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1943 U.S. Navy photo

1943 U.S. Navy photo

June 1943: The official U.S. Navy caption reported:

Sunset over the Atlantic finds another United Nations convoy moving peacefully towards it destination. A U.S. Navy blimp, hovering watchfully overhead, is on the lookout for any sign of enemy submarines.

This photo was published in the Jan. 3, 1944, Los Angeles Times Midwinter edition. Two pages were devoted to coverage of the United States Navy. Times writer Tom Cameron began his report on the rapidly growing fleet:

For the United States’ traditional “first line of defense” – the Navy – 1943 was perhaps the best year in its entire history, despite considerable losses in ships and men, while for its principal foe, Japan, the twelvemonth was almost exclusively one of defeat, withdrawal and skulking in home waters….

While recently exploring the “Dirigibles” picture file in the Los Angeles Times Library, I found the above print from 1943, in great condition.  Also it’s “dark and moody” – the way I used to print in the darkroom. So of course I had to share this photo.

Several versions and crops of this image are on the Internet.  Most are not printed dark as this 1943 U.S. Navy version. Below is one example found on the United States Library of Congress web page.

Library of Congress version of 1943 U.S. Navy photo of Atlantic convoy watched over by U.S. Navy blimp. Credit: U.S. Navy. Office of Public Relations/Library of Congress


  1. January 18, 2013, 9:44 am

    United Nations? In 1943? Who's mistake is that? Maybe they were referring to " the united nations" meaning the group of nations on our side during World War II.

    By: greytv
  2. January 20, 2013, 5:35 pm

    Always a good idea to google it before commenting. From the UN's website:

    The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt was first used in the Declaration by United Nations of 1 January 1942, during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their Governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers.

  3. January 18, 2013, 1:44 pm

    Scott, I like the dark printing of this version you've just found. It's very dramatic compared to the LoC version. It makes me want to read "The Cruel Sea" again. Thanks for posting this, your "From The Archives" photos are a highlight of this website!

    By: Suppo
  4. January 18, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Small correction. A dirigible has a structual skeleton inside the gas bag, with cells, while a blimp is essentially a giant balloon filled with helium or hydrogen. Think of the Hindenberg, Graf Zeppelin, USS Shenandosh, USS Macon and the USS Akron, to name a few dirigibles.

    Blimps do not have internal supporting structures. Blimps are essentially big gas bags of rubberized fabric of a cigar shaped balloon. These were filled with helium and the bag had an attached car at the bottom. The engines were attached to this car is where the aircrew sat. Blimps were developed and used extensively by the U.S Navy during WWII for anti-submarine patrols, along the both Coasts.

    By: Steven Moshlak
  5. January 24, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Who is the original photograph by?

  6. May 14, 2015, 5:56 am

    This photograph was taken by my father-in-law, John L. Haase Jr. USN. He was stationed out of Lakehurst, NJ. He was very proud of his service and his contribution as a naval photographer from blimps patrolling the eastern seaboard. The original photo hangs in the Smithsonian. Dad donated many of his materials to the Lakehurst base before he passed in 2006. We are all very proud of him.


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