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“Barr, you go down and get a close-up of that bomb."

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   William Thomas Barr
Image of William Thomas Barr
The U.S.S. Enterprise CV-6 at Pearl Harbor in the late afternoon under a threatening sky; the sailor in the foreground is Robert D. Anderson, PhoM 2/C [September 24, 1945]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Enterprise (CV 6)
Service Location: Traverse City, Michigan; Clinton Naval Air Station, Burns Flat, Oklahoma; Bougainville Island (Solomon Islands); San Diego, California; Hawaii; Leyte Island and Luzon (Philippines); Formosa; China; Japan; Iwo Jima; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Ulithi (Caroline Islands)
Rank: Photographer's Mate First Class
Place of Birth: **
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Photographer William Barr enlisted in the Navy in 1942 after a friend advised him that he could ply his profession and serve his country during World War II. Barr's studio became the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Enterprise, where he took pictures of crippled planes coming in for landings and Japanese attacks on his and other ships. His ship was nicknamed the Lucky Enterprise for its ability to survive so many kamikazes and keep right on sailing. While Barr was aboard, he saw seven such attacks and one other close shave, when a Japanese bomber snuck into the formation of landing U.S. craft. The enemy pilot dropped his bomb, but it only rolled to a stop on the deck, and that was when Barr got the memorable order to snap some pictures of the unexploded ordnance.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview  (43 min.)
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»Transcript
  Photos
»Photo Album (14 photos)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Photographing POWs coming home. (04:19) Breaking a blackout; the luck of the Enterprise. (04:42) The worst kamikaze attack. (03:19)
His duties; bomb on deck; battles involved in. (04:35) Coming aboard the Enterprise. (01:03) First post: Traverse City and a top-secret project. (02:09)
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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