Navy Machine Gunner, 1944

November 29th, 2011, 12:16H · Topics: Guys, Navy · Print

“Here is a gunner getting ready to fire his machine guns.  This was a typical photo, taken for Public Relations.  This photo was sent to the home town newspaper to show what a native son was doing.  The interesting thing about this picture is, the plane was on the ground and there was a platform for the photographer to stand on and we either had a background of sky or we painted it in the print.” LS

The information on the back of the print is as follows:   “2/19/44, Aircrewman, Rogers, A.R.M. 3/c,  Made For Public Relations.”

I particularly like the fill flash used in the “action” photo.  The clouds in the background of this print were airbrushed onto the original print.  Loyd Sandgren did not indicate the Navy base where this photo was taken.  Who out there knows their Navy aircraft and can ID the type of plane in the photo?

Update:  Thanks to my co worker and airplane geek Jeff Brumley for identifying the plane as a Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber.  Here is a little additional information from Boeing’s history site:

“The Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber became a mainstay of the Navy’s World War II air fleet in the Pacific, with the lowest loss ratio of any U.S. carrier-based aircraft. Douglas delivered a total of 5,936 SBDs and Army Air Forces A-24s between 1940 and the end of production in July 1944.”

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  1. 1 Don Webb January 22nd, 2015 20:34H

    These gunners on such WW II aircraft were often sitting ducks. They were brave men, and it is surprising that more made it back home than did. I assume they had (upon the command of the pilot) the ability to bail out if the plane was hit and was going down. Some made it safely – some did not. There will never be another great generation which fought for our nation as did these heroes of the 1940s.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More