[Amchitka & Anchorage, Ak. 1944]. 111 original photographs, measuring from 2.5 x 3.5 to 3.5 x 5 inches. Oblong folio album, string-tied; leatherette boards, front embossed and color stamped. Manuscript captions on album leaves; photos in corner mounts. A bit of soiling and wear to album leaves, fading to some captions and a few images. Overall, very good. Item #1769
An album of over 100 striking vernacular photographs taken and compiled by Corporal Herbert Farris, of Lexington, Kentucky, that document his World War II service with the 39th Air Depot in Alaska. The men were involved in the maintenance and repair of Army Air Force aircraft, and it appears that Farris operated a refueling truck. The unit was stationed in both Anchorage and in the Aleutian Islands, and the album appears to include images from both of these areas. One image depicts the "wind indicator at Amchitka", an island in the far western Aleutians home to an Army Air Force Base constructed during the war. The album also includes many other images showing a remote base with bare bones conditions, likely Amchitka or a nearby island. There are photos of the "first mess hall" (a tent), the "second mess hall" (a series of huts), a "barber shop" (contained in a tent), a shower tent, a theater, quonset hut barracks, control tower, and wooden walkways. The album also includes many images of aircraft, including P-40s, B-25 bombers, and C-67 transports, as well as photos of the refueling truck, its operation, and its crew. Finally, there are images of "training planes" used for practice, likely in Anchorage, as well as some other images that appear to have been taken in Anchorage, such as river gold dredgers and more permanent-looking buildings. A fascinating visual record of this far-flung American military outpost during World War II.