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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Joseph Hirsch (1910-1981)

 

Ready On the Line
Joseph Hirsch #2
Oil on Canvas, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FB

But first, before the Navy gives its airplanes into the hands of the crews, a rigid schedule of inspection and maintenance must be observed. This is the 30-hour check, when plane captain and his crew swarm over their Beechcraft transport to insure airworthiness. The engine, propeller, cowling, skin, controls, rudders--every part is checked and inspected for the effects of wear and weather. Note here the quartet beneath the empennage going over every inch of the elevator and its controls.

 

Satisfaction Plus
Joseph Hirsch #26
Oil on canvas, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-ET

 
There are no severer critics of squadron performance than men who constitute Navy ground crews. When performance is high, it is the ground crew which exudes self-satisfaction. This trio of navy machinist's mates put on expressions of pleased smugness as they critically observe fighter squadrons wheel aloft in formation. Their job is done; every engine purrs like a cat.

 

Eyes of the Fleet
Joseph Hirsch #31
Watercolor, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-EY

Curtis scout-observation planes, ship-based, wing off on scouting missions over the sea. Catapulted from the deck, the chief mission of the SOCs is scouting the enemy and spotting gunnery fire. Termed the eyes of the fleet, scouting pilots extend the vision of shipboard officers hundreds of miles in every direction.

 

Beachcomber, Navy Style
Joseph Hirsch #4
Charcoal, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FD

 

Clad in rubber suit, this member of a Navy seaplane beaching crew sits and meditates while awaiting a call to action. The beaching crew must wade into the water at seaplane beaching ramps and attach lines and beaching gear necessary to haul flying boats onto the ramp.

 

Making the Buoy
Joseph Hirsch #30
Oil on Canvas, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-EX

Back from hours in the air on patrol, a flight of four-engine patrol bombers settle to the water and maneuver up to the beaching buoys preparatory to beaching. To weary, hungry pilots and crew, the signals of the beaching crew are a welcome sight. After making their planes fast to the buoys, handling wheels and lines will be attached to the plane's hull and it will be towed up to the ramp. The beaching crew, clad in swimming trunks, wait until time to wade down the ramp to attach beaching gear.

 

Back From Patrol
Joseph Hirsch #8
Watercolor, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FH

A Navy PBM, the Martin Mariner, rides with idle engines off its ramp waiting to be hauled out. Already the beaching crew, clad in summer suits, is wading out to attach lines and beaching gear. An officer of the bomber crew has climbed through a hatch and stands on the starboard wing roof to observe operations.

 

Heave Away
Joseph Hirsch #15
Watercolor, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FO

Lines fast and beaching gear in place, a Navy PBM patrol bomber swings tail-to to the seaplane ramp preparatory to being hauled ashore after a patrol flight. Supervising the operation from the wing is an officer of the plane crew. Note the stinger gun in the big tail.

 

Onto the Ramp
Joseph Hirsch #11
Watercolor, circa, 1943
Gift of Abbott Laboratories
88-159-FK

 
Caught by the tail like some dripping sea monster, a Navy PBY patrol bomber is hauled from the water up the seaplane ramp at the end of a mission. Beaching these big flying boats is a precision performance. Beaching crews must first wade out and attach wheel fittings under the hull to permit the plane to be rolled onto the ramp. A towing line is fitted to the tail, and up she comes under the tug of a snorting tractor.

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Online Exhibits that feature Joseph Hirsch's work
Amphibious Operations in the Pacific Theater

Navy Medical Art of the Abbott Collection
Naval Aviation of WWII From the Abbott Laboratories Collection

 

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21 April 2006