1 of 2James Curtis Lester's Navy Photo Album, 1932-1938 1 2
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I started this project of posting my father's Navy album on the Internet after I received several inquiries from people who wanted to know if their family member was pictured.  The reason they knew about the album is because I had made a post on the USS Whitney website message board: http://www.destroyers.org/GB_AD/AD4_board.php.  I noted that I had my father's album and that it included pictures of some of his shipmates.  The best place to look for a someone is on pages 2, 3, and 10.  Pages 2 and 3 include autographs of shipmates, including their home address (in most cases).  Page 10 is a photograph of a contingent of ship members.  There are several places where my father annotated snapshots with a mate's first name or, in some cases, nickname.  I have transcribed these below the photos, as I have with this introduction, so be sure to look at the bottom of the pages. 

James Curtis Lester was born December 19, 1912, and entered the Navy January 5, 1932, at age 19.  He grew up in Floyd County and Montgomery County, Virginia.

A history of the USS Whitney, AD-4, is at the bottom of page 13.

I disassembled the album and scanned each page at 200 dpi, giving images of 2300 x 1700 pixels.  The software that I used reduced these images to a maximum of 640 pixels for the page views that you see when you click on one of the thumbnails on this and the second Index page .  (The software produced 133 x 96 pixel thumbnails.)  You may see the full-size images by clicking on the page-view images.  If you have a telephone modem, the image will load slowly, but if you want to see more detail than you can see in the page view, this is your only option.

Most of the photos in the album exhibit the signs of age: they have faded and are sepia toned.  I converted them to black and white images and enhanced the contrast for better viewing, although they lose the charm that is present with sepia-toned photos.

After spending quite a lot of time on this project, I realize that the album is not the resource I once thought it might be for assisting people to find a picture of their father or uncle.  At this point, I consider the site to be more of a tribute to my father than anything.  I think only a small percentage of 19-year olds would have started and maintained a photo album such as this, and I am proud of him for the effort he made to preserve his experience so that I and my descendants can enjoy it.

Jerry Curtis Lester, in tribute to James Curtis Lester, 1912-1988
April 21, 2005

 

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