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Fighter crash aboard U.S. Pacific Fleet carrier. Flames roar across the flight deck after the belly tank tore loose and exploded. Firefighters rescued the pilot., December 15, 1945
Vintage ferrotyped gelatin silver print on paper
7 9/16 x 9 5/16 in. (19.21 x 23.65 cm)

Creation Place: Asia
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.871

Crash landing off Luzon: As aircraft carriers of the U.S. Pacific Fleet take the fight to the enemy, skilled pilots are occasionally forced to come through crashes like the one pictured here aboard an Essex class carrier. Despite the peril of burning planes and flight decks, the clocklike efficiency of crew and pilots turn incidents such as this into “routine” duty. Less than a half hour after the mishap, operation was back to normal, and the huge carrier was launching her planes once more. The photo shows flames roaring across the flight deck as the belly tank of a landing fighter tore loose from the plane and exploded. Next, the flames spread near the gun turrets and mounts as fighters rushed in to check the blaze. In the midst of the fire, firefighting experts in asbestos clothing rescued the pilot, who suffered burns and was later hospitalized. The blaze was checked and the danger was virtually over. The fire-fighting crew began “mopping up” as their dangerous job was completed. Moments later the flight deck was clear, and fighter planes were roaring into the air again to blast the Japanese. These photos were taken on December 15 (west longitude date) during action in the Philippine Sea off Luzon.

Sheet: 7 15/16 x 9 7/8

Overall: 8 1/4 x 9 7/8

Ferrotyped prints are processed in such a way that they are shiny. The print has a sensitive surface, usually thinner, because it was put through a press while still wet.

Ferrotyped prints have a sensitive surface, usually shiny and thinner, because they are put through a press while still wet. Ferrotyping makes the surface of the photograph smoother. Light does not scatter as much on a smoother surface, so this increases contrast. That makes ferrotyped images better for press photography.

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  • Image Dimensions: 7 9/16 x 9 5/16 in. (19.21 x 23.65 cm)

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