Every Picture Tells A Story

by John Holbo on May 19, 2017

Col. A. Miller, Maj. C. Spatz, Mrs. C.B. Spatz, Anna Spatz, Sgt. Tanner (LOC)

Wonder what this one is. Please offer your best attempt at Maj. and Mrs. Spatz fanfic in comments. (I love the Flickr Library of Congress photo feed.)



Adam Roberts 05.19.17 at 5:39 pm


Dan S. 05.19.17 at 5:54 pm

Carl Spaatz (his name is misspelled) would later become the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Strategic Air Force, and was instrumental in building the B-29 Superfortress. The atomic bombs were sent to him, with instructions on their use, in 1945.


Ebenezer Scrooge 05.19.17 at 6:44 pm

There was a Carl Spaatz[sic]–a WWII aviation general for the US. Could this be him? He was first chief of staff for the nascent USAF in 1947. According to Wikipedia, he added the second “a” to his surname in 1937, so it could sound more Dutch than German.


Donald A. Coffin 05.19.17 at 6:54 pm

Well, here’s Carl Andrew Spatz:


Donald A. Coffin 05.19.17 at 6:56 pm

“Following America’s entry into World War I, Spaatz was sent with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in command of the 31st Aero Squadron. Spaatz was appointed Officer in Charge, American Aviation School at Issoudun, France but after receiving orders to return to the United States, he saw three weeks of action during the final months of the war with the 13th Aero Squadron as a supernumerary pilot. In this brief period, Spaatz shot down three enemy planes and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC); during the time he was promoted to the temporary rank of major on 17 June 1918.”


Guy Harris 05.19.17 at 8:21 pm

“Immediate Family:
Son of Charles B. Spatz and Annie Amelia Muntz”

So we’re presumably seeing Mrs. Charles B. Spatz, i.e. Annie Amelia Muntz, along with her son, Maj. C. Spatz (later Spaatz, at the insistence of his wife and three daughters). We’re also seeing “Anna Spatz”, who is presumably Maj. C. Spatz’s sister, as her parents are also Charles B. Spatz and Annie A. Muntz.

Researching Col. A. Miller and Sgt. Tanner is left as an exercise to readers less lazy than me. :-)


Dave W. 05.20.17 at 2:08 am

In the second picture Col. A. Miller is tagged as “Archie Miller (CMoH)” – I suspect he’s probably the Archie Miller who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (http://www.history.army.mil/moh/philippine.html#MILLER) for advancing a machine gun (“with the assistance of an enlisted man”) while under heavy fire from hostile Moros in 1909 during the Philippine Insurrection.


John Holbo 05.20.17 at 3:51 am

Wow, thanks for all the fact-checking. I posted the pic without doing a speck of Googling, went to bed, and all this is sprung up in the morning!


Peter T 05.20.17 at 6:43 am

This is a shot of the doomed 1927 Muntz-Spaatz expedition to Amazonia in search of the last axe-beaked terror-bird.


Dirk 05.21.17 at 4:10 pm

This is totally a Call of Cthulhu player group shot.


oldster 05.21.17 at 4:27 pm

Something like this happened on Making Light not too long ago.

A front-pager found a cute old post-card, and posted it on an open thread, thinking it depicted a private party. From meta-data in the photo, it was possible to reconstruct an extraordinary amount of the story of who the people were, why they were in the photo, and so on.

It’s incredible how much old information has been uploaded and is now searchable.



Stan 05.22.17 at 4:18 pm

“Carl Spaatz (his name is misspelled) would later become the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Strategic Air Force,”

No such organization. General Spaatz commanded the US Army Air Forces. “Air Forces” with an ‘s’ to distinguish them from the Army Ground Forces. No US Air Force existed until 1947.

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