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Battle of Okinawa


Navy people help us out on this. We believe – we believe that this photo dates from 1945. Hellcat fighters are seen lashed to the deck of an aircraft carrier during a storm. Most probably during a typhoon off the coast of Okinawa during the Battle of Okinawa. That is our assessment with a high degree of probability. The remaining question is to identify the carrier. Thirty-nine carriers took part in the invasion, 35 American and 4 British. We do not conclude that the photo shows the deck of one of the British carriers. Of the 39 total only 19 were assigned Hellcats. Other aircraft included Avengers and Corsairs. We further argue that the photo does not show one of the fleet carriers, the Enterprise, Yorktown or Hornet. that leaves us with 15 possible carriers, the support carriers. On some of these ships the superstructure was toward the bow not amidship, and we eliminated those from consideration. All we can say is that we are looking at the deck of one of the support carriers during a typhoon. If you really want to hazard a guess as to which carrier this is try the USS Santee.


Hellcats“; in the Pacific off the coast of Okinawa (April 1945)

On the line between Springfield, Colorado through Boise City, Oklahoma to Dalhart, Texas.


Just another dust bowl photo? Maybe, but previously unpublished ones are getting more difficult to find. This is the latest addition to our collection: “Dust Bowl: Black Sunday” taken on April 14, 1935 of course. Research indicates that the exact location is somewhere on the line that runs through Springfield, Colorado in Baca county thence through Boise City, Oklahoma in the strip and then through Dalhart, Texas in the panhandle.


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Jewish refugees escaping from Nazi Germany May 1939.


Today there are refugees from Ukraine. But in May 1939 over 900 Jewish refugees boarded the MS St. Louis out of Hamburg fleeing from persecution in Nazi Germany. Some countries did not accept these people including the United States and Canada. Estimates are that most of the passengers were returned to Europe and approximately 240 did not survive the war. Was this young girl a victim or a survivor?


Voyage of the Damned – MS St. Louis“; on the High Seas (Atlantic Ocean); May 1939

Ohio c.1928 At least they were sledgehammer men, but that's where the similarity ends.


It was the sledgehammer that grabbed our attention. “John Henry Redux“; Ohio c.1928. The folk hero and the song, “John Henry was a Steel Driving Man” are a part of Americana. Our John Henry worked with a sledgehammer as did the folk hero but in a different occupation. He was not competing against a steam driven drill. What is a bit confusing in the photo is the angle at which he is swinging the sledgehammer. It seems to be at the wrong angle to drive in spikes, and if used to move a rail tie surely it would destroy the tie. The rails can shift over time, and today they would not be straightened using a sledgehammer there are machines made for that purpose. In this railroad worker’s time the sledgehammer was the tool of choice.