WWII Navy Photos

Aug 11, 2011

If you are a regular reader, then you know that we love estate sales and auctions; we obviously love the Navy and you may or may not know that WWII is one of our favorite time periods. Loving Husband is very interested in preserving WWII Naval history and loves anything that has to do with our veterans. While we were in New York this summer all of these combined and the result is this gallery of photos! He saw a WWII photo album up for auction in Buffalo, so we made a special trip up there during our vacation to try to purchase it. After much back and forth bidding, we emerged victorious at $4 under what his bidding limit was (I will spare you the horror) and we brought it back home with us.

Our plan when we find old military photos is to buy and to scan them, then to restore and upload them to the internet. We hope that by networking on veterans’ websites and forums that we will be able to “reunite” these digital images with the people in the photos (or their friends and family). It always kills me inside when we go to an estate sale and end up being able to buy their grandpa’s Navy boot camp photo off of the wall for what they think the frame might be worth. How anyone could toss such things away without a thought is unfathomable to me. When so many people would LOVE to have a photo of their grandparents or parents during the prime of their lives, so many people trash them without a thought. *sigh* Oh well, that’s when we swoop in and give these items a good home. What started out as a gut feeling that we needed to buy an old photo has turned into quite a collection now! It took me a couple of weeks to get into the right mood to sit up all night scanning and cropping this set, but now it’s done.

I have no idea who these men are if you know who any of them are, PLEASE leave me a comment and let me know! I do know that they were stationed on the USS Patoka (AO-9) during the 1943/WWII time period. I’d love nothing more than for some of these digital copies to find their way to people who will cherish them!

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I’m not sure who all of the people are in the four photos above, but I know that the sailor is Leonard James Polinski, the owner of the album. I love the ladies’ hats and coats!


I think I’ve saved the best photos for last: The Shellback Ceremony!

For those of you who don’t know, the Shellback ceremony is a Navy tradition for sailors who are crossing the Equator for the first time. They give you a certificate after you dress up and do a bunch of embarrassing stuff. The certificates that sailors get nowadays are WAY more ornate than the one that poor Lenny Polinski was given, which you can see a scan of in the gallery below. You almost never see photos of the ceremony, especially OLD ones. These are actually so rare that they are what sparked Loving Husband to go after the album in the first place!  You can enlarge the images by clicking on them.

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