An iconic image from WWII is coming to auction—its backstory is as human as the image itself.

During World War II, Dumbo was the code name—based on Disney’s flying elephant—used by the US Navy to indicate air-sea search and rescue missions. The the missions were conducted by long-range aircraft flying over the ocean in unison with ongoing military operations.

A Boeing SB-17G, an air-sea rescue B-17

In 1941, Horace Bristol had been recruited to the US Naval Aviation Photographic Unit. His commander was Captain Edward J. Steichen. In 1944 he found himself flying over the ocean photographing ongoing events—near New Britain Island, Papua, New Guinea—in a rescue plane.

In 2002, speaking with a writer for B&W Magazine, Bristol recounted that day:

“…we got a call to pick up an airman who was down in the Bay. The Japanese were shooting at him from the island, and when they saw us they started shooting at us. The man who was shot down was temporarily blinded, so one of our crew stripped off his clothes and jumped in to bring him aboard. He couldn’t have swum very well wearing his boots and clothes. As soon as we could, we took off. We weren’t waiting around for anybody to put on formal clothes. We were being shot at and wanted to get the hell out of there. The naked man got back into his position at his gun in the blister of the plane.”

Bristol’s photo of the seaman, PBY Blister Gunner, Rescue at Rabaul, 1944, is one of my all time favorite photos. It’s a photo of the human side of conflict and, in its purest form, it’s the image of the very best of mankind—heroism.

Photographer, Horace Bristol

One of Bristol’s platinum palladium prints is coming to auction.

Horace Bristol(American, 1909–1997)
Rescue at Rabaul: PBY Blister Gunner, 1944
Lot ID: 119478
10.5 x 10 in. (26.67 x 25.4 cm.)
Signed, titled, dated, numbered, and blind-stamped by the Horace and Masako Bristol Estate
AP 2 aside from edition of 75
Estimate: 6,000—8,000 USD
Current Bid: 5,000 USD (reserve met)
Number of Bids: 1
Here’s your link to the auction.



By Stephen Brockelman

As a Sr. Writer at T. Rowe Price, I work with a group of the best copywriters around. We belong to the broader creative team within Enterprise Creative, a part of Corporate Marketing Services. _____________________________________________ A long and winding road: My path to T. Rowe Price was more twisted than Fidelity’s green line. With scholarship in hand, I left Kansas at 18 to study theatre in New York. When my soap opera paychecks stopped coming from CBS and started coming from the show’s sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, I discovered the power of advertising and switched careers. Over the years I’ve owned an ad agency in San Francisco; worked for Norman Lear on All in the Family, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and the rest of his hit shows; and as a member of Directors Guild of America, I directed Desi Arnaz in his last television appearance— we remained friends until his death. In 1988 I began freelancing full time didn’t look back. In January 2012 my rep at Boss Group called and said, “I know you don’t want to commute and writing for the financial industry isn’t high on your wish list, but I have a gig with T. Rowe Price in Owings Mills…” I was a contractor for eight months, drank the corporate Kool-Aid, became a TRP associate that August, and today I find myself smiling more often than not.

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