On The Range at Yellow Water Gunnery School, 1944

February 9th, 2017, 8:30H · Topics: Guys, Navy · Print


“Turrets at the Yellow Water Gunnery School. July 8, 1944. I think the range used over 3,000,000 rounds of 50mm bullets.”  LS

Training turret gunners on trailers fitted with aircraft machine gun turrets at one of the practice ranges at the Yellow Water Gunnery School. The WWII base was located on land North of the former Cecil Field Naval Air Station near the current Equestrian Center off Normandy Blvd. I would imagine that being inside one of those bubbles in the middle of the summer was no treat. The back of the print is is stamped “Restricted, Official Photograph,  Not to be used for publication by order of the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics”. Then there is a handwritten note saying “Please Release” with someone’s initials beside that. A sharp viewer brought to my attention that the rounds would have been 50 caliber not 50 mm as was written in Photographer Loyd Sandgren’s note that was attached to the print. Can any of Vintage Jacksonville’s veteran followers enlighten us on the type of aircraft that would have used this particular gun turret?


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  1. 1 Sherry Stewart Krol April 7th, 2018 15:46H

    Showed this to an “expert”…He thinks these were pure training devices…but for single gun planes like the Navy Avenger…Jon points out the similarities to the Avenger, noting the gun is on the wrong side for that specific plane…but also comments the photo print could be reversed.
    We love looking at all L. Sandgren’s work.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2 bob April 7th, 2018 18:14H

    Thanks for your observations. I welcome all input when it comes to the specifics of photographs in the Loyd Sandgren collection. I don’t know the scope of the type of aircraft that gunners were trained for at Yellow Water gunnery range but I would guess they trained the Navy crews for whatever they might end up flying in. Glad you are following Vintage Jacksonville, Bob Self/Vintage Jacksonville

  3. 3 Jim Guelde March 12th, 2021 11:44H

    My father was a gunnery student at Yellow Water in 1944. He said it had the worst cooks in the Navy… everything was boiled… even steaks when they had them.

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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