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Original photos 2nd Bomb Group B-17 gunner/photographer


Bob Hudson
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Bob Hudson

THIS IS IN TRIBUTE OF SGT RICHARD WRAY WOOD US ARMY AIR FORCES, B-17 GUNNER AND PHOTOGRAPHER 

 

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YOU CAN SEE HIS NAME ON THE MAE WEST

 

 Late last year I picked up a large batch of WWII photo negatives from a 2nd Bomb Group B-17 crewman who did over 50 missions. I broke my wrist just after I got them so I haven’t done much with them at all. Recently I put four negatives on the light table, photographed  them with my iPhone and flipped them from negative to positive. This is a quick and dirty way to input large format negatives to a computer. I usually scan them at 300 dpi so there’s a fair amount of detail in each photograph. These original prints were made from original negatives and processed and often  printed by the photographer himself and are  a examples of how well seemingly mundane black-and-white film. can preserve detailed images for so long. 

 

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One of the photos is a P 38 lightning with an unusual number visible: AE-994.

 

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It seems the Royal Air Force ordered a bunch of P-38’s and they were all produced with RAF serial numbers. But after 3 of these were tested by the RAF, they cancelled the order: there’s a website with details about this at http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/p38_7.html

 

“The performance of this hybrid was quite poor, and the RAF refused any further deliveries of the Lightning I after receiving and testing only three examples. 

The remaining 140 Lightning I’s of the British contract were completed by Lockheed and were taken over by the USA and designated P-322, P for pursuit and 322 for the Lockheed model designation. They were sent to a special modification center in Dallas, Texas where they were adapted for US service, most of them being used as trainers and for various experimental roles. They retained their original British serial numbers while in USAAF service.”

 

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“AE994 scrapped at Syracuse, NY Aug 23, 1946”


The nose art may provide a clue as to its wartime service:

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  • 1 month later...
Bob Hudson

Here’s the negative - the business card next to it gives a sense of size

 

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RustyCanteen

Excellent image! Interesting that the RAF found them unsuitable. I've read that they could be pretty finicky planes, but that on the whole they were capable. 

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Bob Hudson
41 minutes ago, RustyCanteen said:

Excellent image! Interesting that the RAF found them unsuitable. I've read that they could be pretty finicky planes, but that on the whole they were capable. 


 One thing the RAF did was to have both engines turning in the same direction, which must have resulted in a tremendous amount of torque to one side or the other. 

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RustyCanteen

Now that would definitely change things. 

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Bob Hudson

B-17 CREW AT THE EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS IN 1944:

 

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These photos are from a batch of large original WWII photo negatives  I obtained from the son of a World War II B-17 crewman who flew 51 missions as a gunner and photographer. These are large format so they show a lot more detail than the more common 35mm negatives. Not having a scanner for 4x5 negatives I laid them on a light table and shot them with my iPhone 13 Pro Max. I edited them on an iPad Air using Apple’s Photos app and Photoshop. I cropped the images to show closeups.

 

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Bob Hudson

The photographers last name is Wood and you’ll notice that Wood is printed on one edge of most of the  negatives.

 

He was with 20th Bomb Squadron 2nd Bomb Group.

 

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Bob Hudson
13 minutes ago, otter42 said:

Very nice! I love photos.

There are 26 photos from Egypt, not all are shown here. The others are mostly aerial shots. I do have many negatives from other areas as well.

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otter42

It's funny how long those guys legs are in the stirrups, the Egyptians must had been much smaller. I like the one taken above of the cart and horse.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Bob Hudson

Howard Aircraft DGA 15 UC 70 air ambulance transports
 

The aircraft was built in 1942 as the civilian Howard DGA 15P, capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot and often used as a corporate aircraft. This one with military serial number 42 38366 was one of seven commandeered by the Army: “Due to the shortage of military aircraft at the beginning of the war, most of the civilian Howards were commandeered by the military. The Army used them as officer transports and as air ambulances, with the designation UC-70B. The Navy, in particular, liked the aircraft and contracted Howard Aircraft Corporation to build 520 DGA-15Ps to its own specifications at the DuPage County Airport west of Chicago.

 

The site https://www.worldwariiaviation.org/howard-dga-15/ also says that After the war, DGA–15s went back to civilian owners. The first one shown in the photos is still around.

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these next two still have the civilian NC registration number on the bottom of the left wing. My guess is that these are two more of the DGA’s awaiting conversion to military use.

 

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Bob Hudson

Here’s how the one with the military reg number looks today

 

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Bob Hudson

Catalina -Army OA-10A VERSION OF NAVY PBY
 

I bought a batch of aircraft photos from the estate of a WWII B-17  gunner/photographer. I assume they are AAF, but I wasn’t sure about these Catalina flying boat images. I can’t see any serial numbers so if anyone has a secret construction detail that tells us it’s army or navy, I’d appreciate it

 

 

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manayunkman

Looks like AAF Air Sea Rescue plane.

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5thwingmarty

I see B-26's, more Catalinas and possibly P-47's in the background, and to me it looks more like England that Italy.  If you look up the B-17's serial number you might be able to figure out where this was taken.  My guess would also be an Air Force OA-10 Catalina.

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Bob Hudson
On 7/8/2022 at 5:44 PM, warguy said:

I don't have a clue but great photos!

 

These are all original WWII prints from WWII, stored by the photographers family until I bought these and more last fall. I scanned these at 300 dpi on a vintage Epson V-500 flatbed scanner. The prints are about 8x10 with high level of detail. 
 

 

 

 

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Bob Hudson

Sergeant Wood who was with 20th squadron, 2nd bomb group not only photographed B-17 formations but also a lot of air and ground shots of  other types of aircraft, Including C 47’s with floats, a prewar air ambulance, a 325th Fighter Group yellow checker tail P 51 mustang, and more including the B-17 crewmen using horses and camels for transport in Egypt. I did start a couple of threads about his photographs but I’m going to consolidate them all in this one thread.

 

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Bob Hudson

Here’s a C-47 with floats. As he did with some of the other prints he made multiple copies of this one. I found a photo showing he was working in an AAF photo  lab in Salina Kansas after he returned stateside in 1945 after combat service.

 

 

 

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The Smoky Hill Army Airfield photo lab crew: 

 

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On 7/7/2022 at 8:54 PM, Bob Hudson said:

Catalina -Army OA-10A VERSION OF NAVY PBY
 

I bought a batch of aircraft photos from the estate of a WWII B-17  gunner/photographer. I assume they are AAF, but I wasn’t sure about these Catalina flying boat images. I can’t see any serial numbers so if anyone has a secret construction detail that tells us it’s army or navy, I’d appreciate it

 

 

621BBC44-0FB6-42D6-8815-F04742C060B2.jpeg

3


81A65E81-E386-4995-B986-6C0D3E91F74D.jpeg.13d7b95c0a849d2e018b50470d7ff6af.jpeg

 

 

 


 

 

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That is indeed a USAAF OA-10. Distinctive feature includes an all white paint job and black deicer boots on the leading edge of the wings and vertical stabilizer fin. 

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Bob Hudson

According to Wikipedia this next one is a Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express, a transport derivative of the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber built during World War II for the United States Army Air Forces. A total of 287 C-87s were officially delivered from Consolidated Aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Texas. This one  is tail number 41-24005, and was operated by United Airlines.

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Bob Hudson

Boing TB-29 Superfortress Number 42-24443: crash landed FEB 19, 1945

 

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