World War II: The American Home Front in Color as presented by: The Atlantic

In 1942, soon after the United States entered World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order creating the Office of War Information (OWI). The new agency was tasked with releasing war news, promoting patriotic activities, and providing news outlets with audio, film, and photos of the government's war efforts. Between 1939 and 1944, the OWI and the Farm Security Administration made thousands of photographs, approximately 1,600 of them in color. OWI photographers Alfred Palmer and Howard Hollem produced some exceptional Kodachrome transparencies in the early war years depicting military preparedness, factory operations, and women in the work force. While most of the scenes were posed, the subjects were the real thing -- soldiers and workers preparing for a long fight. Gathered here are some of these color images from Palmer and Hollem, complete with original captions from 1942. Also, be sure to see archival movies in our new Video Channel. All of the FSA/OWI photos are available from the Library of Congress. This girl in a glass house is putting finishing touches on the bombardier nose section of a B-17F navy bomber in Long Beach, California, She's one of many capable women workers in the Douglas Aircraft Company plant. Better known as the "Flying Fortress," the B-17F is a later model of the B-17 which distinguished itself in action in the South Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions. Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American Aviation's Inglewood, California, plant, in October of 1942. B-25 bomber planes at the North American Aviation, Inc., being hauled along an outdoor assembly line with an "International" tractor, in Kansas City, Kansas, in October, 1942.

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