Just Pictures?

Think again…

These are much more than old WWII pictures.

JHM MacKinnon

James Huntley MacDonald MacKinnon

127 Sqdn Pilots- Western desert


This is what Patricia has of her father she never met. Maybe she did met him when she was a young child. She has not told me. I will  have to ask her.

What Patricia shared with me was how her mother reacted to her husband’s death on March 23rd, 1945 over Yugoslavia on an armed recco mission.

I have asked her if I can share it with you. She gave me the green light to follow up on her Dad’s story.

In the meantime, what about those pictures Patricia Taylor sent me a few days ago when she was looking on the Internet for information about her father? She had left a comment on a blog paying homage to someone’s father who was also a fighter pilot with 127 Squadron.


I just read your Father was in 127 sqd.
James Huntley MacDonald MacKinnon joined 127 on the 16th Febr 1942 at St. Jean Palestine and left on 13th October 1943. He flew Hurricanes. He was posted to 203 group Heliopolis Egypt as a flying instructor. 

Kind Regards,
Patricia Taylor.

So you think these old WWII pictures are just old pictures.

Look again.

JHM MacKinnon desert picture 1

Patricia’s father

JHM MacKinnon desert picture 2

Patricia’s father

Now, is this face familiar to one of my readers?

Evans desert picture 1 Evans desert picture 2I think it might…


James Evans Jenkins


13 thoughts on “Just Pictures?

    1. Pierre, I am still too dazed to give a sensible reply, but I want to acknowledge, on this page, the sterling work you do!

      Kim must be pleased too!

  1. Hi, I’ve put enlargements up side by side on my screen. It’s tricky because the Jenkins portrait is airbrushed, but I’m not sure it’s a match. The guy in the double bass picture has very characteristic ears, deep-set eyes and a long depth of chin, and when he smiles, his mouth takes a strong upwards curve. On the other hand the Jenkins portrait looks as though it has been given the WWII version of photoshopping to conform to ideals of the period so it could be the same guy. Sorry, don’t want pour cold water on an exciting discovery, so hope I am wrong.

    1. At the time the group photos were taken they would probably have lost weight.
      On the other photo he seems to have more flesh on his face, like younger people have.

  2. John Engelsted, thank you for that oh so important piece of paper!
    My mind is slowly getting into gear again!

  3. Hi Pierre and Patricia – amazing what information you’re finding Pierre! Without a doubt though, I can confirm that is NOT my father in the photo. I have enlarged it and gone through the image with a fine tooth comb. The ears give it away – so not my father’s. The smile is very different too. The face is too long and my father also had a very characteristic way of standing. I immediately knew it wasn’t a photo of my father. Oh well! But how wonderful that Patricia is learning so much more about her father.

  4. hilarycustancegreen – you’re not wrong, it’s not my father 🙂 On the other hand, I’m interested in your comment about the WWII version of Photoshopping. I honestly don’t think it’s been retouched – Dad was a very good looking man, even when older. The smile and his features are consistent with candid shots of the same time. How did they touch up photos then (i.e. colourising??) and what was the ideal of the period that you mention? Just curious!

    1. Hi thinkingshift, I am sure the photo of your dad was not ‘touched up’, just printed in the best style of the time. Before photoshop there were many ways of playing with the image. First you did it in the studio, using the best lighting – so you could easily hide a heavy jaw by throwing the light carefully or getting the head tilted right. Then, when printing, you could soften the outline, by waving your hands over some areas as you exposed the negative onto the photographic paper (I’m sure there’s a technical term for this, I only did photography at a very simple level). You could disappear someone who was in the negative too. Most studio portraits of the period had these soft outlines, which were clearly considered very flattering. I have ones of my family looking very similar. I used to sculpt portrait heads – hence my rather forensic check on the photos.

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