Bristol, Richard, LCDR

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Rating/NEC Group
Staff Corps Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1945, Fleet Public Affairs Center/Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific (FPACPAC)
Service Years
1942 - 1945
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

530 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1908
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Bristol, Richard (Horace), LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Santa Paula,Calif.
Last Address
Born: Whittier, California
Raised in: Santa Paula
Died: Ojai, Ventura County

Date of Passing
Aug 04, 1997
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Blue Star




 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

LCdr. Richard "Horace" Bristol
WWII Combat Photographer

Richard Horace Bristol: (November 16, 1908– August 4, 1997) was a twentieth century American photographer, best known for his work in Life. His photos appeared in Time, Fortune, Sunset, and National Geographic magazines.

Bristol was born in Whittier
and raised in Santa Paula, California, and attended the Art Center of Los Angeles, originally majoring in architecture. In 1933, he moved to San Francisco to work in commercial photography, and met Ansel Adams, who lived near his studio. Through his friendship with Adams, he met Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and other artists.

In 1936, Bristol became a part of Life's founding photographers, and in 1938, began to document migrant farmers in California's central valley with John Steinbeck, recording the Great Depression, photographs that would later be called the Grapes of Wrath collection.

In 1941, at the age of 33, Horace Bristol was recruited to the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit, as one of six photographers under the command of Captain Edward J. Steichen, documenting World War II in places such as South Africa, and Japan. Bristol helped to document the invasions of North Africa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

He served as Lt. Commander until the end of World War II.

Following his documentation of World War II, Bristol settled in Tokyo, Japan, selling his photographs to magazines in Europe and the United States, and becoming the Asian correspondent to Fortune.

Fortune magazine sent him to Asia for a two-year assignment and he was stationed in Japan for the next 25 years covering Asia. He published several books, and established the East-West Photo Agency.

Bristol lived in Ojai, California, until his death in 1997 at the age of 89.

   
Other Comments:
The Aviation Photographic Unit was a military unit unlike any other in World War II. Founded and led by legendary photographer Edward Steichen, the photographers in this unit gave Americans on the home front memorable and dramatic images of the people fighting the Navy's battles in the Pacific theater. Beginning with just half a dozen intrepid shutterbugs and expanding to ten battle-seasoned photographers, the unit covered everything from early aircraft raids to amphibious landings to the surrender in Tokyo Bay. With an estimated 14,000 images in the collection of the National Archives, the work of this talented photographic unit is historically significant not only as a visual record of the war, but also for its influence on generations of postwar photographers. Faces of War is a tribute to the vision of Edward Steichen, as well as the men who served under him, and most importantly to their subjects-the unsung heroes of the U.S. Navy. Steichen's unit included such well-known photographers as:

LCdr. Horace Bristol
Lt. Barrett Gallagher
LCdr. Charles Fenno Jacobs
Lt. Victor Jorgensen
LCdr. Charles Kerlee
LCdr. Dwight S. Long
Lt. Wayne Miller
   
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  HORACE BRISTOL 1908-1997
   
Date
Not Specified

Last Updated:
Dec 10, 2011
   
Comments

HORACE BRISTOL 1908-1997

Horace Bristol used his camera to record the human, intimate moments in the grand sweep of history. He captured the best and the worst of this century, from poignant images of the urban poor and migrant farm workers during the Depression, to battle scenes of World War II and compelling portraits of post-war Japan and Southeast Asia.

Born November 16, 1908 in Whittier California, Bristol studied at the just-opened Art Center of Los Angeles, where he was exposed to the subtle, painterly images of Edward Steichen and the powerful industrial landscapes of Margaret Bourke-White. In 1933, Bristol moved to San Francisco to pursue commercial photography, renting a studio a few doors down from Ansel Adam's gallery near Union Square. Through Adams, Bristol befriended members of the famed "Group f/64", including Edward Weston, Dorthea Lange and Imogen Cunningham.

Bristol began contributing to LIFE magazine as a freelancer in June 1937, and garnered his first cover just two months later. He was soon hired on staff, working alongside such photographic giants as Alfred Eisenstaedt, Peter Stackpole, and a personal hero, Margaret Bourke-White. Late in 1937, Bristol proposed a story about migrant farm workers in Calfornia's Central Valley's project that would include accompanying text by novelist John Steinbeck. Though LIFE turned down the story, Bristol and Steinbeck agreed to collaborate on a book-length project, and the two men spent several weekends in labor camps during the winter of 1938. Bristol took hundreds of photographs of the suffering farm workers, only to have Steinbeck withdraw from the partnership to write the story as a novel, which became his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath.

In 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Bristol leapt at the opportunity to work as one of a select group of five photographers documenting the war under the direction of the influential Edward Steichen. Bristol photographed behind the scenes of key Naval battles, including the invasions of North Africa, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Following the war, Bristol brought his family to Japan where he photographed the war's devastating legacy, as well as the vestiges of traditional Japanese life. In Tokyo, he established the East-West Photo Agency and began selling his photographs of Southeast Asia to virtually every pictorial magazine in Europe and the United States. He also published several books under the East-West name focusing on Pacific Rim countries in transition.

In 1956, devastated by the suicide of his wife, Bristol burned all the negatives and photographs that he kept at his seaside house in Japan, effectively ending one of the most intense photographic careers of his time. His remaining photographs were packed into footlockers, stored, and left untouched for nearly thirty years.

Having put photography behind him and remarried, Bristol was reminded of his past when his 15-year old son Henri came home from high school in 1985 with an assignment to read The Grapes of Wrath. Only then did Bristol open the musty footlockers that kept a lifetime's worth of images and memories. When he saw the tired, dignified faces of the migrant farm workers, he couldn't help but regret that his life's work had been all but forgotten in the three decades since he'd put away his camera.

Horace Bristol died in August 1997, but not before seeing his photographs exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe, and a book of his work published in his name: Horace Bristol, An American View (Chronicle Books, 1996). Currently, his work is on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of their Made in California exhibition, and the Getty Museum recently acquired photos from The Grapes of Wrath series for their collection.

   
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LCdr. Horace Bristol
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HORACE BRISTOL 1908-1997
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