Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lt. Hunter in Long Beach

Another great photo from Shorpy! The caption on this is "October 1942. "Lieutenant 'Mike' Hunter, Army test pilot assigned to Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer for the Office of War Information."

The contributors at Shorpy have id'd the plane as an A-20B Havoc, an aircraft that was used through VJ Day by the US and by the RAF and USSR as well. Wikipedia says the initial orders for the A-20 went to France via Casablanca, years before the US joined the fighting.

The discussion group pointed out that Lt. Hunter's name tag says "F.W. Hunter." They've also raised questions about his resemblance in stance and form to one Stephen Colbert.

According to Wikipedia, Douglas built 7,098 A-20 Havocs before ending production in Sept. 1944. Boeing built over 300 of them too. This particular model, the A-20B, comprised the first large order from the Army Air Corps: 999 planes. Of that, 665 were sold to the USSR. Per Wiki, but I'll leave it to someone else to vet that, if they want to.

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