The Jeffrey L. Ethell Collection
WW2 Color proudly offers one of the largest private collections of color photographs available from the Second World War
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*[text]* will search for everything with the [text] anywhere in the field. The search is not case sensitive. As you look through these pictures, you will soon see how they can be searched.

Examples: Plane Types are not entered consistently in the data base, so you might enter *P-51* or *P 51* to find it. The easy way is to search is *51* and everything with 51 in that field will sort out for viewing, e.g., P 51D will show up. Or *Spitfire* will produce every picture with Spitfire in the Plane Type text. This includes foreign AC where we have the IDs.

Name is the name of the AC, if available.

Book is the published book where picture is located. Many slides only have markings that show they were published, and some only have the cut in the slide itself where the image was removed and replaced by the publisher. The books are Jeff Ethell's books, of which some are kept in print. (Example: PWE = "Pacific War Eagles".) Any markings in the "Book" field means it was used in a book somewhere, though we do not know where. Check Powell's or your book store for Jeff's books.

We are regularly posting more images from the collection of the 45,000 images in the collection. The several thousand we have posted so far is only a small sample of all that we have.

Description has a basic description of the picture. Look in the fields and you will get an idea of what can be searched for. Sometimes the unit name or number is in this field, e.g., "50th FG" can be found with *FG* or *50th*, &c. Pilot's, crew members, field of operation, location where pic was taken, &c. will be in this field.

Example: We have three pictures of Doolittle's Raiders training in the States. To find these pictures, search for *Doolittle* in the Description feld. These shots are the only color pictures we know of the Raiders in training.

Picture Type gives a short abbreviation for the type of contents in the picture. Here are the main picture types:
  • AC - an aircraft by itself.
  • AC formation - several aircraft flying in formation.
  • AC scenery - pictures of ground taken from aircraft.
  • AC personnel - images containing both aircraft and people, including females, e.g., washing, fueling, rearming, posing.
  • Base - general shots of things one would find around a WW II military base oversees, e.g., bomb dumps, tents, chow lines, docks
  • Civilians - images emphasizing civilians
  • GI - images with just men, or images of active men and war equipment, but no aircraft.
  • Personnel - defines images containing both men and women. Includes foreign military personnel also.
  • Scenery - may included damaged or destroyed cities, bomb damage, things such as military bridges, or just general scenery that military personnel might take a picture of.
  • Scrap - includes aircraft boneyards, and foreign wrecks
  • Ship - includes small boats, landing craft, subs and carriers.
  • Street scenes - any image taken in a city
  • Map - event planning maps.


Nationality will not only be nations, e.g., Japan, Germany, but Navy will be here. Otherwise, all aircraft pictures are USAAF, or USAF, unless we could not determine the nationality.

Unit Info has what we know about the unit. With the help of others, we hope to be able to identify all the aircraft units.

Click on the image, and a larger image will come up with the information we know about that image. From there you are welcome to enter your comments about the image if you have more information.

We have not been consistant in some of the fields. So try several words to find what you are looking for. We are regularly updating the information in the database as we receive more details about the images. Please feel free to enter corrections using the "Record Notes" feature found at the bottom of each image record.

HAVE FUN sorting through these beautiful color pictures, dated from 1939 to 1945 with a few newer ones thrown in.