History:FF 27-6-43 12MU 29-6-43 215MU 23-7-43 SS732 5-8-43 Casablanca 18-8-43 NWAfrica 1-10-43 SOC 26-4-45
* for acronyms please see Spitfire Production
note: 'pilot to aircraft' linkage created via Pilot's page
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Comments / Questions:
by: Lowell Silverman 2019-07-30 06:12:01
Based on the aircraft's history, the photograph was presumably taken somewhere in or near Algeria in 1943; closest airfield to the 32nd Station Hospital was La Sénia, near Oran.
reply: Kevin Charles Marcianise Airfield 2019-08-05 20:32:14
A little more information, hope it's of interest.
I've downloaded 92 Squadron's Operational Record Books Jan-Apr 1944 (just for the fun of it) and I think the date of the photo might be more likely to be the beginning of March.
This is because in the ORB the first mention of JF716 at Marcianise is March 17th and the first mention of the plane in the background JF394 is March 9th.
The squadron lettering on both planes (the X and Z) look new although the Squadron letters (QJ) look old. So I'd have to look further back to see if these aircraft were assigned to the squadron before Jan 1944.
It looks like the 'pilot' might be doing an engine test as he doesn't have his flying helmet on, which you would do for a newly arrived aircraft.
From the ORB JF716 seems to be F/Lt Ben Garner's personal aircraft. He's the only one flying it from March 17th to the end of April, so it could be him in the cockpit.
Interestingly Vesuvius, ten miles to the South of the airfield erupted on 18th March 1944. There's videos on the internet and a description here.
It would be interesting to see if there were any photos of it in your collection. By all accounts it was fairly spectacular and is mentioned in the ORB as starting on the 18th March although the big dust clouds only appeared later.
reply: Lowell Silverman JF716 photo 2019-08-05 21:15:17
Very cool. I love doing that sort of analysis with some of the other photos I’ve collected of the unit (though aviation is well outside my expertise), and I love reading other people doing that too.
Dr. Irving S. Weiner (a dentist in the U.S. Army 32nd Station Hospital and the photographer of the JF716 photo above) didn’t have any, but I actually do have some excellent photos of the eruption (one of which is on my site in the off-duty activities article, https://32ndstationhospital.com/2018/11/26/baseball-and-other-off-duty-pursuits-at-the-32nd-station-hospital/), from my grandfather Dr. Robert Silverman’s collection. I even have a nighttime shot of volcanic lightning. There are many more of the aftermath. The photographic skill of these prints seems beyond what my grandfather was capable of, so I imagine he bought them while he was in Italy.