October 1, 06:14 PM GMT
8,000 - 12,000 USD
PBY BLISTER GUNNER, RESCUE AT RABAUL
gelatin silver print, signed in pencil on the reverse, framed, 1944, printed later
image: 10¼ by 10 in. (26 by 25.4 cm.)
framed: 20½ by 18½ in. (52.1 by 47 cm.)
Horace Bristol’s photograph of a nude World War II Marine manning a machine gun in the 'blister,' the transparent dome on the fuselage of an airplane, has been widely reproduced and viewed as a symbol of bravery, loyalty, and erotic masculinity. In 2002, speaking with a writer for B&W Magazine, Bristol recounted capturing his iconic image of a Marine shot down in Japanese-held Rabaul Harbor, in present-day Papua New Guinea: '…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.'