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U S Navy Graflex cameras
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Woodyspeed



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject: U S Navy Graflex cameras Reply with quote

To start out, I do not know S from S about Graflex cameras outside of having learn photography with them, and using them. I was a Navy Photographer in the sixties, and the 'Speed' was our first line camera. I was in quite a few photo units whilst in the Navy, and never saw an OD body camera, All of ours were black, with only a few having blacked chrome. I did see OD bodied cameras at both Army, and Airforce units.

BTW, we even used them in Viet Nam. Hope none of you have one that went there. The bellows, and coverings rotted in days. We then switched to Nikon F's, and the shutters rotted in them. We did have great success with the Nikonos in the field.
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know it's humid when the best camera is a Nikonos.!

Did the Navy Speeds have any Military tag or designation?

I know the Signal Corp used PH-47 and KE-12 and the Air Force used C-3 and later C-6, but I've never found anything about the Navy.
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Navy Pacemaker Speed Graphic in my collection. It's just a regular black and chrome version with a 'Property of US Navy' on a large metal plate on top. Also has the contract numbers, etc. on it.

Also I have a Combat 45 in OD green but plated 'US Navy' that I suspect came from a Naval teaching facility.

I know the Navy also used Series D and Super D Graflex models before they were polluted by the smaller formats!

Cheers,
Bruce
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Woodyspeed



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 8
Location: Washington

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:02 am    Post subject: Navy cameras Reply with quote

To the best of my rememberance, only a very few Graflex cameras had any kind of Navy ID outside of the aerial version with the solid bellows. A few did have brass tags. All aerial cameras were numbered no matter what type of camera it was. We could lose any camera without consequence except for an aerial camera. Loosing an aerial camera was an automatic demotion.
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are links to photos of my only Navy cameras:
1. US Navy Pacemaker Speed Graphic and plate
2. US Navy Combat Graphic and plate

http://photo.coffsbiz.com/navyspeed1.jpg
http://photo.coffsbiz.com/navyspeed2.jpg
http://photo.coffsbiz.com/navycombat1.jpg
http://photo.coffsbiz.com/navycombat2.jpg

Cheers,
Bruce
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gentlemen, please have a look here :

http://www.navyphoto.org/navy-images/misc/1957-cubi.JPG.html

and more generally here :

http://www.navyphoto.org/navy-images/misc/navyport.html



Georges
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DHF845



Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 96
Location: Hudson Valley Area, Upstate NY

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The USN Combat Graphic 45 shows an ID plate stating it's made by 'Folmer Graflex Corp' which means it predates the 1945 name change to Graflex, Inc. I suggest it may be painted OD for use on land during WW II, purhaps D-Day or on landing craft?
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Got first Speed Graphic at 15 (1976).Other kids were using 35mm SLR's. I ran around with flashbulbs and sheet-film holders, I wanted to be Weegee (#2084).
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I can gather, the Combat Graphic 45 was designed for the Pacific theater in '43 with production in '44. All of the lenses are Kodak dated '44, even cameras assembled for Korea.

While I won't rule out a combat Graphic on Omaha Beach, it seems unlikely. But there were two on iwo Jima in '45.

Les
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DHF845



Joined: 20 Jul 2008
Posts: 96
Location: Hudson Valley Area, Upstate NY

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Les, didn't know that Combat 45s went to Pacific theater only.
Iwo Jima was exactly what I was thinking of i.e. OD painted camera carried by USN photographer on landing craft and onto land.
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Got first Speed Graphic at 15 (1976).Other kids were using 35mm SLR's. I ran around with flashbulbs and sheet-film holders, I wanted to be Weegee (#2084).
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glennfromwy



Joined: 29 Nov 2001
Posts: 903
Location: S.W. Wyoming

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was at least one battleship gray leather covered Anniversary Speed Graphic with U.S. Navy nomenclature. I saw it ******* a number of years ago, at a horrific price. The blacked out chrome/black leather was only used on wartime Annys. These were probably for general distribution. The Army ones were largely OD and the Army Air Corps seemed to be both, also. The war seemed to cause the military to take what it could get immediately. They procured some of the crappiest 35 mm cameras you could ever imagine, too.
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"Wyoming - Where everybody is somebody else's weirdo"
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenn, you are covering several wars in a couple of sentences there!

The black chrome/black leather Annys were made 1942-45, and many were nomenclature plated as C-3 cameras for the Army Air Force and PH-47E or PH-47F (depending on the lens supplied) for the Signal Corps. I have 3 C-3s: a '41 in normal chrome, a '42 that is half black/half chrome and another '42 that is all black. Other wartime all black cameras were not plated at all, and I have never seen an Anny with a Navy plate.

The Signal Corps PH-47-H and Air Force C-6 were normal Pacemaker Speeds used after WW2.

The Combat 45s in OD green (for the Army, Marine Corps and Navy) and Gray (Navy) were, as Les said, in action in the Pacific from 1944.

However, the first OD green Signal Corps Pacemaker Speeds began with the PH-47-J, well after WW2. Mine is 1950, the start of the Korean War, and they became (with a few modifications) the KS-12(1) in 1953, as that war ended. The KE-12(1) was used for years, before being replaced by the KE-12(2), the Super Speed Graphic.

Just to confuse things, as Graflex loved to do, I also have a black chrome/black leather military Pacemaker Speed from 1954, with the military black flash handle too. Very stealth!

Cheers,
Bruce
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce, what's the serial of your '41 chrome C3 ?
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi pv17vv,
The body serial number for the '41 C-3 is 268369 and the military serial number is AC-41-1065.
Cheers,
Bruce
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pv17vv



Joined: 22 Dec 2001
Posts: 255
Location: The Ardennes, Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Older than mine then.
Mine is 296507 and AC-41-10037.
Thanks for the info.
Georges
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bruiser



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Northern NSW Australia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Always glad to help, Georges!

The other two C-3s I have are 308065/AC-42-3164 and 320902/AC-42-72147. The AC serial numbers are nearly 70,000 apart so Graflex must have been churning out Speeds in 1942!

Cheers,
Bruce
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