2 at eighth second 01
xmas party f2 at eighth second
xmas party f2 at eighth second 02
xmas party f2 at eighth second

Giving serious consideration.

Steve Birdsall on Flickr: Any Christmas spirit in 1944 was tempered by the fact that most of these people had probably hoped to be home. After the rapid advances following D-Day there was the stalemate of the Battle of the Bulge. The weather was appalling - the ground was frozen and the airbases were blanketed by dense fog. The 8th Air Force flew a maximum effort on Christmas Eve, but the weather made for a hazardous takeoff and the fog caused the 91st Bomb Group's B-17s to land away from home in Norfolk.

When I look at these photos I can almost hear the song "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas".

X Office Party 1 75w bulb over f2 25sec 01
xmas party 03

xmas party 04
xmas party
xmas party f2 1 75 watt overhead 05
xmas party f2 1 75 watt overhead

xmas party f2 1 75 watt overhead 04
xmas party f2 1 75 watt overhead
Xmas party f2 1 75 watt overhead 06
xmas party f2 1 75 watt overhead

CLICK HERE to view the
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
The Christmas Party (This One)
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
sites on the web.

And for postcards try
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?

Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"

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