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Leading aircraftman Clinton photograph album of India


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Leading Aircraftman Clinton was a member of the No. 176 Squadron of the Royal Airforce in India during World War II. During this time, a Leading Aircraftman (LAC) would have completed the elementary stage of training. The rank, which was equivalent to private, did not necessarily result in specific jobs; instead LACS were tasked with a wide variety of work including maintenance of aircraft and clerical work. It is unclear what jobs Clinton performed as his photograph album includes no images of the military (except a funeral) and is instead a documentation of his travels.

No. 176 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed on 14 January 1943 at Dum Dum, Calcutta, with the arrival of a detachment of No. 89 Squadron in India from the Middle East. Equipped with eight Beaufighters, it became operational immediately, flying night patrols over the Calcutta area. In May 1943, a second flight was formed with AI-equipped Hurricanes which were replaced by Beaufighters in January 1944. In September 1943, a detachment was based in Ceylon to encounter Japanese reconnaissance aircraft and in January 1944, the squadron began operating over Burma from advanced bases. In August, No.176 moved to southern India but returned to the Burma front in April 1945. Conversion to Mosquitoes began in June and the squadron disbanded on May 31, 1946.

Work cited: Royal Air Force, History of RAF Formations

This collection is composed of one album of just under 100 photographs taken in India from 1944 to 1945 by a leading aircraft man (L.A.C.) in the Royal Air Force whose surname was Clinton. The photos in the album are all of India. In addition, there is a handful of loose photos from outside India.

The vast majority of the photos are of landscapes and landmarks of the regions and cities Clinton visited. This includes Naina-Tal, Puri, Calcutta, Kandy, Minneriya and Colombo (in Sri Lanka). There are only a few shots of the local population: a couple of burning ghats, a street vendor, performing monkeys, snake charmer and a bathing ghat. The rest are of monuments, temples, various buildings, bridges, mountains, lakes and other shots of nature. The album ends with four photos of a military burial. Most of the pages in the album are captioned, although individual photographs are not.

The loose photos include two formal portraits, perhaps of Clinton and his family. There are also photos of a military parade in a small English village and a photo of a costume party.

Purchased, 2007.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Clémence Scouten
Finding Aid Date
2016 February 12
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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"Some Views of India during my 'Stay,'" photograph album, 1944-1945.
Box 1 Folder 1
Loose photos (includes a portrait of a man, a portrait of a woman and child, a military band marching in a parade, and a costume party), undated.
Box 1 Folder 2

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