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300 WWII Acme wire service photos


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Today I acquired a collection of perhaps as many as 300 or more original press photographs from World Wart II. They are all from Acme Newspictures and mostly cover the war in the Pacific, with images from Iwo Jima, Guam, Saipan, the Philippines, the surrendure of Japan, VJ Day in the US, homefront photos of politicians and military brass plus "ordinary" GI's.

 

There are two types of photos: ones that seem to have been printed direct from negatives and which have a paper attached to them containing the photo's caption, and: "radio telephoto" images that were sent from the warzones via a system that basically involved sending faxs over shortwave radio (fax technology was actually used first for sending photographs to newspapers). These radio telephoto images had the caption on them and often contain very visible lines which are the result of the scanning system used to capture the images for transmission.

 

The non-telephoto images mostly have Acme stamps on the back:

 

acmeback.jpg

 

 

I even got a photo of one of the machines used to send the photos to Acme from the war - this one on Guam (and this photo itself ewas sent by one of these machines):

 

acmemachine.jpg

 

And here's one of the images printed from a negative and which was not sent via the radio telephoto machine. This is one of several photos I have of Patton and Doolittle on a visit to the US. As with most of the photos, this one is roughly 7 by 9 inches (the sizes vary).

 

PattonMugs.jpg

pattonmugscap.jpg

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Here's another one printed from a negative:

 

moh.jpg

 

mohcap.jpg

 

Here's some photos of the collection after I spread it out on a 4 x 8 foot table to try to sort them (the blue and reddish tints are because the room lighting conflicted with the camera's flash):

 

acmegroup1.jpg

 

acmegroup2.jpg

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This one fascinated me. The caption is self-explanatory.

 

jappilot.jpg

 

jappilotcap.jpg

 

And here's a pretty cool one from Guam:

 

guamplaque.jpg

 

guamplaquecap.jpg

 

There are a lot of combat photos. This is one of many from Iwo:

 

iwopinned.jpg

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There are just so many interesting photos in this group. This with oxen is one of them:

 

ox.jpg

 

oxcap.jpg

 

I scanned a small section of this photo at very high resolution to show how original photographic prints can really be enlarged to see details:

 

oxzoom.jpg

 

And here's a closeup of the one Marine behind the cart. You can see the cigarette in his mouth and notice that the flaps of his camo cover are not tucked between the helmet and liner but are hanging down, possibly as sun protection.

 

oxmarineq.jpg

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Remember this guy from the movies (and as The Joker on TV's Batman)? He was a big star even before he did his duty as an enlisted Coast Guardsman in the South Pacific.

 

romero.jpg

 

romerocap.jpg

 

A little more about him:

 

In October, 1942, he voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and saw service in the Pacific Theatre. He reported aboard the Coast Guard-manned assault transport U.S.S. Cavalier (APA-37) in November, 1943 and saw action at Tinian and Saipan. According to a press release from the period:

 

"Romero preferred to be one of the crew and asked for no special privileges, which he did not receive. His shipmates admired him for this and for his exceptionally hard work. Romero was considered to be one of the best winch operators, swinging 18,000 lb. barges from their deck cradles over the side of the transport during invasions or while loading cargo. Among other duties he was first powderman on the forward five-inch gun. When an occasion permitted recreation, Romero helped put on a variety show for the crew. Later in the war he assisted in Bond rallies."

 

He made the rank of Chief Boatswain's Mate before receiving his honorable discharge at the end of the war. He then returned to Hollywood. He was best remembered by contemporary audiences for his portrayal of The Joker on the 1960s television show "Batman." He passed away on 2 January 1994 at the age of 86.

 

Here's couple of WWII's more notorious "celebrities" - Tokyo Rose and Lord Hee Haw.

 

rose.jpg

 

rosecap.jpg

 

heehaw.jpg

 

heehawcap.jpg

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The photos represent what the American people saw in their newspapers during WWII and includes death as well as victory:

 

okijapwound.jpg

 

manillajapdead.jpg

 

manillajapdeadcap.jpg

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There are some photos of liberated POW's in the Pacific and Europe. There are two photos of the same GI, at liberation after a period of rehab stateside:

 

demler1.jpg

 

demler2.jpg

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IMPERIAL QUEST

Bob,

 

These are fantastic shots. I really like the one of Patton and Doolittle. You don't often see photos of Georgie in such a light-hearted manner, but the ladies always brought out his charm (as did this photographer). It is very interesting to note that GSP suffered from severe emotional mood swings; he could laugh and cut up one moment, and then weep uncontrollably when something triggered a melancholy thought of the past. He cursed ferociously, but would pray on his knees with the humility of a child. I read an excerpt from one of Patton's aides stating that his voice was quite high...the guttural bellowing tone that we associate with Patton started when George C. Scott portrayed GSP in "Patton". Sorry to get off topic....Patton just fascinates me.

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Besides the photographs, the collection includes some original wire service stories from WWII. These were printed out by the teletypes (we still used this same color of teletype paper when I was a newsman in the 70's through 90's).

 

upi2.jpg

 

These came from United Press, later known as United Press International or UPI. Stories were updated throughout the day and were often sent in pieces which is why there a little notations such as "PICKUP 2ND PGH..."

 

upi1.jpg

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Bob,

 

These are fantastic shots. I really like the one of Patton and Doolittle. You don't often see photos of Georgie in such a light-hearted manner, but the ladies always brought out his charm (as did this photographer). It is very interesting to note that GSP suffered from severe emotional mood swings; he could laugh and cut up one moment, and then weep uncontrollably when something triggered a melancholy thought of the past. He cursed ferociously, but would pray on his knees with the humility of a child. I read an excerpt from one of Patton's aides stating that his voice was quite high...the guttural bellowing tone that we associate with Patton started when George C. Scott portrayed GSP in "Patton". Sorry to get off topic....Patton just fascinates me.

 

I once worked with a woman who was as a secretary to Patton in the US before the war and had a scrapbook of all the letters he wrote to her during the war. Wish now I'd learned more about him from her, but at that time I had no interest.

 

Here's some more of the lighter side of George:

 

pattonhug.jpg

 

pattonhugcap.jpg

 

Here he looks like Ike ordered him to church:

 

pattonchurch.jpg

 

pattonchurchcap.jpg

 

And here he is more in his element doing his victory parade through downtown Los Angeles:

 

pattonLA.jpg

 

pattonLAcap.jpg

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I like that MOH and GO photos, thanks for showing them!

 

That photo of Patton mugging for the camera is something else. Don't think I've ever seen that before.

 

The guy who saved these photos was publisher Clinton D McKinnon who owned newspapers in San Diego (and later radio and TV stations) and served for a time as a US Congressman. These photos were saved in envelopes from Acme and one of them was marked something like "prominent personages of WWII" so he made it s point to save not photos of GO's, but politicians as well, and many field commanders. Plus, of course, lots and lots of photos of grunts.

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Some of the photos show new military equipment including a couple of the M-29 Weasel:

 

weasel1.jpg

 

weasel1cap.jpg

 

weasel2.jpg

 

weasel2cap.jpg

 

The driver looks like he's thinking "Hmmmm, maybe I should have worn a helmet."

 

wesel2driver.jpg

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Somebody asked about the dots on the helmets in the one weasel photo so I scanned them at higher resolution to do closeups:

 

weaseldot1.jpg

 

weaseldot2.jpg

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