Check out this intriguing short 13 minute video by Tested.com about a professional WWII turret restoration expert.
Sorry for any advertisements that may show in the video.; it’ not my intent to show them, but it’s sadly the cost of interesting online media in the 21st century.
Caught in the act of painting!
We here at Portraits of War have spent countless hours scanning and editing the photographic work of Alva, but have neglected to post a series of photos relating to what he looked like while stationed at Kennishall nearly 70 years ago. I hope you enjoy seeing the face of the man responsible for recording the everyday activities around Knettishall.
The tension in the air is almost palpable. Painted bomber jackets, crusher hats, and wafting palls of smoke all set the scene. A basic map is being chalked on the board, while pilots and navigators take note.
August 25th, 1944,
Glenn Miller poses with some members of the 388th Bomb Group. Only a few months later Miller went missing during a flight over the English Channel,. spurring 70 years of mystery and intrigue. His death is still an unknown, although many suggest that he was in fact a German spy. The second image shows the crowd during the concert – snapped by Alegre from the front of the stage.
Some of Glenn’s best known hits are Moonlight Serenade, Chattanooga Choo Choo, A String of Pearls, Little Brown Jug and Tuxedo Junction. Many of these songs are likely lost on my generation, but will be familiar to many of the readers of this blog. Please check out the links listed below for some vintage Glenn Miller footage!
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Click for larger view
Click for larger view
Alva Alegre had an uncanny ability to capture the subtle beauty of his female subjects. Here are some superlative examples which capture the personalities of the women portrayed.
Platinum Blonde Beauty
Color at Knettishall
Various shots of buildings in and around the 388th base at Knettishall England. Nice shot of a WAC building with a cute WAC standing outside. More to come, check back for more!
A nice selection from my 388th Bomb Group negative collecting. Showing some of the more laid back facets of life on base.
Color war photos are one of my favorite forms of amateur photography. The history behind each image is intensified when documented in color, allowing the historian to glean historical details not visible in B/W photography. One such image can be found below, from my collection of images taken in Roswell New Mexico right after WWII. The photos were taken by a member of the 509th Composite Group. The unit was responsible for dealing with the atomic weapons of WWII and also dropped a bomb on the Bikini Atoll in 1946.
The QB-17 shown below is possibly one of the first handful of B-17’s outfitted to fly unmanned. This plane was used to fly through an atomic cloud and collect important radiation data. These data were later used to test for radiation fallout numbers. I’ve only personally seen two other color images of a QB-17 painted in this scheme. What an important resource for historians, hobbyists, and vintage photography collectors!
Front Page of Drone Unit History
Back Cover of Drone Unit History