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Great B29 Nose Art and 4thMARDIV photo group

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So while poking around eBay I came across a lot of great original B29 nose art photos, I messaged the seller for more details and to my excitement I learned they were but a small part of a large group of photographs she had found which belonged to her step-father.


She was looking to pass them on to someone who would take care of them, and after some further discussion, the entire lot of nearly 200+ pictures ended up with me.


Of the lot there are a real good variety. One section is entirely nose art and B29 photos from the 73rd Wing on Saipan, among those featured is “Dauntless Dotty”, the B29 which led the first raid on Tokyo after Doolittle. She said she believes her step dad was on the island for a little bit which is where he either took or traded for the photos.


The second group is a bunch of original photographs of a variety of subject matter. Some show B24s on the runway, some Japanese tanks, others show the American Military Cemetery in Hawaii, overall a good range of topics. She said she wasn’t sure what her stepdad did but from my guess he was either a sailor or a marine, named John Vignola and from Chicago. Some of the photos show sailors and a few shots what looks like a liberty ship, possibly his. I believe he must have collected all of these photos as he went along his travels only to be discovered 75 years later by his step daughter.


The final group, which makes me think possible marine but more likely, a sailor onboard a ship which worked with the 4th MARDIV, is a large set of combat and field photographs, most seeming to show elements of the 4th MARDIV. The pictures range from Guam, Tinian, Saipan, Eniwetok, and Kwajalein. There are some amazing shots of the action and equipment used and some where you can just truly see the abuse these men suffered just by looking at their faces. They are truly breathtaking pictures. Most are marked with what would seem like a PX marking, however, I have not seen the vast majority of these online or in any publication making me think a portion of them must have been specifically unit produced photographs, probably for men of the 4th.


Overall I was extremely happy with this grouping and have included some scans of highlights below. Any help in solidly identifying the service of John Vignola would be much appreciated as I have come up short.




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I also apologize for the low resolution, the app I used to make the collages and the one I used to post are not being super cooperative :\

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