About 82,000 American service members are listed as Missing in Action – 72,000 from World War II alone. Recent technologies like robotic submersibles, advanced sonar, and DNA matching are making it easier for recovery operations to find the downed airplanes, and identify the remains of service members.
As an intern with the Aeronautics Department I had the chance to review and scan hundreds of color images from WWII. What particularly drew my attention were the images of women who served in the Navy’s reserve force, since at the time they were not allowed to serve their country through military enlistment to the same extent as men.
Aboard the battleship USS Missouri, representatives from the Empire of Japan met with those of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union, China, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to sign the document that formally ended World War II.
On April 2, 1942, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet was part of a secret plan to strike back at Japan. With no room for aditional airplanes to land on the flight deck filled with B-25 Mitchell bombers, the US Navy turned to the Navy blimp L-8 for a specialy delivery.
World War II is one of the best documented conflicts in history. Millions of photos and miles of motion picture film stock provide a rich visual documentation of the conflict in both its brutal violence and celebration of martial purpose.
The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver could have been the U.S. Navy’s frontline carrier-based dive bomber for much of World War II, but problems with its development delayed its introduction and saddled it with a bad reputation.