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“Barr, you go down and get a close-up of that bomb."

   William Thomas Barr
Collection image
The U.S.S. Enterprise CV-6 at Pearl Harbor in the late afternoon under a threatening sky; the sailor in the foreground is Robert D. Anderson, PhoM 2/C [September 24, 1945]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Enterprise (CV 6)
Service Location: Traverse City, Michigan; Clinton Naval Air Station, Burns Flat, Oklahoma; Bougainville Island (Solomon Islands); San Diego, California; Hawaii; Leyte Island and Luzon (Philippines); Formosa; China; Japan; Iwo Jima; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Ulithi (Caroline Islands)
Rank: Photographer's Mate First Class
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Photographer William Barr enlisted in the Navy in 1942 after a friend advised him that he could ply his profession and serve his country during World War II. Barr's studio became the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Enterprise, where he took pictures of crippled planes coming in for landings and Japanese attacks on his and other ships. His ship was nicknamed the Lucky Enterprise for its ability to survive so many kamikazes and keep right on sailing. While Barr was aboard, he saw seven such attacks and one other close shave, when a Japanese bomber snuck into the formation of landing U.S. craft. The enemy pilot dropped his bomb, but it only rolled to a stop on the deck, and that was when Barr got the memorable order to snap some pictures of the unexploded ordnance.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (43 min.)
»Photo Album  (14 photos)
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»Voices of War
»Military Photographers: Framing the Shot
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
First post: Traverse City and a top-secret project. (02:09) Coming aboard the Enterprise. (01:03) His duties; bomb on deck; battles involved in. (04:35)
The worst kamikaze attack. (03:19) Breaking a blackout; the luck of the Enterprise. (04:42) Photographing POWs coming home. (04:19)

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  October 26, 2011
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