MIGHTY NINETY

Combat Photography Unit 6
Assigned to the Fast Carrier Task Force February-September 1945



Combat Photography Unit 6 poses behind their unloaded gear on Leyte, Philippine Islands in June 1945. From left to right: Don Helton, William Brunton, Thomas Higgins, Rudy Guttosch, Grant Hayes, Louis "Jack" Cathey, Lyle Hansen and William Davis. At right are the open clamshell doors of LCI(L)-773.
-James M. Branson photo in Gina Hansen collection


Combat Photography Unit 6 (CPU-6) was comprised of a number of U.S. Navy Fleet Photographers who dispersed across multiple warships to photograph the final campaigns of the Pacific War. During Okinawa operations they shot still and moving images from the ships of Task Group 58.1.Following the conclusion of Okinawa operations, CPU-6 redeployed aboard ships of Task Group 38.3, including USS ASTORIA CL-90.

Photographer's Mates Rudolph Guttosch and Thomas Higgins were assigned to USS ASTORIA CL-90 for the Japanese Home Island raids of July-August 1945. Guttosch was responsible for still imagery and Higgins was to shoot film footage. While aboard ship they got to know and work with established ship's photographer Herman Schnipper.



Thomas Higgins (left) and Rudolph Guttosch jokingly pose in skivvies while stationed on Leyte prior to Japanese Home Island operations, circa June 1945.
-photo courtesy of Herman Schnipper





Photographer's Mate Thomas Higgins poses with his camera aboard USS ASTORIA CL-90 in August 1945.
-Rudolph Guttosch photo courtesy of Herman Schnipper






Following the Japanese surrender, CPU-6 participated in occupation duty. In this photo circa September 1945, Thomas Higgins (left) and Don Helton pose with Japanese gear and Arisaka Type 38 rifles in their billet at the former Yokosuka photographic training school. Note the mosquito netting over the bunks.
-from Gina Hansen collection





A makeshift "personnel carrier" for CPU-6 in the form of a Navy fuel truck. Left to right are Rudy Guttosch, James Branson, Thomas Higgins, William Brunton and section officer LT(jg) Gerald Rogers.
-from Gina Hansen collection


Sources:

Schnipper, Herman. Private photo collection.

www.archives.gov National Archives and Records Administration WWII photo archive.

www.thedonhansenstory.com


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