PBY Blister Gunner
The naked figure in this photograph can seem incongruous, even surreal, without its historical context. During World War II, a PBY amphibian aircraft was sent to rescue a Marine airman who had been shot down while attacking Japanese forces at Rabaul Harbor. With the airman temporarily blinded and helpless in the water, the gunner from the rescue plane stripped down, getting rid of his encumbering flight suit and boots, dove into the water, and brought the injured man on board. In a combat situation, under enemy fire, the gunner had no time to get dressed again before returning to his battle station.
Gelatin silver print
1944, printed later
image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm)
sheet: 13 7/8 x 10 3/4 in. (35.2 x 27.3 cm) (show scale)
Signed on verso in pencil: "Horace Bristol"
Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden
This item is not on view
Horace Bristol (American, 1908-1997). PBY Blister Gunner, 1944, printed later. Gelatin silver print, image: 10 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (26.7 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Harry Kahn, and Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 1994.77. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1994.77_PS9.jpg)
overall, 1994.77_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2016
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
© artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.