Aircraft in a Different Light – 25 Colour Images

Jesse Beckett
Mounting motor on a Fairfax B-25 bomber, at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Inglewood, Calif.

Its easy to associate World War II with black and white colours, almost as if that was the true appearance of the world back then. We are all familiar with monochrome photos of the war, and some of the most powerful and famous images taken during the conflict were of this type.

It is all too easy to separate yourself from the conflict, because what we see of it rarely matches the colours of real life.

The contrast between a colour and black and white image.
The contrast between a colour and black and white image.

However, when we see the battles, victories, losses, hardships and even normal civilian life from the period in colour, it provides a new perspective on things, and adds an almost real, tangible dimension in a way that black and white photography simply cannot match. Colour images can make you relate and connect to this time like never before, as if you are living through it.

Here are some amazing color photographs of the large variety of aircraft involved in World War II. They were all taken in 1942 and recently released by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C on their Flickr.

 

Working on a Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Working on a Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

A C-87 transport plane takes off on test flight, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas
A C-87 transport plane takes off on test flight, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas

 

Assembling B-25 bombers at North American Aviation, Kansas City, Kansas
Assembling B-25 bombers at North American Aviation, Kansas City, Kansas

 

A C-87 transport plane, just off the assembly line, at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation field, Fort Worth, Texas.
A C-87 transport plane, just off the assembly line, at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation field, Fort Worth, Texas.

 

A Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
A Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installation detail in Douglas Aircraft Company plants, Long Beach, Calif.
Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installation detail in Douglas Aircraft Company plants, Long Beach, Calif.

 

A giant of the skyways poised for flight, Langley Field, Virginia. The four powerful engines of a YB-17 bomber are warmed up before a takeoff.
A giant of the skyways poised for flight, Langley Field, Virginia. The four powerful engines of a YB-17 bomber are warmed up before a takeoff.

 

Aviation cadet at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Aviation cadet at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Aviation cadet in training in a vought OS2U Kingfisher at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Aviation cadet in training in a vought OS2U Kingfisher at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Cowling and control rods are added to motors for North American B-25 bombers as they move down the assembly line, North American Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.
Cowling and control rods are added to motors for North American B-25 bombers as they move down the assembly line, North American Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.

 

B-25 bombers on the outdoor assembly line at North American Aviation, Incorporated, almost ready for their first test flight, Kansas City, Kansas.
B-25 bombers on the outdoor assembly line at North American Aviation, Incorporated, almost ready for their first test flight, Kansas City, Kansas.

 

Consolidated PBY patrol bomber.
Consolidated PBY patrol bomber.

 

Employees on the “Sunshine” assembly line at North American’s plant put the finishing touches on another B-25 bomber, Inglewood, California. In addition to the battle-tested B-25 (“Billy Mitchell”) bomber, used in General Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, this plant produces the P-51 (“Mustang”) fighter plane which was first brought into prominence during the British raid on Dieppe
Employees on the “Sunshine” assembly line at North American’s plant put the finishing touches on another B-25 bomber, Inglewood, California. In addition to the battle-tested B-25 (“Billy Mitchell”) bomber, used in General Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, this plant produces the P-51 (“Mustang”) fighter plane which was first brought into prominence during the British raid on Dieppe

 

Fueling a Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Fueling a Consolidated PBY at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Navy N2S primary land planes at the Naval Air Base in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Navy N2S primary land planes at the Naval Air Base in Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

New B-25 bombers lined up for final inspection and tests at the flying field of an aircraft plant, North American Aviation, Inc., Calif. It performs at the 25,000-foot ceiling.
New B-25 bombers lined up for final inspection and tests at the flying field of an aircraft plant, North American Aviation, Inc., Calif. It performs at the 25,000-foot ceiling.

 

North American’s P-51 Mustang Fighter is in service with Britain’s Royal Air Force, North American Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.
North American’s P-51 Mustang Fighter is in service with Britain’s Royal Air Force, North American Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.

 

One of America’s new warships of the air, a mighty YB-17 bomber, is pulled up at a bombardment squadron hangar, Langley Field, Va. It is set to taxi out to a runway and take off on a mission.
One of America’s new warships of the air, a mighty YB-17 bomber, is pulled up at a bombardment squadron hangar, Langley Field, Va. It is set to taxi out to a runway and take off on a mission.

 

P-51 Mustang fighter planes being prepared for test flight at the field of the North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Inglewood, California.
P-51 Mustang fighter planes being prepared for test flight at the field of the North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Inglewood, California.

 

Sailor mechanic fuelling a plane at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.
Sailor mechanic fuelling a plane at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Servicing an A-20 bomber, Langley Field, Virginia.
Servicing an A-20 bomber, Langley Field, Virginia.

 

Servicing an A-20 bomber, Langley Field, Virginia.
Servicing an A-20 bomber, Langley Field, Virginia.

Another Article From Us: 19 Awesome Images of WWII Warbirds Cutting the Grass

 

Sunset silhouette of B-17 Flying Fortress, Langley Field, Virginia.
Sunset silhouette of B-17 Flying Fortress, Langley Field, Virginia.