In this latest addition to our photo gallery, we are making a break from the USS Hornet-related photo collections and bringing you the photos from Patrol Wing 4’s service in the infamous Aleutian Islands during World War 2.
You can find the photos through our Photo Gallery or by following this direct link:
We received these photos as a donation, literally inside a box. Unfortunately, we do not know too much about where the photos originally came from or who took most of them. But looking at the contents and some of the correspondence, we believe these came from the collection of Jack O.L. Haugen, Patrol Wing 4 Veterans’ Association’s one-time secretary. The photos and documents seem to be have been used for the association’s newsletters.
We scanned the backs of the photos as well and are publishing them here, as they have the names, places and stories behind most of the photos. You will see the photo and its back one after the other in the gallery.
This week, we are only going to publish the Ventura and Harpoon photos, followed by the Catalinas next week. There are a couple extras in this week’s gallery that we will talk about later. The photos seem to come from multiple sources and cover a long period in Patrol Wing 4’s service in the Aleutians. We have official Navy photos of aircraft and locations, period post cards showing Venturas and a lot of personal photos showing combat crews and the island itself.
As for topics, the majority of the photos show the crews and aircraft of the Ventura and Harpoon squadrons. One interesting item to see are the Disney cartoons on some of the aircraft. As far as we know, these were actually painted by Disney artists, as Disney Studios were close to Lockheed’s Burbank facilities, as the Venturas came off the assembly lines. Some units also seem to have received this artwork later as printed decals.
Also please notice the P-38 making a left turn in the distance below:
We also have some extremely interesting photos taken right after the islands were captured back from the Japanese, showing a lot of Japanese equipment and living quarters.
We also have a set of amazing pictures showing the Japanese attack on the airfield on June 4, 1942. Some of them were most likely taken by aircraft-type reconnaissance cameras used by crew members from the trenches and as a result, show the camera markers on 4 sides. You can see Zeros strafing and a close-up of 4 Vals(?) flying above the airfield.
As a bonus, you can also see pictures of Kingfishers on wheels and a PB4Y-1 (probably with a radar on the nose – all information welcome on this plane) that made a visit to the base.
As always, please let us know, in the comments section, if you have any more information about these photos or units.