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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Language All Their Own

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Hand signals are the language of the flight deck aboard an aircraft carrier. Little else would be distinguishable above the roar of engines and the rush of wind. Here taxi signalmen impart their terse messages to pilots and chockmen as they spot landed planes at appointed parking places. The signalmen in the foreground signifies by clenched fist that he wishes the pilot to lock his brakes, while with his right hand he tells the chockmen to pull clear the wheel chocks. Planes aboard a carrier are always chocked against the wind and roll of the deck except when taxiing or when being moved by a handling crew. In the background, an Avenger torpedo bomber already has folded its wings to conserve deck space.

Document Type
  • Art
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials