1944 — Italy
27 Nov. 2009 from James Daughter Carol;
I ran across your web pages in my own very belated "easter egg hunt" through the web on behalf of my father, James E. Trott, who served at Solenzara Air Field w/ the 321st from June 1 1944 to less than midway through 1945. (After that he was transferred to Italy.) His job at Solenzara was an odd one, seldom discussed, as it wasn't on the front. He was responsible to upkeep, load with film, and mount large K8AB bomb cameras (plus their racks) on the 8 to 10 B-25 Mitchell bomber planes making up a mission. He then had to retrieve the cameras and racks, unload the film and develop it, then pass on the pictures to officers responsible to making "bomb plots" scoring the success of said mission. I've seen one bomb plot on line which is one my dad has a copy of at home, if I'm not mistaken. I am seeking more info on this task, on the cameras themselves (which are hard indeed to find ANY photos of, since they of course were taking the photos!), and on his own service.
As background, dad enlisted August 8, 1942, and was held stateside involved (again) w/ cameras, and even created one training film (probably lost, it was called "Flying Folly" -- he made it while at Suffolk Air Base as part of a detached unit from the 320th Fighter Squadron (not 321st Bomb, of course). Perhaps there's not much more to learn here. But I'm hoping. From CAROL....
30 Nov. 2009 from proud son Jon;
My info on cameras was/is this...
Many pics were taken by hand-held cameras issued to the crew (some of
'em anyway) on the B-25 bomber missions. But one camera was the K8AB,
mounted pointing straight down for maximal effect re capturing the
damage each plane delivered, as well as the total amounts of damage. It
produced pictures which I believe were 7" by 8" in size, often used in
doing the so-called "bomb plots" (this was I think done by an officer
assigned to the job, not my dad or other enlisted guys). My dad has some
goofy pictures of that camera in various states of dismemberment, but
the only copies I have are bad. I am trying to get better ones.
But I am also hoping for any other living members of my dad's photo
unit, or others at the HQ unit overall who remember him. Their
narratives about him would be a wonderful addition. More photos of HIM
(rather than photos he and/or his equipment took) would be wonderful as
Again, thanks... to both of you.
a proud son (JON)
to Barbi Connolly (and John Fitzgerald)
PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com 321st Bomb Group Historian and John Fitzgerald, 57th BW Historical Researcher.