PBY Blister Gunner
The naked figure in this photograph can seem incongruous, even surreal, without its historical context. During World War II, a PBY amphibian aircraft was sent to rescue a Marine airman who had been shot down while attacking Japanese forces at Rabaul Harbor. With the airman temporarily blinded and helpless in the water, the gunner from the rescue plane stripped down, getting rid of his encumbering flight suit and boots, dove into the water, and brought the injured man on board. In a combat situation, under enemy fire, the gunner had no time to get dressed again before returning to his battle station.
Gelatin silver photograph
1944, printed later
image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm)
sheet: 13 7/8 x 10 3/4 in. (35.2 x 27.3 cm) (show scale)
Signed on verso in pencil: "Horace Bristol"
Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden
This item is not on view
Horace Bristol (American, 1908-1997). PBY Blister Gunner, 1944, printed later. Gelatin silver photograph, image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 1994.77. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.77_PS9.jpg)
overall, 1994.77_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
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