One of Alva’s favorite subjects to photograph was the ladies around Knettishall. Some are too risque to post here, but a number show various female service members. Included are WASPS, Air Nurses, WAC Ladies and Red Cross workers. I will post a few here to show the range and the quality of the collection. Please feel free to message with requests!
4 thoughts on “The Ladies of the 388th Bomb Group – Air Nurses, WACS, Red Cross Women”
All of these Alegre images are stunning. They are such a great insight into daily life on the base (Knettishall aimed to maintain a ‘homely’ feel, hence the COUNTRY CLUB sign, timber railings and white picket fencing). There would have been around 4,000 personnel on site at any one time. Please keep the images coming, they are much appreciated.
Thank you for the wonderful message. Now that I know there is some interest in the images I will continue to post them. Do you have any specific requests? I have hundreds of images to post and would love to get some comments and running discussions. Again, I appreciate the message!
How to choose what to see?
For me these photographs could be a great way to help understand a little more about daily life on the base – how they worked and how they spent their limited leisure time. One thing missing from the many casual snapshots which survive of this era and location is a sense of the ‘fluidity’ of daily life and informal human interaction. Alegre has successfully achieved this in some of the images you’ve shared. Even mundane duties can be brought to life and made interesting by a skillfully shot image.
Some great murals were still in-situ in old buildings here at Knettishall until around 20 years ago – sadly I never got to see them. And I wonder if he painted any nose art on the B-17 aircraft?
I have a specific interest in groundcrew and vehicles. Many would forego a (relatively) dry nissen hut to live in tents and shacks near to their aircraft dispersal points – to be where they were most needed at any hour. I wonder if they caught Alegre’s attention?
But having said that, how on earth could you better Alegre’s highly emotive image above of the nurses leaning against the piano? One can only imagine the mood in the room that evening – nobody’s laughing.
Very well put. I will continue to post images from this collection in hopes of filling some gaps in the history of everyday life at Knettishall. Alva was a master at capturing the everyday moments and transforming them into a true work of art. His ability to capture this beauty at a time of cataclysmic world conflict is one of the reasons I love his work. I wish he was still around today, but alas, he passed away in the 1950s. I wonder if any of his art work is still floating around out there?