Welcome To Old Airplane Pictures

This web site is dedicated to Photography Mate 1st Class Thomas Doughty and all the other Naval Aerial Photographers over the years!

Thomas Doughty Photographs

This collection of photographs belonged to Photographer's Mate 1st Class Thomas Doughty. He was a Navy Aerial Photographer in the late 1930's when these pictures were taken.

I can't imagine being in a Navy Biplane, standing in the rear cockpit and leaning out over the side with such a big camera and still take a good photograph. Some of the conditions he had to contend with, vibration of the aircraft, the cold wind rushing by, turbulence and bouncing of the aircraft, and then holding the camera steady enough to take a good photograph. When you consider all these conditions, these photographs are amazing.

 Many of the "Official Navy Photographs" from the late 1930's are in this collection and I presume were taken by Mr. Doughty. I know of at least one instance where there was a picture of a couple of PBY aircraft flying in formation and two "Official Navy Photographs" were cropped from the one picture.

Thomas Doughty went to Aerial Photography School at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida and graduated in January, 1935.  He was then assigned to South Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, California.

If you want to read more about the history of Naval Aerial Photography visit US Navy Photographic Community (navyphoto.org) and look for the link to "Eyes of the Navy" by George Carroll.  This is an excellent history of Naval Photography.


All of the photographs have been added to the galleries.  We are now working on descriptions.  A feature I want to add is the service records for each of the aircraft.  It will tell where the aircraft was transferred to on a  particular date and if the aircraft was in any kind of accident.

I am still working on the captions for the photographs.  If you want to go directly to the photographs, click on Gallery at the bottom of the left colum and it will take you to the photographs.

Here are some of my                  FAVORITE WEBSITES

A large portions of the photographs in this collection are listed below. 

Naval aircraft:

Curtiss BF2C-1, Curtiss BFC-2, Great Lakes BG-1, Seversky BT-8, Grumman F2F-1, Grumman F3F-1, Boeing F4B-2, F4B-3, and F4B-4, Grumman FF-1, Grumman JF-1 'Duck', Consolidated NY-2, Vought O2U-3, Vought O3U-6, Douglas P2D-1, Consolidated P2Y-3, Boeing P-12, P-26a, Martin PM-1, and PM-2, Curtiss R4C-1, Douglas R4D, and RD-3, Vought SBU-1, Curtiss SOC-1, Vought SU-1, SU-3, and SU-4, Naval Aircraft Factory TG-2, Hall XP2H-1, Consolidated XP3Y-1 (XPBY-1) 'Catalina', Kinner XRK-1

There are also photos of lighter than air craft, the USS Macon (ZRS-5), and USS Akron (ZRS-4).

The Navy Ships Photographed are:

Submarines: USS K3 (USS Bonita), USS S12, USS R19. Aircraft Carriers: USS Langley (CV-1), USS Lexington (CV-2), USS Ranger (CV-4), USS Saratoga (CV-3), Battleships: USS Arizona (BB-39), USS Pennsylvania (BB-38), USS Texas (BB-35), USS Wyoming (BB-32) Heavy Cruiser: USS Northampton (CA-26) Light Cruiser: USS Concord (CL-10), USS Richmond (CL-9), USS Trenton (CL-11), Destroyers: Various photographs of Destroyers on manoeuvres.


Many of the photo's are "Official Navy Photographs" and can be seen at other websites. Others may be new to the internet. Because of his job in the Navy, I am going to consider all the photographs that pertain to military subjects as "Official Navy Photographs" even though a lot of them are small snap shot size 3x4 and 3x5's.

A lot of the photographs that Mr. Doughty has in his photo albums have captions describing the picture. Most of his descriptions are accurate, but I have found a couple of them, with inaccurate information and other photographs without captions I have attempted to identify on my own. If you see a description that is not correct, please contact the webmaster so it can be corrected.