WWII in Color – 1944 SBD Dauntless Marine Dive Bombers VMSB-332 w/ WWII Marine Pilot Commentary


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.

WWII in Color – Color Kodachrome Slides – 1944 SBD Dauntless Marine Dive Bombers VMSB-332 w/ Aircraft


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.

Please enjoy the colors of WWII as they were meant to be seen! 

WWII USMC Marine Corps SBD Dauntless VMSB-231 Pilot and Dive Bomber on Majuro, Marshall Islands


An eBay seller recently posted an anomalous grouping of negatives online.  The photos were reportedly from the collection of a US ETO fighter pilot, but were clearly taken in a tropical location.  My BS radar went off, and I placed a single bid on one of the “better” images.  After the negative arrived (2.5 by 3.5 in original glassine envelope), I was able to extract a bit more info; although the man posed in the photo is still a mystery.  His name appears to be Jud – and I’ve narrowed down the unit info to place him as a pilot with the VMSB-231 station on Majuro in the Marshall Islands in 1944.  I’ve contacted the seller to track down more shots from this historic grouping.

The VMSB-231 stands for Marine Scout Bombing Squadron # 231.  They were known as the “Ace of Spades” and can sometimes be seen sporting spade insignia on their planes.  The unit was responsible for dive bombing Japanese shipping and freight.  The SBD was a radial engined dive-bomber that was extensively used in the early portion of the US involvement in the PTO.  Here’s a good site regarding the SBD: http://science.howstuffworks.com/douglas-sbd-dauntless.htm

 

 

Some technical data on the SBD:

Douglas SBD Dauntless Specifications

Wingspan: 41 ft. 6-1/2 in.

Length: 33 ft. 1-1/2 in.

Height: 13 ft. 7 in.

Empty Weight: 6,500 lbs

Gross Weight: 10,700 lbs

Top Speed: 252 mph

Service Ceiling: 26,100 ft.

Range: 1,100 miles

Engine/Horsepower: One Wright R-1820/1200

Crew: 2

Armament: Two .50-inch Browning machine guns in the nose; two .50-inch Browning machine guns flexibly mounted in the rear cockpit; 1,600 lbs of bombs under fuselage; 650 lbs under the wing