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Unknown Photographer

Flying in tight formation, U.S. Eighth Air Force Flying Fortresses are an impressive sight as they speed toward industrial Schweinfurt, Germany, November 1943
Vintage wire photograph on paper
6 9/16 x 8 3/8 in. (16.67 x 21.27 cm)

Creation Place: Europe
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted Gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, and Daniel Mattis, in honor of Kathleen Stewart Howe
Accession Number: P2019.21.270

Flying in tight formation for mutual protection, roaring Flying Fortresses make an impressive sight as they speed toward industrial Schweinfurt 500 miles inside Germany. The flight is a tough one, with Luftwaffe fighters and anti-aircraft flak all around during the whole trip. On this particular raid, which our airmen say is too mild a word for such a terrific operation, 485 tons of high explosives were unloaded, 144 German planes were shot down, and 60 of our Forts never returned to their base. But to the U.S. Eighth Air Force it was just another daily bombing mission, Germany, November 1943.

Sheet: 7 x 8 7/8

Overall: 7 1/8 x 8 7/8

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: 6 9/16 x 8 3/8 in. (16.67 x 21.27 cm)

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