The color of WWII is something lost on our generation; WWII has been a war fought in black and white for everyone but actual WWII veterans who witnessed it firsthand. One of my goals here at PortraitsofWar is to collect color slides from WWII and make them accessible to those who don’t know it exists. Yes, color film was shot in 35mm(and sometimes larger format) and was used on a somewhat regular basis by shutterbug soldiers during WWII. My collection is roughly 500:1, black and white : color. To find a complete collection of color slides is like hitting the WWII photography jackpot. In this case, I was able to pick up a small selection of color slides from a Marine dive bomber. Although I was only able to snag 7 from a grouping of nearly 200, I am still happy to pass along the images to interested parties.
From the collection of Walter Huff.
Recent Update: Captions Added – WWII Marine Corps Veteran Pilot Adds Commentary – Thanks Paul!
Please enjoy the colors of WWII as they were meant to be seen!
047: Standard permanent issue leather jacket with fur collar. Name plate design same as mine: Wings, name, and service (in this case USMCR).
049: I’ll bet the farm this photo was taken at Bogue Field, N.C. Dec 10 +/-, 1943. Not much snow in Eastern N.C. I was on a trip to Buffalo, NY to ferry a R5C (C-46) from the factory to Cherry Point. Got back to find the engine block in the auto had frozen and cracked.
051: Nice shot. I do believe the engine is running. Hmmmm. I wonder why? Should have been a no-no with no one in cockpit!
053: I do not remember pilots wearing side arm stateside. With the pistol (issued to all Marine officers) I’m guessing 1943-44. Later pilots were issued revolvers but priority was to unit in combat area (Pac). I had a .45 pistol until 1948 (China and Eva, Hawaii). Got my first .38 revolver in Korea 1950.
054: This ain’t NC!!! Must be CA hills. Not combat area. Check out those pristine parachutes! The gauntlets (flight gloves) were of softest lamb skin and covered lower half (more or less) of forearm.
044: Not Marine Corps shirts, but Navy. Marine officer shirts were hard to come by. I know because I wore Navy shirts, too. Pocket flap designs are different. Marines never wear field scarfs (i.e. ties) tucked into shirt. After WWII a clasp was designed.
3 thoughts on “WWII in Color – 1944 SBD Dauntless Marine Dive Bombers VMSB-332 w/ WWII Marine Pilot Commentary”
I had an Uncle James Patrick Griffin, Tail Gunner, Pilot Joyce Samders, shot down over Rabual Harbor, 12 February 1944… anyone out there that might have been his unit? Tom Mahon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Color slides look like something taken today. They give us a new perspective on life “back in the black and white days”. I never imagined anything back then until I discovered some color slides from the 40s? – 60s of Navy/Coast Guard.
1940s color slides always seem to blow my mind. We tend to think of the past in black and white, but the true colors of the 1940s are just as vibrant as they are today. thanks for finding my site!