Who Are We?—Military Brass

It dawned on me the other day that we haven’t had a recent “Who Am I?” post that I could remember.  Turns out that we haven’t had one for six months!  A brief excursion through the online collection of Morton photographs led me to an image that, with a little (OK, maybe a bit more) digging might be able to piece together better identifications—or to butcher an often butchered ad slogan, “Better IDing through group sourcing.”
Military personnel standing next to airplane
In this case, “Who am I?” becomes “Who are we?” The image above portrays enough military brass—two of the men have four stripes on their shoulders and decorated hat brims—that we should be able to get a couple names for those unidentified faces.  Bonus points for figuring out the event.
To get started, click on the photograph to see the image with its most current catalog information.  Use the zoom tool just above the image to see details. Once you are looking at the image in the online collection (i.e., not within this blog post), use the slider to zoom in and out.  Once you have zoomed in, you can reposition the detail area within the image either by moving the little red box within the thumbnail, or by clicking on the image and dragging your cursor.
I’ve done a little investigation to set your off in the right (I hope!) direction. The hat badges and shoulder marks or shoulder boards worn by several men appear to those used of the United States Army Transportation Corps, as described in two blog posts at “Hawse Pipe.” The first post focuses on the hat badge; the second post describes the hat badge without manufacturer hallmark, and includes other insignia including shoulder marks.
Happy IDing!

4 thoughts on “Who Are We?—Military Brass”

  1. The man in the dark business suit, 9th from the right and 12th from the left, is CBS-Radio and TV entertainer Arthur Godfrey. He was also known for his aviation skills in the Air Force Reserve, and he flew is own DC-3 (with DC-4 engines) back and forth from his home in Virginia to his work in New York City.

  2. Terrific, Jack! I had no idea about Godfrey’s aviation background, a summary of which is included in his Wikipedia entry. Morton photographed Godfrey on at least one other occasion: see http://dc.lib.unc.edu/u?/morton_highlights,205 for a portrait of Godfrey with governor Luther Hodges, who appeared on The Arthur Godfrey Show television program sometime between May 15-18, 1960, when Hodges led a 122-person North Carolina “industrial mission” to New York City.

  3. Clifford Tyndall mentions in his book Welcome to Camp Davis: The History of a WWII Army Camp that General Lesley McNair visited the camp on November 12th, 1943 for “thirty-six hours of intensive observation training activities.” So I looked at the microfilm of the camp newsletter, AA Barrage but the issue that would have covered that date is missing. McNair also visit the camp in mid August of that year, but a list of his party did not include Godfrey (the list included only military men).
    Skimming through the microfilm, I found notice of McNair’s death by accidental bombing at Saint Lo, France on 25 July 1944. (McNair was one of the two highest ranking officers killed during WWII.) The notice in AA Barrage said McNair had visited Camp Davis many times.
    I think a McNair is a good candidate for the sixth person on the left who is reaching out toward third person on left. For some comparison images of McNair, see http://www.life.com/search/?type=images&q0=Lesley+McNair . . . or search on McNair’s name at http://memory.loc.gov.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *