Special Exhibition Gallery
“Bomber Boys: Portraits from the Front”
December 8, 2018 - June 2, 2019
Harbor History Museum is pleased to host "Bomber Boys: Portraits from the Front," a traveling exhibition. Featuring a series of striking photographs reproduced from a secret stash of World War II images, ephemera, and a diary from 1945, the exhibit highlights the combat, captains, crew, and camp life of the 445th bomb squadron of the 12th Army Air Corps stationed mainly on Corsica and in Italy.
"This amazing collection was found when my sister and I were cleaning out the hayloft of our horse barn in Gig Harbor, Washington," says Museum Director Stephanie Lile. "Dad never talked much about the war and never seemed to want to, so finding the box of dusty old photos and a diary was a huge surprise." Lile and her four siblings felt the collection was too special not to share. In fact, she has spent the last 10 years researching and cataloging the collection, an adventure that took her both to Italy and Arizona to fly in a historic B-25.
The exhibit features portraits of the "boys" who flew B-25 bombers in the Mediterranean theater. Some of them are known, like Wellnitz and Keith B. Lile-the tail gunner whose collection these images came from, but many are not. One of the curator's hopes in presenting this exhibit is that as the show travels, people will recognize some of the men depicted. Some of the men in the portraits were identified by notes on the original prints and their stories are revealed through an exhibit element called The Game of Fate.
"Bomber Boys: Portraits from the Front" will be on view from December 8, 2018 to June 2, 2019.