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United States Navy Photographer

Images of a Japanese torpedo plane attack on a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Marshall Islands: crewmen hit the deck; the plane is hit by ack-akck; the plane splashes into the sea., January 1943
Vintage wire photograph on paper
8 1/16 x 6 in. (20.48 x 15.24 cm)

Creation Place: Oceania, American
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.727

Triptych. Those Japanese torpedo planes can’t monkey with American aircraft carriers and get away with it, as this series of pictures attests. They were taken by a U.S. Navy photographer during recent attack on the Japanese-held Marshall Islands. In No.1, crewmen hit the desk of the carrier as plane approaches. No. 2 shows the plane, hit by carrier ack-ack. No. 3 shows the plane in its last struggle and its splash into the sea, January 1943.

Top image: 3 3/8 x 5 15/16

Bottom image: 4 9/16 x 6

Sheet: 8 1/2 x 6 5/16

Wire photographs were originally transmitted over phonelines, then later, by satellite. They were first used in the early 1920s. Associated Press became a leader with this. After pigment touch-ups, etc., the print is put into a drum (like a drum scanner). The image gets converted into audio tones that are transmitted. The tones are received and beamed onto photo-sensitive paper. Wire photographs are copies without originals---they are hybrid, transmitted objects. (Britt Salvesen, Curator and Department Head, Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, March 30-31, 2022)

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  • Image Dimensions: 8 1/16 x 6 in. (20.48 x 15.24 cm)

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