How a photo from 1944 tells a whole story

The reason why I take pictures is to capture a moment that otherwise goes by so quickly. Preferably these pictures also tell a story. The example below is of course not my photo as it’s made in 1944, but it shows how much one picture can tell about the past. The picture comes from a deceased family member from my late grandmother. My aunt got it and passed it to me as there’s an airplane in it. We knew nothing about it. Not who is posing, not the story of the airplane behind them. Thanks to the internet the whole story started  to reveal itself.

The picture takes us back to 1944. La Belle Dame Sans Merci was hit by flak on the 31st of October 1944, almost 71 years ago. The Lancaster was heavily damaged and the crew was ordered to bail out. One of the crew members couldn’t get out as his parachute had deployed while still in the aircraft. The pilot had no other choice than to get back in the cockpit and try to land the damaged airplane. He did quite a good job considering the state of the aircraft. It crash landed in St. Gerard, close to Dinant, Belgium. All crew members survived, the plane got stripped from its essential parts and the rest stayed for a while as an attraction for the locals, some of whom turn out to be family from my late grandmother…

This one pictures happens to tell the story about an airplane, its crew, the people posing, and tells us a little about the war. I can only hope that one day my photo’s will have similar stories to tell.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. daftasabrush46 says:

    This is why i love and support living history projects, and interviewing witnesses and survivors, before their invaluable knowledge and memories are lost, and we are left with millions of enigmatic photos, and great holes in the greater tapestry of history. These are the stories of people who lived, breathed and felt the pains and joys of such turbulent times, yet figure little in the history books. Thanks for sharing a moment in time with us biloute. I know it was probably a painful and confusing time for the French, especially their government letting them down, when there was still fight and courage in the people themselves, to be under occupation. After four years here i am just beginning to get little snippets of stories like this from my fiancée’s wider family and friends, now they know i have a wider more empathic different view of France, Belgium, and other occupied countries during the wars, than most “merde Anglos!” I’d love to read more like this when you come across any similar stories. Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. apron6 says:

      Couldn’t agree more! Thanks for reading and commenting 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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