Several years ago a man who owned a camera store gave me three black-and-white, 8x10, air-to-air photos of a TBM Avenger taken during WWII. I had always taken my aircraft photos there for enlargement. After getting to know the store's owner a little over the years, and talking some about airplanes, one day he gave me the pictures, knowing that I would really appreciate them.
He told me that they were on a roll of film that a customer brought into the store maybe 6 to 8 years ago. The man had found the forgotten used roll of film in his storage trunk with all his military stuff. The storeowner was able to develop some of the prints, and the film owner let him keep a copy of these three. I think I was told the photographer was Paul Walder, whose name I wrote on the back of one picture.
The camera store closed for good about two years ago. I have no idea where the owner moved.
All three photos are of the same plane over water. From the white stripe on the top of the vertical stabilizer, I think the plane is from VT-4 while it was on the USS Essex, but I am not sure. The aircraft is marked with 30 on the cowling and the vertical stabilizer.
I am an aviation enthusiast and I am very interested in WWII and the aircraft. I belong to the Mid Atlantic Air Museum, which restores old airplanes from that era and before. I am a strong believer in keeping our history alive and highly respect those brave individuals who were involved in and died fighting for our freedom. Any time I meet a veteran, I make sure I thank them.